Okay, now that's out of the way, here we go.
Did you know we were just in Mexico? Nuevo Vallarta to be precise. Greg's parents are renting a condo in Puerto Vallarta until the end of February and since we came into some money (Greg's new contract came with a "buy out your severance now or risk losing it forever" clause) we decided to take the kids down for some fun in the sun. Aunty Christine, Uncle Aaron and the boys were there too so it was a bit of a Day family reunion! Here are some highlights from our trip.
It was an early start - our flight left at 6AM so breakfast was had at 4:30 in the airport.
Despite the early hour, the girls were full of smiles!
We watched the sun come up as we flew south.
As soon as we could access our room, getting to the pool was first priority for the girls.
Hello Aunty C!!
The kids pool (where we basically lived for the majority of our time there) was just as good as we remembered. A waterfall, a mini slide that LC loved ...
... a wide slide that Paige loved ...
... a fast slide that Marley loved ...
... and a close snack bar which Greg loved!
Hola Pina Colada!!
Here's what the kids pool area looked like.
And the beach just below. Ahh!!
Oh, and cousin Griffin joined the fun too! He'd learned the hard way that you need to wear zinc on your nose and long sleeved sun shirts!! Cousin Jasper was sick with the flu so we didn't see him until later.
We arrived on a Tuesday which is Mexican Day at the resort so that night was a Mexican Fiesta outside by the main pool.
Marley enjoyed the food and the party atmosphere.
LC fell asleep! Not too surprising really!
She missed the Mariachi Band ...
... but woke up for the Pinata!
Everyone got a turn to try and hit it and then (very diplomatically) little bags of candy were handed out to each child.
Day Two started with breakfast! Mmmm ... pancakes, waffles, eggs ...
Then more time in the kids pool.
Grandma and Grandpa Day come out to spend the day with us.
Lunch was had at the little Pizzeria Bar.
Where there were also ice creams!
There are no pictures of this but Greg and I took off to the nearby mall to check email at Starbucks (free WiFi with purchase) and the grandparents looked after the kids. Greg, Christine, Aaron and I took advantage of their babysitting services to go out for dinner that night too. We had reservations at the "fancy" Mexican restaurant where for some reason they liked to flambe everything!
Christine got the shrimp fajitas which had a flambed tequila sauce.
And then her Spanish coffee also got the flambe treatment!
Day Three was the day we took a tour. It was through a company Greg found on TripAdvisor called Investours. They provide micro loans to local artisans and then take tourists to their homes to show them what they are making, how they make it and what their loans are going towards. Since we had kids, our tour was tailored especially for them.
The first artisan was a local baker who allowed the kids to make some of her thumb print cookies - after lining up to wash their hands of course!
It was amazing to see that she just worked out of this tiny little kitchen using one KitchenAid mixer and one oven!
Jasper was finally well enough to come along.
The finished cookies - some nicely done (Paige, Marley and Jasper's), some huge (LC's) some tiny (Griffin's) and most with way too much jam!
Our next stop was to a lady who made Pinatas. Apparently a much larger business than I'd ever imagined!
They got to help her make a mini pinata like the ones hanging on the walls here.
We learned how to make the tissue paper curls.
And "dress" the figures.
Then they got to buy their favourite characters. Unfortunately we didn't realize these are considered "dangerous goods" by Canada Regulations so 2 of the 3 got confiscated when we tried to take them on board as carry on luggage. Oops!
The only one to survive was LC's Dora one (it was in Greg's suitcase!)
This was the Pinata "factory" (behind that dusty pick up!
Our third stop was at a local taco stand where the kids got to help make tortillas.
First you roll the dough.
Then you put it into the tortilla maker.
And you squeeze the handle down. Sometimes with help!
And Voila! A tortilla ready for the griddle!
On our return we discovered a little blanket elephant had been created for us!
And it was pool time again.
LC joined me for a cuddle and a drink. Her new found favourite was called a Garfield - basically strawberries, bananas and orange juice!
After downing her drink in record time she promptly fell asleep. I was somewhat trapped for awhile until Greg came back and moved her onto a nearby chair.
Day Four was more of the same.
Avoiding the camera time.
Playing with cousins time.
With a new curve ball - playing at the beach time.
Paige wrote her and Christine's names in the sand. Marley wrote "Marley was here" and then tried desperately to keep it from being washed away by the waves!
LC loved to sit in the surf and let the waves wash over her.
Jasper and Uncle Aaron went boogie boarding.
Then he helped them dig a giant hole.
Which LC and Paige decided to sit in until this particularly large wave pretty much destroyed it!
Back at the pool the kids got to hold a baby crocodile (or alligator - I'm not sure which!)
And then we walked down to the mall for a cold drink at Starbucks and to let the girls spend their pesos on souveniers.
Really, there was no caffeine in this frappucino!
We got back to the resort on the free tourist bus. What an adventure! We waited for ages then got taken all over Nuevo Vallarta before being dropped back at our resort! Marley practiced being a teenager a lot on this trip, like here where she insisted on sitting at the back of the bus by herself!
Okay folks. It's late. I've got to get the girls into bed (I can hear them fooling around upstairs instead of changing into pj's!) and since I've still got several days to go I will finish this tomorrow.
Hasta Luego Amigos!!