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Traveling Aboard



Our Mexico Trip


I can’t tell you how old I was when my family traveled outside of the American board for my first time.  We took a trip to Canada, but it was before 9/11 and didn’t need a passport to exit or reenter the country from that border.  So when my husband first named the possibility of going to Mexico, I was a bit gobsmacked.

As the months passed and it looked like we were really were going to have the chance to go, I started the process to get us both passports.  It was a process.  But you don’t care about those logicists.  Frankly, I don’t either.  Just know that I was very nervous about getting it done and getting it done right.

When the hubby went on his annual company trip, it was confirmed that in January we would be traveling to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  I was excited, but it was also months away, so I tried to not think about it.  

Then January came, and I had to think about it.  We were going!  OMG.  Now first, let me explain, this was not just a vacation that we decided we were going on.  This was a reward for the extremely hard work my husband has put into his company and the great job he had done in the year for the company.  My husband went in early, came home late and busted his butt while he was there.  He took a store that was in trouble and turned it around to make it profitable.  He’s like in the top 20% of the company nationwide.  It’s pretty incredible to think about the work he’s done.  The pride I feel for him is overwhelming.  He is an amazing man.

So, he EARNED this trip.  An all expense paid trip to the Marriott Resort in Mexico.  The airfare, hotel accommodations, meals and drinks through the day.


We left Friday morning, Roger was kind enough to be at our house 3:20 am to get us to the airport in enough time to check in and all that.  Mom was amazing and was already at my house to be with the kids.  After a round of kisses, we were off on our trip.  We got to the airport and I was super nervous.  One. I was going to a foreign place.  Two. I hadn’t flown over a decade.  Three.  I already felt sick to my stomach from lack of eating a proper supper.  The airport was the airport.  We left from Concourse A; which happened to be the concourse that I ran all over the summer after my freshman year working.  But man, it was different.  They have really upgraded the airport.  I mean, that was ten years ago, so I am not surprised, but whatever.  Finally, we had boarded the plane and were off.  Flying into Houston, Texas; a place I’ve also had never been to before.  We were flying before the sun had risen, so seeing the sunrise about the clouds, well that is a view that is just incredible.



In Houston, we went to our next gate and hung out eating some snacks.  Boarding again, I knew when we landed we would be in a different country.  When we were coming into our landing in Houston, you could see all the roads and buildings.  It was the typical city from the air.  But when we landed into PV it was a different world. The roads we saw from above were primarily dirt roads.  Now they did have paved roads throughout the main part of the city, but the overall landscape showed dirt paths.  But what was amazing was the mountains.  Now I have seen the Great Smokies.  And they are large and incredible.  But the mountains as we came into land were just different.  They were more grand, larger, beautiful.  My pictures really don’t do it justice.



The landing was easy, the flight hadn’t been as terrible as it could have been. And once we breezed through customs we were to head to the greeters who’d take us to the hotel.  But first, we had to pass through the Shark Tank.  This was the scariest part of the trip.  Phil had our suitcase, I had our carry on and we walked with our group into this room full of people who was trying to make a sale.  They were like a crazed and vicious dog.  They were yelling about having our travel arrangements and having to pay a tax for it.  And all this other crazy stuff.  No was not the answer they wanted to hear, and I felt tired after getting through to the room.  Once we were out, we loaded into the bus and took a ten-minute ride on the CRAZIEST road to the hotel.  They drive so differently.  People are cut off, speeding, changing lanes.  You think Ohioans can’t drive well, let me tell you they are saints compared to the crazy Mexican drivers I witnessed.

Walking up to the hotel from our van was a relief.  But it was weird.  Any hotel I’ve ever been to has had a door to walk through.  Not there, though.  It was an archway.  The lobby was open aired.  And from the second I was through it I could feel the ocean breeze hitting my face. The hotel was grand and wonderful and had all these beautiful flowers everywhere.  Once we got into our room, we took a stroll on the beach.  I finally have had my feet in the Pacific Ocean.


The beach was rocky.  It would have stretches of sand that were peppered with tiny rocks and then there were be these massive big rocks that the water hit.  I’d never seen that in my limited beach trips.  That night I started to feel sick (I assume from the travel and lack of eating proper meals) but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the dinner that Phil’s company had arranged.  Each manager that was there was recognized for their achievements.  But the organizers took the time to recognize the spouses for their part of it.  Which I had to say felt very nice.  I sometimes feel like I’m not that important because I only run the house.  But I run our family, while he runs his business. And that is important.  They were also thankful that we put up with them being gone for so long.  I liked that they did that.


On Day Two, Saturday,  I felt much better.  Thank God.  We got up and had an amazing breakfast.  It was buffet style and had a lot of choices I recognized.  It had some weird choices and I just avoided them.  I stuck with food I knew for that morning since I was afraid to tempt fate too much.  We traded our American dollars for Mexican peso and felt like we were rich.  Since $200 equaled over 4,000 pesos.  Then in a group of 8, we went to the boardwalk.  This place was very beautiful.  And had many shops where we spend those pesos.  Getting a small gift for loved ones.  There were all kinds of strange statues and nifty things to see.  The thing that really got me, was there was very few blocking.  It was all open, even when it was a straight drop down.  There was no fences or anything.  Like even with the statues there was no don’t touch type of deal.  There was one statue that was a ladder straight up, and people were climbing it.  I was like, seriously, why?

My favorite part of walking on the boardwalk was going into this cathedral.  It was gorgeous.  It had all these statues and carvings that were just impressive.


I know, it’s a lot of pictures.  But it was a beautiful place.  Once we got back from town we hung out in the pool with a group until it was time to get ready for our dinner reservations.  We ate at Mikado, which was hibachi.  (We made a point to eat at all 4 resort restaurants.)  It was a fun evening we met up with another couple and just had a good night full of laughs.  It was good food, and it was so filling, but it wasn’t quite the hibachi that we are used to.  Since it wasn’t overloaded with soy sauce.  There was also no yum-yum sauce.  So that was crazy.  We spend the rest of the night sitting in the lobby bar hanging out.  They had a live duo playing songs and it was just a nice night.


Day Three, Sunday was a new experience we got up, had room service for breakfast.  The french toast was good, even with the raisins in it.  Then after a bit of indecision, we went off to the spa to have back messages.  I spent time in the steam, the sauna and the jacuzzi.  Then had my back pampered and it was perfect.  That night was the real treat.  A huge group of us, (24) loaded into two mini busses and took an hour drive up a mountain to a restaurant called Le Kliff.  It was built into the side of the mountain and made with the idea of a wonderful view at dinner.


This night was wonderful.   It was just great to sit around with other adults and eating fancy food.  The crazy thing was they gave you a cup and pour a bottle of water into it.  All fancy like, but they also put a random piece of fruit in it.  Some had cucumber, some had grapefruit and on and on.  They didn’t ask you want you wanted either, they just gave it to you.  I had beef medallions and they were yummy. There were these weird animals that I had never seen before coming into the restaurant.  A lot of our group went and played with them. Phil said they were like cats.  But others described them as possums.  So I stayed far, far away.  Though it was cool how friendly they were.    The ride back was insane because there were no traffic lights.  There were no street lights.  It was just lit by headlights.  I sort of just held on to Phil and tried to not worry.   That night was just chill time in the hotel lobby again.  We watched the BJ Penn fight on UFC on the TVs and that was disappointing.


Day Four, Monday was our last day there.  I spent the morning packing and then we went and had breakfast.  There was just a lot of downtime as we were prepping to come back.  We loaded onto a bus and went to the airport.  It was a much easier time to go into that airport.  Then we hung out forever until our flight.   That flight was the hardest flight of the entire trip.  It was long.  I was uncomfortable.  I was so fidgety.  I read over 200 pages to attempt to calm myself.  We were on time until we hit the Chicago then due to weather we were in a holding pattern.  Coming down to land was rough and it made me feel lightheaded.  Once we landed we literally had 30 minutes to go through customs, get our bag, recheck our bag, go to Terminal One to go through security, get to Terminal Two and board out flight.  And we made it JUST IN TIME.  It was very close.  Landing at the home airport was nice.  It was just good to be home.  Roger drove us back home.  Where my boys were still sitting up.  The trip was incredible.  It was a once in a lifetime experience and I’m so thankful that I was able to go.  I’m thankful to my parents for keeping my kids.  Knowing they were in safe hands, made it easier to relax.  I have to say, anyone who gets the chance, should go.  Go have a fun trip.

Here is a gallery of all my photos:

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And that is all.