Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Mexico 4 and final

A few pictures from the Steakhouse our last night.  I never take pictures of myself because I hate them.  So Dave took the one of Natalie and I. Said we need to have one since it was because of the two of us that we were on the trip.  Then Natalie took the one of Blake and I as we were waiting to get in and sent it to me later.

Our last day in Mexico.  Our shuttle to the airport was arriving at 11. We packed, ate breakfast and then walked around getting a few last pictures.

Blake and Leah in the iguana hut.

Waiting at the airport.

Natalie makes everything fun for everyone.

We got the Disney plane!  Our steward was my favorite ever.  We got all the safety info but it was hilarious.  "just in case our flight turns into a cruise' 'when the air mask drops put on your own then pick your favorite kid'

It was a longer flight then planned.  We were 45 mins late and starving.  Of course nothing was open Christmas Eve.  But we had a really fantastic trip with wonderful friends.  I would totally go again.  Which surprised me.  Also it had snowed while we were away and we did a 50 degree drop in temperature.  Wow!  We came home to beautiful winter wonderland.

Thank you Toone's for the memories.

Mexico 3

Friday Dave and I took Blake and Leah on an excursion.  Dave thought since we were that close and it was 1/2 price we should go see Chichen Itza.  Or as the bellboy teased me Chicken Pizza. I was  sad to go on this one with out Cora.  She loves history and would have just eaten this all up.  The excursion started early in the morning.  Because we were up before the restaurants opened we were given breakfast on the bus.  We learned the history and process of making a Mexican Tamale and then was given one to try.  They are very good.
We had a short stop to use bathrooms and buy things then continued on our way.  We arrived at Chichen Itza about 11.  Very cool place. Our tour guide was excellent and we got a ton of info in an hour.  We were then given another hour to walk around and take pictures.

We had been told that it was illegal for vendors to come onto government land and sell their wares, but they bride the workers and get in anyways.  When we arrived, because it was illegal, I was amazed at the amount of vendors that were in.  They lined both sides of every path.  Had to have been hundreds.  After walking around we reloaded the bus and were driven to a little place where we were given and authentic Mayan lunch.  Some interesting things, some good, some not so much.  But all fun to try.  Next we swam in another Cenote.  This one had a 85 foot drop just to get down into the water.  They are a sink hole/natural well that most of them they don't know how deep it goes.  Cool fresh water.  It was wonderful to swim in.

Lastly we stopped in Valladolid  It was very interesting to see how the people of Mexico live.  Made us thankful for what we have.  We stopped at the town square and got ice cream.

Saturday was our last day at the beach.  We got up a little earlier so we could spend lots of time there.

The kids ordered drinks at the pool bar.  Said it was cool to sit on a stool in the swimming pool and have drinks.

Last little bit spent at the water slides.

We wanted to go to the Steakhouse one last time since it was our favorite.  The first night we went we had to wait and hour to get in.  So this time we showed up before it opened and Dave and Joe waited first in line to get us in.  We had split up kids and adults all week and wanted to have our last meal together.

After another excellent dinner, we went to Part three of the Mayan show.  It was a truly weird show.  But we watched it for the experience.

Mexico 2

Wednesday we booked a bus to take us into Playa Del Carmen in the afternoon.  In order to get the bus for free we first had to stop at a silver factory.  I was ok with that.  For free it would be cool to watch them make some jewelry.  Yeap, wrong!  We were to be picked up at 1 and back by 4.  We had had a late breakfast and decided we would be okay not eating lunch and just have an early dinner when we got back.  Again wrong.  We started the morning with a bike ride around the resort and looking at some ruins.

We then ended up getting picked up at 1:30.  They took us to the silver 'factory' which ended up being a big fancy store, as they pressured us to buy things for the required hour we stayed there.  Once they realized we were not buying, we sat out front waiting for the next bus to come pick us up. Luckily we had a few chips and buns with us.

We finally made it into Playa Del Carmen around 4 and were told we got a free lunch and then time to look around for a few hours.  The lunch was really good.  We decided it was worth sitting through the silver factory to get free ride and lunch.  They dropped us off at a tequila factory and had a booth set up for lots of free samples.  Our bus mates enjoyed that.  :) We then ate and walked up and down 5th Ave.  It is 30 blocks long, filled with stores and vendors.  We got all our souvenirs here.  It was sorta fun to barter for our goods.  Every store offered us tequila.

Even though the tour was not quite as advertised, it ended up being a really fun day.  Thursday was another perfectly lazy day.  We spent it at the beach.

Around lunch time the boys went swimming and snorkeling in the Cenote.  They saw a lot of neat fish.

Then dinner at a different restaurant again, walking along the beach in the dark and to sleep.  We checked in with Cora as often as we could.  It would cut out bad to FaceTime and I didn't have a plan to call.  But we tried FaceTime as much as we could and texted lots back and forth.

Mexico 1

We started our day by getting up at 3 in the morning.  We met up with Toone's at the airport. (Sophie got hurt right before our picture, she really isn't sad)  
We arrived in Mexico and found our bus to the resort.  Check in took a long time.  There was a lot of information about shows, restaraunts, stores, exursions, and maps, to learn.  We were a bit overwhelmed and hungry.  We dropped off backpacks in our rooms, grabbed something to eat and went to sleep. This is a picture of our room from the doorway.  You walked in straight to the tub and it was all open.  Not a lot of privacy to shower and get ready.  Around the corner is the other bed.  We would have everyone go sit over there as a person was getting ready.

The next day dawned bright and beautiful.  We ate and were ready to hit the beach.  Most of the day was spent there, with some time going back and forth to the pool, lunch, and a stop at the water slides.

The snack bar had swings for people to sit while they ate.  They kids really enjoyed those.

When the pool closed, we all went back to our apartments, quick shower and change, then back for dinner.  It was a fantastic meal.  We split up to get in faster and ended up doing kids at one and adults at another.  So fun.

Tuesday morning after breakfast was back to the beach.

Boogie boarding was a hit and we did it often.  You could sign out the boards for one hour, then sign out again later if you wanted to.  We usually did at least twice and sometimes three times a day.

The wind was a little stronger the second day, but still lots of good snorkeling.

Emily, Natalie, and Leah joined a beach Zumba class.  They always had lots going on that you could join.  Soccer, volleyball, yoga, etc.

Another quick change and dinner.  Then we went to the show.  Every evening there was some show for us to go watch.  Monday was Disney Princess night, there was a Micheal Jackson night, Super Hero night.  Tuesday was Part one of a Mayan show.  It was a little strange, but kind of interesting.  We missed part two and party three was extremely bizarre.

It was wonderful to go to bed when we wished and sleep in all we wanted.  It was so relaxing.  The first night Leah asked if I would be okay with her and Emily getting lunch the next day without parents.  I said no way.  Everyone needed to stick together the whole time.  By noon the next day, I was totally ok with it.  We felt very safe and the kids could find their way around.  They enjoyed ordering drinks on the beach.  It was a few ladies job to just walk back and forth on the beach all day, getting people smoothies, drinks, water.  Blake liked for them to surprise him.  Dave enjoyed the virgin Pina Coladas.  Lots of delicious ones.