Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Playa del Carmen 2012

Rob and I got back from Mexico on Sunday.  We took a little trip for our 5 year anniversary.  I was pretty anxious about leaving the kids but I knew they were in great hands with Mimi with help from Gigi and Pepaw.  We had a great time and of course were ready to get home and see them but we both agreed we could go for just one more day (it's always that way on vacation, no?).

This was our third time to go to Playa but our first to stay at the Grand Riviera Princess.  It.was.huge.  Seriously, probably a 15 minute walk from our room to the beach.  We didn't mind, but we both agreed we wouldn't want to take the kids there just because of the inconvenience due to the size (that being said, there were tons of families and they all seemed to be faring just fine).

To sum up the resort?  The grounds were beautiful. The rooms were ok-pretty basic but nice and clean.  The food was meh.  There were a couple of buffets, several specialty restaurants, a snack bar, and a beach grill.  You had to make reservations for the specialty restaurants, so we did that they day we arrived.  Based on reviews we had read, we chose the Asian restaurant and the steak restaurant (both were good).  The food at the buffets was just ok.  You have to keep in mind they are catering to an international crowd, so you won't find a lot of typical American fare (or much Mexican fare, either).  There are a lot of Europeans that travel to this area.  It was actually somewhat unusual to run into other Americans.  The night we went to the hibachi grill there were two groups of Russians (not together), an Australian couple, and a Canadian guy.

The beach was gorgeous and there were tons of nice pools (although I much prefer to spend my time at the beach and Rob obliged, even though he typically prefers the pool).  We got massages on the beach one afternoon that were incredible.

All of these pictures are from my phone.  We took some pictures with the actual camera, but we really didn't care to haul it around with us.
Flying into Mexico

Not a bad place to wait for our room

Hotel lobby


Beautiful evening

The beach around sunset

More sunset

Hibachi grill the first night-it was good!!

Courtyard outside our room

Lots of palms

Bridge over the mangroves
You had to get to the beach EARLY to get a good spot

Coaties.  They live in the mangroves and come out for food.
You're not supposed to feed them but people do.

View from the back patio.

Fun bar on 5th Avenue-we went there on our honeymoon.

Saturday morning I got out early to get a good spot

Yummy tacos from the beach grill

Kids playing on the beach at sunset

Main walkway to the pools and beach

Taking some pictures on the last morning

The weather was amazing-sunny mornings.

Soaking up a last bit of sun.

A wonderful trip

And of course I took my old frenemy-the pump.  I did a bit of research before we left regarding traveling with breast milk, tips, regulations, etc.  It was kind of a pain, but honestly I'm used to it by now.  I was able to bring about 70 ounces back with me.  

We brought a small cooler in our suitcase along with some of those gel packs you put in the freezer.  Rob took the gel packs to the concierge the day before we were supposed to leave, and they put them in the freezer.  The morning we were to leave we retrieved the gel packs and loaded the cooler with the milk and put the cooler in my suitcase.   Rob was convinced they were going to leak or spontaneously combust in transit, but alas they didn't.  It all worked out fine and I'm glad I was able to bring some back to replace what Ben drank while we were gone.

The panoramic option on the iPhone camera is pretty awesome
We missed the kids like crazy but we're so glad we went.  We thought of Avery every time we saw a little girl playing in the sand (and Benny every time we saw a drooling baby).  Many thanks to our awesome parents who watched the kiddos for us.

Both Ben and Avery have been sleeping poorly this week so I'm fairly certain they're trying to pay us back-that, or zap every ounce of energy we may have gained from our trip.

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