Thursday, August 4, 2016

Mexico 2016

The Harrisons just cant stay away from Mexico very long!

It had been a couple years since our last family trip to Mexico but, we just missed it too much.

Right before Mother's Day, while Mendy was in the hospital prepping to have Cannon the next day, Gary and Cheryl called us all saying they had booked a trip to Mexico, flights and a 7 night stay at the Barcelo Maya all-inclusive resort in Playa del Carmen. Only 10 weeks away.
What a surprise! We were so excited.

We left early Saturday morning on Alex's 30th birthday and arrived early enough to enjoy a day on the beach and at the pool. Aunt Deb and Jim joined us for the first few days and we loved getting to spend some quality time with them. Mendy had ordered the whole crew matching celebrate-always shirts for Alex's birthday and we wore them on the plane and took a big group picture as together as quick as we could.
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The great thing about our resort is that it was coupled right with 3 other Barcelo resorts and our all-inclusive band worked with all of them so we could go to any beach, use any pool and eat at any restaurant.
We explored every kiddie pool there was on site and got good use out of them all.
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Mostly Cannon was just perfect on the beach while my kids swam for hours.
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First time to touch the ocean

Speaking of Cannon, I did everything I could to hold him every opportunity I could.
He's so dreamy.
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He was perfect in the pool too....
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And these two in their strollers :)
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Mendy and Alex were super sweet and brought presents for all my kids to enjoy during the week.
The boys got these matching shark swim shirts and Kinley got a shirt and flip flops.

They also all three got kites and we loved flying them on the beach one day.
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Aunt Minnie and Uncle Alex just make everything more fun!
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Another amazing thing about our resort was the Barcy club.
It is a kids club for kids ages 4-12. I thought maybe we would utilize it like one day maybe an hour or so...but, wow. Those sweet girls in the club made it SO much fun.
There was only so much sitting/walking/swimming my kids could do with us.
They were sick of us and so ready to play with kids their age.
They begged to go every day. They did crafts, played on the playground, beach games, ball pits, video games, trampoline bungee jumping, face painting, you name it. IMG_0749 IMG_0751 IMG_1338 IMG_1349
They loved their lives and begged to go. So, we let them go each day during Dylan's nap.

After lunch either Ben or I would go lay Dylan down in the room and half way through, one would relieve the other and switch.
It gave us each about an hour and a half each day completely kid-free.
It was awesome.
We rested, laid in the sun, walked on the beach, whatever we wanted.
The only bummer was that we couldn't spend that time kid-free, together.
BUT, precious Mendy.
She recognized that and one day completely surprised me at the hotel door. I was expecting Ben, and saw Mendy and she said, "Go spend some time with your hubby!"
She is an angel from heaven and we cherished that one hour of alone time on our trip knowing our babies were all safe and having a blast!

There was one afternoon that Kinley wanted to be in the Barcy club but Ty wasn't feeling it and we all got some precious one-on-one time with my oldest boy. He loved the beach snuggles, swimming, and games he played with Alex and Minnie.
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Minnie created this game where Ty had to collect tiny coconuts and throw them in bullseye concentric circles that were all worth different points.
He loved this and we all played it multiple times during the week.
He caught a tiny crab that I was sure he would fight tooth and nail to bring home with us.
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There were plenty of iguanas on the property too that we alllllways stopped to stare at for a while. See if you can spot two in this pic.
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One afternoon before the Barcy club we did our traditional pottery paining. Kinley chose an owl box and Ty chose a Nemo fish to paint and they loved it! Ben and Alex did this all growing up and it brings back so many memories for them.
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The food was pretty good for an all-inclusive....we definitely had our fill of buffets.
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No joke, when we got home it was like torture for my kids to WAIT on their food from a waiter and to make a single choice and not order every.single.item on a kids menu.

We got to have a few sit down dinners on property and those nights were so fun.
We ate at an Italian restaurant, a Steakhouse, and a Japanese restaurant.
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Alex calls Mendy his little Tokyo Rose all the time so this was perfect for them :) IMG_1360 IMG_0963
After dinner a couple nights we did some fun things.
We walked to the little market between resort hotels, played putt-putt one night, went bowling one night, and just explored the property including carousels, a mall, and lots of entertainment.
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We even played a family game of bean-boozled one night and it was the MOST FUN.
Mendy videoed most of it.
We all laughed so hard we almost peed and everyone got at least one terrible jelly bean that made us almost vomit. Sounds gross..but, it was my favorite thing ever.

Gary bought Kinley an authentic Mexican dress at this market and we had matching outfits at dinner one night.
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Love my girl.
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Ty didn't want to be left out. Love my little Aggie.
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Some more around dinner-time pics
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Creepy kids pretending to be mannequins in the mall area
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By the end of the evening, my kids were zonked from a full day of fun in the sun.
Some nights we crashed early too and others, we stayed up playing pinochle, a Harrison-family favorite.
(Mendy and I always win...just ask Ben and Alex)
We usually played in Mendy and Alex's room across the hall from ours with the monitor so our kids could sleep. And Cannon was perfection as always. Just sleeping perfectly and soundly with lights on, music playing and us all talking.
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Matching MendyKayeDesigns pjs for the cousins.
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With grandparents.
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Another special thing about this trip was that it was over Alex & Mendy's anniversary where 6 years ago they got married on the same Playa del Carmen beach.
It was so special to see where all God has taken them over the last 6 years to bring them back to this place on their very anniversary.
So, so special.
The year before their wedding, the first time Mendy and I ever really bonded, was also on a trip to Mexico when she first started dating Alex.
Kinley was only 10 weeks old.
It was such a fun trip I will never forget.
People thought I was crazy taking a 10 week old to Mexico but, it was so fun!
And now, 7 years later, Mendy is taking a 10 week old to Mexico too.

Mendy and Alex and Kinley took a picture that is one of our favorites 7 years ago that we made them re-create again 7 years later.
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Then Ben and I re-created it with Cannon. So special!
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I also have a picture of Kinley and I sitting just like this at Mendy and Alex's wedding week.
Mendy took it because she remembered the picture.
This time with Dylan.
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7 years later, I still love this girl to pieces and am SO thankful she married Alex.
(And is there one single beach pic without me in this dirty old carhart hat!?....come on!)
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Other than allll that, we pretty much just enjoyed some fun in the sun as much as we could.
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The shade-dwellers
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I can only get on my knees and pray that Ty and Dylan have the relationship these brothers have one day. IMG_0568 IMG_0892 IMG_0544
My babiest baby...not so baby anymore
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Those cheeks! ;)
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Sometimes you just want to go back to the pool and everyone else wants to stay at the beach and so you cry under a palm tree.
Becoming a mermaid helps though
This is supposed to be a crocodile......
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We took family pics as much as we could on every part of the beach.
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These rocks we are standing on at one of the resorts were amazing.
They made for such great pics, awesome exploring and the coolest thing was the fish that hung out here everyday in schools. You could just carry out fish food and stand in the middle of them for hours. They just swam around you and practically ate from your hand.
It was so cool.
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You can tell Kinley started to love these photoshoots because she would voluntarily start posing and say "take my picture like this!" Oh brother.
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How many more pictures!? So many.
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Girls pic!
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Me and my boys
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We didn't figure out until we were about to leave how to work Alex's selfie stick...but, we made sure to take a couple!
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Nothing like buying shirts in the airport on the way home for souvenirs! Thanks Pops and Gram! Mexico 1

We had such a wonderful trip being all together for a week.
We are so thankful for the opportunity we have to vacation and see the world with our kids and family. It is such special time.
Thank you so much Pops and Gram for memories that will last forever!
Until next time Mexico! Mexico 3 Mexico part 1

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