Saturday, April 22, 2006

Cancun....or BUST!

Well, I am having trouble getting pictures where I want them so we'll see how many show up here! We left for Cancun at the ungodly hour of 6am! You know, all that security and everything. We cleared security and had to wait for a bit for our flight to be called. Here is a picture of Katie and I waiting in the airport. Our flights acutally went smoothly. We had to change in Charlotte and this was the only place where we ran into trouble at the airport. We ended up waiting for over an hour on the tarmac which got us into Cancun an hour later than we were supposed too. There was no food on the plane (what is up with that anyway?) but we had gotten breakfast in Syracuse while we were waiting for our flight and got some sandwiches in Charlotte to take on the plane with us. I had packed snacks too which came in handy. So, being that we were late getting into Cancun, we ran into Cheryl's sister and her family (who only had a 2 hour flight from Fl) and got to hop the shuttle with them to the resort. Let me tell you....those drivers in Mexico are horrible. It is like taking your life in your hand! We had no room for a car seat for Katie (and I am really glad that I decided at the last minute not to haul the car seat along) and there were no seat belts. So, we barreled down the highway at 90 miles an hour. I wish I could tell you how beautiful the scenery was, but I was too busy holding onto Cheryl and praying to God that we would make it safely that I didn't pay any attention to what was zooming past us. Once we got to the hotel, Cheryl's brother Chuck and his son were waiting for us. What a nice welcome. We checked in and got our bracelets (because the Crown Paradise Resort is an all inclusive resort) and went to our rooms to get settled. It was about 3 pm by this time and we arranged to meet everyone for dinner at the Seafood restaurant (yeah, there were 3 restaurants, plus a buffet place). I decided to have a drink and we checked out the surroundings via Christopher (Cheryl's nephew) who had been there for 2 days already and had the lay of the land.

Some of the highlights of the trip included going across the street to a mini ruins where they had iguana's and peacocks running around. Here are a few pictures of the kids enjoying this. OK..blogger is being a pain in the butt and won't let me upload any more let me finish telling you about the trip and tomorrow I will do a separate post with just pictures and captions telling you what they are. So, after the mini ruins, Cheryl and a couple of her nephews, her brother and their mother went to Tulum and saw some very gorgeous ruins. It was really hot and they did a lot of walking (which is why Katie, Gillian and I stayed back). Gillian and I went with Cheryl's sister and her son (who is also 13) and we kayaked in the sea together. It was great fun especially when we thought we saw a dead shark in the water. That turned out to be a stringer of some kind of siver fish that had probably come loose from someone's stringer. The kids wanted to try and wind surf, but they only had 2 windsurfer boards and other people had them during the time we were there. We had a good time doing this but it was hard work paddeling the kayak!

There was child care at the resort and Katie went a couple of times. She was a year too young to go to the kids resort where they had all sorts of kids slides, a pirate boat and some tree houses, but she was content to go to the baby one where they had a little wading pool with a fish slide. One time that she went was when Cheryl was in Tulum and I got to spend some time alone with Gillian swimming and having lunch together. The other time was when Cheryl's mother had her for the morning while we (Cheryl, Gillian and I) went snorkeling. She was fine both times!

The 2 other things we did was go downtown and shop with my SIL and go snorkeling. We had fun, but Katie was overwhelmed and I had to carry her in the sling alot. Gillian, Katie and I did this the day that Cheryl went to Tulum also. People actually grab you and pull you into their shops. People were actually pulling at Gillian's hair begging her to let them braid it. Katie got very overwhelmed (as did I) so we hopped the bus back early while Gillian and Renne (my SIL) stayed back to shop more. Katie thought it was great fun to ride on the bus and we saw lots of interesting kids in carseats, just jumping all over the car, and the police jeep going past us with it full of police officers and one standing on the back bumper holding on while they whizzed down the 4 lane highway. I will say that snorkeling was the highlight of the trip for me. Cheryl and I were originall going to go by ourselves on the trip where you take a jet ski out through the mangroves and snorkel. We had heard that this place was very crowded and that there weren't many fish so we decided to take Gillian and go to another, government protected site. We went with Cheryl's brother and his son and it was a blast! I have lots of great picutures so hopefull I can share them later. It took a bit of getting used to trying to blow through your mouth and not your nose, but after I got the hang of it, it was a BLAST! We saw so many beautiful fish and corral. Gillian had a great time and I was glad that we took her. The teen center at the resort was destroyed by the hurricane and while there was plenty for her and Cody (Cheryl's 13 year old nephew) they didn't have any planned activities for them to do.

We had such a wonderful time. It was nice seeing all of Cheryl's family and spending time with them. I know that my MIL was so happy having all of her family together at the same time. We got some beautiful pictures of everyone together that we will all treasure forever. Katie got to see her cousins, some she had never met. The food was good, but I wouldn't say great. Breakfast was in the buffet and it was good. They had smoothie makers and made to order omelets, waffles, pancakes, and french toast. There was always fresh fruit, bread and really any breakfast food you could ask for. For lunch you could either eat at the buffet place which again had anything you could want and there was also a japenese place that had fresh sushi and sashimi along with stirfy. For dinner they had 3 restaurants open (the other 2 hadn't been rebuilt yet). We ate at all 3. They had a seafood place, a steakhouse and a mexican restaurant.I would have to say that the filet mignon I had at the steakhouse was the best meal I had. We had an awesome view from our room as they are all ocean view. If you want to see the hotel, google Crown Paradise in Cancun Mexico and they have some great pictures....especially one of their endless pool. It really is a sight! We got some cute pictures of Katie on the beach and some great ones of Gillian snorkeling. Again, I will try and post them tomorrow.

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