Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Farewell, Vacation!

Dylan and Lily enjoyed watching the planes from the airport window, and Dylan has since been much more interested in airplanes - real ones in the sky, building them with big legos (or at least that's what he SAYS he's building - it's hard to tell!), and playing with his Little People plane.

 This picture is of Lily, Dylan and I sharing just two airplane seats.  It looks just fine in the picture, but pictures can be deceiving.    When you're four years old or not yet two years old, this is a cramped space for more than two hours of sitting.  Believe me.  haha!
We had a fabulous vacation in Mexico!

Sleepy Shuttle Ride

Lily and Dylan both rested on the shuttle ride back to the airport.  Lily didn't actually sleep, she just rested, but Dylan conked out as soon as we started moving and didn't wake up until we got to the airport.  It was so strange to have them sitting in the regular seats of the car, without their car seats!

 Good thing Lily's baby doll, Mary Dumpling, was along for the ride so Dylan could use her as a pillow.

The Whole Group

We managed to get the whole group standing together for a picture ONCE!  And it was right before we got on the shuttle to head back to the airport.  Our photographer took several pictures, but my favorite is the one where we're all laughing.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Flying the Kite

We had fun flying Lily's Nemo kite on the beach, the morning of the day we left to come home.  Daddy and Mommy crashed the kite in the water a couple of times, and then Lily ran around with the kite for a long time without any trouble at all. 

Sweet Hugs and Kisses

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Xcaret was SOOO much fun! It's like a cross between a theme park and a zoo, with so many fun things to see and do throughout the whole park.
 Lily thought the turtles in the sand in all the ashtrays were neat.  She wanted to touch them all.
 We took the Jungle Trail on our way to the beginning of the Underground River, and this is part of the view we had from the trail.  You can see the river at the bottom.  Also along the trail, we saw some little pigs and these really cool cave openings that we could look into from up above them.  You leaned over the edge to see far down below into the caves.
 There were iguanas all over the place! They stayed very still and let you get very close to them, too.
 Here is the opening of a cave along the jungle trail.

We were glad we went the "long way" to the underground river, following the jungle trail, because that's where we saw this big group of flamingos!  Also along the trail, we saw the fish farm, a mushroom farm, and a greenhouse with all kinds of different flowers.  The mushrooms were kind of gross looking, but the flowers were really pretty and interesting - varieties we don't see all the time.  At the fish farm, they had lots of big, open circular tanks filled with tilapia at different ages.
 At the end of the Jungle Trail, we made it to the beginning of the underground river.  We put on lifejackets and flippers, and got into the COLD water.  We swam the length of the river, in and out of tunnels the whole way.  It was really neat, but Dylan didn't like it.  He only wanted to be with me the whole way, and even with me holding him he wasn't really happy.  I think it was just too cold for him.  Lily enjoyed the river.
 The underground river took us from one end of the park to the other, so we came out near the dolphins.  If you wanted to, you could pay extra to swim with the dolphins, but we decided not to this time because the kids are still a little too small to really enjoy it.  They had fun watching them swim and jump, though - see picture above.  Below is a picture of a manatee!  I've never seen a real manatee before, but Lily has learned a little about them from a video she has at home.  So she and I were both pretty excited to see the "sea cows."  There were two or three of them on exhibit.
 There were lots of great big sea turtles!  They're so fun to see because they're just so BIG!
 There was one alligator.
 They even had tanks of BABY sea turtles!  These little guys were so cute!  And our kids sitting on the edge of the turtle tank are pretty darn cute, too.  Lily was being protective of her little brother, holding tightly onto his arm to keep him from falling into the turtle pool.  She was very proud of herself for taking care of Dylan.

 Lily enjoyed going inside these old ruins.

 Look closely, there's a big cat in the picture below.
 The butterfly exhibit was excellent.  Before you enter the pavilion, you walk past a glass exhibit case that shows all the stages of butterfly development, with real examples.  That part alone was very cool, and then we went into the pavilion with the butterflies - Lily was so surprised to see the real butterflies! For some reason, we don't really see very many butterflies where we live, so she was especially excited about them.  They startled her at first, and then she got used to finding them and trying to get her picture taken with them. There were steps to take you up to to the top of the pavilion, where you could walk around the perimeter, near the roof of the building.  It was very pretty and there were lots of butterflies up there, but it was just too hot to stay up there for very long.

 This waterfall was inside the butterfly pavilion.

 Remarkably, this is the ONLY picture of the four of us from our whole trip to Mexico!  And Dylan is just wearing a diaper after getting changed out of his swimsuit.  Oh well.  We were having too much fun to think about taking family pictures all week long I guess.
 Near the end of the day at Xcaret, we took a boat ride on the river.  We had to go back on part of the jungle trail to do it, and it turned out that it was very slow moving.  It was supposed to be relaxing, but really it was just  excrutiatingly hot. That's the only activity we did at the park that I wouldn't do again.
 After the boat ride, we were quickly approaching our shuttle bus departure time but wanted to squeeze in a visit to the aquarium.

After the aquarium, we rushed back to the front of the park to purchase a souvenir magnet and head back to the hotel.  (Thanks to Joe who rushed us out of the gift shop so we didn't miss the bus!)  It was a very hot day to be outside walking around all day, but it was really SOOO much fun!  We ate lunch at one of the buffet restaurants in the park, and the food was pretty good.  That's where we discovered that Dylan loves jell-o.  For some reason, I just hadn't made any for awhile, but they had some at this restaurant and he just kept eating and eating it!  The park also has a beach area to hang out on the beach, lie in a hammock, or even go snorkeling.  We just didn't have enough time to do all of those things in one day.  We had a fantastic time at Xcaret!