Puerto Vallarta, Mexico 2011

We just got back from a 2 week long vacation to Mexico. It was full of all sorts of adventures and lazy days at the pool. Here's a summary of our trip as seen through our camera lens.
We arrived in time for the sunset and the picture above pretty much sums up how beautiful this beach was. We were staying at this amazing condominium complex my sis-in-law Kim found listed on good old craigslist (bargain priced for our last minute booking at the start of the 'slow' season). We actually had 2 condos in the building rented out during the time we were there. Kim's cousin Krista, her husband Ryan and their kids Savannah and Hunter arrived a week prior to our arrival and we had 3 days of overlap with them. Kim's mom Daphne (or 'nana' as the kids call her) was also there to soak in the sun. And the master coordinator Kim and fam was of course there to enjoy this family gathering. Our friend Amber arrived the day after we got there.Everyone was in the pool when we arrived, so we quickly got changed and headed down. This was the every day scene. The water was warm, like a bath tub! We played and played and played in the pool all day most days.
Before Ryan and Krista's family left, we all went to town to shop and eat. Here's the other Myron family on the boardwalk. That's Amber on the left!

We all went to dinner together at The Blue Shrimp. The girls really liked the live music and Ella showed off her dance moves. Charlotte got to try some prepackaged food I brought for her. She loved it. I had to capture her chowing down because it was so cute.
Kim, Amber and I have been friends since elementary school! We had fun reminiscing on times past and it was really nice to catch up with Amber. Her new husband (they got married in Thailand a month ago!) had to work and didn't get to come. Amber stayed in the condo with us the first week. She was missing her man and I think she was trying to call him on her shell phone when I took this pic...
We mostly hung out at the pool all day, but we did find time to enjoy the sand and surf too. The littlest Myron girls even took a nap on the beach together. So cute.
Our little family went to town for dinner one night. The sunset was beautiful and we had some great food at Daiquiri Dick's. The manager there spoke English and told us that the chef from Matt's on the Market (in Pike Place) had been down to PV and had inspired 2 of the items on the menu. Small world!
Here's our condo from the beach. We would stay there again!!

One morning as I was standing above the beach taking in the view I saw 6 manta ray swimming right at the waters edge. I couldn't believe it. I ran up to get the camera (and Hailey). I'm glad I got this video...but was a little disappointed when I realized that I missed hitting the record button when there was some real action. The family that had been chasing the manta ray back and forth at waters edge....ended up right by one. One of the guys was standing ankle deep in the water and threw a rock at one of them. The manta ray turned and kind of flapped out of the water a bit onto shore and tried to attack the guy. The family all screamed and ran different directions and I thought I had just captured the most amazing you tube video yet....only to realize that I hadn't actually pressed the record button. :( It was quite a site though...trust me, it was cool (and I was a little annoyed that the guy threw a huge rock at the thing as it was just trying to get it's breakfast).

Pete and I got sucked into a Tau Resorts timeshare presentation. It was actually a really nice resort (it isn't built yet, but they did have a sample unit built). The pic above is of the beach at the resort. It was really pretty and the ownership bit itself was priced really well (we have since determined!). We're not sure about timeshares yet...and though it was really tempting to buy the last ditch effort deal they offered (3 weeks/year for 10 year ownership - $2225), we didn't. We claimed our $300 cash for attending and went on our merry way. We got back late to the condo and it was the day we were moving to the Grand Mayan...everyone was waiting on us.
We quickly packed up and were on our way. We arrived to the Grand Mayan and waited as Kim and Dave got us checked in (for some reason it was a slow/long check in process).
The guys got right down to business and inspected every nook and crannie of our unit. The hole in the ceiling didn't actually go anywhere (a little disappointing)...
The art in the unit was interesting. We named this one "hooters". I don't think I need to explain any further, just look at the painting.Here we are on another timeshare presentation. Yup. We were after a $300 room credit and 10% discount on everything charged to our room this time. We suffered through this presentation and eventually went on our way. This timeshare was so crazy expensive (even after they presented all the discounts), it made Pete and I wonder if we should have bought the other one! We're just not sure we like being locked into the timeshare resorts...so the jury is still out on whether a timeshare would be beneficial for our travel style.
Pete and I took the girls to town again. This time we ended up eating lunch in a bar. I was confused why when I ordered one margarita I received 2. Ah....happy hour in Mexico....2 for 1. Got it. So Pete got to have a margarita too. The food at this place was really inexpensive (my tacos were about $1.50 for 2) and the food was really good. I might even say that the food here was my absolute favorite of the entire trip. The green peppers were HOT and in everything we ordered. Charlotte wasn't happy that night...unfortunately I think it was a bit too spicy for her system. We kept marveling that we were sitting in a bar with our kids. It was odd....but the live music was great and we had a good time.
You can't go to Mexico and skip out on tequila tasting can you? Taste we did. We ended up bringing home some tequila in 2 flavors - chocolate and coffee. It was the most random purchase...but hey, when in Mexico...
Charlotte and Gigi had fun hanging out together (Gigi is 7 weeks younger than Charlotte). Charlotte expanded her skill set on this trip. Her 2nd tooth showed up on day 2. She had a lot to see and scooted her way around in order to be a part of things. She started sitting up on her own from a crawl too. I walked into the bedroom to get her up from her nap and was surprised to find her sitting in her crib! She learned to say 'dada' on this trip, but she's only saying it when prodded. She's now saying 'mama' quite frequently. She loved sitting in her float in the pool. She was so happy to be in the water and would kick kick kick her legs in the water. Upon arriving home she's been pulling herself up on everything (the couch, my leg, a chair, her sister...you name it).
Hailey helped Ella and Sylvia wash some laundry for Kim. The girls had a good time stomping on all the clothes. It was $14/load to do laundry at the resort so Kim made do with her free helpers for her 2nd load. Hailey and her cousins had fun together of course... It's really nice that they all play together so well.
Dave discovered that he could access some of the resorts file system simply by opening his file browser and clicking on the grand mayan's network. The guys were having a blast geeking out about that and really wanted to photoshop one of the image files, but fret not, they at least didn't have enough access to do that (though they could view all of the photography studio's pictures).
I actually don't remember what we were doing in the pic above. I'm guessing that we were in town and happened upon the shoreline.
One of our last nights in PV...we were looking for a taxi to take us back to the resort and couldn't resist a pretty sunset family picture.
Hanging at the pool the day before we left. Hailey wore that float vest whenever we were in the water and she did really well kicking herself all around. It was really nice to not have to hold her the whole time...and she got to be a 'big' kid and swim around with Sylvia and Ella.
The plane ride home...tan and in our warm clothes once again.
I should mention that we flew home on Friday the 13th....I thought this was a fitting picture. ;)

All in all, it was a fun trip...and I'm glad to be home. I get a little home sick sometimes and being that I love the spring time (my favorite season of the year) I was really happy to come home and see all of the cherry trees in bloom and to hear the birds singing. I'm seriously loving the spring weather here (especially today!) and it's kind of nice to have a tan to go along with it! ;)