Thursday, July 31, 2014

Day 10 of our vacation

Day 10 was July 18th

This day was very fun for us. We went with Heather around 11 to see Michael and Michelle's new house. It was nice to get to tour the house and see where they are living now and see my nieces and nephews.

We hung out at home for most of the day before and after that... 

At 5:30 we went to dinner with most of my cousins. We even had some come in from out of town so it was pretty awesome. We had dinner at Coyote Blues and then went back to Derrick's house and just visited the rest of the night. I think the last person left at midnight. 

It was so good to catch up and just talk about our past and tell stories that no one has ever heard before. I really had a good time and I was so thankful I could get with them and just not worry about anything and have a great time! 

Day 9 of our vacation

Day 9 of our vacation was July 17th 

We didn't do too much on this day. We stayed at home and just relaxed with my parents. My aunts came over around 8 to visit and so did my godparents. It was a great visit with all of them. Of course my godparents brought me donut holes. It is our tradition and I loved it! It doesn't matter how old I get, we still stick with the traditions and I love it. I love them more than they will ever know!

We took my parents out to dinner at LeBleu's and it was really good. I have never been there and I enjoyed it. I think Abe did as well. It was a great evening out with my parents and my dad was filled with hilarious moments which made our evening. 

All and all day 9 was great and we are so blessed!

Day 8 of our vacation

Day 8 of our vacation was July 16th

Today was a very long day... We got up at 4:15 am to get ready and head out for our flight. We shared a taxi with our nephew who was going to the airport as well. We ended up getting there a little after 5. 

We walked what seemed like forever to find our airline and we checked in. We had to wait in the long line to get our luggage checked in. We waited in that line for over 40 minutes. It went by really slow because they only had 2 people working the lines. We finally got our bag checked in and then got into the line for security. The line was going really slow and our flight was really soon, so we go out of this security line and headed to the other security entrance and there were maybe 5 people in line. Awesome! We got through security and went and found our gate. Abe went to try to find coffee and get me a diet coke and I headed to the bathroom before we had to board our plane. We sat for maybe 10 minutes before we boarded the plane. 

We get on the plane and we wait. And we wait and we waited some more. 30 minutes after the flight was suppose to take off and they let us know that the plane is having some mechanical issues and they are trying to get them fixed. We wait a little bit more and then they tell us that we are going to deplane and head to the next gate and get on a new plane. We gather up all our bags and we start getting off the plane. We were not even out of the gate yet and they told us to turn around and get back onto the plane. So confusing and so nerve racking. We get back on the same plane, get seated and they tell us that we are going to take off in a few minutes and that the issues were fixed. I do not love flying, so this made me very anxious. About 30 minutes later and we were on our way to Dallas airport. The flight wasn't a bad one so that was a good thing for me. 

We get off the plane and we are an hour late. We have to board our connecting flight in 45 minutes. We get off the plane and get our express tickets they had waiting for us. And we were off... we had to first go through customs. That took maybe 10 minutes if that. We had to wait because we selected a wrong answer for Abe's pass and he had to go and talk with a live person. So, after a few minutes he came out and we went down to baggage claim and got our luggage. We headed out to where we needed to go to recheck our bag. We were in a hurry and they took our bag really quickly and we headed to the security line. Because we got the cool express tickets, once we got to security we went through a different line and we were able to get through security before everyone else in line which was neat. We had our own agent to deal with and it was very helpful. We got through security and headed to our next gate. We had enough time to go use the restroom and for Abe to get a wrap for lunch and we were boarding. Nothing like a close call... 

The flight from Dallas to Houston was so short. We took off, go to cruising altitude and then we started descending. It only took about an hour and 5 minutes. Once we were there we got off the plane and I was so happy to be in Houston. We went to baggage claim and there was my cousin Vicky waiting for us with a smile on her face. Abe and I were so happy and thankful to be done with flying for 3 1/2 days. We get to rest and relax and just enjoy family with no rush to go from hotel to hotel. 

We get our luggage and then we head off to go surprise my daddy with a visit home. We head to Vicky's house first so she can get her luggage. It was good to see Dylan who was home when we got there. We visited while she packed her bags. She got done and we headed out. Abe watched a movie and slept while we visited. We got to mom's house a little after 5. 

When we got there I noticed that everyone was at the canal with my dad. We got out of Vicky's car and we headed to the back porch where we were going to sit and just visit until my dad came back... One of the grandkids went and got dad and he headed back. His comment was "Well, look who is here." The first hug is the best. Especially when you surprise him! I didn't want to let my daddy go. 

Mom had cooked chicken spaghetti and my brothers and all of their family was there for dinner. It was a good surprise and we were definitely thankful to be there. I was so happy to have my mom's cooking waiting for us. We all ate dinner and visited. We sang Happy Birthday to Julia since mom made her a birthday cake for her birthday.

We all visited before everyone started leaving. Once everyone left we did a few things to unpack and we headed to bed. I was so exhausted. My head hit the pillow and I was out. 

Day 7 of our vacation

Day 7 was July 15th

We woke up today and spent all day long just lounging at the condo. We were worn out from all our travels and we just wanted to relax and rest before we had to fly out tomorrow for our next day of traveling. 

Around 5 our niece and nephew got home and we visited and ordered dinner in. We stayed up visiting until it was time for us to head to bed for our early morning. We were leaving at 5 in the morning... 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Day 6 of our vacation

Day 6 was July 14th 

Today was an okay day. We got up and got our bags packed. We went to have some breakfast and then went back to our room to get everything together. I watched TV and rested while Abe went to the market to get a few of the things that we still needed before we left. We had a good 2 hours before we needed to be downstairs. He got back and he was successful in all the things he needed to get. Have I mentioned that I love that man?

We got our bags packed with the new stuff he brought back and we headed downstairs at check out time. Our shuttle was not coming until 12:30 so we had some time to just hang out in the lobby and wait. We waited, and waited, and waited... Abe called the shuttle people twice because of how late they were. Finally at 1, they showed up. Our flight was leaving at 4 and we had to get our bags checked and get through security before we could fly out... Nothing like being in a rush. We got to the airport and ended up talking to Volaris. We had 1 bag that we needed to pay for. We were going to see if they would cover that bag fee because they broke our luggage but they said no. 

The flight was the same going back to Mexico City. We were packed in and there was no room. The staff was the same as they were last time. They were quite rude. It was just an experience we would never have to deal with again. We would fly another airline before ever choosing Volaris. 

We got to Mexico City and it was pouring outside. We found a taxi service that would get us to Michelle's condo for a decent price. We got in the car and headed to their house. It took about 45 minutes in traffic to get to their house and once we were there I was so relieved to just be out of traffic and out of the airport. We dropped our bags off and we headed to the market that was just around the corner from her house. We got snack foods, breakfast stuff and drinks for us to have today and tomorrow while we wait for our next flight out. We headed back home and we stopped at the taco cart and got some taco's for dinner and Abe got corn. We headed back up and we ate dinner before collapsing in bed for the night. We started a movie and I don't think we watched even 10 minutes before we were both out. 

Day 5 of our vacation

Day 5 is July 13th... 

On this day the birds decided to start singing the song of their family at oh about 4:30 am. What a day to be up at 4:30 am... We didn't get up and get moving until after 8, but it was oh so fun to listen to the birds chirping and being as loud as they could be. I mean in all reality we are in their home... 

This day was a very long one as well. We got up and got our bags packed and ready to go. We decided to go eat breakfast before we headed out and headed back to downtown Cancun. We got to the restaurant and our sister was there with some friends so we sat with them and ate. Once we were done eating we said our goodbyes and we headed back towards the huts. 

We had to stop by Michelle's hut to get the keys to their house. We were going to Mexico City for a few days and we were staying in their condo while we were there. We got to their hut and visited with them for a few minutes listening to the thunder from the storm that was rolling in. We had NO umbrella and we had our electronics with us. I put them in a garbage bag and then as soon as we were done we headed back to our hut to call the bellboy. It started raining on our walk back to our hut. We were soaking wet. We called the bellboy and they were there within 5 minutes. We got our bags loaded and I locked up and we were on our way to the front desk area. The front desk was outside under a huge hut like cover with straw all over it. There were no windows or doors we were out in the open. It was covered so we didn't get wet while sitting there waiting, but talk about crazy after the rain stopped. We checked out and they called us a taxi to take us back to downtown Cancun. Another hour and a half drive back... After the rain was over the mosquitoes came out and boy were they bad. We waited for close to an hour for our taxi to arrive and then we were off. The ride back was okay, but I was just so tired I just wanted to be there already. 

The driver got lost a few times so we had to drive around for an extra 20 or 30 minutes while the driver asked for directions. We finally got to our final hotel destination. The name of the hotel was Hotel Xbalamque Resort and Spa. I was really excited about this one because of the decor of the hotel. There was Mayan paintings all over the walls of the outside of the hotel and all over the walls in the hotel as well. It was very neat to walk around and just get lost in the art that was on the walls. I took a lot of pictures of the walls so I can go back and read/look at later. It was so neat. 

Abe standing next to a statue that was at the front of the hotel

The walls inside the hotel

Our stay here was a good one. I was very pleased with the service that we received. Our first suite that we were put in, the TV didn't work. So after talking to them they tried to fix it with no luck so they moved us to another suite. The TV worked and we were so thankful. The room was a little smaller, but that was okay. We were good with the room. The smaller room meant the AC would work better than the larger room. We turned the AC on and then we got everything situated and we headed out to go find something to eat. We were so hungry. We walked across the street and ate at this nice place. I had fajitas and they were so delicious. The waiter was pretty impressive. He would deliver our stuff with my diet coke bottle balanced on his hat. It was pretty fun to watch. Once we paid the waiter and Abe got to talking and the waiter ended up going outside and using his whistle that he had and getting us a taxi. 

We left the restaurant and headed to Wal-mart to buy a new suitcase. Apparently Volaris wanted to give us 300 pesos for our inconvenience. It would have been a nice gesture if we LIVED in Mexico and used that airline frequently. So, we ended up buying a new suitcase and we got some snacks for later in the evening and we headed back to our hotel. It is a very good thing taxi's are everywhere down there. Once we got back to our hotel we we just relaxed in our room most of the night. We did go down and enjoy the pool once the sun was down some and then later we enjoyed dinner at the restaurant they had. All and all it was a good way to end our day. Definitely a fan on the hotel and their staff. Anytime we needed anything they were there within seconds. Great customer service!

Day 4 of our vacation - My husband and I

I love this man so much!

The man of my dreams and the first of many vacations we will take together!

Wedding fun... 

Day 4 of our vacation ~ The WEDDING

It is still day 4 but I figured a separate email for the wedding would be best. What a beautiful and fun wedding. The wedding was on the beach and it overlooked the water. It was just really gorgeous outside. Everything looked very elegant and beautiful. I hope that Michelle knows it turned out really well! Here are a few pictures from the wedding:
Gil's first look at his soon to be wife...
The Ring's
Mr. and Mrs.

The first dance
The wedding cake - one of the best cakes I have ever had before!

The mother and her baby girl

Gil, Patty, Me, Michelle and Abe
Groom, Mother of the Bride, me, Bride and Abe

Abe and his niece

Brother and Sister

Mother of the Bride - she loved her new cup!

Day 4 of our vacation

Day 4 was July 12th. We got up and started packing our bags. We had to figure out how to make this whole bag situation work because of our broken suitcase. We ended up using our carry on suitcases for our own clothes and then put the toiletries into the broken bag and put our dirty clothes and a few other things we wouldn't need for the next few days into our big suitcase. 

Around 10 we were all packed up and ready to go. We decided since we had an hour and a half drive over to the other hotel we might as well leave since we were done packing. We had the bellboy come and help us with our bags and we started the check out process. The bellboy had packing tape and he wrapped our broken suitcase up so we could carry it with us without worrying about it. We waited for the taxi to get there... we waited about 30 minutes and then we headed out to the next hotel. The hotel that our niece was getting married at... 

The drive to Playa del Carmen was a pretty good one. It was pretty neat to see the culture and the landmarks. The drive took forever or so it seemed. We get there and realized that it was a resort with a zoo inside. Definitely not what we were expecting but it was interesting. We get all checked in and our room wasn't ready yet. They told us we could go eat lunch which is what we did. We gave them our luggage to store and then we went to go get something to eat. We were both starving. 

One of many Iguana's that the resort had... 
The momma turtle and her babies
This resort was different. Nothing was close together so you had to walk everywhere you went. You could wait for the golf carts that came around, but they didn't come around anytime that we needed them to come. We waited for the cart to bring us to grab lunch. 
The beautiful birds that were trained very well!
We first stopped at Michelle's room so we could drop off the fans. We brought them up and said a quick hi and gave hugs and then we left to grab lunch. We got in and got to get some food and we really enjoyed it. We were told that our room was ready so we went to the spot to wait for a cart. It didn't come within 5 minutes so we left and walked back to our room. We found a cart and got a ride after a few minutes. We got to our room and it was definitely not what the pictures showed on the website. It was a fancy type of hut.
OUR HUT - We were on the top floor
Our Honeymoon Romance package
After we got to our room, Abe realized that he did not have his glasses. So you can add losing his Oakley prescription glasses to the list of stuff that happened on our trip! We got our bags delivered by the bellboy shortly after we got back to our room. We got our clothes out that we needed for the wedding and we started getting ready. By the time we got our bags it was about 3:30 and we needed to get ready and be down there for the wedding at 4:30. 

He is everywhere...

Spiderman in Cancun

Day 3 of our vacation

Day 3 of our vacation (July 11th) began really well. We got up and just enjoyed being together. We sat on the balcony for a little bit before we got ready to head to grab breakfast at the buffet. They had a good selection of foods to choose from for breakfast. It was really good. We left breakfast and decided to go look around at the stores that were across from our hotel. They had so many little stores with so many cool/cute things in them. We got all the stuff that we wanted to get for the kids and we got a few souvenirs in addition to the kids stuff. It was fun looking around at everything they had and finding cool things for a good deal. I had fun shopping with Abe and enjoying this time together. 

We went back to the hotel and then put our stuff away. We got a message that our sister was here as well as our niece and nephew that were getting married. We decided to get our stuff together and get the stuff that we were bringing to them and head to their hotel. We ended up getting a taxi to bring us over to their hotel and we got there within 10 minutes. What a beautiful hotel... we are staying here on Saturday night so I was excited to be able to see where we were staying. We go to the restaurant that they are currently in and there was no one. We looked around for a bit and then we went to the front desk. We were told that there was no wedding at this location on Saturday. We were then told that there are 2 Bel Air locations and the wedding was not at the one we were at right now. How far is the other Bel Air location from us you ask? It is only 58 miles away in Playa del Carmen not in Cancun. Oh okay... well that put a damper on us going to visit and spend time with them today. We decided to go back to the resort and enjoy the last part of the day before we had to leave this amazing resort tomorrow. 

The very neat chess board our resort had.
We got back to the hotel and we went to the other restaurant at the resort and ate lunch there. It was so delicious. I had the chef salad and onion rings and Abe had some sort of seafood dish and an appetizer. After lunch we went back to our room and got ready and we headed to ocean. We were out there for a little while and then we headed and enjoyed about an hour in the pool. I went back to the room after that hour because I was tired and wanted to rest some. Abe stayed out there for another hour or so. When he got back, poor thing was very burnt. He looked like a lobster. We went to the store at the hotel and got some stuff to put on his burn to help him and then we got ready and headed to eat dinner. We made reservations to have dinner on the deck watching the moon come up and it was so romantic. 

We went back to our room after dinner and enjoyed the sound of the waves hitting the shore as we sat in the lounge chairs on our balcony. We just talked and enjoyed our time together. After our food settled we decided to go for a walk on the beach and enjoy time without so many people being out there. It was dark and we only had the moon leading us... It was a very nice walk and we had a little fun! A few pictures from our walk:
Cancun fun with my hubby
The palm trees were everywhere. I love this fun loving man.
A heart with our initials in it and the waves rushing up to it. Pretty neat picture.
Cancun fun with my hubby!

Day 2 of our vacation

Our flight from San Francisco was pretty decent. We were upgraded to the exit rows for free since no one was sitting in them and we had a row to ourselves. It was nice to be able to spread out and not be crammed for a 4 hour flight. I tried to sleep on the flight but I was able to sleep a few minutes here and a few minutes there but not a lot! We get into Mexico City and we had 3 hours to get through customs, get our luggage from baggage claim, get it rechecked in and get through security again before our next flight. We got through Customs within 15 minutes so that was nice. I have heard horror stories about it taking forever. I was pretty happy about this. We get to the line for Volaris which is the airline we were going through to get to Cancun. We get through this first line with Volaris a little after 30 minutes or so and we ended up having to pay for extra luggage which their website said nothing about. Unexpected, but we figure a few little things will come up on our travels so okay... we ended up paying an extra $25 bucks for our luggage. 

We get in the security line which is wrapped around the airport and it looks like it is going to take forever. In reality we were in line for maybe another 30 minutes or so before we got through security. We went to the area that is where we are suppose to sit until they announce which gate you are to go to. (What do you mean I have to sit here until they tell us where to go??? That is ridiculous...) So, we sit there and wait. Abe goes and gets me a diet coke and I noticed on the screens where we were to go. It wasn't far from where we were so we go and we sit until our plane arrives. 

Not sure if any of you have ever been on a Volaris airplane, but our experience was not a good one. The seats were so crammed together and we seriously had maybe 1/2 an inch of leg room. If I was any taller, my legs would have hit the seat in front of me. It was the longest 2 hours I have been through in a while. My husband and I were so miserable on the flight and the staff were not very friendly. We get to Cancun and I am soooooo thankful we are done with the flying part of our travels for a little while. We unload and get off the plane and we head to pick up our luggage. We get our luggage and then head to get our rental car that we have booked. We already paid the insurance for the car, so we just needed to pay for the car. We get to the National Car Rental booth and they direct us to the van that will take us to the rental office. We get to the rental office and they unload our bags. At this moment, I notice that my BIG luggage that has all of our clothes in it is broken. When I say broken, I mean that Volaris inspected our luggage and decided to not only take the lock off that was on there, but they ripped the entire zippers off as well. We have NOTHING left on the suitcase to zip the suitcase up when we open it. So, basically once we open the bag we can't zip it back up and basically are screwed. Okay, not what I was expecting to deal with, but okay! We will call the airline later on. 

We get to National Car Rental office and my husband goes in while I wait with our broken luggage and our other 3 bags. And I wait, and I wait... It is close to 90 degrees outside with 80% humidity and to get a good picture, I am in jeans still. I haven't had a chance to change yet. We were there for about 30 minutes. We left without a rental car. Apparently they would not take the insurance that we had paid for through Expedia. They wanted $52 a day for insurance and just because they could, they wanted $1,000 deposit to rent the car. So, basically they wanted $1,238 to rent the car. We would get the $1,000 back later, but ummm NO THANK YOU! We had them take us back to the airport. 

We get back to the airport and we go straight to Volaris to deal with the broken bag issue. Another 30 minutes of waiting and talking and dealing with people who really could care less to deal with us and then they ended up turning in a claim and giving us a phone number to call back later on to see what is going on with the claim. By now, I am so furious I just want to get to our hotel. We go out and find a shuttle that can take us to the hotel and then pick us up again when we need to get back to the airport so we set that up to bring us to our hotel today and then to pick us up on Monday when we need it. Great, lets go... Oh so your next driver won't be here for 30 minutes... ummm OKAY. Lets wait some more outside, in jeans and in the heat... I was so over this travel day. 

Our shuttle got there and we had a nice ride in the AC with a really cool guy travelling from California. It was a good visit while we drove down the main strip in Cancun. We made one stop and then we finally got to our hotel, the Hotel Flamingo Resort. We pulled up and it was absolutely beautiful! The bellboy was right there waiting for us to arrive. He unloaded our luggage and we were inside enjoying the nicely cooled resort. I went up and got all checked in. The concierge came over and they brought us to sit down and explained all that we got to enjoy while staying at the all inclusive resort.  We were here and that was all that mattered to me. We were going to be able to enjoy 2 full nights here without any worries... or so I thought!

Our room was the on the right side the first floor and we were the 2nd room in. BEAUTIFUL VIEW
We finally got our keys to the room and we had the bellboy help us bring our luggage to the room. We got a tour of the place as we were walking to our room. It was so nice. We got to our room and we walked in and I was in love! What an amazing room and view outside. We got our luggage put away and then just enjoyed the view for a little bit before doing anything. 

This was our hotel room. Exactly what the picture showed but even more amazing!
This is the view from our back door. We had a balcony that we shared with our neighbors, but no one used it. We had 2 lounge chairs and it was just so gorgeous!
We enjoyed the beauty and then decided that we were hungry so we went and grabbed something for lunch. They had a buffet and it was pretty decent. I found a few things that I enjoyed and they had amazing desserts... After we were done eating we went back to our room to rest for a little bit. What a crazy journey so far. We were both exhausted. 

The rest of the day was spent:

  • Going to the ocean and enjoying that with my husband
  • Resting and relaxing on the balcony of our room
  • Enjoying the buffet again for dinner
  • And watching the sun go down and enjoying the moon coming up. 
We were so thankful to be at our resort. We definitely picked the best one to spend part of our honeymoon at. I was definitely happy to be there enjoying this time with my husband. I wanted an adventure and were were sure off to a good start on that adventure. No matter what we went through, we were together and going through it all together!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

And our vacation begins... Day 1

The day was finally here... It was Wednesday July 9th and Abe and I were both off work. I had most of our stuff packed the night before so today was about relaxing, doing last minute packing and making sure we had everything we needed! 

We decided to get to the airport early to make sure we had no problems at all. We load up the car to head out and I do a double check around the house to make sure we have everything we need. I grab a few things on the way out and lock up and then head out.

I walk to the car and look around and realize I do not have my purse! My purse just so happens to have both of our passports in it... as well as our HOUSE key. I started to panic just a bit. My best friend no longer had a key to my house and my landlord was not answering the phone. After 10 minutes of freaking out, I remember one of my good friends had a key to my house and I called her and she had it on her and she was 10 minutes away from us. We headed to her and grabbed the key. We managed to get back, get my purse and get things locked up again within 30 minutes. 

We got the airport at around 2 and got through security in no time. Our flight was on time and it was leaving at 5:30. We had some time to wait around in the airport. We got to our gate and got settled in for the long wait. We ended up watching a movie while we waited. 

Our flight to San Francisco was good. No real issues and not a lot of turbulence.  We got out of the plane and headed to our next gate. Our flight to Mexico City was next... It was leaving after 11 pm and would get in the next day at 5:30 am. We got to our gate and had a 3 hour wait... We boarded the new flight on time and were on our way to Mexico City...
This was Abe and I at the beginning of our travel day... Ready to get there and enjoy some time together!

Vacation planning...

My husband and I have never been on a vacation with just the 2 of us. We have gone out of town with friends, but never by ourselves. Our niece was getting married in July and we decided that we wanted to go see her get married and enjoy a vacation away which would be just like our own honeymoon, with an added bonus! The extra bonus was we decided to go surprise my family in Louisiana on the way home.

So, in February we started planning our trip and booking our reservations. We booked our flights to Mexico City to start with... a few days later we realized that the wedding was not going to be in Veracruz, but instead Cancun. At first it was a little stressful because our airplane tickets were booked and our options were to drive 15 hours to Cancun from Mexico City or buy another plane ticket to Cancun. We decided after much thinking and talking that the best for us would be to buy another plane ticket which is what we did.

Now that we had all our plane tickets figured out we decided to book our hotels. Since it was our honeymoon we found a really nice all inclusive hotel that was amazing and we booked it. We booked 2 nights there and then we booked 1 night at the hotel Michelle and Gil were getting married at... Our final hotel was pretty neat as well and by the airport. 

We booked a rental car for Cancun, we had a rental car booked for Houston to get us to Louisiana and we had it all reserved and most of it paid for. I went to get my passport shortly after booking everything and I had that a few months before we left... we had started saving money for spending down there and we were doing great... 

We had 5 months to countdown to a vacation of our lifetime... And the waiting began...