Sunday, September 28, 2008
WARNING: This is going to be a photo-heavy entry!
What can I say to describe the last week? Our journey started on the 19th as we drove to Milwaukee to spend the night before taking off early the next morning. We had my birthday dinner at The Cheesecake Factory and then promptly headed to the hotel to go to sleep. We woke up Saturday morning at an unuasually early hour and made it to the airport only to find there were "maintenance issues." So, instead of going by plane, we were put on a bus to O'Hare. Actually, it took just about the same amount of time as it would to fly and the bus was comfortable.
The kids were extremely well-behaved on the flight down to Mexico. The drive to the resort was eye-opening. There is such a huge contrast between the luxury resorts and the villages that surround them. I did my best to point this out to Ian and Kyra.
The resort itself couldn not have been more perfect for us. They had an "Explorer's Club" that we could check the kids into. Each day, they had a schedule of activities and Ian would choose what he wanted to do and we would check him in and out. We did have the kids in there for lunch and dinner so Rich and I could have a quiet dinner each night. By the end of the first day, Kyra was counting to ten in Spanish (Ian can get even higher). We have nothing but good things to say about the kids club. Kyra and Ian both enjoyed their time and their teachers. The pictures above are a couple of the various kids' activities. One night they had a "show" and another night, they took part in the Mexican fiesta. Kyra and Ian were "co-winners" in the "Viva Mexico" contest. When you had the sombrero on your head, you had to shout "Viva Mexico!". Ian was the most entusiastic and Kyra was just a ham!
Aside from the kids' activities, there was no shortage of things to do at the resort. Each day we started with a huge breakfast and then headed down to the beach/pool. We spent LOTS of time in the pool! Kyra was a little hesitant the first few days, but by the end of the week, she was "swimming" like a pro and jumping into the deep end (provided we were there to catch her). They both also enjoyed the ocean trampoline (which made Mommy seasick).
When the kids were busy with the kids club, we got to play too. Rich participated in Beach Olympics. Here he is after a game where they had to pass flour over their heads in a line. We also played quite a bit of beach and tequilla volleyball (and yes, the latter does involve beverage).
I would also be remiss if I didn't mention the food and drink available! It was actually overwhelming and we often didn't know what to choose (although I would have been just as happy munching on fresh guacamole and chips). Even my pickiest eater found new things to try! Ian discovered he loved pollenta and he found that everything (including bacon) tastes better with Nutella! In the evening, we went to several "adult" only restaurants including Asian, French and Italian. I discovered it is far too easy to drink a bottle of Merlot by one's lonesome when said bottle is left at the table (but oh was it good!). Kyra, in true princess fashion, has an affinity for being served by room service. In fact, I am surprised that she did not demand a fruit plate and tres leches cake (Miss M, I may need a recipe sometime)before nap time today! The kids also discovered rather quickly that the bars were not for adults only! Their favorite drink? "Happy Kids", of course!
On Wednesday, Ian got to go on an excursion with us to the Mayan ruins at Tulum. The view was absolutely spectacular! It was one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen! The boys also found a "virtual" geocache.
And here is the Mexican equivalant of the squirrel - the iguana. The first time one of these scurried across my path, I was a little freaked out. But then I soon realized they were EVERYWHERE and, much to Kyra's delight, they were really fun to chase! But you could sneak up on them (and with the help of an ultra zoom) get some decent shots of them!
In addition to everything else, Ian was able to go snailing, snorkeling and kayaking for the first time. He is extremely excited about snorkeling and even wants to keep practicing and is interested in looking into scuba lessons. I think we may have opened a(n expensive) can of worms here!
We got back late last night and the kids were exhausted though extremely good travelers. We're all a little sad to have left our slice of paradise, but at the same time, theer's no place like home! I look forward to catching nup with everyone soon!