Monday, July 4, 2016

2016 Family Vacation - Mexico!!

When deciding on a family vacation this summer, we were going to go on a Hill Country tour and take the kids to see some Texas sights. That all changed when I heard an advertisement on the radio for some summer deals to Mexico. Jason and I have always wanted to go to an all-inclusive, so we found one that we felt was a good deal and booked. It was an extravagant trip, for sure, one that you can't take every year, but with things getting busy and expanding my estate sale business (oh yeah, I'll tell you all about that later!) who knows if next year we will have time (or money!) so we took advantage of it while we could.

This was Avery's first time on a plane since she was 4 months old. She did amazing. Jordan and Sophia have been on several plane rides, so our flight there was great.

We went to Hotel Marina El Cid Spa and Beach Resort. I read so many reviews before we left and they were all amazing, so I knew we would be getting a great experience. It was a family resort in the Riviera Maya and it was perfect for our family! We upgraded to the platinum package and upon arrival and during checkin, a concierge brought us all drinks. The kids had about 75 Miami Vices each while there (half pina colada, half strawberry daiquiri, virgin of course).

We enjoyed many things about this trip, one thing being we rarely had a schedule to keep. The only things we had to be on time for was dinner reservations in the evening and our dolphin excursion. So otherwise, we got to eat and play and do whatever we felt like doing. The food was pretty good! There was a good mix of items each day and it was all laid out beautifully! They even had a Mexican party night in the buffet and it was decked out!!

When we got to our room, this is what awaited us, such a nice touch!

The hotel grounds were so beautiful. And there were iguanas EVERYWHERE. They (the iguanas) wouldn't let you get close to them, so they mostly just sat still and sunned in the daytime, but it was pretty cool to see them. In the picture below, there was one on the green platform and the kids were looking at it during lunch.

The hotel was very well maintained and the grounds were just gorgeous. There was a waterfall area with a turtle enclosure, we counted 20 at one time, lots of birds, and of course, lizards. They even said one area had a crocodile in it, but no one ever saw it and it was heavily fenced and roped off, so you couldn't even get close enough to try.

The beach was just beautiful. There were lots of palm trees, loungers, huts, hammocks, canopy beds and white sands all around. With it being a private beach, we never had trouble finding space and it was never crowded! We didn't spend too much time on the beach, a few walks and some dips, but that's about it. We mostly swam in the pools! But man, it was nice to see this every day. There was seaweed all the time, but they raked it up about twice daily. I'm sure it's hard to keep track of but they did a good job!

Our room was just amazing. We had a private balcony on our one room suite, overlooking the ocean. What a view to wake up to! For all of your interested, there is a video I shot off our balcony on the first morning.

One of the coolest things the hotel did (and they did a lot of cool things) was a foam party. The kids loved this so much! It was a great time. Afterwards, all of the hundreds of coconuts that dropped from the palm trees during the week were collected and cut, and everyone got to have a drink! It was a little yuck until you put it over ice and then it was pretty tasty. But a cool experience, nonetheless!

The pools were really pretty. This was from the infiniti pool that we spent a lot of time in. Avery discovered swimming goggles and learned to touch the bottom. We swam for hours. We would look to see where Avery was and you could tell it was her by her hind end bopping on the top of the water!!

Here are just some randoms I took in various places...

We did one excursion while we were there - the dolphin experience. This was magical and very fun. They wouldn't let you take pictures and the pictures they took were astronomically expensive, so unfortunately, I have no pictures to show - but we did get to go to this cool place and this bar had swings. We sat and relaxed for a little while and that was fun.

Jason and I had a lot of fun this trip. There were a couple nights the kids stayed in the room and ordered room service while we went out to dinner. That was nice, for sure! Love this guy and we just kept thinking, how cool is it that we are here? After spending the first year of marriage in dire straights financially, where going out to eat was the $1 menu at McDonalds, it is never lost on us that we get to have these experiences. However, we still love the $1 menu at McDonalds.

Here's to another successful Whitehead vacation in the books! Now onto the next!

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