Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Jamaica 2016

 For our big summer trip, Brad and I decided to take the kids and grandmom and grandad Voda to Jamaica!! It was SO much fun and a trip that created memories to last a lifetime! 
This was the first time for grandmom to fly and grandad hadn't flown in a very long time. They were a little nervous, but they just let us lead and they followed us through security and customs and everyone did great. That process is an adventure anyway you go, just a long process but oh so worth it once you're to the destination!
  (Grandad and the kids looking at the airplanes before we got on our way)

(Maddox and Harper riding on the tram to get to the next gate at the airport. Harper wanted her babies to see everything!)

The resort was two hours from the airport. On paper, I was dreading this ride after a long day of flying, but it was actually a really good break and a way for all of us to decompress/nap before reaching the resort (aka, the kids are ready to play play play)

                     (We made it!!!)

We decided to try out the Beaches Resort in Ocho Rios and it was fantastic. The staff was top notch, the rooms were perfect for our family, they had amazing accommodations for the kids (which ultimately makes the trip even more enjoyable for the adults) plus it was all inclusive....what more could you ask for? Yummy drinks, great food, kids buffets, servers that know your kids names and what they like to drink, sand between your toes and sunshine on your nose!
(Beautiful view on our way to dinner the first night)

The Sesame Street characters met you at breakfast, walked the pool decks in the afternoon and had a show for the kids every evening!

There was an amazing water park with fun slides for everyone. Brad and grandad took the boys down the big slides (I think the grown ups enjoyed the slides as much as the kids). Harper and I (and sometimes Paxton too) enjoyed the smaller slides and the pirate ship!

Our days were spent poolside or at the beach with a pina colada in hand, watching our kiddos have the time of their lives. 

The beach was one of the most fun beaches I have been to! The water is so beautiful and because the reef is so close to the shore, the water is super calm, which makes it safe and easy for the kiddos to play in! 
The boys enjoyed digging trenches in the sand and swimming in the water, while Harper girl searched for the tiniest of sea shells!

They had these neat, large floats that were tied to a rope. The kids could swim out there and sit and view the beautiful ocean! Maddox called it the "Maddox and Paxton island" and they spent over an hour playing on that float together!

The resort was all inclusive, and that included their water activities as well! We went out on the glass bottom boat to see the reef and the fun fish (it was super cloudy that day, so we weren't able to see as much, but it was still a lot of fun). Brad and I took Maddox and Paxton snorkeling and that was probably my favorite part of the trip. Paxton was nervous and convinced it would be too hard for him and panicked the first time the mask was put on over his nose. Brad was able to calm him down quickly and put the mask on and snorkel in his mouth and got him in the water. I held his hand and told him to look down and once he saw how cool it was to see all the fish close up, he immediately relaxed! I am proud of him for over coming his fear and loving it! He and I swam together and looked at all the fish, while Brad and Maddox went a little faster! Hand and hand my boy and I swam in the beautiful water admiring all the creatures. Definitely a memory I will cherish forever. 

One afternoon, the boys road on the banana boat and got to go super fast! Poor Harper was so sad that she wasn't quite tall enough for the ride!!
Brad tried wind surfing, but there wasn't enough wind for it to be very successful. I tried paddle boarding and got stuck when a gust of wind got me and I couldn't get turned around. So embarrassing. Ha. They had to send a life guard to get me! 
I mentioned before that the staff was incredible....well, when Harper wasn't big enough to ride the banana boat, one of the other workers saw and he came over and told us he would take her out on the sail boat catamaran for a fun ride just for her! Brad and I rode with her and it was stunning. We were able to go further out and see the blue blue waters. Absolutely breathtaking! When we got back to shore, we told grandmom and grandad that they needed to go and I'm so thankful they did! They loved it!

This goes down as one of my favorite vacations ever. The kids are at such a great spot (age wise) to travel. Memories were made that will last a lifetime and I am so thankful for the time away!!
Bye bye Jamaica. You were good to us!

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