I’m finally recovered from our epic family vacation. Our sunburns have healed, and we’ve caught up on laundry and sleep! We saved up for two years to travel to Mexico and I’m so thankful we could give our kids some great memories.
I’ve been doing this trip for as long as I can remember. We go to Guadalajara to spend time with family and then we drive to the coast to spend time on the beach relaxing. Sometimes we even invite our cousins to come with us. I definitely want my kids to know their culture and to know their cousins in Mexico like I did. I want this to be a tradition they look forward to every year or so. So we make it a priority to save and travel.
This year the trip fell on Elias’ birthday. So I’m like let’s do a party! It will be a great way to hang out with everyone at once, have fun, and celebrate Elias. And man, it was an amazing party! A company came in and did two crafts for the kids. A piggy bank and slime. I mean you can’t go wrong with slime at a kids party. Amiright?
There was also a bounce house which is the one thing Elias wanted, and he pretty much stayed in there bouncing away for the whole 5 hours.
The food was amazing. Pozole, enchiladas, sopes, salsas, botanas, and it all ended with a churro bar. Yes two people came, made churros and gave us the option of our filling. So. Good. I’ve been thinking about those churros ever since the party. They were THAT good!
Elias had such a great time.
See didn’t it look it epic??? I’m so thankful to family who helped plan, and those who showed up.
The next day we woke up early and made the 4 hour drive through the mountains to Puerto Vallarta. My father likes to wake up at 6am to beat the traffic. Most of the way through the mountains is one way both lanes, so if traffic slows down…everything slows down…or stops. So we wake up early to get a head start. We stop for lunch in a little town called Las Varas, and make it to Puerto Vallarta by mid-day, and I’m laying out in the sun by 2pm.
The next few days are pretty much the same. Wake up, have breakfast, and head to the pool by 10am. We have no agenda…just to hang out. Elena spent as much time as she could in the pool. I spent as much time as I could in the sun.
In the evening, we shower, and get ready for dinner. We head into town for a nice walk on the malecon. The malecon is a long strip with a lot of restaurants and shops, and lots of vendors selling street food. It’s right off the ocean, so we can see the sun set and hear the waves crashing as we walk along. It’s a really nice way to end the evenings. It was 5 days of having nothing important to do, but enjoy time together as a family.
Now there are two hotels that I rave about. Hotel Melia is one of them. This is the second time we’ve come to stay at hotel Melia It’s an all inclusive resort that is really kid-friendly. They have different daily activities for kids all day! We can either drop them off all day, or drop them off for each activity they want to do; which is what we did. They picked one or two activities they wanted to participate in, and we would drop them off for that hour. They made kites, pinatas, cookies, swords, and played games. They even had a birthday party with cake on Elias’ actual birthday!
The pool area also has games for the adults to participate in. I did water aerobics a few times, and played bingo mid-day. It’s really fun to listen to others participate or participate yourself. There’s quite a few activities for the whole family. I don’t think I would ever want to stay at another hotel with kids; it’s just so great.
One activity that we splurged on was a dolphin and whale watching boat ride. Elias really wanted to ride a boat, and Elena really wanted to hang out with some dolphins. Win-win. We booked the wild dolphins and snorkeling eco tour for the four of us. It started with a marine biology lesson about the sea life we would encounter. Then we took the boat out to the ocean and started looking for dolphins. When we caught up to them, we could jump in to swim near them if they were in a curious/playful mood. At the last minute, Elias decided he didn’t want to jump into the water, so I stayed on the boat with him.
After a few attempts to hang out with the dolphins, we realized they weren’t super playful that day, so we went to a little secret beach to look at shells, and other ocean life before heading back to the docks.
Both the kids LOVED it, and say it was their favorite thing to do. I’m not a boat/ocean person, but seeing their joy and learning about the ocean was worth it for me.
Our time of relaxation was over, and so we headed back to Guadalajara. With only some minor traffic in the mountains, we stopped at Tequila around lunch time. We didn’t stay very long to explore…or to have tequila, because the kids were exhausted. We made it back to the hotel and just chilled out. That evening I visited my abuela who had recently injured her hip. I’m glad I was able to see her, even if she won’t remember I came to visit.
Our last day we went to el centro to buy some souvenirs, and empanadas. Success on both fronts. Walking around on a Sunday in Mexico reminds me of Chicago summers. There’s a relaxing hustle & bustle vibe, as everyone is enjoying time with friends or family. Especially during Holy Week (Semana Santa) people will travel to Guadalajara from other cities. I love it.
On the way back, we flew Aeromexico. It’s a great airline, and it was a pretty smooth ride, even with two exhausted kids.
My goal is to make family vacations to Mexico a yearly thing. I’m already starting to think about next year’s trip, and perhaps making it a 3 week trip where we can explore more cities together, and ending our time on the beach. I mean…cuz this tan isn’t going to stay come next winter, and I’ll need to get a touch up in the sun next year too. ;-)
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