Friday, July 15, 2016

¡We Are In Mexico! (Part 1)

So we devised a "plan" MONTHS ago of spending some time in Mexico this Summer. This is ideally something we will do every year to let's the kids practice their Spanish. The idea is that we enroll the kids in a Summer camp and Ernesto and I can........relax, eat ceviche, workout and enjoy some couples time.
For our innagurral year, we chose Isla Mujeres, a small island off the coast of Cancun. Friends of ours stayed there last year and highly recommended it. Being so close to Cancun, (a totally Americanized tourist haven (with GORGEOUS beaches), I was skeptical. They assured me it has that small pueblo feel and is "muy Mexicana."
Well, long story short we searched VRBO and Airbnb for an apt/condo on Isla Mueres (and didnt find anything we wanted to commit to (within our modest budget) so we are now in Cancun using our hotel points at the Westin Resort & Spa for a few days. It does not suck.
Packing up two large suitcases with 5 peoples clothing and swim gear would have been less daunting had I started before 9pm the night before an 830am flight. Ugh! Guys - I so want to be the organized, planner/do-ahead kind of girl, but I just don't know if it is possible me [this year].
Somehow we got it all together and arrived to the airport with time to spare in time for our flight.
The actual travel bit was pretty uneventful (just how we like it), thanks to the ipad [and an onboard movie]. We were the last to get on and still the pilots invited the boys up to the cockpit. (I love you Delta!)
They were pretty happy and proudly displayed their new wings pins on their shirts.
Baby girl slept for a good portion of the 2.5 hour flight and was pleasant afterward. (Same as it ever was)
A few hours later and our day looked like this:
God I love traveling. Right? Just like that and life is so different. We were on a gorgeous beach without any obligations-minus keeping 3 small kids alive. LOL!
These guys have been to the ocean many times, but never on a beach like this. White WHITE sand and crystal clear water that is as warm as the bathtub. They were actually a little hesitant to get in at first.
The waves weren't big, but there was a strong undertow.
The boys really preferred the pool. Mateo is all about goggles and going underwater these days. Our room at the Westin was awesome! We used points to stay and got upgraded to this...
Does anything else really mater when you have this view? I don't think so, but actually everything else was great as well.
Westin has a signature "heavenly bed" (you can actually buy them) and they really are heavenly. So fluffy and cozy and crisp and clean. After all day in the water, crawling into this bed was something we didn't need to force on these guys. In fact, bedtimes have been a breeze. They are so worn out they can barely keep their eyes open for a minute after climbing in.
When morning rolls around, it's a different story. We have seen the sunrise EVERY morning. So pretty, but Ugh! Way too early.
Whoever woke up first was sent out to the balcony to play so others could sleep.
It was really too early to leave the room with the sun just peaking up, so they got creative with the hotel toiletries.
Wasteful? Yes, but making "gooies" and pouring it over their toys killed at least an hour. At 6am there weren't too many things off limits if it kept them playing nicely (and quietly).
Another morning, a Darth Vader LEGO project was finished by 630 am. I'm not kidding.
Well, of course we brought some toys. Duh! The Imaginext figures have saved us.
The food at the Westin was delicioso, but expensive. Unfortunately, it is the most southern hotel on the "hotel strip" and nothing is walkable. Packing the kids up for a taxi ride to a restaurant at every meal would test the patience of even the strongest parents (which we are not) so we spent the extra money and ate at the hotel.
This is us ordering dinner on the beach. The boys are burying their figures in the sand and continued playing until the food arrived. That worked out well, but I do believe there was a breakdown on the walk back to the room. No naps and late sit down dinners (especially at a restaurant) are really tough. A couple nights they couldn't even make it to dinner. Is it horrible that I was relieved they fell asleep and didn't wake them up for dinner? "Bad mami" (that is the kids' favorite saying when they don't get their way. "Bad papi" is also very popular).
Of course then with the extra early bedtime, there is that sunrise wake up.
Speaking of early wake ups, Ernesto had a good 'ol time partying solo one night. I actually forgot my bag in a taxi the one time we did venture out to eat. Ugh. It only had diapers, wipes...and MY PHONE! Nooooooooo!
All my pictures would be in iCloud, but what would I use for a camera? I almost had some tears for the hotel concierge, but held it together. She actually tracked down the driver and the good man had returned my bag to the restaurant! Yes! Just my luck [fred]! Ha.
Ernesto then HAD to go get it that night and since he was already out, made his way to Señor Frogs.
I was home snoozing with the kids when at 3am he told me there was a huge turtle on the beach. Forgetting we have three kids, he told me to get dressed and come outside. can do mi amorrrrrrr.
I knew that it was that time of year because that morning, right from out balcony, we saw this...
That trail is HUGE! And so is that whole it dug to lay the eggs and bury them. How big must this turtle be you ask? We'll see for yourself. It's human size.
Isn't that crazy? I am dissapointed I didn't get to see it. But this picture is classic. Way to go mi amorrrr!
Funny enough, Ernesto's primo from Tijuana arrived in Cancun the day after us.
They landed and came straight to our hotel to visit before heading to their hotel in Playa Del Carmen. It was great seeing them and the boys had a blast swimming with the girls.
We were on day four at the Westin and still had not found (or looked really) for a place in Isla Mujeres. We were just too relaxed and just wanted to relax some more.

We decided at 3pm, "oh let's just stay one more night here." Well guess what? There was not one open room for us in the hotel. UGH. So the next hour we spent packing bags and reserving another Starwood hotel closer to the Isla ferry. Like right across the street from it. We could actually see it from our window.

Ok. We were getting closer to the goal. I had never stayed in the ALOFT chain, but it was quite nice. A little bit funky and relaxed in the decor, but still very comfy.

It was further north in a very walkable area, which was a great change. We are in MEXICO! We can't eat at an expensive hotel everyday!

We didn't go anywhere that first night because on our hotel transfer, the kids passed out.They slept and slept and slept. And didn't wake up til morning! Seriously, a 530p bedtime that night. Whaaaa? Again with no dinner. "Bad mami."

Needless to say, the next day started VERY early in the hotel lobby.

I was excited there was a Starbucks close by (I needed a STRONG coffee!) and open early. Right outside the hotel we ran into someone selling tamales. Yes, have some!

NOW we are in Mexico!!! Coincidently, on the street right there eating tamales, was a couple from Atlanta! Whoa, small world!
The rest of the morning was spent at the rooftop pool.
We ordered ceviche (like we have done everyday since we have been in Mexico) and fish for the kids.

Although we debated staying ther one more day, we needed to get on with this vacation!
Ernesto finally just pulled the trigger and booked a hotel in Isla Mujeres so we had somewhere to go when we got off the boat. What a novel idea!
At 2p we were waiting at the dock to board the ferry.
I can not tell you how happy these guys were to have the little umbrellas in their drinks.
And to ride on this boat!!
And we were on our way!!!!
Check back for Part II - Isla Mujeres!!!!


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