So we’ve been back in Canada for two weeks now and I have been wanting to write a post about our time in Mexico since we arrived, however Freddy got sick on our way home, and it’s pretty much been one person after the other getting sick (minus Chris, knock on wood). I’m feeling better now so I here we go!
A few years ago, my parents suggested that instead of buying us gifts for Christmas and birthdays that we don’t necessarily use, that they would put aside money towards a family trip. Well that trip took place this winter, in the Mayan Riviera of Mexico. And what a great winter to get away. It’s been pretty cold this winter. It was good to have a break from the chill for a week. It was also good for Henry to just get as much pent up energy out of his little body as possible. This winter has not been kind for him playing outside given that his little brother freezes so quickly.
We stayed at the Barcelo Maya Beach Resort which was really nice. They had excellent food. Chris made a point to have guacamole every meal, except for maybe twice. The beaches were beautiful, they had two full size waterparks on the complex on top of a few splash pads and some jungle gyms for kids. The complex consists of 5 hotels owned by Barcelo and spans about 3km. Chris got to walk those 3km trails every morning with Freddy who refused to adjust to the one hour time difference. Freddy didn’t really cooperate at all sleep wise during the entire week. He would make a point to be up between 5 and 5:45am every morning. I think it’s because he got used to seeing the sunrise with Chris who would take him out and let Henry and I sleep. He would make up for his early rises by falling asleep on the beach later on in the day in his stroller. I think the sound of the surf, the heat and the slight breeze were a perfect sleep inducing trifecta for him.
Henry was a real champ most of the week. He had a few meltdowns here and there, including one epic one in the buffet one night that resulted in him being dragged back to the room for 45 minutes until he calmed down. He just loved spending the week with his cousins. I’m pretty sure he couldn’t care less if we were there or not sometimes, as long as Logan and Niko were around, he was good. In fact, we often had to use the possibility of not seeing his cousins as blackmail/bribery to get him to obey. We had hoped to do some kind of off resort excursion but never got around to it. It would have been too much of a hassle to take the kids off resort plus there was so much to do there that we weren’t left feeling like we were missing out too much. Plus the excursions that really interested us were not kid friendly at all. They had a little shopping mall on the complex as well where you could haggle for merchandise, instead of paying an arm and a leg at the hotel gift shop.
Our days consisted of waking up (some of us earlier than others), heading to the breakfast buffet between 7-7:30. They had these amazing churros (friend donut sticks) that they would lay out every morning. I’d top my breakfast with one each morning… Then we’d head back to the room and start the “want to go swimming? Ok, we have to put on sunscreen! No? Ok, then we’re staying in the room then. Oh, you want to put sunscreen on now eh? Yeah that’s what I thought” routine. You know, people complain a lot about having to put on so many layers of clothing on their kids in the winter. It’s just as bad in the summer with constantly reapplying sunscreen. Especially if you spend 75-80% of your time outdoors, swimming and playing in the sand. We’d often be at the beach by 9am and hang out there for a few hours then go to the water park, or vice versa. We’d then go for lunch and then back at the room where we’d try and put the kids down for a nap. Often by 2:30 pm, Henry was out cold. Freddy was hit or miss so we’d often take him out for a walk while the other parent stay in the room and watch Henry and Mexican tv. We’d have dinner at 6:30 when the buffet open and were usually back at our room by 7:30 for bedtime. Then Chris and I would have some drinks and hang out on our balcony, chitchatting and playing card games. I think for me, that was my favourite time of the day. Just chilling out and enjoying each others company.
While there, we celebrated Henry’s 3rd birthday. Well part of his birthday. I’ll do a separate post on all the birthday festivities he got to enjoy. We also had a night where my parents took the boys for dinner so Chris and I could have a romantic dinner with each other. It was great. I find we act all giddy when we’re kid free, even if it’s just for 2 hours. That could have to do with the fact that we haven’t had a night out with each other since early March 2013. We ate at the resort’s Mexican restaurant and had a blast. It seems like the boys took it relatively easy on my parents as well which is great. I always worry they’ll act out.
People often say “Don’t travel with your kids”. I can understand where those people are coming from. If you want to just relax, do nothing but slowly bake, drink and party, then for sure, don’t travel with kids. Traveling with kids is not relaxing. It’s a very different sort of travel but if I reflect on my entire week, I’m glad we did travel with them. I love the idea of exposing our children to different cultures and experiences. Now I know, a resort isn’t really where they’ll get the full Mexican culture, but they got to see a bit of it. It’s hard work traveling with them, but I find the memories we created worth it.