On the second to last day of school, we picked up the kids and took them out to dinner. They had no idea that all day I had been doing this:
Nor did they know that for six months we had been planning a "little" vacation to here (in red):
Boy, was it fun to tell them!
The very next morning, we headed to the airport at 4:30 a.m. and left for a week! I discovered that I have some major anxiety when I fly...something I didn't know. I don't know if it's because my children were with me, or because of the extra turbulence due to the weather...but I really worked on my meditating skills during our flights! The children were great! We packed their bags with snacks, their electronics (DSi, Innotab, iPod), paper and colored pencils. I really thought they would be more scared of flying, but other than the need to check out the bathroom on every plane...they were pretty well behaved. Once we arrived in Cancun, we took a bus to Barcelo Maya Palace in Puerto Aventuras. It was about an hour drive and we were all super antsy to get to our resort. We kept passing other resorts that looked amazing, but once we saw ours...we knew we had made the right choice.
Let me just take a minute to say that the driving in Mexico is like nothing else I have ever seen. Mix San Diego highways with downtown Boston, during rush hour, and you wouldn't even come close. It was complete insanity. The distance at which people drive from each other and how quickly they merge and pass, made all the adults cringe more than once. Our drivers never seemed phased, but I was instantly happy that we had paid for transportation for the entire week, rather than renting a vehicle and driving it ourselves!
We arrived at the Palace and were instantly blown away. The views, our rooms and the service was impeccable. We were a little frustrated at check in, because we did not get adjoining rooms, like we had requested several times over the four months since we had booked, however we quickly realized that we were going to spend so little time in our rooms, that it didn't matter.
We had been traveling for over 12 hours (with our layover) and we were starving by the time we checked in and got settled, so off to one of the restaurants we went. We met one waiter, Carlos, and he was the nicest man! He spoke Spanglish quite well and he got a kick out of our group. Every time we came in to that restaurant to eat, for the remainder of our trip, he always wanted us to sit in his section. (Maybe it was because we tipped the staff well?) I like to think it's because he liked watching our little circus. ;) The food at the resort was amazing! Anything you could think of to eat or drink, was at your disposal. The kids quickly learned how to order "Strawberry daiquiris, por favor" and appropriately said "Gracias!", when it arrived. :) After dinner, we took a stroll down to the beach, so the kids could dip their toes in the ocean, checked out the view from our balconies and tucked everyone in for the night.