After weeks of looking for a trip that we could take together (no kids) during the time our youngest would be on spring break (and could go to his mothers) we finally found a cruise to Cozumel, Mexico – Grand Cayman – and two days in Havana, Cuba. It is a Holland America Cruise, smaller older ship. But the cost total for seven days and a day before stay in Fort Lauderdale is under $2100. We searched Travelzoo, Travelocity, Groupon, Cruise.com and finally found a trip that meets all our criteria. Whew, a lot and I mean a lot of looking (months of looking) our deal was on Cruise.com, but cheaper directly thru the Holland America site (like $150 each cheaper). Now just to dream and figure out excursions, hopefully loose a few pounds and buy a nice outfit.
The twins Graduated! We had a big party and just finished up cleaning up the house – three months of prep (we even painted part of the house & re-did the kitchen – which should add to re-sale value and we get to enjoy it in the mean time).
My whole life I have always said if I could just raise these children to become happy, healthy and great members of the world, I would be happy. I am one step closer. Whew!!! as all parents know, you start to think – this will never happen, the late night homework helper, drama filled situations, school events, vacations where no one is happy, messy everything, an ex-husband who argued every single step of the way with me, to the point I was the bad person of the family – another post for another day I suppose. So glad I have David now to help with the support – we might not always agree, but we never never say it in front of the kids….team work to the end on the subject of kids. Stand or fall, we do it together.
So now the girls are graduated and off to study graphic design at the local community college and then off to an art school to finish up a bachelors. I could not be prouder of them. How lucky am I to have two such wonderful daughters who are respectful, smart, beautiful and with the biggest kindest hearts and they are finally on the way to be the adults they want to be.
The bonus is – David and I are one step closer to our dream of retirement. In fact we even had two whole days with no kids this past week. We did not do much, but did sleep in, went out to breakfast, took naps, enjoyed the quiet (missed them a lot for sure). We imagine this combined with travel as how our retirement will be – just enjoying life and each other.
We decided to start rating the locations we visit on our travels. Scale of 1 to 10, with 10 as the best experience we could ever imagine. The Sandos Eco Resort, in Cancun Mexico is a great family all inclusive. We spent 7 days at this resort, and never ran out of things to do. We are giving the resort an 7.5.
Our favorite dining locations were the surf and turf, Los Lirios, with the best filet I can remember eating in a long time, and the potato soufflé was also very tasty. The Japanese Teppanyaki (table top cooking style) Steakhouse, El Templo, was a fun nite, but you will need a +5day ahead reservation, so do that when you book your trip. We also really loved the Brazilian Steakhouse, Fogo De Brazil. All of these are on site and included. The two buffets, International and Italian, both were OK, but there was a large choice of food, and almost always open for a quick snack. All of the dessert at the site we just above OK, mostly dry cakes and the lower end of flavors.
By far the best part of the resort, and the entire reason our daughter choose this specific location was – the animals on site. This trip was for our twin daughter we are graduating high school, they wanted the beach, the Caribbean and site with lots of animals. The Sandos.com website showed us quite a few animals and the location delivered. There were rabbits, donkeys, dear, peacocks, sheep, pigs, monkeys, tapirs, coati, dogs and lots of stray iguanas and cats. Animals were noted on signs as rescues and site animals are spayed or neutered and fed everyday, there areas were very clean and you could sign up to be an animal caretaker and feed them at lunch time. There are signs not to feed the animals, but my daughters did feed them – a lot, and even though they look skinny they looked happy and would stop eating when full.
There was plenty to do, and ALOT of walking. We were in the furthest location from the beach, our daily location of choice, so much walking I have the blisters to show it. There are bicycles to borrow, but we never used them. There are several pools, including an adult pool by our rooms, a mini water park with quite a few water slides and a big sized kids pool. We spent most of our time at the beach which honestly it was way too rough to actually swim safely. This for my husband was the biggest turn off of the resort – he loves the ocean and it was unsafe to swim. We did really enjoyed the man made cenotes for swimming, these were cool, and it was hot. There were fish and turtles and quite a bit of algae in these cenotes, so not for everyone, but we loved it.
The nite time shows were actually great. The Sunday Fire show at the onsite Mayan ruins were just incredible. We recommend you go to all of the variety of ancient Mayan culture shows. There was also a Freddy Jackson Tribute show, a Disney Princess show and a super hero show at the Theater – which were cute, but don’t worry if you miss them, save your show time for the culture shows in our opinion.
Our rooms were very clean, and huge, and the best part, there was really cold air conditioning, which is important, because the days were SUPER hot and it was so nice to sleep in the cool.
So, would we go back, yes. But we are the type of family who likes to see what is next, so maybe after many other visits to many other places. Next blog, pictures of the beauty of the resort.