Sunday, March 15: Day Four
This was a day that we declared should be full of total relaxation, no big plans other than laying on the beach and at the pool. Yes, please.
Nate and I woke up at 6:30 am from our (annoying) internal alarm clocks. We walked down to see the sunrise, yet again, and I snapped lots of pictures buildings around town, too.
Not sure if these are succulents or what, but so pretty.
After the sunrise we took the long way around through North Beach back to our condo. This is where Nate remarked that if he were a pigeon, he would want to be one here. Then I took this picture and posted his quote to Instagram, but apparently this is NOT a pigeon. Nate is so smart and knows all of his birds, guys.
Back at the condo, we made coffee and had some with Erin and Ben. We might have Facetimed with the children and if so, I'm certain Cecelia requested to see the turtles and the palm trees again. Then Erin and I went down to the beach and secured front row lounge chairs for the day. YES. The beach was super quiet at this time of day and I went back up to the condo to get another cup of coffee, bringing it down to the beach. I had Lois' Kindle, my cup of coffee, and the waves on a quiet beach, with warm, sunny weather. Seriously. Perfection.
Had never heard of 'hot dogs or legs' until this trip, glad Erin enlightened me!
We left our four prime real estate lounge chairs with towels on them, so that we could go eat a real breakfast (peanut butter toast was had earlier but that was always a pre-cursor to the real meal out).
Lola Valentina was our pick for breakfast this day, which was where we ate dinner the first night. We had the same exact table and the same server, and it took a VERY long time to actually order and receive our food again. But then it ended up being a very tasty---Erin and I split cinnamon roll pancakes and a breakfast burrito. Both were delicious and yet again, I was lusting after their coffee bar but restrained myself due to an already high level of caffeination.
Also, Nate stopped on the way home to get his coconut that he wanted the entire trip. Supposedly very good!
We walked back to the condo and got ready for some relaxation in the sun. I reapplied 30-45 SPF sunscreen every day probably 3-4 times but today I stuck to just 1-2 times of reapplication, and I paid for that choice in a few specific areas were I got a little crispy. Mainly right above my suit near my pits and the backs of my thighs. Ouch! But really, having the palest ever Wisconsin skin and then going to a tropical destination for 5 days, with only slight roasting the final full day? Not horrible, I guess. Nate, on the other hand, is convinced that next time he is only going to use tanning oil with SPF 15 included. Because he thinks that allows for only a tan and no burn. Riiiiiiiiight, Nate. Let me know how that works out for you!
Going back and forth from the beach lounge chairs to the pool rafts was basically the entirety of the day. Erin and I went back to our condo for leftovers from breakfast, and then eventually the guys made several batches of Pina Coladas. Ben and Nate got antsy at one point and 'had' to get more rum even though we still had a ton of beer left, and ended up giving away both rum and beer the next day to some lucky strangers. I read a decent amount of my book, we stared at the numerous, gigantic boats in the ocean, and remarked at how packed the beach was on the weekends. There were Pina Coladas in the pool while floating and chatting with friends. What I wouldn't give to be back there right now!
We all got ready for dinner, and were planning to take a 2 mile walk to a fancier restaurant called Cafe Mango. But then Erin read an online review that said a husband and wife had to poop on the side of the road immediately after eating there. Ben was automatically horrified as he had been fighting some GI issues at this point, so we decided to skip the long walk and stay closer to the condo.The boys went over to see if they could put our name in at Olivias, but it was closed despite the internet saying it was open on Sundays. They also went back to Abuelos to see if they were open, because both of the guys would have eaten there for every single meal after our experience on Saturday. But nope, closed, too. Erin did more research and we settled on Amigos for our final dinner.
But not before we forced another stranger to take a picture of us four all fancy and free on our last night of vacation. My favorites yet!
Outside of our condo:
Beach bums---and yes, I chuckle at how much our husbands look alike. Nate thinks it's just because of their bald heads, but the sunglasses sort of seal the deal. And coordinating outfits.
We wanted to get the kids and our parents something authentic from the many street vendors, and I really wanted a Fedora since the rest of our group all had cute hats. I'm not a hat person, but I have decided to be one this summer;) Nate haggled for my hat and also two little coin purses for our moms. He had also gotten Truman and Cecelia fake Ray Bans earlier this day, since he really wanted them to have something they actually *needed* instead of 'just more crap.' Ha.
Amigos wasn't too busy when we sat down outside but got fairly crowded later. Loved that it was right on the main street so that people watching was in full effect. I had a margarita (surprise) and it was amazing (double surprise), we all split guacamole like we'd done every single night, and my chicken tacos with cheese were great. Really didn't have a bad meal while in Mexico!
Some sort of mango punch drink?
Tending to her sunburn.
This picture is my favorite because every time it comes up on the Apple TV screen saver, the kids always ask, 'Why is her face like that? Is she sad? What are you drinking? Why can't she have alcohol, too?' Very confusing!
After dinner the boys insisted that we try a crepe from a street vendor, as they swore to us that it was mind-blowing. It was, in fact, ridiculously good: crunchy, small, and full of banana, caramel and nutella. Also, ben had a ham-wrapped hot dog for about $1. Vacation!
We went back and talked on the patio for awhile, and I believe the boys went to a tequila bar briefly. For some reason we discussed Love Languages and I took the quiz to find out I am apparently all about Words of Affirmation. Very valuable information, yes (NATE! TAKE YOUR QUIZ NOW! IMPORTANT!). We might have stayed up until an impressive 11pm this night.
Monday, March 16th: Day 5
Whomp, whomp, time to go home this day. I'm sure it would feel this way no matter how long we stayed, but Nate and I both remarked we could have easily gone for one more day on this trip. But alas, vacation must end at some point.
We woke up at our very-consistent 6:30 am and took our very-consistent walk to the other side of the island for a final sunrise. It was incredibly windy this morning and I was admittedly impatient when waiting for the sun to appear over the clouds. But still pretty!
Little places like this all around the side streets--so cute.
Last sunrise ;(
Scene of the crime from Friday night!! Threw his money away all in the name of a picture of this sign.
The normal morning routine included coffee, patio time, and getting ready for breakfast. Plus we had to officially pack our suitcases and lug them with us to breakfast. I wore my new hat because I'm totally a hat person now.
We walked to Rubens for breakfast (a name I loved for Porter but Nate shot it down faster than 'Rosalie' for a girl) and it was around 9:00 and very quiet. I loved my ham and cheese omelette, black refried beans, and rice and my mango juice was perfection. Plus, I'm pretty sure this was the most ridiculously inexpensive meal of the trip---my entire meal was $4 or something unreal. Yes.
We walked to the ferry and got on the 10:00 ride. Same rock singer on our trip back to Cancun but significantly less excitement in the air. We found our shuttle driver without a problem, rode to the airport, and said our goodbyes to Ben and Erin as the driver dropped us at our terminal first.
Nate and I had a solid 2.5 hours before we boarded our flight, and security was a breeze. The Cancun airport was a lot nicer than I remember from 2004 when I was there last, and we found a few duty free purchases for the children and our parents (candy, and vanilla respectively). Then: Starbucks!! Getting closer to home already.
The flight was no big deal, but the baggage claim at Midway was kind of ridiculous. I believe it took us a total of 1.5 hours from the time we landed until we arrived at our car in the parking lot, then the 2 hour drive back to Milwaukee was uneventful. We got home around 9pm so the kids were sleeping soundly, but Tony, Lois and my mom greeted us instead. We exchanged cliff notes from our time apart from each other, Nate and I both took turns sneaking in to give the big kids kisses (sorry, Porter, can't mess with an accidental wake up from you, my love!), and passed out shortly after.
The next morning, the kids were SO excited to see us that it made the painful reality of the post-vacation blues more tolerable. Seeing Porter's giant smile when I got him at 6 am was priceless, and both CC and Truman said, 'I'm so glad you are home,' and provided us with plenty of hugs. Of course, the next few days were full of emotional turmoil as my mom flew back home and we all adjusted to our routine without her.
All in all this trip lived up to our expectations and then some. I mean, we didn't really expect much aside from relaxation and sunshine, but we got that plus fantastic food, a beautiful condo, and easy travel. I would go back to Isla Mujeres and to Nautibeach in a heartbeat, and we will just have to slowly wear Ben and Erin down to agree to 2016. I suppose Nate and I could go by ourselves if we *had* to, because having a winter vacation to anticipate was worth it alone!
And now the trip is really over