Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Long Awaited Weekend Getaway

Doug and I went to Mexico over the weekend. It was incredible. It was much, much needed and absolutely wonderful.
Let me give you the back story... last spring as I was getting reimbursement checks from work and little extra checks for outside work and such, I started putting the money aside in an envelope planning a surprise getaway trip for me and Doug. As the dollars built up in my dresser drawer, I knew I had to do something more permanent with them or I would just spend my savings on groceries.  So I talked with a banker friend and asked if I should open a separate checking account and he suggested that I work with a friend of mine over at Cowboy Way Travel ( http://www.cowboywaytravel.com/) and that they could set me up an escrow account and that I'd give them money as I could and then when I had enough to do something, they would let me know.
I have to say, I was a little leery. I'm just going to hand my money over and it's just going to sit there until it's needed? Well, I trusted my friend that works at the travel agency and my banker friend, so why not. I went in last May and started my fund. It was actually pretty fun. By setting up the account, I couldn't change my mind and buy tires or pay medical bills or help with closing/moving costs... all things that came up during the year and things I would have spent my money on if I hadn't given it to Cowboy Way.
So over the summer as I had extra money come in, I dropped it off and into my account. I got a little time away from the kids and looked through travel catalogs that I was given and in the end, went with the suggested resort from Cowboy Way. It's called El Dorado Spa Resort.
I am sooo glad I did!! I truly don't think I would have ever noticed this resort on my own, nor would I have known how to take care of all of the details! I'm a somewhat seasoned traveler so I didn't really think that I needed a travel agency to do my leg work. Turns out, there is a reason you go to the pros!
Side note: I ended up telling Doug where we were going in January... had to, life got in the way and he needed to have something tangible to look forward to just as much as I did!
Friday morning we set off for the airport. We made great time until we got to the horrible traffic near the airport. It's a daily known horror. One that we are so very thankful to not have to endure very often! Once we finally made it to the airport we parked the car and hightailed it to the terminal.
At that point, I was super thankful for the travel arrangements. We walked right past the "big name" airlines that had hundreds of people waiting to check in and get their boarding passes and walked right up to the airline we were on. Within 20 minutes of parking our car we had boarding passes and had even made it through security. We had plenty of time to chill! Here we are waiting to board!
The flight was quick and going through customs was easy. We headed out the front of the airport with specific instructions on where to find our ride and quickly were settled in a van and were on our way to the resort! That was cool. Everything was taken care of!!
Notice that we are the only passengers in the van! That was awesome.
When we arrived at the hotel, this car was sitting out front. nice.
These are from the back of the main lobby building.
When we checked in, we were told that we had been upgraded. Cool. We had booked a junior jacuzzi suite, but we got the Oceanfront, swim up junior jacuzzi suite. Big difference. We of course didn't know that when we booked. The original room would have been great, but this was awesome.

The above pictures are mine. Well obviously, Doug is in one. But the below picture is off the El Dorado website http://www.eldoradosparesorts.com/ . Take note.. the furnishing are actually what is in the room! That is truth in advertising!


It was about 3:30 and we hadn't had lunch yet, so we immediately went to try out a restaurant. Here is Doug in one of the outside restaurants.  One of the things I most appreciated was that you had to wear clothes to sit at a table and eat! Some women just went with light cover ups, but most people followed the dress code and actually changed to eat their meals. It was a really nice touch.
And here I am after we ate. We ate at a Caribbean restaurant. It was good!

Then we hit the sand. And the hammock. That's what was soo cool! From our room we could rest in the hammock, lay on the chaise lounge in water or walk across the bridge to the beach. LOVE!

I won't bore you with all the details of the weekend. But I did run every morning.  I had too! The food was incredible! I even saw a MONKEY on my run! I have to say, I look pretty good after an almost 5 mile run. It must be the sun and beach behind me!
Here is the view outside our front door.
And the view in front of "our" bridge.

I know this post has become long, but I have to mention one more thing. The food. Incredible. But even better, the staff. A couple of times there were frustrating things, like a restaurant being closed for a private wedding event and you don't know until you get there after you have walked a quarter mile.. but the staff took these things and seemed to look for ways to make it an opportunity to exceed your expectations. And they did every time! One of the staff members at the Villa's Italian restaurant took a special liking to us and we him. We even have a picture with him. (it's on Doug's phone..that's why it isn't here.) It's those moments that we will remember.

It's funny, everyone said as we were leaving, we will see you next year. And I can see that. I don't know that we will be able to get away just the two of us like this next year, but you can bet that I'll be asking Cowboy Way about the family resort that the parent company for the El Dorado owns!

And that was our weekend. We arrived back at DFW at 4:20pm and spent the next two hours waiting in line at customs and immigration. ugh. The US is great at long lines and inefficiency!

Side note: if any of you wonder if we got a kickback for me basically endorsing this resort. nope. But man, if El Dorado or Karisma want to pay for a trip for my family sometime I am ALL OVER THAT!!

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