Sunday, July 20, 2008

Ixtapa, Mexico

It was almost exactly two years ago to the day that we set out on a Mexican vacation with the Littles, the Boomershines and the Brannons. That year we visited Puerto Vallarta and had such a wonderful time that we decided to plan another group vacation this year. Unfortunately, the Boomershines couldn't join us this time but the rest of us went and had a great time in Ixtapa, Mexico.

We stayed at Las Brisas resort where we spent most of our time in one of their many pools or sunning and swimming at their private beach. I've included a few photos but left out several including those that I'm certain aren't suitable for public viewing. Without question, we had a great time and enjoyed the people, the city, the scenery and of course, the cerveza.

We departed on a Thursday morning and while we were checking in at the airport, the Littles called to inform us that their flight was delayed and they would likely miss their Houston connection. This meant rerouting through Mexico City for a Friday arrival. We were disappointed they wouldn't be joining us in route. BUT, after arrival in Houston, we learned that they'd just landed and our pilots held the plane. They raced to the gate and walked to the plane's door only to be greeted by our bitch of a flight attendant, Barbara. We had already figured out that Barbara is at an unhappy place in her life and enjoys taking her anger out on her passengers. Anyhow, Barbara advised the Littles against getting on the plane since their luggage would be going to Mexico City. She told them they may never see their belongings again. Now we'll never know if Barbara did them a favor or if she was just so pissed that the pilots held the plane (after she'd already told me that that wouldn't do such a thing) that she purposely disappointed us all. Either way, I still don't like her and we still didn't see the Littles until Friday.

Checking in. The lobby was on the 18th floor because the hotel is built into the side of a mountain. Consequently, all the rooms have an ocean front room. And after checking in, we had to go down 10 flights to get to our room. Bizarre.

And just after checking in, we changed, the boys fetched cheap beer (hotel beer was $5.50 per 12 oz. can) and we headed for the pool. You'll notice the walkway we are on. To get from your room you'd have to go to another floor and walk a winding path that was surrounded by plush flora and fauna. The distance from the rooms to the pool or beach made the task of schlepping our cervezas more cumbersome but of course it was worth it.

The view from our room.

And then Friday morning the Littles arrived. Again, we headed straight for the pool and KJ brought his beer pong game. They recruited a guest from New Mexico to join in the game and they quickly became the primary source of entertainment at Las Brisas' adult only pool.

This photo was taken on yet another walkway.

And after we realized that the hotel staff didn't appreciate that we brought our own beer to the pool (and made us put it behind the bar so the other guests didn't see it) we departed for the beach. We ended up spending most of our time at the beach from that point on. A couple of really sweet waiters were always available to bring us mas Modelo, Sangria, chips and guoc. We ate and drank very well. Surely the body surfing we were doing was helping to burn off some of the calories, no?

This photo was taken on the lobby level of the hotel. There was a swank lobby bar that was adjacent to this patio which overlooked the ocean. It was quite lovely this day although some days were mostly cloudy.

Our last night we went into Zihuatanejo for dinner. This town is just 15 minutes from Ixtapa and is a bit less touristy than Ixtapa. It's where we were referred to for more authentic dining, shopping and entertainment. We ate dinner street side and enjoyed watching the locals stroll the street, listed to the mariachis and petted the stray cats. It was in Zihuatanejo where we visited a bar that was literally no bigger than a slightly over sized self-storage room. All there was was alcohol, a couple of bar stools and tables, a TV and stereo speakers. The owner was well acquainted with our husbands from a visit earlier in the day so when we arrived, he loaded his American top hits CD in the player and blasted it for our enjoyment. Each song played for no more than one minute before it shuffled onto the next one. I felt like I was watching an infomercial for a five CD collection set where you get just a snip it preview of the songs on file. It was torture. Did I mention that they had black lights?

We rounded out the trip with a pleasant room-service breakfast in the Little's suite. The food was delicious and the morning was relaxing. Thanks to KJ for making this recommendation because it was the perfect ending to a great vacation.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Dad is 60 and we celebrated with a bang!

Dad is 60! We celebrated in typical fashion in conjunction with a get together at the lake house on 4th of July weekend. This year's festivities were a blast and we enjoyed hosting our friends, the Boomershines. Dad is still adjusting to being 60 and claims that 70 is "just around the corner". I keep reminding him that he could have another 25+ years to go and there is a lot that this man can do with 25 years. Happy Belated Birthday Dad!

Captain Dakota navigated the boat into the cove where we anchored off for the big show.

Elle & Wyatt watching the old fashioned airplanes during the fly over show.

Elle & Dakota thought the fireworks were impressive!

Earlier in the day we played on the dock and T.G. and I soaked up the sun. Chigger seemed to enjoy himself just fine.

Beau taking the kids for a canoe ride.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Calgary Scenery

I took a road trip to call on a customer yesterday and this was a scene from part of my drive. Beautiful yellow fields.


Wow, between vacation and business travel, I've spent about 19 interrupted hours in airplanes. I'm amazed at how sticky and gross I feel after so much travel. I was fortunate enough to catch an early flight home from Calgary and happily accepted a middle seat. It is a small sacrifice for spending an additional 6 hours in my home with my family. I simply cannot wait to lounge on the couch and wrestle with the little ones. I think I'm even looking forward to a normal activity like grocery shopping. Home sweet home, almost. US customs still to go.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Things have really gotten away from me lately and I cannot believe that it's been nearly 20 days since my last post. I'm a slacker.

I hope to have many new things to share with you in just a couple more weeks. We're preparing for vacation, more business travel, more summer camps, etc. Be patient and I promise to be normal very soon.