Living Life

Family Vacation to Riviera Maya

Admiring the pool from the ice cream bar - Riviera Maya vacation

Here I am – back at home for less than 24 hours after our family vacation to sunny Riviera Maya. So before I go ahead and get back into the routine of sharing my favorite recipes with you, I’m going to share some tidbits about our trip.

We got off to a bit of a rocky start. Five minutes after we boarded the plane in Madison (very early in the morning), it started snowing heavily. Because of that, our flight was delayed, and we missed our connecting flight in Chicago. After hanging out in the airport on standby for several hours, we discovered that we would not be making it to Cancun that day, and checked into a hotel for the night – without any winter jackets or luggage.

Luckily for us, the hotel was nice – free drinks and snacks for happy hour! We made the best of it, and ordered food from a delicious Middle Eastern place. Early the next morning (but not as early as the day before) we were on our way – this time successfully. We were even able to change our return flights and extend our stay by an extra day so we didn’t even miss out on our precious vacation time.

Family on the beach of the Caribbean Sea - Riviera Maya vacation

We arrived to our resort with both sets of grandparents and Auntie waiting for us. After hugs all around, we went to drop off our luggage and go exploring. First stop, ice cream by the pool!

We stayed at Iberostar Paraiso Maya. I did a lot (and I mean a LOT – hours and hours worth) of research before choosing a resort. There were a few I would have chosen first, but they were out of our price range.

We narrowed our destination down to Riviera Maya very quickly, because Hubby and I had both been there before, and we knew there were many options when it came to resorts, in a variety of price ranges. We knew that the water in this area is clearer and warmer than some other areas of Mexico (mainly Puerto Vallarta) and we knew that the flight wouldn’t be exceedingly long with two young kids in tow.

Coati on the sandy beach - Riviera Maya vacation

We chose the resort because of it’s good rating and it’s long list of amenities. The pool options are seemingly endless, and we definitely didn’t venture into them all. There is one (giant) main pool, with a cave-like swim up bar. There is a zero depth entry wave pool. There is a lazy river. And there is a kids waterpark with a few small slides. The beach is very sandy, and any seaweed that makes it up to the sand gets cleaned up quickly. The water is warm and clear, but the whole time we were there it was much too wavy for small kids that aren’t strong swimmers. There are also animals around the resort that can be entertaining for kids – peacocks are always wandering around, and these cute little coatis by the beach (however, they can be annoying little beggars if you’re trying to eat).

Overall, my family loved the resort, and I would highly recommend it for families with young kids who need a variety of things to do.

Happy boy playing in the sand - Riviera Maya vacation

Now it’s back to the real world, and the mountains of laundry that come with every vacation. I just pulled the first load out of the dryer, which happened to be the kids clothes. I could not believe how much sand came out of the lint trap! After all that laundry is done, I’ll be back with more recipes ❤

To see more vacation photos, check out my amazing photographer Sister-in-Law’s Instagram.

Relaxing with a book and a mojito during naptime - Riviera Maya vacation

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