We had a grand time at our resort in Puerto Vallarta.
We opted for the all-inclusive (food and beverage) option which did not disappoint; the breakfast alone was worth the price. I wish I had taken more snaps of the breakfast buffet, which included mountains of fresh tropical fruit, delicious full fat yogurt, an omelette station, several hot entrees (loved the Verde chilaquiles!), multiple varieties of fresh squeezed juice choices (we all are in love with “jugo verde”), Mexican hot chocolate, great coffee, and handmade pastries. Everything was delicious and authentic, right down to the Goat Milk (syrup?) at the condiments table (see photo–Aunt Amanda please explain. Wish I had tried this!).
We all I noticed how well things were sweetened–the deserts and pastries and hot chocolate were just “sweet enough”–even Dashiell remarked on this. It was a treat to have fresh local fruit featured in all meals–for example, at one dinner we had a poached pear salad that was creative and delicious, and on another day we had a beet and tomato salad with excellent goat cheese. While the food at the pool is good for pool food, the dining room La Casona was a standout.
The spa was also well worth a visit. Usually, I am skeptical about hotel spas because they tend to be staffed with part-time people who don’t know what they’re doing, and I always end up with a sore back or some other complaint. Not the case here! These folks were the real deal. Jeff got 2 massages and I had 1; we both got to enjoy the hydrotherapy room beforehand, which was also impressive: big jacuzzi, cold plunge (great for my foot!) and they had these cool “plunge” showers that dump water on your head in a very relaxing way. Plus a steam room, sauna, and lots of fresh fruit-and-herb infused cold water. Oh, and hot hibiscus tea for after the massage! I could have stayed all day. The photo you see below of the pink and purple petals arranged in a creative round flower pattern comes from the spa, where this living art is floating in stone basins throughout the facility; the petals and leaves came from the plants on the grounds.
The Pacific coast beaches in Mexico are not known for safety or good swimming. Therefore we were lucky to have 1 day of “yellow flag” conditions at the hotel’s beach, and Dashiell was–for the first time–old enough to not be afraid, and the water warm and gentle enough to invite him in….I was so proud of him! He’s come so, so far as a swimmer (I have been wanting to blog in more detail about this fact for some time…on my list!).
You can’t tell from in the video below, but he felt so at home he wandered out pretty far (with one of us).
The song in the video is Love by Build An Ark.
In the slideshow above, there is a nice shot of D with Bunny My Honey, an old favorite stuffy. Bunny My Honey came along for our adventure (D tucked her into his backpack with her head sticking out, so she wouldn’t miss anything). Lately D and she had been quite close, and we had resumed playing a game with her at bedtime that we hadn’t played for a couple years. I think with all the stress of the addition, and the excitement about the trip, and being a Big 2nd Grader, it was natural for him to want a friend. We didn’t realize it until we were seated on the plane home, but sadly Bunny My Honey got left behind in the hotel room (we had somewhat of a harried and rushed pack up session, cutting it a bit too close to check out time). This was very sad for D since he was worried Bunny My Honey would be scared, all alone in a foreign country. Aunt Amanda tried to help us phone the hotel and return Bunny safely but alas she was not found. I suspect she is living the good life out by the pool, swimming and eating hamburgers and sipping mango smoothies, and is just not ready to come home.
P..S Bunny My Honey gets her name from the same-titled book by Anita Jeram, a once much-loved bedtime read. Ironically this is a book about the young bunny getting lost in the woods, and being scared, then her mother comes to the rescue by finding her…oh snap.