We went to Cancun- well, really Riviera Maya- on a wonderful vacation with Dan's family a few weeks ago.
It was awesome. It was beautiful. It was warm.
We stayed at an all-inclusive resort called Marina El Cid, which is clearly the way to go if you are traveling with 13 people like we were.
We flew out of Newark, NJ, which is clearly the way to do it if you'd enjoy booking a hotel room near the airport that looked nothing like the pictures online and featured real, live prostitutes. (We found another hotel.) Also clearly the way to go if you enjoy following nonsensical directions of how to get to the AirTrain while keeping track of 6 kids and traveling for almost 24 hours.
Marina El Cid was super family-friendly and filled with people from the Northeast who had suffered through a horrible winter and were now drunk on Vitamin D and sunshine. No riff raff, no obnoxious drinkers, all families, all nice. The staff was wonderful and couldn't have been friendlier. The food was good and the place was spacious, well kept, and had an amazing beach and pool. So many activities we barely even scratched the surface of all you could do. And lots of palm trees. Y'all know how I love my palm trees.
We all had fun hanging out together and it was so nice to see the cousins all playing together. There was lots of hand-holding which was so cute to see.
They had professional photographers walking around who would take your picture in the pool, on the beach, or holding one of the various species of wildlife- monkeys, toucans, iguanas. You could hire a photographer to take family photos on the beach and of course we did that. We teased Dan's brother Mikey, who had the idea before we left of everyone wearing black and white shirts for a family picture... and didn't pack a white or black shirt. We lamented that of all the moments he could have chosen, Alec chose the walk down to the beach as his Super Freak Out Moment and refused to take part in the beach photographs. We finally calmed him down enough and carried him out to the gazebo in the ocean, and in the picture he looks kind of squinty while in reality he was just on the verge of losing it again. But we got beautiful pictures of the kids and our family... totally worth it.
It was five days of bliss. We were so sad to come home.
A huge thank you to Paga for making this trip possible!!
Here are some (well, a lot of) pictures of our adventure.
The Whole Gang
The Daniel Libuttis
We all gasped when we saw this picture... perfection: Michaela, Olivia, Melina, Sophie, and Jenna.
They are all so pretty and what a joy it is to watch them all grow up.
Our only family pic down at the beach. See how Alec looks kind of squinty?
If I have ever seen a picture capture Michaela and who she is... this is it.
The Libutti Boys: Dan, Michael, Ron, and Jim
(Also known as Danny, Migs, Paga, and Jimbo)
Me and my girls
Michaela ponders the ocean
Jenna plays in the sand
Dan and Michael soak up some rays on the beach
Hammocks on the beach
Michaela, Olivia, Jenna poolside
Michaela with some monkeys.
Jenna's turn with the monkeys.
Part of the huge, huge pool
Michaela and Olivia got their hair braided... Michaela said the Mexican ladies who did it were much gentler than the Bahamian women who did it last year.
Love this picture of my baby boy.
One of the places we ate lunch outside. So relaxing and beautiful.
Uncle Jimmy holding court with 4 out of 5 Little Libutti Ladies.
Alec ready to head into the pool
My boy on the beach
Jenna, ready for dinner. Her sunburned face made her smiles look like a serial killer's grimace, so I told her to turn her face to the side and don't try to smile.
Michaela and Olivia, thick as thieves
The pool had a jumping area at the top, like cliff diving.
Michaela, Olivia and Jenna were brave enough to try it!
Here's Michaela taking the plunge.
Walking to breakfast... here's Sophie, Jenna, and Melina all holding hands. Love it.
Libutti Girls on the beach taking their own pictures.
Our last morning there... One last picture by the pool.