The trip was amazing! Todd found the resort last year by searching for the most kid-friendly resorts and the description was right on. Zero-entry wave pool. Lazy river. Kids welcome at every restaurant except the ritzy French one (thanks for watching the kids so we could all go, Nana!). Bars that pass out virgin pina coladas like nobody's business (three-year-old Lily was requesting them by name by week's end). Mini-fridges stocked with whatever you like, including milk (Note: ours was NOT stocked with milk).
The trip started out with a bang. Or a blow-out, if you want to get graphic. We spent the night with the Smith family so we could leave at 5:45am to get to the airport. The girls were way confused by the early wake-up call (though thrilled that they got to sleep in their next-day clothes-- smart move, sister!) and the whole way to the airport Sienna kept saying, "I can't see anything." Us: "Sienna, it's still dark out." Sienna: "Maybe we could get a flashlight!"
We made it into the airport, got breakfast (thanks, Nana!), and survived the first flight with no problems. In Atlanta, we met up with six more of our fellow travelers (Keeping count? We're up to 12 people...) and grabbed a quick lunch. We ate on the flight then passed out cupcakes to all our party (you're welcome, Delta). Yes, cupcakes, with chocolate frosting and sprinkles. It was Sienna's second birthday! She enjoyed it topless on the plane using her cupcake bottom to wipe excess frosting off her little naked tummy. You only live once!
The big hitch of the day was customs. We got in line facing at least a two hour line with five exhausted children. Luckily the agents wised up and sent us through the Mexico residents line. Still, we had two crying babies with huge blowouts and at least a 45-minute wait.
We were thrilled to get through customs, grab our luggage, and meet the remaining four of our party. That's right, 16 of us total. Seven babies (five and under). Nine adults. Lots of prayers.
We got checked into the resort and changed for dinner, a Japanese-style grill house. The kids loved seeing each other (hugs, kisses, "happy birthday"s, and valentines abounded) and poor Sienna, thoroughly pooped, actually fell asleep sitting up at dinner.
It started simply enough: While watching the guy throw the knives around and crack eggs on spatulas, a very unimpressed Sienna looked at her Dad and said, "I want some food." Food finally did come and she ate as long as she could, until her hands were too tired to keep moving. Not one to give up, she told her Dad, "Feed me." He did for a few minutes until she literally fell asleep sitting up in her booster seat. She really scared all of us, thinking something was wrong (is she choking? Why won't she respond?). Luckily, traveling with no fewer than four doctors, one of whom is a pediatrician, pays off. Holly rushed over and swooped her up. Sienna burst into tears. She was fine, simply asleep! B & I laid her out over our laps, topped her with my jacket and our napkins, and kept eating as she slept. If you knew Sienna, you'd understand what an odd event that was!
The rest of the week was amazing. Super restful, great time with the monkeys, long stretches on the beach, swimming up to the bar, splashing in the wave pool, floating the lazy river (and my managing to somehow flip B), taking a family picture (will post later!), seeing Ethan walking, reading on lounge chairs, taking bubble baths (oh how I miss jet tubs!)... Life is good.
Highlights? Nana paint all the girls' finger and toenails on the beach, B splashing in the ocean with a very happy Alex, the kids riding the merry-go-round at the resort's shopping complex, delicious crepes, B sampling the goods of the Tequilaria, watching Mad Men with the siblings late at night, sand castles on the beach... Oh what am I forgetting. I'll have to have B sound in, too.
Long story short, the trip was amazing. I did miss Dad; we all did. I could easily picture him enjoying the doughnuts at breakfast (fried in front of your eyes!) and the unlimited iced tea and diet cokes by the pool. I imagined him volunteering to take the kids on the train around the complex (a guaranteed crowd pleaser!). I don't think it would've been the same trip if it'd just been us adults instead of the adults plus families. The thing was, when you're with all those babies, some of whom need things (diapers, bottles, cut-up food) and all of whom have their own stories, jokes, and general antics to share, there's so much filling up your heart that you forget to think about what's missing.