Our favorite pool
This is a great competition to see all 3 routines in a short amount of time, plus a short drive. Don't forget.....Al, Stephanie, and I will be shooting all day, but can probably spare a few minutes for a quick 'HI'.
Al, Stephanie, and I will be shooting pictures for the entire day, so heads up, we will be unavailable for entertaining or intriguing conversation. Be sure to check out my display table in the lobby/cafeteria.
They were an expansion team in Fall of 2012 and are now in first place in the FHL League and are headed to the playoffs. They play at Hara Arena and have a few regular season games left. Check them out. It is great family fun.
He's full of energy and has lots of team spirit! We love it!!!
.....and he's from DAYTON!
Another long but fun day! Once again Abby and I had to be on the road by 6am!!! The Minis competed early and they looked great. Abby and I stayed to take pictures all afternoon. Abby invited her good good friend Ashley to stay again too. Ashley was captain for Pom and Abby was captain for Jazz.
What a long but fun day! Abby and I had to be on the road by 6am!!! The Minis were the first performers of the day. WOW! Were they cute. Most of the Minis left after the noon awards, but Abby wanted to stay and hang out with me while I took pictures. It was a bonus that a few other Minis were staying to compete their solos. Abby invited her good good friend Ashley to stay too. They seemed to have a great time. Ashley is a super sweet girl. We went out to dinner with her family at a Japanese Hibachi Grill and the dads got a special surprise - squirted right into their mouths - 'happy water'.
Just for the record, I was good with going to Cleveland for Christmas and spending time with family. I thought we could see our nephews play hockey, which we did on Saturday - Connor scored 2 goals YEAH!, see the Shen Yun show, which we also did on Saturday, then maybe go skiing, to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, who knows what else Cleveland has to offer. Al said 'that sounds like an expensive few days.' The very next day, he said 'let's go to Mexico for Christmas.' And the rest, as they say, is history.....
Nice job Connor! Looking forward to seeing you play next year Austin.
Time to go home to the burrrr cold of Ohio. I think Abby is the saddest. Is that a word???? She tried to muster up a smile for me. Looking forward to opening the rest of our gifts and seeing what Santa brought makes leaving a little easier. Plus all of our Ohio friends are leaving today too.
We flew into Cleveland and I happened to have my camera handy. What a surprise. We were glad that parked in the garage since there was lots of new snow and we forgot to put an ice scraper in the car.
Today, it's off to Tulum. It's about a 30 minute drive south. I've always heard it's extra hot there and we find that to be true. After about a 30 minute long walk and some standing around, mostly in the sun.....this is what you get.........
It is so neat to think about how the Mayans built these structures so long ago and how they knew to line everything up with the sun and moon on specific days (Summer Solstice, Autumn Equinox, Winter Solstice, Spring Equinox). I wonder how this village looked waaaaaaay back then?????
While the tour is interesting and our tour guide is nice, funny, and knowledgable, we are all thinking about how great the ocean is going to feel. I met some people at the resort, not from Ohio, who said to definitely wear a swim suite; otherwise we would be changing in the bushes like they did. The restrooms are all the way back at the front of the park......a long walk back plus we have no admission tickets. We entered with a group.
Back at the pool, we enjoyed another yummy lunch at the pool grill and then watched the girls swim and play all afternoon - some even into the evening.
Two guys were opening fresh-off-the-tree coconuts at the pool today. We drank a little of the coconut water then made an offering to the bushes, and proceeded to fill our coconut with pina colada - WOW! Big improvement.
We could hardly get Abby to leave the pool knowing it would be the last night for swimming in the dark. She entertained us with her 'special' talents to gain a few extra minutes. Check out this girl's muscles!!!
The girls wanted to stay in and order room service, so Al and I hitched a ride to the Big Kid lobby (Spa side) for dinner for 2 at the No No Mo Hana Chinese restaurant. They have them in all the Palace resorts and they are always good - especially the fried ice cream with chocolate syrup. YUM! Abby and I went to the late show - a Brazilian dance thing.......
The girls even got a chance to learn the dance. All 3 are on dance teams - how cute is that?
No sunrise again, but a beautifully sunny day. We had lots of pool time. Today was our spa day - massages, manicures, and pedicures. See no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil.
After hours of enjoying the beautiful tropical weather, we went to a Mexican Fiesta, dinner show, and flea market.
People seem to enjoy the music and dancing but it's not really my 'thing'.
After our long and exhausting day yesterday, we left our resort at 8 and returned at 6, I had to go to bed at 10 and now here I am up at 4. I had been sleeping until 5 every day. Maybe I’ll have a siesta at the beach later……I jinxed it....no sunrise today. Just lots of clouds. I couldn't even see Cozumel but we did have sun in the afternoon. Today was noticeably warmer and more humid - great for swimming. We went to Playa del Carmen for shopping and lunch.
We had lunch at a Mexican restaurant - very tasty - under an umbrella on the street.
And then it rained. We huddled under our umbrella until it ended and then the rest of the day was great.
Back to the pool for more swimming and games. We have discovered that Abby is a little 'ball challenged'. We met some new friends today....from West Chester, as in Ohio. I guess Buckeyes love Mexico! We do:)
Off to dinner with our new friends. Steph wanted to order a 'dirty monkey' for me at dinner, but the waiter served it to her. I tried it and thought it was good, but she drank it and then ordered another. A few minutes after he brought the second drink he came back to tell us that it had alcohol in it, but a quarter of it was already gone. So we're guessing the first one had alcohol too. He and his buddies got a good laugh about it, as did we. Abby was wild during dinner. I asked if her drink had alcohol too. I don't even know what a dirty monkey is - something with banana??? Dessert at the Steak House was so yummy, I visited at least 3 times - lava cake with ice cream!
What a great Magic Show! This guy was terrific. You never expect to see this much talent at a resort dinner show.
Every day the sunrise seems to get better than the last. When will it end???? Every day seems to start out cloudy and then clear up by mid morning. Today, like the previous days, is cool - mid 60s with low humidity. Everything is so 'golden'.
After an early breakfast, we left for a very cool park - Xplor.
We had so much fun. We started out by paddling through a cave on a raft. What a shoulder and bicep workout. I took Abby on my raft, so I had a few extra pounds to maneuver through the cave.
Then it was off to the 4 wheelers. You had to be 18 to drive - better luck next time Steph. We drove through the jungle, through caves, even through rivers in caves. It was pretty cool. We even got sprayed along the way by sprinklers and had to drive through a few waterfalls.
We harnessed up for the ziplines......hopeful that all family members would participate. Since 3 of us had zipped before - up high, long distance, upside down, and even into the water, our only concern was Abby. But, she loved it. She was so brave! We did about 20 ziplines. The very first one was a chair hammock (no harness) that you just hook on the line and zip right down into the cave and land in the river. There were 2 of those and Abby couldn’t wait to get to the second one. WOW! On some of the lines, Abby and Steph had to go together due to distance or wind because alone they were not heavy enough to make it on their own. On a couple lines Steph had to go with me and Abby had to go with Dad.
Most of the ziplines were 60 to 90 feet high and hundreds of feet long. One of the lines was over 150 feet high and over 1000 feet long. Abby and I had to go together. We flew over a couple of Jaguars and over an alligator or crocodile pit. We walked across long rope bridges and even took a waterslide to get between platforms. The course covers over 2 miles, so lots of zipping and climbing.
Some were platform to platform, some were water landings in the cave, and one was even a long twisty waterslide.
Most of the park is inside the cave. The center of the cave had a giant red heart, with a pulsating heartbeat. This was where you returned after each activity before going to the next. You walk through long passages to move from one activity to another. Even the check-in, photo kiosk, and gift shop are in the cave.
We didn't realize until after we bought our pictures that we were supposed to pose with this sign instead of standing around looking lost. They had cameras mounted all around the park. We found out later that the helmets had chips in them and were triggered by infared technology and linked to the numbers on them. They had big screen tv's placed around the park and when you stand in front of one, it reads your helmet and pulls up your photos so far for the day. How cool is that? So at the end of the day, it took about 3 minutes to find all of our pictures for the day. All great things come with a price - $130 for 60 images. As my wonderful husband would say…..’it’s just money; we’ll make more tomorrow.’ The pictures did come on a cute little red heart USB. How cute. Meanwhile our cameras (all 4 of them) sat in a locker.
They had a giant outdoor buffet and even a natural pool with hammocks all around. After all the walking, climbing, paddling, zipping.......all day, we had just a few minutes to rest in the hammocks. When we got back to the hotel, Abby and Dad went to the pool and swam for over an hour in the dark. Everyone was tired enough to agree on room service for dinner.
........Christmas Morning. It doesn't even feel like it. I went out for sunrise again - even more beautiful than yesterday. Then we opened our presents. Both girls got new cameras and NY Giants jammies.
Mornings are warm enough for breakfast outside. How AWESOME!
A rare photo opp. What a pretty pretty girl:)
A cool drink on a warm Christmas day.
A great night - nice way to end a great day!
.....Christmas Eve. I woke up early and went out walking for sunrise - beautiful! We actually have longer days here than at home. YEAH! Sunrise is at 6:20 and sunset at 5:15. Good thing I'm a morning person.
Our room is nice, but a little tight for 4 people and our Christmas gifts. We left a note for Santa to visit us at home. We have a hammock on our balcony, which the girls love - especially Steph.
Our girls went to breakfast in their PJs and then Abby got wild in the pool.
This is the pool/bar/grill/play area where we like to hang out. It has a swim up bar and crystal clear sparkling water. This picture was taken 2 hours after sunrise and everything is still golden.
Abby met some new friends today - how funny - they're from Columbus, as in Ohio. Ella is 8 and her sister Callie is 11. They love playing together.
......and doing aerobics.
......in and out of the water.
They met a new friend. He seems pretty harmless but isn't very talkative.
Steph and I went on a monkey tour hoping to see the little guys swinging from the trees, and we did. We saw 5 or 6 including 1 baby. There are about 60 living on the resort property.
The pastry chef made a big Christmas display out of chocolate, bread, gingerbread, icing......
....and then we got to eat it.
Our entertainment was a circus - complete with acrobats and cute little dogs.....
We arrived today - a warm and sunny afternoon. Our resort is beautiful.....So many pretty flowers and so much blue water.
For our first vacation dinner, the girls and I decided to order Dad a Mayan coffee. They make it tableside and add a few 'extra' ingredients. It smells very strong.
Al seemed to like it.
Steph.........not so much.