Wow! W-O-W! I could end this post right here and those three letters would pretty much sum up our Puerto Vallarta vacation. Setting aside the fact that I have never been to a tropical beach before, and would pretty much be amazed by any beach in comparison to my childhood memories of mucky Galveston, this vacation was above and beyond any expectation I have ever had. I mean, just look at this beach. WOW!
Sure this would have been a relaxing, adventurous and amazing vacation no matter how you roll the dice (let’s face it, we were in Mexico with no kids) but it really was my wonderful in-laws who transformed this into a trip of a lifetime. From the moment we arrived at the beach, they had excursion after excursion planned for us. In fact, one morning after breakfast I excused myself to use the restroom. I literally was gone for like three minutes. Honestly, I was just peeing! Haha! In and out, I swear. As soon as I returned to our beachside breakfast table, my mother-in-law had already flagged down a guy, paid him and had Ben strapped up ready to parasail. I was next! Let me tell you, there is nothing quite like sailing mid air above the ocean feeling the sea breeze on your skin. Not to say I didn’t go through a survival plan multiple times in my head in case the boat suddenly sputtered out of gas or my parachute split open and I was thrown into the depths of the shark infested ocean. Yeah, other than those few thoughts here and there, it was quite relaxing being a part of the sky.
Ben’s favorite excursion was our Extreme Outdoor Adventure trip with Vallarta Adventures. By the way, I highly recommend this tour company. They weren’t anything short of spectacular. From acting professional, to being on time, to making sure that you were entertained every possible minute of your excursion, these guys were tour pros. Our Extreme Outdoor Adventure was a zip lining tour through the jungles, along the coast of Puerto Vallarta. Originally Ben wanted to do the tour where you rode ATV’s to get to the zip lining, but I insisted on taking the tour where we rode mules. Yes, mules. I do not like animals…at all! I’d love to say that I love me some cute little puppies or purring baby kittens, but I just don’t. Probably because I’m a germaphobe. But, there was something about choosing to ride the mules that just made me think it was a necessary part of the whole outdoor adventure experience. And Ben will admit, he loved him some donkeys…sore butt and all!
After gearing up and riding the mules up the mountain, we were able to glide and slide through the zip line tour. Literally, we did both of those. Gliding and sliding. As in there was a giant waterslide at the end of the tour so intense that you actually had to strap on elbow pads and a hockey mask to ride down it. There were even sections of the course where we were able to repel down water falls. They weren’t kidding with the title “extreme”.
The only part I did not like was the upside down tandem zip line. There are just certain things that are not as fun to do when you’re a grown up as opposed to being a kid; a few of those things being, spinning in circles because it makes you want to barf, eating loads of sugar because it makes you want to barf, and hanging upside down because it makes you want to barf…oh and your head feels like it’s going to explode. No thank you, I’ll pass next time!
Another day we signed up to go whale watching. Apparently the time of the year we were visiting there were guaranteed sightings due to the mating and birthing season. Humpback whales make their way from Alaska to Puerto Vallarta just to have their babies and mate. Once they have their babies they hang around the warm tropical waters for about two weeks until their babies are strong enough to head back to Alaska. We were able to spot a few “families” of whales including the mom, baby and a male escort for protection, while cruising around with our tour guides.
The only bummer about this excursion was that that every single picture of the whales I was able to capture, I also captured this lady’s huge mole on her back sitting in front of me. It takes away just a smidge from the tranquil beauty and awe of the scenery. Haha!
My in-laws surprised us one day with an excursion to a beach island called Las Caletas. I had been wanting to go snorkeling the entire trip, but the beachfront by the hotel was not quite clear enough. We heard about these islands through our tour guides, and once again the in-laws made magic happen and sent us away the next morning for an all day snorkeling, kayaking, paddle boarding adventure.
I may have been a tad bit excited to find some sea shells to take home to Braelyn, which by the way smell disgusting and make your entire suitcase stink. Word of advice, just buy some fake shells for souvenirs and pretend like you actually found them. Kids don’t know the difference.
Our last full day in Puerto Vallarta, we decided to take a drive along the coast to the Botanical Gardens. We were debating whether or not it was actually worth the $70 cab ride there and back to check it out. I can honestly say it was! I have never seen an array of such colorful flowers in my life. Not to mention see through butterflies! I’m sure they have a more scientific name for them, but let’s just call them what they are. Holy magical see through butterflies.
I still cannot express how grateful I am to have experienced so many adventures in such a short amount of time with people that I love so much. I know I like to act like I can make it just fine through life on my own. I tend to not like to ask for help and I can be pretty darn stubborn, just ask Ben. Nevermind, don’t ask Ben. He’ll probably give you an earful about what a crochety old wife I am. But, regardless of my tough girl attitude, I really struck gold with the family that I have. I couldn’t be more blessed than to have such a wonderful man by my side for the past 10 years of marriage. And there is something to be said about my inlaws for raising such a gentleman whose first priority are “his girls”. Thank you Kaye and Cal for making our dreams come true!