40th Wedding Anniversary - Mexican Style

Bragging alert:
I pretty much have an awesome family.  I grew up in a fantastic home with fantastic parents and although my two sisters annoyed me to no end most days when I lived with them, I now have a greater appreciation for them and find them much more enjoyable!  If I get into how great my grandparents and extended family are I will never get to the point of this particular post! :)

This year, in June, my parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary!  To be married and still happy after all of these years is more then amazing!  I have learned a lot from watching them interact over the years and am very grateful for them as individuals and as a couple.  But, I digress.  To celebrate their anniversary, they graciously decided to take their children and our families on a vacation to Mexico!!!!

Welcome drinks
We spent a week long vacation living it up in the sun by the pool and the ocean, being served food and drinks, and doing whatever we wanted when we wanted. (unless a child decided that they had to do something then minds were changed)

We stayed in Playa Del Carmen which is near Cancun.  My mom found a fantastic resort called the Gran Porto Real.  It had two sides to it.  We stayed in the "family friendly" side.  The other side was adult only and had swim up bars and more restaurants.  But our side had a play area for kids, mini-golf, activities for children, and a great pool!  It was a super clean resort and the service was by far the best I have had anywhere I have ever gone and that includes the Ritz Carlton! 

Welcome drinks for the kids too!
I want to tell you a bit about their service because it was so outstanding!  When you travel with a large group and have 6 children with you ages 2 - 10 it can be a little overwhelming for restaurants and basically anyone in your path!  Each restaurant did their best to accommodate our group and made it a point to give the kids extra attention.  When we called for room service it came within 15 minutes.  When we called housekeeping, they were at our door in ten minutes!  Every staff person was kind and friendly and greeted you with a smile.  Even while sitting out at the pool they had more then one person going around to be sure everyone always had what they wanted.  We didn't have to get up if we didn't want to!  They also remembered our names and the kids' names if they heard them and knew who was with who!  They really made it their job to be on top of every need there was! It made our stay that much more awesome!
The Mer-man! (notice the broken flippers?)
I was a bit worried about traveling with the kids in a different country, but when you go to an all inclusive like the Gran Porto, it really was a piece of cake.  I loved the location of this resort.  It took us two minutes to walk to Fifth Avenue which is a touristy street filled with restaurants and shops.  It was great to walk down and look at everything.  I suppose if we had gotten tired of the food at the resort we could have eaten out on 5th ave, but that didn't happen!

Our rooms walked right out to the beach.  Our beach was rocky, but we brought our water shoes, masks, and snorkels so we went out to look at the fish.  Ryan and our brother-in-law, Chad, loved it and were out for hours looking at fish (or just trying to get some free time away from all the kids...)  At night we were able to put the kids to bed and congregate on the beach in view of our rooms.  It was so nice!  So nice that there were weddings occurring almost every other day on the beach! (I'm sure they loved it when our kids were yelling in the background!)

The pool
There was a ton that we could have done outside the resort, but we chose only to do a bike tour and swim with dolphins.  I will let the pictures tell the story of our vacation and post about our dolphin swim next!

Hop on Pop!

It was so hot outside that our camera steamed up each time we stepped out of the room!

Craft time by the pool - we painted pottery

Dinner on the beach!
Night time entertainment
Mini golf
Pool side fun!
Relaxing in the pool
Fifth Avenue
Kids party!
Bike ride to Playa Car
Dancing the night away
Happy 40th!!
Night swimming!
Beach party
Ocean swim
Twin cousins
The view outside of our room
Going snorkeling
Our room
Fifth Avenue

Lunch out by the pool

*these aren't even half of the pictures!  We had such a fun time!!



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