As you can see, I started this last week and then ... hmmm ... what DID happen last Friday? Oh yes. It was a "district wide closure day" or, as I like to call them "we're trying to save money and closing the school for one day every few months seems to work even though it ends up costing family's more in day care and schedule disruptions"! I would have been less bitter about this particular day off school if the district had got its act together and coordinated it with the new Family Day the Monday before. A 4 day weekend would have been more tolerable than 2 3-day weekends with a 3 day week in the middle!
But I digress. Last Friday was also the day I finally picked up my laptop. Since it was like a brand new computer I spent the rest of the day transferring what data I had back onto it and trying to get it back to where I had it before. This blog post got put on the back burner and then forgotten about. Sorry!
Back to last week and Valentine's Day ...
Greg came home Wednesday night with the roses so our table looked very festive first thing in the morning.
Inside the girls Valentines buckets this year were some jelly beans, a Barbie Kinder Surprise egg, a heart shaped York peppermint patty, a cupcake lip gloss from Pier1 and a Valentine's bracelet also from Pier1 (gotta love the staff discount!) Their cards were shared in this post but I didn't show you what I made for Greg. Here it is.
I found my inspiration for this also on Pinterest - you can see it here. I wanted to try and find something more masculine than all the red and pink I'd been collecting before. The original card was in shades of blue but I stuck with traditional red.
I don't make a ton of cards now that I am no longer selling Stampin' Up products so I've kind of forgotten how fun it can be. And satisfying to get a project done in 30 minutes! Anyway, Thanks for letting me share these with you.
My post title hinted at more Mexico pictures so get ready, get comfy, get a cup of tea ...
In my Mexico Part I post I got through the first half of our vacation, here are some highlights from Days 5 - 8.
Greg took Marley and LC boogie boarding while Paige and I stayed at the kids pool. If I remember correctly, they had been gone a long time so I finally convinced Paige to go down to the beach with me to see what was happening and this is what we found! LC was doing pretty well! I have a couple of short videos that I'll upload to my YouTube channel for you to see.
Marley really has the surfer girl look down pat!
Once they returned the boards we went for a walk along the beach. Greg had a very specific destination in mind but when we were still only half way to it the girls started complaining of being tired so I took them back. Greg kept going - for another hour! The girls had fun trying to find treasures. At one point they found a coconut and Paige gave it a good try to carry it all the way back but it got too heavy in the end and was left behind.
That night was another beautiful sunset which I finally remembered to grab a picture of! This is the pathway in front of our room. The hut you see is where you can rent the boogie boards and other beach equipment and in front of that there were two petanque pits and two shuffle board mats.
After dinner Marley challenged Greg to a game of Ping Pong and while in the Games Room getting the paddles and ball, an impromptu game of fooze ball was played.
Um, yes. Paige IS a teensy bit sun burnt!! She had pretty much refused to get out of the pool that day except when I dragged her down to the beach. Insistence that she reapply sunscreen was generally met with groans, pouts and sometimes even tears. Sigh. I do believe she learned her lesson though! Us too!! Hats, hats, hats!!
LC and Griffin found a new way to play pool.
Greg and Marley playing ping pong.
Day 6 was Greg and my "day out". Grandma and Grandpa came out to the resort to look after the girls while we headed into Puerto Vallarta for some time alone.
We took the bus into town - it was only 140 pesos (or something like that - I can't remember exactly!)
Here's Greg standing on the Malecon (wide pedestrian path along the beach) looking towards Nuevo Vallarta.
And me on the Malecon, looking up the Malecon. It was a really pretty area with lots of sculptures and the requisite tourist stores and chain restaurants!
After a long HOT walk down the Malecon, over the bridge to this little island in the middle of the city and back again, we made for our lunch destination - Pipi's. Greg's family found this restaurant on their first visit to Puerto Vallarta in the late 90's and have gone there every trip since. When we were there in 2007 Greg and I had a lunch out here after which I managed to get Greg to agree to buy me a $100 serving bowl. Something he doesn't let me forget!! It had a lot to do with the fact that we had two of these margaritas last time!! We learned our lesson and only had one on this trip!!
They are the size of a small lake afterall!!
Another thing we love about Pipi's is the freshly made guacamole. It's made table side and to order! Gotta love that!!
The final thing that we love at Pipi's are the Shrimp fajitas.
I think this picture speaks for itself, no?
Not a cheap lunch but definitely a feast to remember!!
This is Pipi's.
We were all pretty sunburned by this point but the girls had great fun putting aloe on Greg and myself.
This is our little patio and here the girls are modelling the new dresses I picked up for them in Puerto Vallarta. Not a $100 dollar plate!!
We took the girls out for a "fancy" dinner - a reservation needed, sit down affair at one of the restaurants on the resort instead of the usual buffet affair. Since the girls were all dressed up and Greg had to wear pants, I decided to get dressed up too. Makes for a nice family shot!!
Day 7 - our last full day at the resort.
We decided to take full advantage of the amenities available at the resort so while I kept our reserved chairs company at the kids pool (i.e. sat in the sun and read my book all morning) Greg hung out with the girls at the Kids Club. Because LC isn't 4 yet we weren't able to leave her without parental supervision so we hadn't used the Kids Club much. Next time! On this morning it was Pirate Day so first they painted swords ...
then there was a bit of play time ...
then they got dressed up for their treasure hunt. Paige looks pretty fierce here doesn't she?
Cutest pirate ever!
Our three Buccaneers!!
The treasure hunt led them all through the Club building (even weaving through tables in the main restaurant while people were trying to finish breakfast!)
Once outside they had to find the flags and follow the clues.
Marley led the charge carrying the Jolly Roger!
Reading a clue.
At the main pool they put on a bit of a show for everyone including shuttling the kids across the pool on that dingy.
Paige making it safely to the other side.
Hello Nielsen's!! They were getting ready to go that day so didn't participate in the fun but did stop by to see what all the noise was about.
Down on the beach the buried treasure was finally discovered.
After a bit of lunch it was pool time - with new friends.
Paige joined in the kids water aerobics. Greg was more than happy to take pictures of this. I wonder why?!
Marley and I were hanging out in the main pool.
That night the girls "had" to go to the evening show as there was going to be a special kids show before the main performance. In true fashion, our girls were up on stage before things got going dancing and showing off!
Paige is really developing this goofy side!
The girls had been making friends all week and knowing that this was our last night they had exchanged addresses with one particular set of girls. Here is was all about the goodbye hugs!
And then the festivities got going. Captain Hook (minus his hook!) had lost his hat so the children ran through the theatre trying to find it and then chasing the pirate who had it. The fun ended with a game like "pass the parcel" except it was "pass the hat" to the tune of the Mexican Hat Dance. Our girls didn't win. :(
Once the children's program finished the entertainment troupe put on a pretty spectacular dance show.
Marley and LC got their picture taken with the dancers at the end but Paige ...
Paige had fallen asleep! Aw!!
Day 8 - Homeward bound ... eventually!
Marley woke up with the nasty cold that had been plaguing the Nielsen's so she spent the morning chilling on the couch (and hiding from the camera) while I packed and Paige and LC went to the Kids Club.
I tagged Greg off so he could pack and got pictures of the Iron Chef portion of the activities. Here's LC concentrating on painting her chef's hat - I'm assuming she had fun on the playground before this as her nose is one big dirt smudge!!
Paige takes her art very seriously!!
Getting ready to cook!
LC too - after they all washed their hands first though!
Lining up to make their Iron Chef creations.
Admiring her handiwork!
Pretty soon it was time to leave the Kids Club, have a quick shower and check out of our room.
Paige sitting pretty on the front desk counter!
This was too cute not to photograph. We took the bus into Puerto Vallarta for one last visit with Grandma and Grandpa Day and at one point LC was laying on Paige's lap trying to take a nap. Paige can be very maternal to her sometimes!
Once there we quickly met up with Greg's folks and strolled down the Malecon. Some locals create elaborate sand castles on the beach beneath the Malecon (jars are put out for tips) and this one seemed appropriate to take a picture of. Plus I was in a giving mood - a getting rid of my last pesos mood!
Another frequent sight in Puerto Vallarta was these guys. They are everywhere!
Strolling down the Malecon.
There were plenty of photo ops along the way.
We wanted to get a shot of all three girls - one in each arch - but ... Paige was hungry and tired and in a non-cooperative mood!
This is the whole sculpture. Wouldn't it have been cool with a girl in each arch? Well, 3 out of the 4 arches anyway. Maybe next time!
Grandma put her Spanish and bargaining skills to work in buying each grand daughter a silver bracelet.
Got all 3 to cooperate for this one!!
Wow! Two family shots in one trip! That's pretty amazing!
Well, thanks for hanging in there. We've been back for 2 and a half weeks now and it's starting to feel like a nice dream. Life rapidly returned to normal. School routines. Activity routines. Job juggling. Sigh. I need a holiday! LOL!!
I shared my big news the other day that I am now a Staffer at an online magazine called Scrapbook News and Review. Just to clarify one point - this is not a job that pays me money. I'd love it if it were but I am happy with the recognition, exposure and experience it will give me plus the opportunity to play with new products on occasion. It's still a HUGE deal and I appreciate all the lovely comments from my friends congratulating me.
Well, this is stacking up to be a busier weekend than normal. Tomorrow means LC's swim lesson, Marley's jazz and a shift for me at Pier1 but it also brings a birthday party for Paige and the PAC Parent Dance. Seeing as I have to be at work for 8:30 on Sunday morning I don't anticipate having as much fun as I did at the Parent dance 2 years ago! Probably a good thing!! Sunday is the usual double soccer game and a shift for me at Pier1 plus we will be taking Marley out for her birthday dinner a couple nights early as Greg is planning on taking her to the Canucks game on Tuesday (her birthday). See what I mean? Busy, busy, busy!!
Hope your weekend is filled with family and fun too. See you on Monday!