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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Our 10th Anniversary Trip to Mexico: Part 2

You can see Part 1 of our trip here!

Our actual anniversary was on Sunday (May 28th!). Here are the photos I posted on IG that day :) 

(wedding photos from Javon Longieliere Photography)


10 Years Later!



Part of our anniversary package included a "champagne" breakfast in bed. We skipped out on the champagne part (even though they still brought mimosas) but Zach was all about the breakfast portion. Dude loves some chill time and room service. I am the one who likes to go out but if it were up to Zach all of our dates would be take out and eating on the couch ;) 

It was nice just rolling out of bed and having breakfast ready to eat!




I LOVE English Muffins!


When we originally booked the trip I was kinda upset over not being able to do Europe so I wanted to compromise and do some excursions in Mexico. Swim with dolphins, ride some horses, explore some caves. Just have some experiences!

Then we booked the trip and started looking into our options and NONE of them were crazy appealing nor were they worth the FULL DAY it'd take up including the 2 hour bus ride. No thanks. If you're choosing an Excellence Resort it's important to note that Playa Mujeres is off the beaten path. If you want lots of activities, you may want to choose one closer to more things to do! 

We kept looking over our options and debating what to do and I finally told Zach that I thought we should just skip it all. Instead we booked the fanciest couples massage package to enjoy on our actual anniversary! We got 20% off as part of our anniversary package which def helped on the cost. We got to spend a full 3 1/2 hours in the spa! It was AMAZING!!!

If you're in the market for a SUPER flattering suit then this is the one for you! I bought a couple of these a few summers ago (thanks to Robyn for the tip about them) and love them! I haven't replaced them with a smaller size because I haven't wanted to spend the money so it's probably not as flattering on me anymore. But I highly recommend it!!! It's from Kohl's and they have tons of colors :) 





Who wants a scale on vaca?!?!


We were looking forward to our spa time because it was a very Bachelor-esque style date ;) First we did hydrotherapy which was wear we spent time in a steam room then got in really cold water then in really warm water then in a sauna followed by warm water and cold water. And then we went to all these different water stations that massaged different parts of our body. It was really fun and pretty crazy! 

Following that we had our own private room where we put some scrub stuff all over each other and then took a milk bath together. The milk bath was AWESOME. I think my fav part of the whole experience was when they'd pour cold milk on our heads. Sounds crazy but it felt super good! After that we had seaweed wraps which was another first for us. I was a little uncomfortable about it because it felt like a cocoon and I get a little claustrophobic. I kept reminding myself that it was just a baby swaddle and I was a baby and I just needed my naptime bahaha. During the wrap they did head and scalp massages which was awesome. Whenever I get a massage I tell them my favorite thing is my scalp/hair. I just love love love my hair played with! 

We ended the experience with a regular full body massage. During mine she focused a lot on my hair and even braided it which felt amazing and looked so cute!!!



Both of us said it was the best massage experience we've had! We really LOVED it and anytime I get a massage I always leave and say "someday when I'm rich I'm going to get a massage every week" haha! We had that same talk about how if we ever MMM (make more money) what would we want to do. Zach would still want to do the yard work himself (lame) but dude I'd be allll about some regular massages and having someone clean my house like 4 times a year ;) 

We headed over to eat a light lunch and decided just to do the buffet to keep it quick. If you are planning to visit an Excellence Resort it's important to note the dress code!!! I'm SO glad we read over everything and packed appropriately. We met a guy in the elevator who said he had to go to the gift shop and buy a bunch of pants. Pants are required for men at dinner along with a collared shirt (flip flops are fine through). The thing I didn't think through was bathing suits. To eat anywhere you had to be fully covered (no bathing suit) which I always wear a cover up...but the ones I brought were kimono type things that weren't really fully covering. Since we were coming straight from the spa I felt SUPER awkward about my clothing attire at lunch. The girl who seated us was super sweet about it and said just to pull my kimono closed. 


It's fun trying new foods that I normally wouldn't try and I discovered something on this trip: I LIKE SUSHI!!!


Drink of the day! 


We wanted to just hang at the room for awhile and take advantage of all the great relaxing spots on our terrace!


Book 2 for the trip...Tell Me Three Things!

(It's a cute read, similar to Everything Everything to me in some ways but not as good as Everything Everything was)



Time away together also gives us a chance to learn more about each other. People change! And something that surprised me about Zach on this trip was how much he enjoys listening to music. Zach HATES live music and listens to books on tape while driving. So his enjoyment of background music was new to me! It was hilarious because he kept playing the most popular songs on YouTube for the week so we literally heard "Shape of You" 10,000 times on the trip. It's our official trip theme song ;) 


I ordered this dress (I paid $12!) and was SO pumped when it arrived! I had ordered long sleeve and it was short sleeves when I got it but otherwise it fit AWESOME and was the perfect length for me. I own very few maxis because I'm so short and can't wear heals. So this was a BIG win for me! (here's the link)




"Give it a Kiss!"


Part of our anniversary package also included a "special dinner." When we met with the guy to arrange it, he was the same one we dealt with regarding the noise issues so he told us he'd make our dinner extra special. I have no clue what they typically do for anniversary dinners. We saw some just regular tables with rose pedals so we're thinking that's the normal? But for us we had our own seating area in the restaurant we chose (Italian) and the chef prepared a special 4 course meal just for us. We had a super decorated table and the staff went above and beyond for us, including management coming by to check in and the chef coming out as well to greet us. And when they had a bottle of champagne waiting for us and we told them we didn't drink they went overboard apologizing about it and brought out sparkling grape juice which was SUPER sweet.

I do have to say though that Zach and I talked a lot about how people respond at all inclusives when you say you don't drink. Keep in mind, we never say WHY we don't drink. Just that we don't. You'd think they'd assume maybe we are recovering alcoholics right? I mean I grew up attending meetings with a family member of mine and I know that it's something you ALWAYS are working on. You can be sober for 30 years and fall off the wagon. So you'd think people would be super delicate about that? Like when we say we don't drink you'd think they'd be respectful about it. Maybe notate our account so staff knows at meals not to offer etc. It bugged me thinking about people who DO struggle with this and who probably can't fully enjoy themselves at these types of resorts due to the persistence of the staff trying to get you to drink! This was the only time the whole trip where we did feel like they went out of their way with the sparkling grape juice to give us a "special drink" with our meal which was super sweet and thoughtful! 


They had us set up facing the window too which was a nice touch so we weren't facing other guests. 



Toasts with our sparkling grape juice!


So many drinks ;) If I did drink alcohol I would have been wasted the whole trip haha





The food was fancy, which y'all know isn't our style. But since they made it all special for us we made sure to try everything! And it was surprisingly really tasty!!!


We doubted it...but even the green soup was delicious!


Can't go wrong with gnocchi!


Veil was our main dish which was a first time try for me!


Dessert!




When we got to the room they had done a special turn down service for us too with more roses and even a bath made up for us ready to get in! We hadn't planned on taking a bath but how can you not when it's ready for you WITH bubbles? 


Sidenote but a few years ago I had someone I know in real life contact me and go on and on about how my blog is distasteful and too much information (eyeroll on the distasteful but c'mon y'all I OWN my TMIness). They specifically brought up my birth photos being borderline pornographic and said that photos I have posted of me and Zach in a bath together were inappropriate. Y'all. The photo this person was talking about was in a bathtub with bubbles literally up to our faces and I was super pregnant and it was hilarious that we overdid it on the bubbles. You could ONLY see our faces in the photos. I was super mega tempted to do a recreation photo in this bathtub but I didn't want to be pornographic ;) 



We had SUCH a perfect and relaxing day on our anniversary!!! It couldn't have gone better :) I had to wake up at 5 AM the next morning to book our dining for Disney for Britt's birthday. Since I'd have to get up at 5 to book dining and again at 6 to book BBB for Britt...I figured I'd just get up at 6 and book both. Surely the dinner show I was booking wouldn't be filled in a 60 min timespan? 

Wrong. When I went on at 5:50 the only seating left for the Spirit of Aloha show that I want to do for her "birthday party" (she's Moana obsessed!) was priority 1. Which is the most expensive! Ugh! I booked it because you just gotta but I'm hoping more seating opens up closer to the date. Then I went to book BBB and had to call to book. Which meant spending money on the phone call to the US. I got through right at 7 am EST and the wait time was...90 min!!! I couldn't afford to wait that long! I called Mrs Charlotte and asked her just to call and put her phone on hold with them and book it for me. Thankfully she was able to get the exact time and everything I wanted! Whew! 



View at 5 am!


I am hardcore #teamsleep when on vacation. If left without anyone to wake me I will sleep a solid 12 hours EASY (Katie can vouch for me about that haha). I can also fall back to sleep pretty easily. Basically I'm a lucky person who can sleep just about anywhere at anytime :) But man booking Disney gives me SO much anxiety and adrenaline that I couldn't sleep. So I was up for the day!

One thing that HAS changed about me as I've gotten older is that I may be able to sleep anywhere, but I struggle using the bathroom anywhere (and I wasn't going to mention this but re-hashing that person calling me out makes me want to be more TMI right now haha). It is not fun to be struggling with potty issues on a romantic trip! Ugh! And eating so much more food than I am used to eating and such a variety just caused more issues. And not having a fan in our bathroom made it more uncomfortable for me to try to let nature happen. That morning was great because I was already up and had a book to read and Zach had his white noise going strong. I felt like a new woman haha!


Hat is from Target (y'all have NO IDEA how crunk I was when I found a fedora that actually fit me!)
This is my first romper and I LOVED it! I actually got this from the garage sale donations so thank you for that ;) 


We wanted to hang out by the pool so we put our stuff down on a cabana bed before breakfast. And we met a new friend!


Tried to touch him, but he ran. 




Breakfast at Lobster House!



I had brought so many outfits that I wanted to wear so I went back to the room to change into my swimsuit. I actually decided to use a top I brought for the trip  as a cover up that day because it was long enough and buttoned up! Minimize embarrassment for me in not feeling appropriately dressed :) 

The cover up/top is H&M
The suit is AliExpress and is AMAZING. It's made just like the flower one I posted about yesterday but has full coverage for that booty! I paid under $12 for it. It's a little higher than that right now but totally and completely worth the price. This is my go-to suit for this summer because it's a "mom suit" but with style ;) Here's the link!


Zach was OBSESSED with these cabana beds. He got burnt on his stomach on Day 1 (which was kinda funny b/c he'd been pointing out other peoples sunburns all day haha). So he liked having the shade!



I stuck with the sun though ;) It was a great balance b/c I was equally obsessed with my spot as he was with his! 


Zach is more of an "activity" kinda guy than I am and he wanted to head to the beach so I tagged along to watch. It was CRAZY windy but he still tried his hand at some paddle boarding (?). It was funny b/c Zach is always so naturally good at EVERYTHING that seeing him fall and such was just not something I'm used to! Here's a video :) To his credit, you can HEAR how crazy the wind was!






We stepped foot on the beach! Ha! We never laid out there as it was closer to the louder/rowdier pool area! Plus I'm just a pool girl :)


Drink of the day! I think this is the only one that I thought was straight disgusting!




Cuddling up in the cabana!


Ahhh much better ;)


I had SO much fun with the lizards. They kept coming up to our area. This guy was cracking me up because he kept creeping around Zach's feet (which, of course, hung off the bed b/c he's so dang tall). I kept waiting and kinda hoping he'd bite a toe hahaha!!! I legit always thought iguanas didn't have teeth (and this comes from a girl who had a PET iguana as a kid, RIP Iggy). I did some googling and it turns out they do. And that they can be mean. So I guess it's good he didn't bite Zach after all ;)





Fav pic of Z from the trip. I just LOVE him in a baseball hat! 


When we left for the trip I asked Zach if he packed more than one thing of sunscreen. Nope. We still had two full days left of the trip and he was completely out of his. I went to the gift shop and bought some more and y'all. This was THE cheapest option they had. It was $20!!! I will say though, it was some straight up fancy people sunscreen. It didn't even feel like sunscreen. Maybe if we ever get rich we will buy fancy sunscreen too b/c that junk was awesome ;) 


Came back to my friend ready to cuddle up with me!


Book 3 for the trip! And this was my favorite read ON the trip!!! I love her writing style and love most of her books (The Husband's Secret was my least fav so far). I thought The Last Anniversary was a super cute read and perfect for the trip! 


The pool was actually a lazy river which was genius design! We did see a couple snorkeling around the lazy river which was hilarious. They had these rafts you could use and we would take a dip together for a bit with them!


Treat time!




I am totally obsessed with my gift from Zach!!!



That night we ended up just chilling in the room and getting room service. Zach was ALL about the room service option and ordered a TON of stuff which was fun! We sat on the porch and listened to the loud music ;) 



Chill mode dinner!


Our last full day! I had to get up early again for reservations for Disney but this time I didn't stress them. NOTHING was available, which I expected, so I grabbed what I could and went back to sleep ;)



Yes. One grape haha it had seeds! And the boiled egg was HOT which was weird to me? So I stuck with carbs. They never let me down!


Oh this is a hot pic of him too! I didn't realize that until just now, second fav!


I bought several travel sized items for the trip and was SO MAD when we arrived and one of the BRAND NEW travel sized bottles had leaked all over my bathroom bag. Which wouldn't have been a problem except it leaked through it. My bathroom bag is blue and it caused the items surrounding the bathroom bag to also have blue on them. My beach bag had some damage but it's livable, that hat Zach stole had a good bit on it so I didn't mind him stealing it, an undershirt of Zach's was pretty bad, and I realized that one of my favorite suits was ruined!!! Wahhhh! I went to order another and realized that Target has a Mexico site which was so weird to see! I didn't want to pay international shipping so I waited to get a replacement until I got home haha. I did learn a lesson though and will be putting my bathroom bag inside of a grocery bag or something from now on!


Went for a plain black suit instead #momstyle


Yay for Zach! Book 2 of the trip! 



All trip I kept seeing people walking around with these cute fruit drinks and I totally wanted one. I found out that they were coconuts and the drink was just coconut water. I hunted down the bar that had them and got one! I'd never had coconut water before but it was really refreshing. And how cuteo is he?!?! The earring is my fav!


Kye made me a Moana bookmark before I left :) Love it!


Drink of the day. Also yucky. I got the alcohol one but without alcohol b/c it sounded better than the non-alcoholic version. 


Lunch at Lobster House! 


Cover up is from Target (last year) I wish they still had it because I need a smaller size now! 



We found our friend's home!



Zach wanted to try for another activity so we decided to kayak together! 


Don't say I'm not athletic!!! I actually was on crew time (for a minute) in high school. I LOVE rowing and really enjoyed being out there together like that. I think I impressed Zach that I actually knew what I was doing. Maybe we will do The Amazing Race together after all (ha. ha. ha.)


These people were ALL about some kissing pics haha


We have been talking for awhile now about taking the kids on a trip where they'd get to fly. I really, really want to do Cali but it's SO far and such a big time difference. There isn't a lot of options that stick close to the EST zone. I had mentioned NYC but that got a big no from Z b/c it'd be a tough trip with children in tow. We couldn't believe that neither of us had ever thought about taking the family to Mexico!!! We took Kye as an infant (I mean I still can't believe that I did that trip! I love how YOLO I was haha) but hadn't considered going back as a family. Flights to Mexico are cheap. Short. And the time difference was only an hour. Plus an all-inclusive family resort would be EASY. No car seats needed. Not a lot of packing involved. It'd be relaxing and SO FUN. Has anyone done this type of trip? Any recommendations of where to go? Resorts etc? It's something we both want to look into for the future for sure! 

We spent the afternoon in the room enjoying those views and relaxing some more ;)  








For our last dinner we wanted to dress up a little more and eat at Lobster House! 


We had about a 20 min wait for our table and didn't mind it at all. We really enjoyed sitting outside together and just talking for a bit. It was a nice moment! 



Steak and Lobster (and yes we got three plates haha). It was AMAZING!




Views of the lobby on our way to get a "midnight snack"



Yum!




Last turn down!


We had a later flight back but had to be out of the room by noon (again, no late check out guys). I just wanted to SLEEP IN. So I did! Zach ordered room service and I rolled out of bed around 10:30 :) It was wonderful! 



Time to go home!



We had to be out of the room a good 2 hours before our transportation arrived so we slow rolled our lunch!






Some of my favorites from the trip one last time!


The last pina colada. :( 



We just waited in the lobby until our transportation arrived. And then, as we were leaving, we realized we never officially checked out of the room. Y'all we are SO used to staying cheap places and booking through Hotels.com that we never check out b/c it's all paid for and we never charge anything to the room. Oops! Luckily they took care of it super fast! 


Highly recommend this company for transport in Mexico!


While ON the trip Zach got contacted about being the guest speaker at a large event the day we got back. #nopressure. So he worked on his speech on the car ride and I enjoyed the local sightseeing! And mentally planned out our future trip with the kids ;) I get pretty bummed when vacations end which is why I always like to be mentally planning future trips haha!





We've been to Mexico enough times to know that it's a LOT cheaper to buy souvenirs at the air port than at the resort! We had SO much time until our flight that we were able to really look around and get the kids each something (as well as an ornament for ourselves and something for Mrs Charlotte to thank her). 


I did my first shopping in a Duty Free store and it was so weird how they zip tied my bag shut? For some gummy bears?



Whoop whoop! More upgrades! This time Exit Row which was awesome for Z!!!


Book 4 on the trip! I'm still currently reading this one (The Murder House) so jury is out on if I recommend it or not ;) I will say, so far, I think it has TOO many twists and turns. Like I'm pretty ready to just have it over!


Ready to see our BABIES!!!


I was itching to get home and really kinda wished we'd drive back that night rather than stay the night BUT I'm so glad we had that hotel room and stayed. We didn't get to the room until 10:00! The transportation situation took FOREVER. Poor Z then went to find some dinner for us (we hadn't eaten since the resort!) and we ate cold fast food at 10:45 and watched some show called Last Man Standing. 


We hit the road right at 7 the next morning so we could get back to our kids asap! I wasn't DYING to see them the way I used to be before FaceTime but every mama is ready to have her babies in her arms after being away :) Even when it's on such an awesome trip like this one was! I'm so thankful Zach and I found each other 13 years ago and that we said "I do" a decade ago. We've grown so much over these years and have such an incredible life together that I wouldn't change for the world!

I want to thank everyone who helped keep our babies having so much FUN while we were away (Courtney, Aunt Karen, Mema and of course Mrs Charlotte). We are so blessed to be able to take these sorts of trips. They are so valuable for our marriage and are a big reason why we ARE standing here so happily married at 10 years in! We don't take any of it for granted and are so appreciative of the group of people we have in our lives who support us traveling and enjoy having our children visit with them! 

We loved Excellence Resort and would totally recommend it AND would re-visit it again in the future. We had THE best time and it was the perfect setting for such a special celebration. The only thing that could have made it better was if we'd flown out of Orlando and added a couple nights at Disney. #justsayin' 

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