2013’s trip, found us in Puerto Vallarta once again soaking up the 80 plus degree sunshine with ten other family members in bathing suits, rather than scarves and mittens. This location, which feels like home to us, once again greeted us with hugs and smiles from staff that remember us from year to year.
Seasoned travelers, our girls were lost to the vast pools and water slides again, under the supervision of three of their older cousins, and it was fun to watch them play imaginary type games all day long, uninterrupted by grown ups who have a way of somehow making the magic disappear, with comments about sunscreen, lunch, and the encouragement of rest time. This year they even spent time with a few of the grounds keepers learning about the growth pattern of coconuts.
Our only mishap occurred on two afternoons during Treya's poolside nap. She took to sleep walking! Once, out of the corner of my eye I witnessed her getting up, grabbing her towel, groggily trodded several beach loungers away and plopped herself on a chase between two women having a conversation. They were dumbfounded! I politely trotted over, to retrieve my sleeping beauty and bring her back to our area. A couple of days later, again while napping pool side she got up and resembling a drunkin soldier, started making her way toward the pool! Most of the grown ups from our group were wading in the pool at the time, but quickly cousin/aunt Melissa who was approaching on the pool deck, saw the emergency. Without our Jelly Bean even noticing she guided her by her shoulders and carefully repositioned our sleepy Trey in her spot safe and secure beneath the umbrella once more. In both instances, Treya had no idea that she had gotten up!
We had hoped to go snorkeling for our big outing this year, but found the age limit to be 8 years old to board the boat. Surprisingly, the age limit for zip lining was only 5 years, so zip lining it was. We bounced up into the mountains during an hour long ride in an open air safari truck, much to the dismay of poor Devi’s motion sensitive stomach. Once there, I thought our poor girl would say “no thanks” to the actual adventure, but true to her toughness, she shook off her sick tummy, now very very empty, and was ready to brave the jungle suspended on only a tiny cable.
A 5-course dinner prepared for us by a chef set atop a stage filled with mirrors and a camera man with a hand held video camera served as the entertainment one evening. I was very proud of the girls’ willingness to try each course, politely commenting, “I don’t really care for this” on only one dish, but finding redeeming qualities in each of the other dishes. Pretty good for their young unrefined palates I thought. The signature drink for the children was a Pink Panther, which quickly became their favorite. Lord only knows what was in it, but it was PINK and served in a fancy glass, what was not to like? And because it helped them stay occupied for the 2 hour long dinner, it was well worth the sipping extravagance.
As always, the week would not be complete without the annual ladies spa day. This year we let the younger girls have their own day with pedicures done all together and hair braiding attacked the same way. I can only think that years from now, these small luxuries will serve as some of their fondest memories experiencing "firsts", spent together as children. They were so cute helping each other decide on nail polish colors, reasoning the success of one color over another, and helping each design a colored bead pattern for their corn rowed hair. Each design was slightly different, so that no two girls would be exactly alike.
And as quickly as it begins, the day to leave this little paradise always comes a bit too soon. The one fun thing about traveling at Thanksgiving is that when you arrive home, and even in the airport, the signs of the upcoming holidays can be spotted every where. Our first morning home began by waking up tanned and rested, then bundling up in warm clothing, the feeling of wearing a coat and socks seemingly odd after days of wearing nothing but a bathing suit and bare feet. Out the door we headed to sip cocoa and cut down our Christmas tree with another successful Thanksgiving trip safely stored in our memories.