I have never seen a real wolverine. But, we have the Discovery Channel, which regularly airs shows called "World's Wildest Animals," and "Wolverines Gone Wild." Also, I've seen Red Dawn five times (1984. Patrick Swayze leads a group of high school football players against a full scale Soviet invasion. Frequently yells, "Wolverines!"). It's safe to say that I'm kind of an expert on the ferocious little critters. So when I say that flying to Cabo on a crowded plane with Dylan on my lap is exactly the same as flying to Cabo with a wolverine on my lap is no exaggeration.
We're used to it by now because the same thing always happens when we fly the friendly skies: finally the plane lands, the passengers clap, the stranger seated in the seat next to us dries his tears and takes the stickers out his his hair (Dylan loves stickers), and then -- Shazam! -- the wolverine on my lap magically turns back into an active nineteen month old baby.
Cabo is, quite possibly, the best place on earth for babies. The locals like you, the tourists like you, and the sidewalks are so bad that every ride in a stroller feels like 4x4-ing on a backroad logging track. Dylan even got over her fear of two things on this trip. First, the ocean. This time she spent hours watching me fill a pail with sand, pack it tight, and turn it upsidedown to make a sand "cake." Then she'd immediately destroy it, laugh, and run into the Pacific. Second, large men. She'd dash to every big Mexican dude that she saw with her arms open wide for a big hug. Cabbies, bouncers, restaurant owners, drunks, whomever, she loved them all, as long as they were A) Mexican, and B) big.
We quickly settled into a routine: up at 6:00 AM, Dylan and daddy would get started caking on the SPF 4,000, and at the pool or the beach by 8:00. I'd order a "Dirty Monkey" at happy hour (10:00), Regina would roll her eyes, then lunch, nap, and finally a stroll downtown past the chicklet vendors, and dinner. Dylan would do something to cause us to apologize to our waiter, we'd leave, get an ice cream, and off-road it home so we could get Dylan to bed. Lights out at 7:00 PM. Kind of like camp, but with more booze and stricter rules. We pretty much stuck to this routine, except for Thanksgiving, when I ran downtown to a restaurant that I'm sure didn't want us back and got take-out so we could stuff ourselves with a traditional Thanksgiving meal (ribs, chicken mole, and churros).
The day we flew home was probably the first day ever that Dylan didn't nap. So when the baby-to-wolverine transformation occurred, at least it was expected. Like a roughneck bar-brawler who apologizes before he kicks someone's ass, we could only say sorry to the unfortunate travelers who -- luck of the airline lotto -- drew a seat next to us.
After layovers and airport closures in every airport between Cabo and Seattle, we finally caught our final plane home. I watched the guy in the backwards Oregon Ducks cap who was seated in front of us cringe as Dylan let out an especially loud Swayze-esq, "Wolverines!" She kicked the seat, spilled our drinks, and thrashed around until ... Christmas miracle! ... she fell asleep. Regina and I were so shocked that we sat motionless for the entire flight.
When we finally made it back to the house, we didn't even care that our bags were in Eugene. It's always a nice feeling to be home after a vacation, and I stayed up past 7:00 PM so I could watch "World's Wildest Wolverines," on the Discovery Channel.