Well we made it back to Playa Del Carmen and stayed at the Iberostar Paraiso Maya. We being me (Char, SKM, Sunk, whatever) accompanied by my entourage: my husband (Mike), my son (Ryan), my daughter (Riley), my brother (Pat), my niece (Lauren) and my nephew (Jason). This is our 3rd trip traveling as this particular septet and I think it was our best trip yet.
Over the course of our three trips, we have stayed at one condo and two different AI's and we have found that, with all the kids, the AI's work better for us, as there is always kid-friendly food at kid-friendly hours, as well as an abundance of adult-friendly drinks and Char-friendly dessert tables. Not having to worry about having cash on hand at the pool and beach for drinks and snacks is awesome. Plus we do venture into town at least once on every trip, so we get to eat and drink at some of the non-resort places too.
We had booked the trip with Pat and his kids, but we were on separate flights. Our flight left just a few minutes before theirs, but we were on different carriers in different terminals. We took Riley G all around the airport and on the plane, in this nifty thing that we bought:
That chair was seriously awesome. It was a carseat that converted to a stroller by popping out the wheels underneath and telescoping a handle out the top. We had more people comment on that thing as we rolled her around, then collapsed the wheels and handle, transforming it back into a carseat which we then strapped into her seat on the plane, as well as on buses and taxis.
My favorite comment came from a guy who touched the covering on it and said, "Oh, eet's like a leeetle sofa!" I guess because the material was like upholstery. Or maybe because it was slightly sticky and covered in food crumbs.
At any rate, we landed earlier than Pat and his crew, so we got to our transfer van and said we'd wait for Pat to come out with Lauren and Jason so that we could all ride to the resort together. We had had magic luck when we deplaned and got through customs quickly and found our bags already on the carousel when we walked over to baggage claim. We had apparently sucked all the magic and luck up, though, because Pat took FOREVER, or maybe 25 minutes, to get out to the van. But he did make it and we drove to the resort and checked into our adjoining rooms. The rooms weren't done, so we walked to one of the lunch buffets and ate a weird assortment of buffet food, because that's just what you do at buffets.
After lunch, Pat's room was still being cleaned, so we all sat in our room to rest. Ryan turned on the TV and **POW** the electricity went out. Uh oh.
Mike flagged someone down in the hallway, and he came in and flipped the breaker and the electricity came back on. Whew. Then Ryan turned the TV back on and **POW** the electricity went out again. Uh oh. No problem, we just won't watch TV the whole five days.
Seriously, I could do this, but Mike and Ryan would be pretty entertainment challenged if there was no TV for the downtime. So they got two maintenance guys in there who figured out what the problem was (TV wasn't plugged in right or something, I dunno) and we never had another issue with the electricity again. Yay.
Here are Lauren and Pat, using our couch while their room gets cleaned. Dude, you're on vacation: Put. The Blackberry. Down.
And here's Jason testing out our hammock swing on the balcony:
Their room got cleaned pretty quickly, so we all changed into our swimsuits and headed down to the pool and beach. First I sat on Mike, cuz I was too lazy to find my own chair:
Pat was lonely with no one to sit on him (with his hair like that, he looks so much like my dad when he was younger... weird):
The girls drinking their first fruity drinks:
Ryan LOVED the knock-you-on-your-ass wavepool. It was as powerful as it was 4 years ago when we first went there. Not that I thought time would decrease its power; Ryan was just worried it "wouldn't be the same." Here's the wavepool:
And here's Ryan sitting in the waves:
Then we wandered down to the beach. The waves were pretty decent that first day, so the kids had fun playing:
That night we ate at the Mexican restaurant. They put a burro out front so we'd know we were in the right place:
A group shot of everyone except me... it's apparently Male Stripes Night. Ignore Miss Fingers down there:
I had some really good tacos especiales, but I couldn't tell you what was in them, and I didn't take any food pics. Bad, bad me. After that we went back to the room and I think everyone was asleep by 10:30. Travel days always seem to be the most tiring.