Link to just pictures,
Cancun - April 2012

Originally planned as a vacation with some friends, but they had to back out.... we were so stoked about the idea of an affordable all-inclusive resort in Cancun that we still booked it. I renewed my passport and we got Miles his first one. No research is needed, since we were just planning on staying at the resort, and packing is easy.... bathing suit, flip flops, Kindle, and passport. The flight is just slightly longer then a trip to the east coast, and we arrived on Saturday the 12th at 4pm. Of course Miles had his usual pre-vacation cold.... so he was coughing, sneezing, and covered in snot. Stepping off the plane into mid-80's temps was awesome! We got through the long line at customs and went outside to the BestDay kiosk, soon after we were on a bus for the 10 minute ride to the Crown Paradise Club, our home for the next week. The staff was incredibly friendly and check-in was quick as Miles burned off some energy running around the airy and open lobby. We were really pleased with the room.... king sized bed, bunk beds, all tile, and overlooking the ocean and pools. We immediately got some margaritas to drink on the balcony while listening to the ocean. Our room was on the 1st floor right above the disco, but it only woke me up once and the noise wasn't bad at all. We took a walk on the beach to let Miles get some sand between his toes then headed to the dinner buffet. There is a huge selection of fruits, veggies, main dishes, sides, and specialty stations. All fresh and tasty too. The buffets are all day long for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, then they have several themed restaurants (Mexican, Italian, steakhouse, seafood, French) that you can make reservations at. Then there's 24hr room service, a grill next to the infinity pool, and late night snack bars too. AWESOME!!! After dinner we just walked around checking everything out then chilled in our room listening to the ocean. Miles loved going up and down the bunk bed ladder and we made the bottom bunk into a fort so he could sleep in there.
On Sunday morning we had coffee on the balcony then went to the breakfast buffet after some great sunrise pictures on the beach. We spent several hours splashing in the many pools, going to the beach (rough waves and under-toe), and then Miles favorite... the pirate ship pool at Kids Paradise! He went up the pirate ship and down the waterslide no less then 8,000 times. This resort has tons of stuff for kids to do and we were never bored. After some lunch we relaxed on the pool side lounge chairs for a while, then headed up to the room to watch the Flyers game. Since we were on vacation, it was an easy decision to have margaritas with lunch too. Fortunately the Flyers won! We had reservations at the Los Gallos (Mexican) that night, and LOVED the food! I had steak fajitas, Jean had an enchilada, and Miles had a cheese quesadilla. The roaming mariachi band was really good, though it scared Miles, and he kept saying "I don't like Mexican (insert any word)". Of course we ended the day with ice cream. Back at the room Miles crawled into his bunk bed fort and went to sleep while Jean and I sat on the balcony for hours.
Monday was exactly the same as Sunday, except we stayed by the pool longer and there was no Flyers game. It was awesome to swim to the end of the infinity pool and stare out at the ocean in a trance. At poolside, they have music, activities, and games all day long from the "entertainment team". Each day, staff would walk around with different animals (parrots, iguana, monkey) for kids to get their picture taken with. Miles loved one of the smaller pools since he could reach the bottom, so he would "boinga boinga boinga" back and forth. We also got him a whale floatie that he named "Fred". In the pool Miles would lean over Fred and we would tow him around, then eventually we would let go and he would steer around the pool just by kicking his feet. We golfed a round of 18 holes at the putt-putt course too. Life is tough! That night we ate at "Wayne's Boots", the steakhouse. We both had ribeye's while Miles had spaghetti. Neither of us rode the mechanical bull though. Each night they have a 8pm show in their theater. Tonight's was Mexican dancing and tap dancing after a kids Mexican hat dance competition. The costumes and stomping around was pretty cool. Back at the room, it was the same routine... Miles slept in his fort, and we had drinks on the balcony.
Tuesday was the same awesomeness! Breakfast, pools, beach, Kids Paradise, putt-putt, etc. While having a snack next to the pool a bird pooped on my arm then tried to eat Miles' cookie, he chased the bird and yelled "don't eat my cookie or I'll spank your feathers!" That became a theme. Another great amenity the Crown Paradise has is babysitting! So we took Miles there for a couple hours while we relaxed by the adult pool with the swim up bar. Out of nowhere, it started pouring rain. It was funny to see everyone running inside despite already being wet from the pool and ocean. We went to La Piazza (Italian) that night for another great meal followed by ice cream. On the way back to our room, there was a donkey in the lobby! You could dress up and get your picture with him. For the rest of the week we kept saying in our best Australian accent, "A donkey ate my (insert any word)".
Wednesday was our day for an excursion out to Chichén Itzá. The bus picked us up at 7:10am and we stopped at a few other hotels then were on the road around 8am. Hugo, the tour guide, gave us wonderful information and history during most of the ride. The first stop was at the Cenote Ik Kil, a fresh water swimming hole 85ft below the surface. Vegetation hangs down into it, and little black fish are swimming all around. I took the steps to the bottom and jumped off of the 30ft platform. That's nothing compared to the Red Bull Cliff Diving competitions held here! Since there are no rivers on the surface of the land here, the Mayans thought that these Cenotes were the passage to the after-life. The next stop was Chichén Itzá, which translates to "at the mouth of the well of the Itza". We broke up into Spanish and broken English groups, then headed towards the ruins. Once again, tons of great info about the buildings, culture, sacrifices, and temples. There are entire websites devoted to all the info there, but some of the highlights were the Las Tumbas platform (sacrifices), burial chambers, The Ossario (High Priests Grave), El Caracol (observatory), The Red House, the Great Ball Court, Temple of the Warriors, Group of A Thousand Columns, the Wall of Skulls, Temple of the Jaguars, and El Castillo (the temple in all the pictures of Chichén Itzá). The engineering behind the temple is amazing... the steps represent the # of days in a year, if you clap at certain locations of the central court the echo sounds like a bird, and on the Spring and Fall equinox the shadow of the steps looks like a serpent. Serpents were carved along the sides of all steps too. A really cool place to see. Miles was practicing for Archeology class in college by falling asleep, and lucky me got to carry his limp 35lbs all around in the sun. Exhausting! After a snack and water we got back on the bus and headed to lunch, we were all starving. The long bus ride back to Cancun dragged on and we had to find many ways to keep Miles entertained including answering his constant barrage of "why why why", and taking funny pictures of ourselves. Back at the hotel around 7pm and we went right for drinks and dinner at the buffet. Jean got Miles some pizza with seasoning on it and Miles declared, "Mommy, I don't want dirt pizza". Hysterical!!!!
Thursday morning Miles was up at 4am and refused to go back to sleep, I was tempted to lock him out on the balcony! We did the same routine of beach, pool, restaurants, and just playing around having fun. We took Miles to the Kids Paradise again while Jean and I floated around the infinity pool and were entertained by all of the activities going on pool-side. They even wheeled out a giant cooking pot about 6ft wide and cooked up tons of seafood, chicken, and veggies. Miles took a super-long nap in the afternoon and we ate chili-nachos in bed then hit the buffet for dinner. We went to another 8pm show and were lucky enough to see the Michael Jackson tribute. They started off with a kids dance competition then showed MJ videos followed by MJ dance routines. It was pretty funny for the most part, but entertaining none-the-less.
Friday was our last morning in Cancun, we were all bummed. But we had until 11:30am to play around so we did the usual, then got showered and ate lunch before our shuttle back home. Since the ocean was much calmer, I carried Miles out to the waves and splashed him around then we would laugh hysterically after getting hit with each wave. We were already talking about going back and what a great deal it was. All the staff are so kind, the food was wonderful, and the entertainment was top-notch. I really dig that its all inclusive so you know exactly what the cost is before you go, and you don't have to worry about what/where to eat everyday. We'll be back soon!!!!