Thursday, July 12, 2007

Fun on the Mayan Riviera!

Fun, fun, fun...what more can I say? We just returned from a week in Playa del Carmen with the entire flam-damily, & it was a little slice of heaven :) We were without internet while there (gasp!), so I Blogged on paper (double gasp!), and below you'll find my daily account of the happenings, as well as a fun little "Favorites" feature daily. In general, we spent our days either eating, swimming, napping, eating, lounging, eating, & having fun together. Oh, and did I mention eating? We haven't done the All-Inclusive thing as a family, ever, so the novelty of "free" room service, buffets, ice cream bars, etc. never wore off! Although the food was just mediocre, it was better in quantity :) Oink, oink.



For your viewing pleasure, below is a movie (set to music, so turn on your volume!) followed by my daily Blogs. Enjoy!!
video

FRIDAY:
Our flight out was uneventful...a nice 2 1/2 hour flight into Cancun airport. Jessie slept, Austen watched a movie, & Reese slept and read books. Flying with the kids is always easy-they're great travelers!


At the Cancun airport, the taxi cab man tried to fit 5 people (6 with the driver!), 4 huge suitcases, & 3 backpacks into a compact car. Are you kidding? We got switched to a big van, & $73 later, we arrived at Iberostar. The weather was insanely hot, but I think it was partially because back home, it hasn't been sunny or hot, so it was a big shock to our systems.


We dropped our bags with the bell boy & Jeff took Reese to walk around while Aus & Jess helped me check in. Gotta love looking so young...when I said we're here to check in, the desk clerk asked me where my Dad was. She looked like I had 3 heads when I told her that I was the Mom--not one of the kids. Nice. So then she says our rooms have been upgraded, but we'd have to wait 30 minutes because they weren't ready yet. Jeff didn't like that--the lobby was open air and HOT, & he likes an expedicious check in. Espeically since we arrived after 3:00, their posted Check In time.


Our upgraded room turned out to be WAY worth the wait...the Presidential Suite with a joining XL Suite attached! We all acted like school children, going from room to room of this ginormous suite. Living room, full kitchen, dining room, 1st huge bathroom, 2nd bathroom, dressing room, entertainment buffet & wet bar. A total of 4 couches, 6 lounge chairs--a hot tub on the huge private balcony. Oh...and did I mention a full ocean front view? We paid for 2 Junior Suites, with no ocean view upgrade...so I still don't know why we got upgraded. But it was an amazing surprise!!!


We took full advantage of our rooms the first night & just laid low. Ate room service AND went to the buffet. I took Jessie & Reese to the beach in the dark--Jessie dug a big heart shaped hole, Reese threw sand everywhere, & I let the waves bury my feet in the sand. I should have shook out all our shoes that I carried back to the room, because once we were back, I looked at the floor while walking to the kitchen & yelped as I almost stepped on a crab! It must have come in on a pair of shoes--so I caught it in a glass & after we watched it a bit, I took it down to the beach and let it go.

FRIDAY FAMILY REVIEW:

D: Best-upgraded room, Worst-bad ear pain on the plane

M: Best-finding a crab in the room, Worst-so very hot here!

R: Best-being in the ocean, Worst-when I didn't feel good & when I went to sleep

A: Best-going to the hotel room because it's cool looking, Worst-the plane ride

J: Best-dinner was fun, Worst-my ears hurt on the plane ride

SATURDAY:

We all (including Jeff) slept until 7:30, which never happens at home! He's usually up before the break of dawn, but since there's no internet in the rooms, we din't bring a laptop, & work can't reach Jeff! The coffee was interesting--we always bring our own ground Starbucks, but this hotel mysteriously had no cream. So the night before, I scored a box of "Autentica Leche", which is some sort of milk product--although it needs no refrigeration--so...yum! Jeff says it's OK, better than nothing, but certainly not creamer!

Once Jessie & Reese were up and moving, we went down for the breakfast buffet. Lots of strange pickled things--peppers, onions, some mystery meat cubes--but also some yummy choices like cheesy eggs, hashbrowns, bacon--MMMM! We decided we're eating in quantity this week :) Bathing suits, be damned!

OK...so breakfast, lots of morning swimming, back to the room to meet up with Austen & order Pre-Lunch room service. We decided Pre-Lunch is around 11:30 in the room and Lunch is after Reese's nap at the buffet. I don't dare try to count the calories we eat in a day!

Reese couldn't slep for his nap, so we all headed down for Lunch buffet (minus Austen who was napping), & then went to the waterfall pool. The pool is only 2 1/2 ft. deep for most of the waterfall area, so it's a reat place for everyone to play together. Austen came down & joined us and we swam & played until it was time to head up to shower and...eat again!

The buffet offreings were good, but some items just struck me as odd. Probably the most perplexing (which I did not try!) was a dish labeled "Mixed Fried Foods". Is that veggies? Is that pig lips? Who knows? Not me! We came back to the room after dinner & watched the Scorpion King and Return of the Mummy. Jessie was sad because she wanted to go "do" something, but all us lazy-bones wanted to relax...so I promised that the next night, I'd take Jessie to the StarFriends show. One of those kitchsy, All-Inclusive stage shows that I love going to! We all crashed hard again and had a big night's sleep!

SATURDAY FAMILY REVIEW:

D: Best- family waterfall fun & eating Pre-Lunch, Worst-feet hurt; too much walking!

M: Best-wrestling with Jessie in the pool, Worst-all the itchies I have on my hands

R: Best- swimming & Boogie Boards, Worst- sleeping 'cause it was horrible

A: Best- sleeping in, Worst- the heat of the day

J: Best- swimming, Worst- having to watch TV all night instead of going shopping

SUNDAY:

We got another fabulous night of sleep--Jeff, Reese, & I slept until 7:30 again! My night was interrupted by this continuing itchiness I've had in my hands & feet since we've been here. I can't figure out where the itchies are coming from, but it's really painful & I wish it would stop! Just glad I have it, and not one of the kids...

Reese had fun playin with his Power Rangers guys, and then we woke up Jessie so we could go to breakfast. Austen chose to sleep... Jeff grabbed a big ball of bacon for me at the buffet, which was crispy and salty and amazingly tasty!! I wonder--if I ate like this all the time--just how big could I get? Scarry thought! :)

After breakfast, we swam at the waterfall pool again. I always smile when I see Austen & Jessie play with Reese. There's such a beautiful bond they share. We're fortunate to all live so close together, & that Reese gets to spend so much time with Aus & Jess. We headed back up to the room for Pre-Lunch & naps. Jessie & Jeff tried to boogie board in the ocean while Reese napped, but after walking down to the beach with boards in tow, they had to come back to the room because there were no good waves. Bummer! Jeff is nursing a big rash on his legs from his shorts, Reese is sleeping, Austen is watching TV, & Jessie is showering...and I am going to clean the table from our Pre-Lunch room service dishes. Jessie & I are heading to the StarFriends show tonight, so I'll pop back in when we're all back tonight to wrap up our day!

I'm back...so after Reese's na, Jeff & I took him down to the buffet to eat while Aus & Jess watched a movie in the room. We swam for just a bit, but we're all getting too much sun, so we came back to the room after about 15 minutes in the pool The rest of he afternoon was spent being lazy in the room. Around 7:00, after showers & getting all dressed up, the whole family went down to the buffet for dinner. Interesting food again--lots of strange mixed salad type things that just look like food trouble in the waiting--with all that mayo-based salad sitting out in an open air buffet. They were on cooling tables, but still--just looks suspicious!

I guess buffets are like that though--lots of odd dishes. Yesterday, I ate what appeared to be a deviled egg, except the "filling" kept popping in my teeth--like I was eating teeny tiny bubbles. I looked where I had bit the egg in half, and the filling was full of little pink balls--fish roe! I couldn't get those darn popping roe pieces out of my teeth fast enough...ick! I don't think anyone had bad surprises like that tonight. I did have some yummy chocolate ice cream with sprinkles. Yumm-o!

Austen & Jeff went back to te room while Reese, Jessie, & I went to the 8:00 StarFriends Kids' Show. It wasn't so much a show--more like games & dancing on stage for the kids to participate in. Reese went on stage both times--on his own free will--but by the look on his face you'd think he was being punished! He would just stand there, yawn, look around, but not participate. And of course, he was front & center--he always makes his wa to the front!

After the Kid Show, Jessie saved our front row seats & I ran Reese back to the room to be with Aus & Jeff. They had a "Boy Party" in the room tonight while Jessie & I stayed down for the 9:45 StarFriends show. The show tonight was A Broadway Review...it looked like lots of familiar shows with good music...so we were excited to see it.

Before the show, the Star Friends led a trivia game. Essentially Name That Tune, using show themes where you had to name the show. If you got 3 right answers, you'd win a t-shirt...so fo course, I *forced* Jessie to play too! In the Children's Round, Jessie had a right answer, but the Emcee said "It's a kids' question!" I said "She's 13!", and he stopped the show, came to Jessie's seat, & was in awe that at 13, she was taller than he was! He said "What do your parents feed you?" He didn't believe her age until Jessie rattled off her birthday & he did the math. So funny...but I think most people would be hard pressed to peg Jessie's age as 13!

The show itself was good. Lots of costume changes--with some good singing & some BAD lounge singing! I wish the show hadn't been so late at night--all the singing & dancing is right up Reese's alley. Songs from Grease, Cats, Phantom of the Opera, Lion King, Hair, Beauty and the Beast, Mama Mia, Rocky Horror Picture Show, & loads more. Seeing that cornball review made me want to go see the real deals. Jessie wants to see Mama Mia, so I want to keep an eye out for a local performance to take her to.

After the show, we headed back to the room--it was so nice to walk under a star filled sky, just being silly with Jessie. We fell into bed around 11:00, & slept like rocks!

SUNDAY FAMILY REVIEW:

D: Best- putting Reese to bed & chatting with him, Worst- sleeping at the buffet table

M: Best- going to Broadway show with Jessie, Worst- getting sunburned

R: Best- swimming in the pool, Worst- Daddy was snoozing

A: Best- watching Zoolander with Dad, Worst- nothing!

J: Best- the show, Worst- Heather making me dance at the show

MONDAY:

Well, I stoped writing down my Blogging on paper, so I don't have a blow-by-blow account of the days. Pretty much, we did the following:

Wake up, eat, swim, nap, eat, swim, rest & shower, eat.

Monday night, I took Jessie & Reese to the beach at night. It was almost magical--the starry sky, cool weather, time alone together. In the end, Reese was naked on the beach, & Jessie's pants were so wet they were falling to her ankles as she ran! Reese & I each wrote a poem about our beautiful night.

Reese's poem:

Ocean

Hot Soft

Bubbling Flying Surfboarding

Great Rough

Sea

Mommy's Poem:

Moonlit shadows

Dancing on the sand.

Phospholuminous dots in

Quick dug sand.

Waves lap the shore

As a little boy explores

The ocean's delight.

Brother and Sister,

Explosion of senses.

Wind in their hair,

Salty air on their faces.

Sprinting down the beach

To the finish line.

They're both winners in

The magic of the night.

Once speical moment in time

Held in Mom's heart and

Burned into her mind.

Watching love personified

Making moonlit shadows.

MONDAY FAMILY REVIEW:

D: Best- ice cream & chatting with Aus & Jess, Worst- chile peppers from last night

M: Best- eating with reckless abandon, Worst- bad strawberry daquri

R: Best- being naked in the ocean, Worst- going shopping

A: Best- fininshing Lord of the Rings book, Worst- having a headache

J: Best- going to beach & going shopping, Worst- having a cold dinner

TUESDAY FAMILY REVIEW:

D: Best- big nap, Worst- upset tummy from dinner

M: Best- seeing a big rainbow, Worst- bad fish in the paella

R: Best- rolling those balls at the festival, Worst- my face got burned

A: Best- swimming, Worst- getting a sunburn

J: Best- swimming, Worst- nothing!

WEDNESDAY:

Time to go home, and flight was easy. We were all upgraded to 1st Class (thanks Hubby!) and had a nice relaxing time. Bad Mommy forgot Reese's little Mexican guitar in the overhead bin, so I'm currenty trying to track it down. No luck so far...I'll try again tomorrow with the ariport Lost & Found to see if it was turned in by the cleaning crew. Poor Reese.







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