Summer time equals a little vacation time. I mean can we get a woo-hoo for that one? I look forward to the escape from errands, scheduling and rushing from place to place. I love the whole process of making a trip happen. Shopping for the vacation is probably one of the best parts. I carefully pack the kids outfits stacked neatly so they can pull the whole folded thing out and just pop it on. Do you know that I don’t think they have ever put the whole outfit on? I mean maybe my sweet girl but the boys, no way. And as you will see from he pictures below we all ended up a little disheveled from our adventures. I do still hold on to the tiny bit of hope we will someday get a color coordinated family picture while on vacation. It is a long shot and kind of weird but hey we all have quirks!
I am not going to lie, as excited as I was for our vacation I was a little apprehensive about taking the kids to Mexico. I pictured a spring break college scene with wild nights and wet tee-shirt contests, even though I had read otherwise. I still had a few reservations about or destination. Well friends, I was pleasantly surprised. What I found was a small resort town called Nuevo Vallarta located about 30 minutes outside of Puerto Vallarta. It is lined with hotels on a beautiful stretch of beach. Slow paced, no real downtown just hotels and beaches. We stayed at the Marival Resort. We enjoyed the all inclusive part a lot. I am not sure my kids have ever eaten so much ice cream in one week! We had a suite and boy was that nice. The best part about the suite was that it had three showers. You guys, when you have six people waiting in line for the usual one shower in a hotel room it makes getting ready take FOREVER. There were four pools two of them having swim up bars, guess which ones we stayed at…..wink, wink! We had a great time playing and splashing around. Something about vacation brings the fun mom out in me and I love it.
We had so many fun adventures. If you take a trip to the Puerto Vallarta area one of my recommendations would be to book your day trips through Vallarta Adventures. They were professional, entertaining and we felt completely safe when we were exploring. We took the snorkeling day trip to Yelapa. After an hour boat ride we came to our snorkeling spot. We saw beautiful fish, I might have clung to my husband and my kids a bit in the water. I swear the jaws theme song was playing loud enough in my head for all to hear. But I did it, I jumped in and I am so glad I did. I would have missed out on swimming with the colorful fish in the clear warm water. Once we were back on the boat we traveled to Yelapa, a small town nestled in a cove that is the worlds seventh largest bay. We hiked up a cobblestone street on to narrow path ways that turned with the natural landscape to reach a waterfall. It is the villages main source of water, it was cold but magical.
You guys, this little town was my absolute favorite. It is located 25 miles north of downtown Puerto Vallarta. From our hotel it was probably a 30-40 minute taxi ride. The village is filled with brightly colored store fronts and unique treasures. Bring your bartering skills for this day! My little man scored quite the pair of sun glasses. There was no talking him out of them. He looked like he was wearing ski googles in 100 degree weather but he was happy so we went with it.
If you happen to find yourself in Mexico, I repeat don’t miss this little spot. The kids rented surf boards and played in the water for hours. Local woman will braid your hair right on the beach. You can rent an umbrella and a blanket for the day that allows you to escape from the sun. You don’t have to bring a lot with you, anything you need you can buy there. We ate at a little restaurant right off the sand called Don Pedros. The food was delicious, the restaurant was clean and the service was fantastic. This was an A+ day.
Swimming with Dolphins
This one was interesting. I had mixed feelings about it before we even got there. Not only getting in a tank with a wild animal but that we were in a tank and not in the ocean where they are free. To see a majestic animal up close really was a once in a lifetime experience. They are beautiful and we did have fun with them but at the end of the day we all agreed it is just more magical to see them in their natural habitat where they belong. Can you tell how relaxed I look in the middle picture below? To say I was nervous would be an understatement.
Driving some jeeps in the jungle
We booked the Canopy River zip line adventure through our hotel. Although we did not zip line because our children were not old enough we choose the jeep tour. I drove with two kids and Erik did the same. The tour guides were friendly and professional. Racing through the jungle at 40 mph had the kids on cloud nine. The bonus, my husband was pretty impressed with my driving skills. Hey hey! We also got to see another waterfall that you could jump off of. Erik was the only one that was up for the challenge. Not being able to see what was in the water was a deal breaker for the rest of us. This adventure was the overall favorite among the kids.
Deep sea fishing and a trip into Puerto Vallarta
I would say every vacation has one or two spots that you are grateful for the experience but would not necessarily revisit. For me it was our last two excursions. We rounded off our trip with some deep see fishing and a trip into downtown Puerto Vallarta. Although beautiful, the deep sea fishing was a bust… no fish and our tour guide was not the best. It could have been fun without the fish, but there was little interaction with our guide even though we tried to chitchat. Over all thumbs down on that excursion. We did enjoy watching the sunrise on the ocean but the kids did not think it was worth the 5am wake up call. Definitely noted! I am just going to put this out there, I am not a big fan of Puerto Vallarta. It was busy and there were a lot of vendors that lined the streets. The cars drove very fast, so crossing a street with kids made me feel like I was in a game of Frogger. I wanted my kids a little closer to me. It was crowded and felt like if they got a head of me I would not be able to easily find them. Maybe it just happened to be a busy day there and Puerto Vallarta is not getting a clean shake from me, but that is my honest opinion of our day. However, I am glad we went downtown and experienced it all.
Over all, Mexico surprised me. The sunsets were breathtaking, the food delicious and the unique way of life for some people deeply humbled me. Until next time Mexico!