Saturday, March 31, 2012

Charley (And B) Style

They don't get it from me.

This was yesterday. Notice B's Sheena Easton (I am so old) sparkly headband. And yes, Charley is wearing a princess dress, a crown and carrying a magic wand.

Cut to today, same dress (Rapunzel) plus her hair.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Spring Holiday 2012 - San Pancho Mexico

Usually we travel with my sister, but this year, her kids spring break and my kids break didn't really match.  That and if we went last week it was a cheaper chicken.  Of course the weather here at the Brady House was probably as warm as it was in Mexico... I could have really had the cheaper chicken and stayed home.  But then,  we would have missed  spectacular views, our own (small) pool, a nearly empty beach, local wildlife (including a hummingbird that visited everyday, a pair of iguanas and a wooly type caterpillar that also made a daily visit) and very, very good, food (and maybe a ton of tortilla chips and margaritas).  We were a little leery at first, deviating from our usual Puerto Vallarta destination.  San Pancho is a cute (ok, ok, there aren't a lot of cute things in Mexico) little surfer town.  It is a little like the town we live, where you can walk a lot of places, people are nice and there are a lot of good places to eat.   Cobblestone streets, dogs everywhere, cleanish beach (lots of people riding horse, and no one scoops poop - for the dogs either), most people speak english (thank god).  I didn't want to leave and I can't wait to go again.

We rented a casa, part of a property that had two other casas.  Ours was at the top (we wanted the one at the bottom, but it was already rented.  While it had a bigger pool, ours was probably better because the bedrooms in the bottom casa were on two different levels (ooohhh and it had an outdoor kitchen, which is cool and a little scary considering the geckos and bugs running around).  Though, in ours, we heard road noise and restaurant noise from across the street.  Lee just asked if we would stay in the same place and I think we would.  Casa Tranquilla came with a daily house keeper, a grounds guy and one of the house keepers would cook for you if you wanted (which we did one night, chicken mole - YUM).  Seriously, the food on this vacation was good -except maybe lunch.  We were too lazy to walk to town for lunch so we ate whatever.  Tortilla chips, salami, cheese, oatmeal and B ate a lot of toast.  (And you know, I bought bread when we got home and she hasn't eaten toast once.)

How about I shut up and show you some pictures - I mean, that is what you want right?

Well, we started things off right by getting our nails done - I mean, not Mike.  The girls.

Miss Kat painted cute little flowers and polka dots.

I have to say, B was very excited to go on the trip.  She had a calendar and everything.  I spent my time sewing.  And funny enough, I did make a lot.  And I have no photo of the crab dress I made B.  Wait I found one.  Cute right?

Anyway,  The girls helped me pack, we painted toe nails, gathered toys and pool stuff.  Bathing suits, flip flops, snack.  And we were off.   Thank God, my girls are natural travelers (at least on the way there). 

Pretty much an uneventful flight.  DVDs, snacks, some art.   Oh, I bought stickers from the office aisle at Target.  Dots, binder hole stickers and stars.  Add color paper and the girls had fun!  OK, this next picture got me in a little trouble with the Mexican Federales.  No photos on the way to customs.  But how do they have a whale statue and not want you to take photos?

San Pancho is about 45 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta.  (OK, we didn't travel that far from our norm).  We pulled up to a solid wall with a sign.  No address.  Weird huh?  I think B had her bathing suit on before we even brought the bags into the casa.  Here they are.

Our first dinner was at Mar Plata across the street (we weren't up for walking - in fact, if we go again, we will rent a car.  Ever carry Triple Sec on a 15 minute walk down the beach in 85 degree heat?  Ah, I shouldn't complain, we ate at least 6 bags of tortilla chips.  Had to work it off somehow. Oh I wish I were kidding.)  I should add, we ordered some groceries ahead of time.  we could have bought more, I did buy some at the local grocer, but if we do do it again with the car, we'll stop and stock up ourselves.  (Plus,  there was an organic farmstand I wanted to check out.) Anyway, this restaurant was on top of a building with a great view and very good food.  Not tacos though.  Mike and I were a little disappointed - the food was typical American fancy restaurant food. You can see B's fancy American plain pasta.  I had bacon wrapped prawns.  And a delicious beet and salad.  And fruit and chocolate fondue for dessert.

Day 2?  (And more of the same the rest of the days.)  Sitting on the deck, soaking in the view.

Maybe we should have put some screen on B first thing, her back got a little red that first day.

The girls wanted out first thing after breakfast.

Our little slice of San Pancho.  There is an outdoor bathroom on the left.  The second photo shows the little pool.  Small for us, good for B and C.

My little stinker who did not sleep the first night.  Oh my, not much at all.  Her ears hurt, her teeth hurt.  She wouldn't take Motrin.  In the middle of the night, I went out to the kitchen, turned on the light and there were geckos (ours was not an outdoor kitchen, very much indoors).  Both Charley and I shrieked!  Then one flew off the counter, into my leg and went to god knows where.  I could had killed Mike for getting us into this.  Then I read the guest book and found the geckos are good, they eat bugs.  BUGS?  At least one did not sneak into our carry on, much to B's dismay.

B's flamingo suit.  I had to hide it or she would have worn it every day.

The lady staying in the first house found B some little hermit crabs.

See B's shoulders?

There is one of those bug eating geckos.

Four hammocks on the beach.

Charley's top was too small.  Imagine?  Usually everything is huge.  The bottoms are huge.

B slept in the mosquito net every night.

Charley called this cover-up her Cinderella dress.  It was huge in the shoulders (I think B wore it until last year) but she wanted to wear it all the time.  I think she wore it over her pjs too.

Kite flying on the one overcast day.

Really weird bug.  Where was that gecko?

There girls tatooed up before the went.  I had a couple too.

Our friendly neighborhood caterpillar.

Stinky picture of me, but look at B.

A little better.  I didn't hair dry once.  Though seeing this, I probably should have.

This is Mar Plata again.  We were lazy.  My favorite restaurant in San Pancho was Ola Rica (Great margaritas, guacamole, Charley loved their mushrooms).  Oh and the blue tent set up in an empty lot that sold tacos.  Oh yes, it was very good.  And very inexpensive. 

Our last full day.  We still like each other after all that time together.  Ok, that was the one bad thing, no kids to play with the girls.

Some airport pics.   Charley screamed the whole way to the airport.  The driver was probably our biggest tip.

The weather was pretty good when we came home.  So Saturday we got B and early Easter present.  A new bike.  She is very happy with it.  God willing, she will learn to ride without training wheels.

And a cute picture of our old dog (15) Shadow.  Isn't she sweet? 

There was some bad news with our trip.  Our pet sitter sucked.  I don't know if she didn't make the dogs go out or she didn't come at the right times, but she didn't do much urine and poop clean up.  We scrubbed our bricks at least 3 times and it is still a bit stinky.  That and she called the me in Mexico the morning we were coming home to let me know she found our cat Anna dead.  You could have hit me with a feather and I would have been out.  Anna was a stinky cat who didn't like the litter box, but she has been with me for 13 years.  And she liked to sit on your lap -just sit there purring (you didn't dare pet her, she'd bite you with her komodo dragon mouth).   Of course, I cannot find a picture right now.  Arg. 

So that was our spring trip.  Not a lot of pictures, because we didn't do a lot.  It was great.