Cancun {Part 3}

This was our first Christmas away from our kids which is in part why we decided to get away. I couldn’t imagine just sitting in our living room without them. We woke up a tad gamey on Christmas morning, luckily we had a special in room mimosa breakfast ordered for 8:30. Then we planned our attack to hit up Isla Mujeres. We went back and forth with just hopping on a Catamaran right outside our hotel to cut out the trip off of  the resort grounds and down into town to catch the Ferry. Buuuut, we weren’t keen on being on someone else’s schedule and having them choose where we were going to have lunch. In the end we decided to just do it ourselves. We hopped in a cab and jumped on the ferry.

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Once we were off the ferry they had people renting golf carts. We quickly grabbed one and within minutes we were in ours heading south down the island. Only 7 km long, its an easy trip around the island. Our friend at the resort told us to go to The Joint, a bar that someone he knows, knows someone else that might work there. Or so that is how the story went. About ten minutes into our cruise we unexpectedly and surprisingly ran straight into….

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That was some luck. We parked and went up to this outdoor bar. There were a couple guys playing some Sublime and a local bar dog. Shawna ordered a mango margarita and I ordered the best espresso martini of the entire trip, you guys it was so good. So good in fact that I ordered another to go. It’s legal there, well I assume it was since the bartender put it in a to-go cup for me.

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Not a terrible view to sit with a bevi.

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Once back in our cart we continued around the island. It’s just beautiful.

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We stopped every so often to walk down the the water and then I was able to get some cell service so we stopped at a cemetery and I called my girls to wish them a merry Christmas.

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Once we made it around the island we parked near Playa Norte. This is where there were restaurants and the beaches had chairs to rent. We had a pretty good lunch on the beach and I was very confident that it was el fin of tequila for me on this trip.

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After lunch we walked up the beach until we reached some open beach chairs. We plopped down, set our alarm and here is the best part. Fell asleep.

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We woke to the alarm and headed back to the mainland with plans of playing pool volleyball. But once we were back we ended up skipping it and just sat in the jacuzzi chatting with people.

For dinner we got all fancied up and went for one last Italian meal. Their garlic cream soup was so incredible you could bathe in it. I will see if I can recreate now that we are home. They had a Christmas show that night, once that was over I was beat.

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We woke up on our last day to rain. Once we were all packed we went down to the cafe for breakfast. Our flight wasn’t until later that day so were able to spend a little more time with friends at the pool until it was time to say our goodbyes. The trip home was a piece of cake and we were back in our own bed by midnight. It was a really good trip, just long enough. If we decided to do another all inclusive I would focus more on going where the food and wine is a bit better. But It’s going to be hard to go back to a hotel that isn’t all inclusive, that is definitely the way to go.

Cancun {Part Two}

A couples massage was booked for the next morning and it was the best way to start the day. After the massage we had access to the hydro-pool and hot tubs. Since it was still raining on and off we chose the warm option.

 

After drying off in the sauna we made our way to get breakfast before the storm.

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This was the worst day in the way of rain. It would dump bucket loads and then stop and continue throughout the day. We took this opportunity to join in the sushi making class.

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The entertainment staff was in charge of all things fun. Classes, pool games, volleyball…you get the point. They were the best out of all the staff at the resort. This is what happens if you give them your phone.

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Alejandra and Dylan made our stay just that much better.

If you can believe it, this was my first time making sushi. I didn’t do to bad but I think I’ll stick to ordering it.

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Most of our time was spent in the pool, drinking, and playing. Some days we played water volleyball, some days we played music trivia and some days we just floated around. Sometimes there were even boats of fresh skewered fruit floating around as well. We also met a lot of nice people that became instant friends. I wish I had more pictures but our phones were always under a towel somewhere.

Then the weather took a turn, the humidity dropped and the sun came back out. It was just perfect.

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Another afternoon we took a cigar making class. To sum it up, I learned WAY more than I ever needed to know about cigars. After the class a few of us shared a cigar and then decided the pool was more important.

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Each night we went to dinner and the evening show. We ate at the French restaurant and the Italian restaurant twice. We had amazing dishes like duck confit,  rack of lamb and and a garlic cream soup. We also had some very underwhelming dishes like the escargot and basically every dessert item on any menu.
Next door was a sister resort that we had full access to but it wasn’t adults only.  Several people mentioned to us that we should head there for their Brazilian steakhouse, so we took an evening to try it out.  To sum it up, it was a waste of a dinner. Harsh? Maybe. The salad bar was a sad excuse, some of the meats were okay but most weren’t very good. The one thing that stuck out the most were all.the.kids. It’s funny we hadn’t been around any children for a handful of days and it was like a heightened sense of chaos at that restaurant. The next day we were talking to another couple and told them about our dinner and the first thing out of the women’s mouth was “aren’t kids there?” Ha, what were we thinking?

The shows were also not great, probably just local talent that they can find. If you are used to Vegas shows or cruise ship entertainment, you need to take these with a large grain of salt. The guest singing talent show however was the best. One of our friends went up and sang a Bon Jovi song. He started out a show that turned out to be a lot of fun.

We all ended up in the club and danced the night away.

To be continued.

Cancun {part one}

A couple of weeks back we left San Diego before the sun was even awake, viva Mexico. We headed to Cancun for an adult only Mexican holiday. It was a long day of travel but we had the best seat companion, Lily the dog.

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By the time we got our luggage, hopped into our ride and barreled through the traffic it was late into the evening. We chose to stay at Secrets Playa Mujeres, an adult only all-inclusive resort. North of the hotel zone where it’s more quiet. We were greeted with Champagne and shown to our room.

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Our room was nice, we had a soaking tub in the bathroom and the patio, a rain shower with all the amenities one would need. After we dropped off our stuff, we headed down to the first restaurant we saw for dinner. Sadly, we were not impressed with our dishes and had our fingers crossed that this wasn’t setting the bar for the rest of our meals. After dinner we went back to the room to unpack and shower. We decided dessert was a necessity. We put on pj’s, ordered room service and ate in bed while binging the Investigation Discovery channel. Pretty sure that channel stayed put all week, those stories are horrifying.

The next morning we ordered breakfast and ate it on our patio amongst the breathtaking views. We sat and wished the clouds away.

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The weather didn’t heed our wishes and the rain came on and off and ON for the next couple of days. Not that that hinders anyone, everyone was still doing their thing while we sat out in one of the many jacuzzi’s. When it did stop, we moseyed down to the beach to drink in the beautiful grounds.

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This was our first all inclusive experience. Since cash wasn’t needed (aside from tips for the staff) I was sort of hoping that they would have a set up like Great Wolf Lodge. A bracelet that has your room key and a credit card that you wear the entire time. Leaving you not having to worry about a lone room key. When I asked the concierge if I needed to carry the key everywhere, she replied, “you do if you want to get into your room.” Side eye. So no matter what, we were stuck with a key to carry around all day and night.

There were around 7 restaurants on the grounds. steakhouse, seafood, Asian, French, Italian a buffet/cafe, an upscale Mexican and coffeehouse. Plus 24 hour room service. The food was hit or miss. Some things were incredible and some were incredibly bad. Case in point…This shrimp dish was delish.

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This potato soup served during the same meal, was absolutely not delish. It tasted like raw potato water.

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Each night we ended up at the dance club which is a really strong word for what it actually was. Some nights were busy but most were quiet. They did have a couple of pool tables but the sticks weren’t taken care of so after the second day we gave up.

We had a really good meal at the seafood restaurant the following day. We ordered the whole fried fish, the octopus, the chocolate crepe cake and the apple crumble. I was excited to have all this with a cold Chardonnay but the wine was very underwhelming. They poured a basic brand from Chilé and honestly none of the varietals were good. But I guess that’s what happens when we are so spoiled with wine where we live.

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We ended the day on the patio in the tub with wine. We learned that if you want to order a bottle of something through room service they will charge you, but if you just order 4 glasses of wine, it’s included. Brilliant.

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To be continued.

4th of July at the Lake

We hit the road up to Lake Arrowhead, this time meeting Shane’s folks there. Coming from Walla Walla, they had a much longer drive than we did but Averi cried almost the entire 2 hours so I call it even.

IMG_5576After getting familiar with our new abode we walked down to the village for some lunch. The food there isn’t much to talk about, not bad, not great. We poked around for little bit and then headed to the store for dinner.

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Saturday morning we packed up as much as we could carry and walked down to the beach club. The Lake is private and the only way to access it is to either rent a place within the area, have friends there or live there. Since this was our first time going into the lake we weren’t fully equipped. Next time we will be ready.IMG_5536

One of the neighbors told us about a little spot, a street away that everyone gathers at to watch the fireworks. It was perfect. Kaili got to stay up late to watch them and   the hardest part was waiting until 9:00 pm. I wish I could say she slept in the next morning but I can’t. The sleeping arrangements were Kaili and Averi in one room. It worked well the last time we were there but this time Ave’s decided she was going to start her day at 5:30. I rushed in there every morning to fetch her before she woke up her sister, didn’t help much.

Sunday morning we took a boat ride around the lake.  The guide gave us facts and history about the lake and the famous people whom live there. Some of the houses are drool worthy and Tom Selleck’s house is the only one with a lake garage for the boat.

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After our lake tour and some lunch, Shane and I got away for a little wine tasting. It is 21 and over so we missed out last time. It’s amazing how nice even one hour alone can be.

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We took the kids back to the house because I had an important date with the US Womens National Team. If you missed the first half of the World Cup, I am sorry. Wow what a game!

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There were some lazy afternoons, a lot of walks, ice cream cones galore and sometimes even Averi seemed to have fun.

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We really enjoy getting away, I am getting pretty good at the VRBO thing. Next time will be even better.

Vacation and Actuality

Our getaway to Arizona was perfection but man oh man ( woman oh woman?) reality really does smack you in the face as soon as you walk in your own front door. I missed K terribly but to be completely honest, it’s hard to jump right back into the whole parenting obligations. Now don’t take this the wrong way, I was eager to see her, more than you can imagine but she was just getting a cold so her attiTUDE wasn’t the best. Welcome home mommy now go away! Ah, if she only knew what I went through to get her here.

Vacationing…..once you have kids, even if you leave them behind, will never  be the same. PERIOD.

Ok, enough whining, or wining? Did I mention how tan I am, how many hours I spent in the sun not doing a god damn thing? That is what a quick vacation is all about! <—actually that is not true, we spent about 10 hours playing basketball in the pool.

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I actually did leave the house more than once. Since the guys had their Thursday football plans, Kristi took me out to the lake for a bloody mary. Chick didn’t tell me it’s a death walk to get down there.

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These stairs were no joke, stable and steady they were not.

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Once on the dock, we hit Dillon’s for some marginal food, a decent bloody mary but a great view and amazing company!IMG_0525 IMG_0539 IMG_0531 IMG_0534

And no, the walk back up up those damn stairs wasn’t fun either but I am pretty sure I burnt off  two sips of this bad boy!

I think it’s safe to say we all enjoyed ourselves on our getaway. We only had a few hang-ups.

The house we rented through VRBO stated it was wheelchair friendly, I took that as a chair should be able to get into and all throughout the house, including the outside. This was not the case. I haven’t done my research on what the rules are. Should it say wheelchair compliant? Anyone? But now I know I need to be more thorough.

Long story short, a little tweek here, a door off the hinge there and we were all good with that situation.

We also had a itty bitty problemo (go away auto correct) with the alarm system. All of the sudden Wednedesay night the damn alarm decided to screw with us. After a few calls from the alarm company the cops showed up. Shane explained to the  nice police officers that  we were renting the house and  we didn’t have the  code  to disarm the alarm . The good cop, not the bad cop asked if he was in town for the game ( Did the Seahawks shirt give it away?) Shane nodded and the the good cop said he was going to the game as well, that is when Shane offered him a Seahawk jersey to wear. That is how the story ends.

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This is the third time I have used VRBO and I would most definitely do it again.  Although my next vacation might not be until 2016 in Rio, but I can start planning right?