Day Five: La Paz 

Our first full day in La Paz.  

We moved out of our hotel at Las Gaviotas Resort and relocated to Vista Coral. It was much closer to our boat friends and much nicer, all around.

  

View from the balcony at Las Gaviotas  

Master bedroom Las Gaviotas Resort  The best breakfast taco ever!!! Bacon, cheese, shrimp… Oh and some grease!  

Once we secured our new condo for the week, we hurried over to the Museo De La Ballena (The Whale Museum)We enjoyed a personal tour with the curator of the museum with s/v Pesto and s/v Coastal Drifter, thanks to both of them for setting up this meeting!  

The gaggle of girls hanging out!  

Whale bones  

Phoebe hanging out in the skeleton of a whales mouth.    

Phoebe hanging in a different whales mouth.  

9 kiddos and Phil!   

Bartering for our whale shark adventure a few days away!  

Burger King for lunch!

No day would be complete without ice cream!! Yummy!    

The Malecon
Our new digs!  Vista Coral and it’s view!  

  

The condo’s interior kitchen view   

The hotel’s location…  Vista Coral at the Marina!  

The swimming pool! The sunset’s are to die for… 

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Day Two: Dallas/ Ft. Worth to Cabo San Lucas

 Good afternoon from Cabo San Lucas! a picture of us arriving at the aeropuerto.

We (Molly, Eli, Phoebe, and I) woke up super early, cleaned ourselves up from a very long travel day yesterday and headed out from our hotel, Renaissance Worthington. We were hoping it would not be such a long travel day and it wasn’t, but it did prove to be stressful between getting us all to Cabo, getting Zoe her passport in Phoenix, and catching our flight on time. This was all while traversing three terminals, four trams, and lugging six bags around the airport with three kids under 10. We actually accomplished everything we needed to and got back to our gate with about 10 minutes to spare. 

We were then faced with the decision of who was going to sit where. We were all getting on, but not next to each other. Originally, I had been told we all got seats but not together. Then, I was told I had to sit on the jumpseat. As a flight attendant I am able to sit on the jumpseat if there are no other seats available. Why? The plain fact is, if an emergency were to occur, the flight would have another pair of trained hands to help.  Then, I was given a seat next to my three and five year old. Yes. They could travel fine without me next to them, as they have in the past, but I always feel better when I can be next to them. Wait!?!?! The gate agent told me there were only two seats left and a couple trying to get on together. So, the agent discreetly asked me if I would be willing to take the jumpseat so that they both could get on. In tears, I said yes. I would not want to be that couple separated while traveling. Long story short, I sat in the jumpseat while my three kids were on their own.  It was a stressful flight and I felt bad I was not next to my kids. But, on a positive note, the couple got on and we were heading to Cabo San Lucas. 🌴

As we were flying over to Mexico, I booked my hotel for the night via booking.com. We stayed at a very cute boutique hotel in downtown Cabo San Lucas just a few blocks from the Marina. It was called Estancia Real. We enjoyed the quaint pool, location and services, so we ended up staying here for two nights. The price was right for a mere $52.00 per night.

Once we landed we were treated to a  two hour customs line. Are you kidding me?!?! I have three very tired kiddos and I was a mentally exhausted Mama. Phoebe was so suped up on sugar that was discreetly slipped to her from one flight attendant after another.  They thought that would keep her busy until we landed and I could wrangle her in again. Bad idea people, really bad idea. She was so hyper in that line I thought I was going to cry. I was tired, unsure about Monica and Zoe getting the passport, unsure about being in Mexico by myself. Translating a foreign language that I only know “mas o menos” about proved to be pretty bueno. I was proud of myself and my Spanish skills. Even in my tired and stressed state, I still managed to get a stellar deal on a mini-van week-long rental, with full coverage, for $395.00 from Dollar rental car.

We made it through customs, picked up our rental car and were on our way 35 miles south to our hotel. We made a stop at the local Costco, our favorite place for a quick inexpensive meal, and picked up some pizza. After that, we made our way to the hotel, ate dinner and went for a lovely swim in the pool.  

        

Guess what we did next?????? We took showers and went to bed!!! Yeah for bed! I love bedtime! What mom doesn’t though. Even after a long day I was proud of my bilingual skills. 

Tomorrow was going to be a new day and knowing that we were going to pick Monica and Zoe up from the airport made it much better. I had gotten word that they in fact did got Zoe’s passport and spent the night in Phoenix waiting for their flight the next day down to Cabo. It all seemed to be working out okay. Good night!

Mother’s Day Shenanigans & Day One: San Diego to Dallas /Ft. Worth

 
Finally at the hotel, many hours later! 

We started my lovely Mother’s Day with an appetizer in bed.

 Banana and peanut butter and milk served by Molly.

   

I walked into the kitchen to find this hooplah: (made me tear up with happiness) 

  Breakfast for Me???? Sold! Eggs, hash browns and cinnamon rolls. Yummy.

Present time! Each person painted a rock for me. I really can not believe how much a simple rock could mean to me.

 Monica painted this rock for Dad (his request was a sailboat and since he was working she painted it for him) we will name our future boat, Seven C’s!

  Monica’s whale rock! Do you see a future in rock painting? I mean look at that detail!!! Sailing and Whales my two favorite things, other than being a mom and wife!

  Elijah was sure I needed to scream on Mother’s Day (I despise anything mouse-like)

  Molly was inspired by a post on Pinterest and did a great job and making this rock her own.

  Zoe loves strawberries and wanted to represent herself in her design.

  Phoebe, painted this any colors before settling on the color purple. Although her favorite color is pink?!?!

What a great morning! Off to church we went after a quick cuddle.

 

Church was awesome! Breakfast was awesome! Time for lunch…   

  

 Cafe Coyote. Our favorite Mexican joint in San Diego!

Finally Dad dropped us off at the airport to head over to Dallas, so our vacation could begin! 

Because we fly standby, we never know who will get in the flight. I ended up flying with Molly, 9 Elijah, 5 and Phoebe, 3! Hmmm, I wonder how that happened?!?! Monica and Zoe went home for the night. They will try again tomorrow. We were exhausted by the time we got to Dallas. Sitting another 40 minutes waiting for the shuttle was not conducive to our plans. We needed our bed. From the time we landed it took us over two hours to finally rest our sweet heads on our pillows. The kids fell asleep on the bench in front of the hotel as I was checking in. Tired babies! 

Thank you for a wonderful Mother’s Day! Xoxo

Day Four of St. Thomas, USVI

It was time to say goodbye to this beautiful island! We woke up sad, to say the least!  

  
Saying goodbye to this amazing hotel was going to be tough! Point Pleasant Resort was top notch in every sense of the word. We had excellent service from the second we walked on the property. From the grandeur views when we walked into the lobby and the rum punch greetings…

  

  

To our personal chauffeur… Uh hmm, I mean shuttle driver Willy.


  To our personal activities planner.

  

To our spectacular one bedroom apartment,

  

With an amazing view!

We had to bid farewell to this jewel of a resort nestled on the mountain top at Sugar Bay. 

  We were so sad to say goodbye! Phoebe even stuck her tongue out at the thought of heading out! After all, even the bus stop on the side of the road, was gorgeous! The kids took it all in:

  

  

  

  

After about 20 minutes of waiting on the side of the road, we caught a Safari Bus. Yes, we could have called a regular air conditioned taxi for $15/person or we could take this local secret for a mere $2/person. It took us all around the island and we got a free open-air bus sightseeing excursion. The trip to the airport took about an hour and it stops outside of the airport. It is a good 20 minute walk from the last Safari bus stop to the terminal. Thank goodness for a taxi driver who took pity on a mother walking five kiddos to the airport in the blazing hot sun, with no less than eight bags! The good samaritan offered us a free ride up to the terminal. If you plan on experiencing the local tour, allow plenty of time to get from your hotel to the airport terminal. The bus stopped more times than I could count to pick up and drop off passengers alongside the road. 

  

This is another Safari bus we encountered on our route. The buses are everywhere and run about every five minutes. Some are cleaner and nicer than others. In the locals words, it is rickety at best!

  

We had to drive past Charlotte Amalie, to get to the airport. Below is a picture of two cruise ships in port. 

A picture from the bright buildings that line the streets of downtown.   
A few great looking boats, sitting on mooring balls in port.

Some remnants of the Carnival 2015 lay scattered on the parking lot floor.    

We always pay homage to the great service that each and every fire department from around the world provides their communities! Thank you St. Thomas FD!  

This boat was particularly beautiful to me.   

And finally, after an hour-and-a-half of waiting, riding, stopping, going, walking, getting picked up, and passed by, we finally made it to the airport!

Cyril E King Airport 

It is definitely not goodbye, just until we meet again! ❤️ 

 

Day Three: St.Thomas/St. John USVI

   
 Today was the day!!! We woke up bright and early to catch the 8:15 am shuttle to the neighboring beach, Sugar Bay Beach. It was finally happening! A full seven hour day of sailing on the Coconut. A 49′ ft custom built trimaran. After getting everyone loaded on the dinghy and settled in, we made our way to the back side of Lavango Cay. It was too windy on the front side. Lavango Cay is a privately owned island made up of three families.  

  

  

  

  

 All of the beaches in the Caribbean are public, but not all the land or islands are. The mooring ball’s availability varies based on the color of the ball. I learned the blue (insert the word mooring here so not to be confused 😉) ball’s are for commercial use. The red and white ball’s are first come first served. Our captain Ross was an amazing tour guide, weather predictor, and personal chauffeur.  His first mate Andrew did an exceptional job as our chef,  waiter, and an all around hospitality guide. They were very gracious and fun. It was amazing to spend the day with them. They truly were awesome!!!

Next stop was Mermaid’s Chair on St. John. 

Mermaids Chair beach on St John, US Virgin Islands
It is supposedly the smallest beach in the Caribbean. It is a smaller beach within Hawksnest Bay. We enjoyed lunch at this anchorage. It was much calmer than Lavango Cay.

We were glad to have  the chance to get washed up on this cute little beach. The only way to access it really is by boat/kayak or swim/snorkel. We got to see a few sea turtles and several different kinds of fish.  

  

  Sea Turtle

    


 We had lunch at Hawksnest Bay. It was a great spread as you can see below:
    
Lastly, we made our way over to Honeymoon Bay on St. John.

   

  

  

  

  

  We saw so many fun sea creatures: turtles, sting rays, Angel Fish, and “Barry” the Barracuda. 

   
    The girls finally warmed up to the only other little girls on the boat by our third stop. After they hit it off, they were inseparable the rest of the trip!  

  

Molly, Heidi, and Zoe  Heidi, Patushka, Zoe, and Molly The water was so clear! It was beyond amazing.  

 Felipe and I had been snorkeling at this beach on our honeymoon. Ha! I recognized it right away! We got married on a pirate ship at anchorage here. It was great to relive the memories. I wish he was with us this trip.

After 6.5 hours sailing/snorkeling around, we had to call it a day! We threw up the spinnaker and headed downwind.  

 Goodbye St. John. We will return! 

We made our way back to where we were dropped off and said our goodbye’s. A few numbers were exchanged and we were on our way! A quick dip in our hotel pool and we were done!

We went back to our villa and washed up for the night. Ordering pizza in, was exactly what the doctor ordered! Thanks Señor Pizza for some excellent food! The pizza, salad and garlic cheese bread were amazing! If you feel the need for pizza and you are near Red Hook, this is the place to go. However, a few things to know before you go! They only accept cash, they have free delivery and the picture on the website is not the actual interior of the place. Rather, it had video games and slot machines, along with more of a rustic look. Don’t let the picture fool ya!

While myself and the little ones nestled in for the night, Monica caught up with the captain of Coconut for a few more rounds of painkillers! (A local -favorite, rum-based drink)

 Making new friends was a great way to end our quick vacation. 

 
In case you can’t read it…

USVI 2015 

Day Two: St. Thomas, USVI

   

 Waking up to this view is nothing less than spectacular. 

First thing in the morning, I decided to book a day sail on the charter boat  Coconut.  

    

 

It seemed like a great idea and there was room on the charter for all six of us. Perfect! Ummm… No! 

The owner/operator (great customer service) and I had miscommunicated on where we needed to be picked up. We were one beach too far from the boat. We saw them, they did not see us! Before we realized we needed to move up a beach, the boat was sailing off into the distance. Waaahhhh. 

I did pout for a few minutes. Only a few. I was not going to let that get me down. We were in the Caribbean. Finally! I had waited for this moment for over two years. Click here (insert link) to read about my dream of making it to the Caribbean to sail. I realized, we still have tomorrow, let’s make the best of today! We played on the beach all day. The kids made a rock shop and played house. They swam and had lunch. We even snuck over to Dreams Sugar Bay and played in the pool. It is an all inclusive resort, so we did not try to purchase anything. We hear they don’t even have cash registers! The pool was delightful!  

              We spent some time teaching Eli and Phoebe how to swim without life jackets! Phoebe took to the idea much quicker than Eli. She is a fish.  

 After finishing our day out at the beach, we went to the hotel pool.  

 Finally, we went back to our room  

  

 and cleaned up. After a long day at the beach, we decided to make our way into the little local village, Red Hook.  We ate a delicious dinner at Fish Tails Bar and Grill.  

  

 

  

  

  

    

 The food was great and the menu had a large selection. 

It is nestled in next to the Marina, so we had a great view of all the boats and water at dinner.  

      We came home and watched a little TV to unwind and everyone was off to bed, except Monica. She decided to go check out Rum Punch hour in the lobby. She got to meet many of the employees and the management  offered her a job at the Resort.  

  View from the lobby!

  Willie, our awesome, amazing personal driver while we were here.

 It was a nice time had by all! I can not rave enough about this hotel or the staff. So accommodating and welcoming! There were free amenities left and right. They offered free snorkeling, kayaking, standup paddle boards tours twice a day and more. Rum punch is served all day long in the lobby, along with games and views to die for! Point Pleasure Resort really does get a five star review for everything; Accomodations, cleanliness, customer service, location and views! We shall return!

Day One: St. Thomas, USVI

  

 I could probably just post this picture and leave it at that, because really, doesn’t this sign say it all? 
Currently we are ending the first day in paradise. Here is a brief summary of how we ended up here.

I woke up yesterday morning and my husband came home from work around 7:30 am to let me know he had to work for the next four days. Welp, I decided, as he spoke (more like mumbled, because my mind was already in the Caribbean), off to the USVI for the remaining six members of our family. So within 2 hours, we were packed up and driving to the San Diego airport. No joke, with the exception of Monica leaving her cell phone behind, we had everything we needed for a week away from home. I must say, I was very proud of her 22 year old self. Most 22 year olds would be dying without their third arm (cell phone) but Monica really is embracing the detachment from technology!

   
 

You may notice a passenger missing from the aisle seat. That would be Monica. She got left behind by 2 minutes. We had cut it short as it was, and then, add airport traffic and she was doomed. We left without her on our direct flight to Miami. But, shortly after, she followed behind on a flight from San Diego to Dallas. She then went to Miami where we all met up. 

  
We all made our way to St. Thomas this morning! With very little sleep, I might add!

  
A picture coming into St. Thomas, USVI

 

  
Molly on the tarmac at the airport! 

 
We encountered these people wandering the streets. What would have been a very strange group of people, had we not been told a few moments earlier that today was the last day of Carnival in St. Thomas. We had no idea!!! 

   
  

        
Our hotel and some final pictures of day 1!