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Old 01-03-2014, 11:37 PM   #931
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Originally Posted by rentayenta View Post
Awesome! Everyone raves about the chicken parm. I'm worried about leaving Joshua twice but he's really grown so independent this year. I think it's being in Junior High and not wanting to be a baby.
If you still want to eat dinner with him, you can always book your Palo dinner opposite your dinner seating and then just go hand out in the MDR with Joshua while he eats and just have a drink or something.

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Old 01-03-2014, 11:42 PM   #932
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If you still want to eat dinner with him, you can always book your Palo dinner opposite your dinner seating and then just go hand out in the MDR with Joshua while he eats and just have a drink or something.

Jill in CO



Thats a great idea. I have a feeling he's going to make loads of friends who have the first seating and he's going to ditch me anyhow. I'm curious to see his reaction to the ship and being able to do, pretty much whatever he wants. He's said he's worried about leaving me and I told him I have a friend already. He's so sweet.
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Old 01-04-2014, 12:31 AM   #933
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I love the FE! And you came up with a great way to reuse it, you don't have to get another one for family events and it's perfect for you and Josh!

I'm not sure, but it sounds like your hotel is right near the ESA I booked. I was looking at Kelly's landing as a place for lunch. They have a number of locations so we could be looking at different places, but we have a publix near us. If you see and ESA, I'll want a report on all the shopping!

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I used to go stock up but now I find its just easier to buy it on board. I would never drink what I had in the room since I was never there!

Jill in CO
I can see if you folks are night on the town and all about the ship people. This goes back to the way we do DVC vacations. Fran and I spend a lot of time in the room, she needs naps and I don't feel right skipping out on her all the time. Occasionally I will go hit the pool while she's napping or go to the spa, but a lot of the time while she is impromptu napping I just sit and hang out. Maybe take a shower, watch a movie or write up the TR. I also need to hang out when she takes a shower and gets ready and sometimes that takes a while. For me, I find that it's nice to have some wine for the evening time when I'm waiting around. Your mileage, I'm sure varies.
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Old 01-04-2014, 07:03 AM   #934
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You've made great progress with all your cruise details! It must feel great to have it all paid off!

It's fun looking at restaurants in new places, but it can be so difficult to decide. I'm sure Joshua will make a great pick!
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Old 01-04-2014, 07:17 AM   #935
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Let's totally book Palo. I'm thinking brunch on the sea day after Cozumel? What do you think? Or maybe the first day because if Joshua is good and you don't think I'm nuts, maybe we could try to squeeze in a dinner. Is it worth doing twice? Once for dinner and once for brunch?
Exactly what Jill said, both are fabulous and totally different. You know I am totally flexible, any preference on days?
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Old 01-04-2014, 07:39 AM   #936
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I really like it too. It was $20 and then like $3.99 for shipping. There is just no way I could make one.
That's a great price. I couldn't make one either.

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Originally Posted by rentayenta View Post
[CENTER]

Totally! There's a chance we may see our friends but I needed to book and stop looking. It'll be Spring Break and our friends travel a lot so if they're home, we'll stay with them, if not then well stay at the Hilton. Either way I'm covered. They also plan very last minute so they'll know if theyll be home about the time I need to cancel which is 48*.
That's last minute traveling! Great to have the option of the friends. Even if it's not for a long visit I'm sure it would be nice to see them

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[CENTER]

I'm leaning towards Kelly's or Bravo. Do they serve much italian food on the ship?
Not much that I remember. Maybe all the Italian options had meat so I didn't try them. The buffet has tons of options so I might have missed seeing something, and the menu changes daily. Palo has some tasty options if I'm remembering correctly.

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[CENTER]

Plus we get two free bags each! And I agree about not being stressed.
Love those free bags!

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[CENTER]
I'm glad. I was a little worried about the water at CC in January. April should be wonderful.
Yep, we didn't get in the water last January, but in March it was lovely.

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[CENTER]
Oh that's good to know. So will we meet on the SAS bus? That'll be fun! And then we don't have to be anywhere until the mister drill right? What do you usually do when you board while waiting for your room?
I'm hoping we'll get the same bus, that would be great! I have no idea how many buses they have going at the same time though.

Right, you don't 'have' to be anywhere until the 4:00 muster drill. Usually I go right to lunch, then the rooms will be ready between 1:00-1:30, quickly drop off any bags I have. (They'll take your big bags before boarding the ship, if you want, and deliver them to your room later) I would suggest the tour of the ship that they do, but if that doesn't work into your plans they have maps. You'll also want to check out the club with Joshua that first day so he can find out the starting activities. He'll definitely want to go that first day to meet people. Then there's usually a DVC meeting at 2 or 3, I like to go to those, potential to win prizes. Or there's a spa open house too, I'll want to sign up for a discounted massage that first afternoon. So much to do! Oh I'm getting so excited thinking about it!!!!!


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Originally Posted by rentayenta View Post


This cruise is finally starting to feel real.
It's going to be amazing!
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Old 01-04-2014, 01:36 PM   #937
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Originally Posted by franandaj View Post
I love the FE! And you came up with a great way to reuse it, you don't have to get another one for family events and it's perfect for you and Josh!

You inspired me to come up with a way to not have to get 2 FEs.

Quote:
I'm not sure, but it sounds like your hotel is right near the ESA I booked. I was looking at Kelly's landing as a place for lunch. They have a number of locations so we could be looking at different places, but we have a publix near us. If you see and ESA, I'll want a report on all the shopping!
I will for sure and report back what I find. Do they have a shuttle from the airport to the hotel? The Hilton does not. A cab is $13 before tip. $13 isn't a lot but it sure adds up quickly.



Quote:
I can see if you folks are night on the town and all about the ship people. This goes back to the way we do DVC vacations. Fran and I spend a lot of time in the room, she needs naps and I don't feel right skipping out on her all the time. Occasionally I will go hit the pool while she's napping or go to the spa, but a lot of the time while she is impromptu napping I just sit and hang out. Maybe take a shower, watch a movie or write up the TR. I also need to hang out when she takes a shower and gets ready and sometimes that takes a while. For me, I find that it's nice to have some wine for the evening time when I'm waiting around. Your mileage, I'm sure varies.

If Michael was with me, I'd for sure bring more on board. I suspect all Joshua and I will need we can get from room service; hot wings and Mickey ice cream bars. We'll stop at the Comercial Mexicano when we land in Mexico in 30 days!!!

I totally understand enjoying the room. If this was a girls cruise, hint hint, I'd be stocking up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MEK View Post
You've made great progress with all your cruise details! It must feel great to have it all paid off!

It's fun looking at restaurants in new places, but it can be so difficult to decide. I'm sure Joshua will make a great pick!

Thanks! Its so fun looking at all of our choices. My only request is that we don't eat any place we've got here. If he suggests Applebee's, I'll come unglued.

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Originally Posted by Pinkocto View Post
Exactly what Jill said, both are fabulous and totally different. You know I am totally flexible, any preference on days?
I have no idea.

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Originally Posted by Pinkocto View Post
That's a great price. I couldn't make one either.
I thought so too especially because we can use it for any future cruises and FEs.



Quote:
That's last minute traveling! Great to have the option of the friends. Even if it's not for a long visit I'm sure it would be nice to see them
They'd never think of planning anything like we all do. It is a good option though. Either way, my hotel choice is made.



Quote:
Not much that I remember. Maybe all the Italian options had meat so I didn't try them. The buffet has tons of options so I might have missed seeing something, and the menu changes daily. Palo has some tasty options if I'm remembering correctly.
Palo! I cannot wait.



Quote:
Love those free bags!

me too. It keeps them a major player in the airline wars.



Quote:
Yep, we didn't get in the water last January, but in March it was lovely.
That's what I have read. I love the water and am so glad it's be a more agreeable temp. Do they rent boogie boards on CC. Did you make a final decision on our Cozumel day?



Quote:
I'm hoping we'll get the same bus, that would be great! I have no idea how many buses they have going at the same time though.

D'uh, of course they have more than one bus. Hahaha!

Quote:
Right, you don't 'have' to be anywhere until the 4:00 muster drill. Usually I go right to lunch, then the rooms will be ready between 1:00-1:30, quickly drop off any bags I have. (They'll take your big bags before boarding the ship, if you want, and deliver them to your room later) I would suggest the tour of the ship that they do, but if that doesn't work into your plans they have maps. You'll also want to check out the club with Joshua that first day so he can find out the starting activities. He'll definitely want to go that first day to meet people. Then there's usually a DVC meeting at 2 or 3, I like to go to those, potential to win prizes. Or there's a spa open house too, I'll want to sign up for a discounted massage that first afternoon. So much to do! Oh I'm getting so excited thinking about it!!!!!

My main goal is to have Joshua meet the club CMs and the other kids. I'd love to do the DVC meeting too and the spa one too and maybe win something. They give discounts for services booked that first afternoon?

There is SO much to do!




Quote:
It's going to be amazing!


Agreed and we've only got:


85 days!!!
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You light 'em, they fight 'em. A DVC/Disneyland Resort PTR
http://disboards.com/showthread.php?...1#post51407145
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Old 01-04-2014, 01:55 PM   #938
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I am here. Slowy catching up. I have only read the past couple of pages, but congrats on paying the cruise off. I like your FE.
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Old 01-04-2014, 02:46 PM   #939
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I am here. Slowy catching up. I have only read the past couple of pages, but congrats on paying the cruise off. I like your FE.


It's lot of fun chatter aside from our cruise getting canceled and us rebooking.

I really like the FE too. I couldn't pay the $50 so I thought 2 pockets labeled parents and kids would work for us on this cruise and any after.

I'm really thinking I could get Michael on a cruise to Alaska.
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http://disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3260751





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Old 01-04-2014, 03:28 PM   #940
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It's lot of fun chatter aside from our cruise getting canceled and us rebooking.

I really like the FE too. I couldn't pay the $50 so I thought 2 pockets labeled parents and kids would work for us on this cruise and any after.

I'm really thinking I could get Michael on a cruise to Alaska.
Jon swears he will not go on a cruise but I do think I could get him on one to Alaska. I would love to go on a cruise.
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Old 01-05-2014, 10:16 AM   #941
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I have no idea.


Palo! I cannot wait.
I'm having trouble with my Disney visa, I was hoping to be able to book Palo yesterday hopefully today. We definitely don't want you to miss Pirate night in the main dining room, the servers all dress up and it's great fun. Also there's a late night dessert party after the fireworks that has turkey legs and nachos. We certainly wouldn't have room for that if we did Palo that night. So I'm thinking maybe Palo dinner the second night, and Palo brunch the second sea day?




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That's what I have read. I love the water and am so glad it's be a more agreeable temp. Do they rent boogie boards on CC.


No boogie boards that I've ever seen. There's no waves that you'd need them for. They have some water crafts though, paddle boats and that kind of thing. Thats in a separated area so you're no where near swimmers. As I'm thinking about I it's coming to mind that there is also a teen beach that only teens can go to with the CMs. Not sure if that will impact things.

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Did you make a final decision on our Cozumel day?
no. I'm going to look at everything again.




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Originally Posted by rentayenta View Post
D'uh, of course they have more than one bus. Hahaha!
That would be great if we happened to get the same bus though!

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Originally Posted by rentayenta View Post
My main goal is to have Joshua meet the club CMs and the other kids. I'd love to do the DVC meeting too and the spa one too and maybe win something. They give discounts for services booked that first afternoon?

There is SO much to do!
Usually they give specials on spa treatments that first day. Last cruise I saved $40 on a bamboo massage, that was absolutely heavenly! The massage and the savings.

There is so much to do, it's fabulous. And if you don't want to do anything you can do that too. I think you'll be able to convince M to cruise after you're able to tell him how awesome it is.




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Originally Posted by rentayenta View Post
Agreed and we've only got:


85 days!!!



And your Mexico trip is so close!!!!!
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Old 01-05-2014, 05:21 PM   #942
rentayenta

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Jon swears he will not go on a cruise but I do think I could get him on one to Alaska. I would love to go on a cruise.
I'm thinking that may be the way to get Michael to cruise. He's sort of hating the cold as much as I am so we'd need to go in summer. Wishing us both luck.
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I'm having trouble with my Disney visa, I was hoping to be able to book Palo yesterday hopefully today. We definitely don't want you to miss Pirate night in the main dining room, the servers all dress up and it's great fun. Also there's a late night dessert party after the fireworks that has turkey legs and nachos. We certainly wouldn't have room for that if we did Palo that night. So I'm thinking maybe Palo dinner the second night, and Palo brunch the second sea day?
Do you need your Visa to book? I have mine if we can use that? What night is Pirate night? I think that sounds great.
Quote:
No boogie boards that I've ever seen. There's no waves that you'd need them for. They have some water crafts though, paddle boats and that kind of thing. Thats in a separated area so you're no where near swimmers. As I'm thinking about I it's coming to mind that there is also a teen beach that only teens can go to with the CMs. Not sure if that will impact things.
I wasn't sure so thanks for the info. . Joshua is a mature 12 y/o but he's so little. Emotionally he could totally hang with the teens. I think his sisters have prepared him well.
Quote:
no. I'm going to look at everything again.
You are always welcome to do Nachi with us if you want a beach day.
Quote:
Usually they give specials on spa treatments that first day. Last cruise I saved $40 on a bamboo massage, that was absolutely heavenly! The massage and the savings.
I'm all about any discounts. What other spa services have you had? Are you getting a Rainforest Room pass? I asked a question on the CM/Kids club thread and it seems they do a lot that Joshua will enjoy. I'm stoked for him. He loves trivia and scavenger hunts and the like.
Quote:
There is so much to do, it's fabulous. And if you don't want to do anything you can do that too. I think you'll be able to convince M to cruise after you're able to tell him how awesome it is.
From your fingers to Michael's brain.
Quote:
Quote:
And your Mexico trip is so close!!!!!
It is so close. I thought I'd share a little about our plans and why we love Zihua so much. Zihuatanejo, made famous, not really , by the movie Shawshank Redemption, is a sleepy little fishing village about 7 miles from Ixtapa, more of an all inclusive party town. Zihua is far from your typical Mexico party place. Our first visit was in 2007 and we've wanted to go back ever since. Life happens and we couldn't make it happen until now. We both love Mexico and did Cabo in 2010 for a week, using DVC points, and it was amazing. In 2007 we went with another couple and stayed at the www.catalinabeachresort.com We loved the Catalina; the service and location cannot be beat. The rooms are your typical hard bed, lack amenities, but on the beach hotel room. Their Sunset Bar and dos por uno, or Happy Hour to us gringos, is the best ever. Their restaurants aren't great by any means. There is way better and much cheaper food along the beach and in town. Last year we decided that this year we'd need to get out of the mucky air and freezing cold Utah winter and started to toss around dates. Gabby's birthday is late February and obviously we couldn't be away then. There was a possibility that Joshua was going to have a soccer tournament in late January so that was out and our original cruise was mid January. March while gorgeous in Mexico defeats a little of the purpose of escaping the Utah winter as generally the weather has warmed a little by then and I don't want to self-harm. Early February looked like the best for us. I grabbed DH's fire calendar and and chose a week where he'd only have to cover two shift to get 10 days off. Our trip is 7 nights but he likes a day or two after to recoup. I'm totally on board with that. Feb 4-11 work perfectly. . Michael mentioned that he'd like our friends, a different set, to come along. I'm always game for friends. The more the merrier. We gave them the date and location and they were on board. Now where to stay? I showed them some options, hotel v condo and after much research and price comparison they decided they'd like to share a condo. The condo is a less expensive option and a much nicer option but its not on the beach, it's on the hillside, straight up, and a hell of a walk. None of have mobility issues but I warned them that the walk will seem killer after a day on the beach and a night on the town. I showed them the photo below and they were all about it. We save at least $1,000 each by staying condo v hotel. That's significant. The white hotel is where we stayed last time, the building on the hillside is our condo complex. I warned them. Here is another pic of our complex: La Casa Que Ve El Mar. Or the house with a view of the sea. Our specific condo is Casa Contenta. Okay, running to my inlaws to celebrate my FIL's 85th birthday. Love that old bird. Be back later with more Mexico details.
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You light 'em, they fight 'em. A DVC/Disneyland Resort PTR
http://disboards.com/showthread.php?...1#post51407145
You bet your aft we had a good time: a Disney Wonder trip report
http://disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3260751






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Old 01-05-2014, 11:07 PM   #943
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So where was I? Oh yeah, Mexico!! I cannot even explain to you all how elated I am to get out of the snow.

Back to the condo. Here are a few more pics. The view looks a little obstructed by a rooftop but nothing I can't live with. When our friends decided they wanted to stay in a condo I agreed on one condition; we get the master bedroom. I need some privacy. It's a good compromise and our friends said they could care less. I'm weird about stuff like that on a couple's trip.


The living room and view:



View from the master:



Entry way:



The master bedroom. Both bedroom have king beds.



Our bathroom



The kitchen and a glimpse of the washer behind the door:



View from the balcony:



One of the complex' infinity pools:



The condo also comes with a housekeeper. I'm not sure what exactly that means.

Now for the plan. We fly out of SLC on 2/4 to LAX. I'm sure no one is shocked that there isn't a nonstop from SLC to ZIH.

For this leg we fly:



I love me some SW airlines. We used points for this leg which always makes me happy.

We change planes and airlines in Vegas with a 3 hour layover. I'm actually okay with long layovers. It allows me to relax, grab a drink, and not stress if the plane is late taking off. I'm weird like that.

I'm actually not sure if we'll go through customs in SLC or LAX but either way we've got plenty of time. Michael and I both have Global Traveler which eliminates the long customs' lines as well as gives us the pre-screen go ahead through security.

From LAX we'll fly Alaska Air to Zihuatanejo:



I searched high and low for any way to not stop in Chicago or Mexico City. Both airports are nightmares. I finally found our flight and at a great price.

On the way home we'll fly Alaska from ZIH to LAX. Our original last leg was through United but surprise surprise they bumped our flight TO THE NEXT DAY! Seriously, United sucks. I hate that that's who we've got the majority of our points through but they've always got the best fares for Michael's trips to Africa.

Now they didn't just bump our flight but they bumped it to the next morning at 6 am. Call me a party pooper but the thought of landing at 7 pm only to be back the next morning at 4:30 am sounds terrible. I called United, got my points refunded, and was on the search for a flight to come home on 2/11. Guess what kids? There's no such thing. No really. I could not find a flight that allowed enough time, even with Global Entry, to get through customs and on another flight home.

Sooooo........we're now coming home the next day at 11 am on Delta. Sorry no pic.

Michael had a credit for a flight from a canceled Moho job so we used his credit for his flight and paid the $99 for mine. Not too shabby. I like Delta.

We'll stay the night at The Hilton right by LAX. I'm currently researching restaurants in the neighboring area but have no frame of reference. Although I grew up 40 minutes from Los Angeles, I spent very little time there. Was never into the whole LA scene.

Here's the Hilton. Looks nice enough and was able to use my friend's discount.




Planning a trip to a sleepy village in Mexico is much harder than planning a trip to WDW. Other than trip advisor and another site, there isn't much chatter as far as planning goes. The language barrier is another issue though I am practicing my Español mucho. Funny, both my Spanish and dancing are better after a few cocktails.

Our itinerary thus far:

Tuesday 2/4: fly to Zihua. We arrive about 4 pm. We'll stop at the ATM at the airport, grab Pesos as the exchange to the dollar is amazing right now. It's just over 13 Pesos the the dollar. If you pay with American money, you get 10 Pesos to the dollar. I'm all about the 25% difference. We'll avoid the timeshare sharks, grab a taxi, and head to the condo.

After checking into the condo, the plan is to taxi to Comercial Mexicana. It's got a great bakery and huge wine selection, Chilean is their specialty. We'll also grab beer, limes, cases of water, diet Coke for our friends, and hit the bakery. I love Mexican pastries. They aren't as sweet to me and lighter. So good. We'll also grab munchies like good cheese and meats, crackers, fruit, and also go to their deli selection. They've got a killer deli. We aren't planning on any real cooking like on our WDW trips. There are just too many options for me to cook. Authentic Mexican food is my favorite food of all time.

Another reason I wanted to stay at the Catalina was because of the awesome beach loungers and palapas. I did find out that for a measly $4 we can rent two chairs and a palapa without staying at the Catalina. Of course the promise of ordering food and drink doesn't hurt. My plan is to hand the bartender $50 at the start of the week to make sure we get what we want. The bartender rules all at the Catalina.

Wed 2/5: no clue

Thurs 2/6: ditto

Fri 2/7: boys are fishing with some dude named Ed. Here's his sight: http://fishreportsixtapa.blogspot.com/

The girls are getting massages with Deisy. She's only got a FB page that I can find.

Sat 2/8: no idea nada

Sun 2/9: no clue during the day but at night we'll go to Zocalo. The local basketball court area turns into a festival of sorts with local music, food, and dancing. I love me a good Mexican food cart. I'm not even sure they qualify as carts but OMG, the best food ever. Culture! I'm starved for it.

Mon 2/10: no clue

Tues 2/11: fly home

We've hooked up with a local who is going to teach us to paddle board one morning. I've got a list of restaurants I'd love to visit. We may also take a day trip to Troncones so the boys can surf but we'll see.

There is a bar in Ixtapa called Bogarts which is supposed to be a replica of Rick's Cafe in Casablanca. That's the one touristy thing I'd like to check out.



I'm a fan of Mexican pottery and love BIG plates. I've got a few in my kitchen. We'll also do some shopping. I like to barter on the beach for trinkets too. I found my most favorite beach bag ever on our last trip to Zihua.

I'd also love to take a morning yoga class on the beach will have to figure that out when we're there.

That's our trip in a nutshell. I'll post more as things develop. for sharing in my excitement and letting me tag Mexico along to this report.


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Old 01-05-2014, 11:34 PM   #944
jedijill
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Between your Mexico plans and my mom texting me pics from key west I'm going crazy! I'm ready for spring and we have at least 3 more months to go!

Jill in CO
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Old 01-06-2014, 08:30 AM   #945
Pinkocto
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Your Mexico plans sound wonderful

Does Joshua need a passport? Or just his birth certificate?

The problem with my Visa is that my payment wasn't going through. As of 5:00 this morning the cruise is paid for and I just booked Palo. I technically couldn't book you since your window hasn't opened yet, but I still booked a time and will add you once the 14th comes. There are tons of slots open, for dinner: 6, 6:30, 7, 7:30, 8, 8:30. I booked 8:00, or would you rather another time? And for brunch I booked 10:00 am. That was the earliest, other times are 10:30, 11, 11:30, 12, and 12:30.


ETA: I forgot to comment about the spa. The bamboo is the only specialty one I've done. I haven't done many massages in my life but it was so relaxing! I'll probably just do a swedish massage unless the discounts are fabulous. The only one I'm seeing online is 50 minutes and I'd like a longer one if possible. I'm still not sure about getting a Rainforest pass. Since the weather should be beautiful I might just lounge out by the pool. I did love that dry sauna room though!

Thank you about the welcome to Nachi, I really appreciate it I'm leaning towards staying onboard but I need to seriously sit down and look at all the options.
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