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  • Writer's pictureKristin

Feliz Cumpleanos: Horseback to Waterfall & Iguanas

Updated: Jan 30, 2021

Our little girl turned 7 while we were in Yelapa, Mexico! At first, I think she thought it might not be as fun to celebrate her birthday away from home. However, being able to celebrate in Mexico turned out to be the best way to celebrate, as all indoor and outdoor gatherings were prohibited at home. Therefore, with no chance of a birthday party, she got some special experiences to celebrate instead.


We worked hard to make it the most special birthday for her by packing streamers and other supplies, but we also were able to find some supplies at the local shops, like balloons, a #7 candle and some candles that said ‘Happy Birthday’. They even sold cake mix, so I made a cake the night before (luckily the oven worked!) and created a Peanut Butter and Nutella mix that could be used as icing. Considering the limitations, it actually turned out pretty well!

We were planning to surprise her with a horse ride on her birthday, but I accidentally let it slip one time and she caught on. However, I think it worked out alright, as it gave her something to look forward to. She woke up on her birthday with the casa decorated for her birthday and some birthday cards and a Kinder Egg at the table for her.


Horse Ride to Waterfall

After breakfast and preparations for the day, her horse arrived in the courtyard! She was so excited! She had been wanting a horse, not a mule or donkey and that’s what she got! She decided to name it Brownie. We had coordinated the horse through a man we ran into in town – Pepe. He was there to greet us and take the money; but our guide for the day was Rafael – he only knew a little bit of English so we pieced things together throughout the day. We paid about 500 pesos for the horse and then gave 400 pesos to Rafael for his guide service. However, the horse belonged to neither Pepe or Rafael, so there was still a split that had to happen somewhere.



We walked through the town while Clara rode the horse, as we made our way to the waterfall; later Connor joined her in the saddle as well. She was so in love with her horse, she kept petting the back of it while she was riding in the saddle. I don’t think you could take the smile off her face.



When we got to the waterfall we had to ‘park’ the horse and walk for a little way, as the trail was too rough and narrow for horses. Clara wanted to give Brownie one of our carrots, so we let Rafael feed it to him. When we arrived at the waterfall we had the whole place to ourselves!


We ate our sandwiches and then decided to go for a swim. The water was a bit chilly, but it didn’t feel too bad in the sun. After Mommy & Daddy went in, the kids decided to come as well. Then Rafael joined us, which we thought was cool. He helped Connor throw rocks into the water and keep an eye on everyone as well, as I had to get out early due to getting cold.



After the swim at the waterfall, we headed back. Clara rode the whole way there and back on the horse – she didn’t want it to end! We were so impressed with Rafael, as he walked the whole way there and back in bare feet! He must have very tough-skinned feet, as there were sections that I walked bare foot that I had to put my shoes back on shortly afterwards -- including several rocks that we had to walk/climb over. However, we saw several children playing and not wearing shoes in the town, so I think they probably build up their tough feet at a young age.



Pedro the Iguana

After saying ‘Adios’ to Brownie and Rafael, we headed to the beach. On the way Clara told me that it was her Best Birthday EVER because she got to spend the day with ‘her’ horse. We also told her that as a birthday treat she could get her photo taken with the iguana at the beach. Alex searched him out and brought him over to meet her. Clara wasn’t too keen on holding him at first, but she did try it! However, Pedro the Iguana did try to slip away! It was a little pricey to do the iguana pictures – after all it is a big tourist trap -- but a fun birthday treat! The kids liked to pet him though – he was scaly, but soft, and they liked the spikes on his back.





Birthday Cake!

After dinner at Yolanda’s, we headed back upstairs for Birthday cake. Clara really wanted to have her grandparents there for her birthday cake, so we set up a Zoom call and sang her Happy Birthday and chatted a bit while we ate cake. At the end of the day, Clara said her favorite parts of the day were the horse ride to the waterfall and having the zoom call with the grandparents!


Happy 7th Birthday Clara!


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