Cozumel, Mexico:: Thursday, December 24, 2009

It was our last day in Cozumel and we planned to make the most of the morning and early afternoon before leaving for the airport. Before breakfast, I went to the lobby to try to check on our flight and weather conditions because we heard that there was terrible weather back home. We couldn’t get a wifi connection, so we finally decided that whatever would happen would happen and we went on with our day. We ate breakfast and brought our beach things with so we could head straight to the beach. We stayed at the beach for a few hours and then headed to the pool. Cade fell asleep so I went back to the room to shower and finish packing for our noon checkout time. Abby played with a new friend at the pool and Derek watched. At about 11am I met Derek and the kids coming back to the room just as I was coming down. We went back to the room and got everyone cleaned up and ready to go. We were able to leave our bags at the front desk, so we checked out and then went back to the pool snackbar to eat some lunch. We made one last stop at the buffet for some dessert when it opened at 12:30. After walking around a bit more and taking a few pictures, we were finally ready to leave.

We got a cab to the airport and got there around 2:30 for our 4:40ish flight. Abby and I checked out the airport shopping and Abby and Cade played toys while we waited. We left on time and hit some turbulance but otherwise had an easy flight to Atlanta. After claiming our bags and going through customs, we got back on the underground tram and headed to our gate. When we got there, the flight was delayed from 9:40 to 10:20. That was not what I wanted to see. We decided to go down the hall to a food court area for some supper. I called Mom and Dad since they would be picking us up at O’Hare and filled them in. We took our time, made a bathroom stop on the way back to the gate, and when we got to the gate at 9:40, no one was there! Well, just a few workers. All of the passengers were on the plane and the screen now read ON TIME. They had undelayed our flight and didn’t even make an announcement. I was shocked, but the airline worker assured me that they wouldn’t have left without us…yeah right! Anyway, we got on the plane and I made a quick call to Mom and Dad before we were on our way. The person in front of us had a hoodie on that was made to look like an animal with little ears on the hood and spots on the fabric. Cade took one look at those ears sticking out from in front of the seat and starting screaming and crying. I had to assure him that it wasn’t real, but it took him a few minutes to calm down. We hit more turbulance and my stomach was ready for the plane to land. Both kids were sleeping and we had to get our carry on bags. I carried Cade and the backpack and Derek took Abby and the 2 Trunkis. Luckily we had checked the stroller at the gate so Derek was able to put her in while we walked and walked to baggage claim. My arm was ready to fall off, but just as we stepped off the elevator by the baggage claim, I saw Mom walking in the door. Yeah! Perfect timing. I took Cade outside where Dad was waiting in the van and got him into the seat. He woke up, of course, but we were ready for the last leg of our journey home. Mom brought Abby out and she too woke up. I went in to help Derek get the bags and they came out quick, so we were on our way. We left O’Hare by about 10:20pm and made it home through the rain at midnight. Merry Christmas! Thanks to Mom and Dad for getting us and to Dad for driving us home. The kids slept and Derek and I shared some stories from the trip. After we got home, we had to get ready for Christmas morning. We moved the presents from our bed to under the tree, got Cade’s train table from upstairs, Abby’s Barbie house from the basement, hung stockings, and got ready for bed. Derek and I finally feel asleep about 1 am. It was an awesome vacation or trip. My theory on the difference between a vacation and a trip was kind of blown. I always said that if you go on a trip you come back tired and if you go on a vaction you come back rested. Well, what I failed to realize is that if you have to get back from somewhere, whether it is by car or plane or whatever, you will probably come back tired. So, vacation or trip, whatever, I will come back tired, but it is always worth it!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Our hotel room was comfortable, fairly quiet, and the beds were comfortable. We started the day with breakfast at the buffet. Abby’s favorite would turn out to be pancake dipped in chocolate sauce (hey…we were on vacation!) and Cade loved the fruit (as usual). Derek usually went for some type of pastry and fruit and I ate French toast every day. We went to the beach and mostly played in the sand as it was a little chilly and windy. Most locals had on pants and a jacket, although it was still warm to us and we were dressed in shorts and T-shirts. When they asked where we were from, they understood a little better, but I still don’t think they really got it. To them, it was cold. We walked down the street to the 7-Eleven to buy some candy and stopped at a street vendor to buy a few souvenirs. After we got back, Cade took a nap and Abby and I went to the beach while Derek stayed with Cade. That is when Abby discovered the snack bars. They had pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, nachos, and pizza. I know, I already mentioned pizza, but if you knew how much pizza Abby ate while we were there, you would understand why I mentioned it twice! On this day alone, she ate 7 pieces of pizza. In fact, that is how she learned how to count to 10 in Spanish. By the end of the trip, we had lost track, but I estimate about 30 pieces of pizza were consumed by Abby alone. Abby and I ate at the beach snack bar, Marlin Azul and she drank her favorite drink, strawberry daquiri. It came close in number to the pizza! After Cade’s nap, we hung out and ate dinner at the buffet. After dinner we got a taxi and went toward town to a local Christmas festival. They had food booths, clowns with balloons, dancers (not great, high school maybe), Barney, Santa, and Christmas decorations. It was interesting if nothing else. We got a cab back to the hotel and by the time we got to the room, it was time for bed.
This was the view from our balcony.

This was our spacious room.
This is the Park Royal’s private beach.
Derek and the kids standing by the hot tub overlooking the ocean. It wasn’t very hot!!

The hotel had a kids’ club where there were toys and puzzles. It was nice for a change of pace.

Abby loved the candy we bought at the 7-Eleven.

It was a little windy. Look at Cade’s hair!

Abby lOvEd the pizza!

The kids were watching the dancers at the festival.

This Christmas tree was in the open air lobby at Park Royal.