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One of my fondest memories of childhood was a trip we made when I was almost five. That would have been in 1956.
My mother stuck the five girls in the back of the station wagon and we drove from Washington DC to Mexico City. (My father flew down to meet us there.)

One motel had a swimming pool that was full of algae, and that's where I finally learned to swim.
(It was warm, and I couldn't see the bottom).
One place had a pet deer and it stole my sister's shoe.
In Mexico City the maid in the hotel really liked me (I was the baby).
My parents let me go home with her over night, and it was beautiful and green, and I really liked her.
I didn't speak a word of Spanish and it didn't particularly matter.
I didn't catch any weird diseases.
I flat-out loved it.

If you are worried about mosquitos, take a lot of repellent and use it.

If you are worried about the fly thing, don't.
It isn't all that common, and it isn't that big a damn deal
I have a friend who had it.
When we were grad students she was in Central America for over two years, traveling all over the place on no money at all (think hitchhiking, think cheap buses), and not being particularly careful.
She got one in all that time, and got rid of it.
(It was on her arm, and having no money for a doctor she got advice for a local cure involving bandaging a hunk of meat over it. It worked. No scar.)
Not really a big deal, though a good story.

You will be traveling with people who know what they are doing.
You will not be staying in unclean places.
You will be careful.

I understand your wife's unease.
In myself I characterize it as the mama lion.
Mama lion gets unset very easily; she has instincts and instincts exist for a reason.
Frankly, Mama lion would like to take my daughter and lock her in a childproof tower for the rest of her life, to keep her safe and near.
But luckily for Sarah, my brain doesn't let mama lion run things though I do listen.
You make compromises: as I said, lots of insect repellent and lots of sterilizing hand wipes; and promise to pay attention to your own instincts -- you can sit on the beach and let the people without kids go see stuff that scares the mama lion part of the brain if there is some particular thing that seems chancy.

You aren't talking about anything outrageous here.
People live there all the time.
People travel there all the time.
You aren't sending them alone, and you aren't leaving them with strangers.
You will be there, and you are careful. loving parents.
Yes, it isn't your driveway, but frankly driveways aren't very safe.

White Roses

There is not one single point I disagree with you about.  Frankly, I have no qualms at all about taking both kids there.  But the wife has gotten some ideas put in her head, and instead of trying to mitigate them, she's gone completely Department of Homeland Security on us and it's starting to suck the fun out of the trip.

I totally understand the instinct.  I have it too.  I just seem to be much better at telling it to shut up, to chain it down until I need every last ounce of that instinct to strangle an alligator with my bare hands to protect my child from a real and immediate danger, rather than wasting that energy on a theoretical and unlikely danger.

Maybe I need to put it to her that way . . . not that I think her instinct is wrong, just that it's not appropriate yet.

I plan on bathing in DDT.

Blood Dragon

My daughter calls the sorts of people who are telling you all these horrid things "funsuckers".
They aren't having any fun, themselves...so they don't want anyone ELSE to. They think up every outrageous theoretical unpleasantry, and regale you with FoaF tales, and do everything they can to make sure YOU don't have any fun, either.
Never, EVER listen to funsuckers.
The other sort you're probably running in to...you ought to be used to, by now, given the age of your kids. Those are the thousands of people...many of whom do NOT have children (MOST of whom...)...that want to tell you how to protect (raise, educate, treat, punish, discipline, reward, etc.) YOUR children. They don't know you. They don't know your children. They don't know what they're bloody talking about.
Shouldn't listen to them, either.
You have ACTUAL EXPERTS on the destination. How in the Nine Hells could any of the people you or Mrs. you work with know better than they do?
Or other people you know, where you KNOW you can trust their information (like me, regarding barracuda).
Doomsayers, funsuckers, childcare experts...
You don't need them. Take the kids. Have FUN. Who knows, they might want to actually get in the water. Hell, the older lass might even like putting a mask on and watching the fish and stuff (yeah, they're a little young for tanks and such). Or just take a freakin' clear plastic jug/bucket/glass and show her how to use it as a viewer.
Feh. You don't need me to tell you how to have fun with your kids. That's what I've been trying to say....

White Roses

The thing that convinced the Mrs.?  Disney runs "Adventure" tours right to where we're going.  While I find that worrisome in the long run, at least it proves a basic level of safety.

Anyway, the foot has spoken.  We're going and that's that.

Blood Dragon

Shrug. Life isn't safe. So you may as well have all the fun you can.

White Roses

An addendum to all this, if anyone is still reading . . .

We'll be traveling with not one, but two registered nurses.  The other is Earth's mother (heh, earth mother), who is not only an RN, but is not in all that great of health to begin with.  And is Hep C positive.  I only feel OK stating that because her license plate on her car reads "HEPC RN".  If she's comfy with it, so am I.  So, that's two nurses, one for each kid.

Also, Lotus and Tesla will not be the only children in attendance.  Earth's sister has a child a little younger than Lotus, and there is another couple bringing their children who are pre-tween (to the best of anyone's recollection).  Now, I am sure the wife would say that what's good for their kids might not be good for ours, but, frankly, if I have to kidnap the kids, they're going to go and experience Costa Rica.

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