February 11th – 19th
We have arrived in paradise!
As the photo from the travel magazine depicts – this is the view from here! 🙂
After 3hrs at Pearson, a 5hr flight & a 45min transfer… We arrived at the RIU Emerald Bay around 7pm Mazatlan time – 2hours behind Toronto time – so needless to say after a long travel day we were pooped!! We were greeted with a lovely juice at the door and offered a tequila shot – which we both passed on – but still felt like we arrived in style! After we got our room keys etc. a nice bellman brought us and our luggage to our room – 1131 – where we found a picturesque view and a room identical to the one in the travel magazine… as shown to the left… so I immediately felt at home!
We quickly emptied our suitcases and unpacked our clothes into drawers and hangers in the closet – so much room!! The bathroom was well stocked with towels and we thought what a better way to start our time here then a nice hot shower… followed by a nice meal from the buffet – which is open daily until 10pm! After that we were pretty spent as 10:30pm rolled by… which is 12:30 for us! So we snuggled up and had a great night’s sleep in our huge king sized bed 🙂
Being pregnant and flying was a new experience – and came with interesting side-effects… I thought my feet were swollen before… well look at me NOW! Here’s hoping that they normalize so I can fit my feet into my shoes… Even my flip-flops are super tight!!! YIKES! 🙂
DAY 1 – Saturday
Today is discovery day! We are still on Toronto time and were up at the crack of dawn (Mazatlan is 2 hours behind).
Arriving at night in a place is always so neat – as it leaves the mystery of what the morning light will bring to light! So today we learned more about where we are and what we can do while we are here. The view from our room is spectacular…
We spent the day locating the buffets & restaurants, pools, internet areas, activities, show schedules and booked a couple tours – after all being on a resort can be relaxing – but a bit boring at times.
So Monday we will go on a city tour – see the “Golden Zone”, Old Mazatlan, The Market, Cathedral, and watch cliff divers and a view of the whole city from Lookout point… should be great!!
Thursday we booked a “Jungle Tour” – which is less a jungle and more a mangrove swamp tour – where we will see sea birds, fishing areas, the largest shrimp boat fleet, Stone Island, and have a fresh fish lunch before heading back to town.
We also booked two of three nights at the a la carte restaurants – The Mexican Tabasco (Sunday) & Asian Bamboo (Monday) (the third is a Steakhouse which we heard is not that great so we’ll pick our favorite of the two we are visiting and repeat one).
After enjoying our relaxing afternoon we headed back to the room for the sunset & nap, after all relaxing is hard work!
We then changed and headed down to grab some dinner… We stopped in the Lobby bar – which had these awesome pink vinyl couches and big floral paintings took some photos of the belly.
Our little lady has been growing tons in the past few weeks and I’m more and more aware of her little punches and kicks… this has to be the absolute best part about being pregnant 🙂
Then we headed to the buffet – the restaurant is called LAS TRES ISLAS (The Three Islands) – and has such a great selection! From pasta & pizza, to Mexican favorites, fresh fish, veggies, salad bar, desert bar and much more!
We ate like kings 🙂
Afterwards we went to the Theatre and caught the “Mexican Show” – with traditional dances which told the stories of the history of different regions of Mexico – very well done!
After a day of relaxation and leisure we were surprisingly tired (that and the fact that the time shift made it midnight at 10pm) so we headed to bed early – YAWN!!!
DAY 2 – Sunday
Today was another nothing planned relaxing day – and it feels like we’ve already been here for a week!!
We had another early morning – so early in fact we watched the sunrise over the mountains… They were visible from the windows by the elevators and really was spectacular to see!
We spent the day by the pool reading, swimming and soaking up the sun.
At noon I did some aqua arobics – before we went for lunch – and really enjoyed it! They have a class everyday and I’m going to try and keep it up while here and look into classes at home as well 🙂
After lunch we took a walk along the beach – collecting shells, watching the Willet birds poke the sand for tasty marine worms, and capturing photos of the beautiful beach!
We’re looking forward to our dinner tonight at Tabasco – Mexican fare. Then an early night – the show tonight is a Beauty Pageant – so not really our thing. Before dinner we watched the sunset from our balcony – as we did last night – what a view!!!
DAY 3 – Monday
Last night’s dinner at TABASCO Restaurante was… well… okay. Considering we are in Mexico it was really run of the mill Mexican food and the ambiance at the restaurant left much to be desired – in fact I think the Mexican offerings in the buffet are better for the most part!! We did enjoy the meal though – Blair had the red snapper and I had the shrimp diablo. It opened with a appetizer tray and tortilla soup… all pretty tasty. Desert was a lemony custard and strawberry sorbet, nice and refreshing! ANYWAY…. Today we went on our first of two tours…
The Mazatlan City Tour!
Part bus tour and part walking tour this action packed trip was a little different then promised in the brochure & our Sunwing rep… but actually better then expected!! The only part that was a bit misleading was we were told it was a 2.5hr trip and it ended up being almost twice as long! I’m sure they weren’t taking into account travel time. My only regret is not having some snacks packed… but we feasted on a yummy lunch at the resort when we returned so nothing to really complain about 🙂 The first part of the tour was the guide pointing out the monuments along the boardwalk (Malecon) which stretches from the “Golden Zone” (an area of Mazatlan that was created for tourism with many hotels, restaurants & the best beaches lining the coast) and the old city – Centro Historico. The Malecon begins at the “White Castle” – known as FiestaLand (a party complex with 6 bars and nightclubs)… which marks the boarder between the city and the Golden Zone.
We had a great view from the right side of the bus – so if you take this tour that would be my suggestion if you want to take photos. The bus stopped at each monument and area of interest for a few moments while the tour guide – Juan – explained it’s significance. My favorite was also his – the Monument of the Continuity of Life. Where a man and woman stand – him pointing towards the future and a heard of dolphins leaping in front of them representing the possibilities of that future! Very beautiful!
We then had our first hop off stop at the Cathedral in the central part of the city – a beautiful melange of architecture ranging from roman to clonial french to Moorish to gothic… with gold guilded steeples. We choose to check out the market and plaza where the pigeons rather then go inside the church. We found fresh fruits and veggies and meats galore, along with every souviner you could want and then some! We found a few gifty things including a little t-shirt for a teddy bear for our little bean – pink with a turtle on the front 🙂
After that short run through – we were back on the bus to the next stop; This was a sight to see!
THE CLIFF DIVERS!!!
Next we were off to Lookout Hill. With a panoramic view of the entire city & the cannon which commemorates the battle of Mazatlan with the French in 1864.
And then back on the bus to our “pitstop” which was a silver shop with a bathroom & refreshments. Everyone enjoyed margaritas (I had lemonade) and Blair bought me a beautiful pendant with a red coral center in the shape of a sun – stunning!!
Back on the bus to our next and final stop – Plaza Machado in Old Mazatlan – a.k.a. Centro Hestorico – a beautiful walk back in time with some beautifully restored buildings!
After this wonderful adventure we were tired and VERY hungry!! Back on the bus for the 30min journey home… We got back to the resort around 2pm – in time for a late lunch and a nap 🙂
Then came the most romantic sunset ever!! Blair was inspired to capture the whole thing via 30sec interval photos – really kewl! This one was my fave!
Tonight we dine at the Asian restaurant – hoping it’s better then the Mexican!!
Day 4 – Tuesday
Dinner last night was late – delicious! They had everything from teriyaki, sushi, sashimi, spring rolls and tempura to Chinese faves like fried rice, stir frys & peking duck. It wasn’t the best Asian fare I’ve experienced – but was a nice change from the daily offerings at the buffet. After dinner we caught the last half of the Love Connection show where couples from the resort competed for prizes – it was hilarious! 🙂
On to today… It was a perfect day – 26 degrees, no humidity, sun, sun and more sun! We had on plan and one plan only – CHILL ON THE BEACH!
And so we did – reading our books, sipping on virgin cocktails, dips in the pool and applying sunscreen – THIS IS THE LIFE!!!
Blair is reading a book by Terry Fallis called:
And I am reading a book by Ami McKay called:
There was even a wedding on the beach this afternoon – we caught a glimpse and it was lovely – perfect day to get married. It put us in a lovey mood all day 🙂
After our wonderful day of relaxing, reading, eating, and walk on the beach, and then more relaxing we went up to our room for a nap… which really is a great way to split up the day and evening activities!
As I’ve mentioned before I’ve been noticing more action in the belly since we’ve been here and it seems like there are certain times of day that our little bean is very active – mostly between 5-7am & 5-7pm (Toronto time) and before bed around 10-11pm.
This is truly the most incredible thing – little kicks and punches – making us fall more and more in love with our little girl 🙂
While we reflected on this & while we got ready for dinner we watched a golden, warm, glowy sunset… Just perfect!
Dinner was buffet and we had a nice quiet corner and a nice waiter who pretty much left us alone (aside from filling up our drinks when they got low).
We had chicken, mashed sweet potatoes, spinach in cream sauce, steamed veggies & roasted potatoes.
All in all the buffet had a great variety of great food!
So after dinner and before our nightly entertainment in the theater we stopped by to check out some art in action – seen on the streets of Toronto also – this guys was doing spray paint art!
This beauty was created before our eyes – a lovely purple/pink sunset with palm trees.
We bought it along with a lovely black & white mountain range with a waterfall – for Blair’s office 🙂
There was another man there doing oil paintings on tiles – the line up for his work was very long – but he’ll be back on Thursday so we hope to be able to see him in action and have one made for us also! Artwork is the best souvenir!
After our visit to the market we headed to the theater for the LAS VEGAS SHOW!
A variety show — with mostly dancing & acrobatics — it was very well done and quite entertaining!
In fact all of the shows we have caught have been well choreographed and costumed and the performers all very good.
Then we headed back up to the room to freshen up and have a drink before heading down to the discotheque called – PACHA – we figured the wedding party would be there parting it up and figured we should at least check it out once while we’re here!
It opens daily at 11pm and goes until 2am. The music is top 40 pop & dance – but not terrible when you’re on a resort!
Here’s a view from the inside – complete with smoke machine and lights… and if you look closely on the right side you can even see the bride getting down 🙂
We only stayed for a couple songs and danced a bit before calling it a night – YAWN – after all we spent the day in the sun and growing a baby is hard work 😉
Day 5 – Wednesday
Today is supposed to be the hottest of our trip – feeling above 30 degrees during the peek of the day – and it sure was in a good way 🙂
We spent all of today on the beach and in and out of the pool – it was divine!
I did aqua fitness again and Blair went up to the room with my camera during the class and captured these “stalker-esque” aerial shots which turned out really neat! While up in the room he discovered the cleaning lady had left us a towel treat! A cute little ELEPHANT! 🙂
The resort put on a big BEACH BBQ LUNCH!!!! With Burgers, Hot Dogs, Chicken, Ribs, YUM! Also had some salad and grilled veggies to round things out 🙂 We tried some grilled cactus (prickly pear I think) and it was interested – kinda like the texture of a grilled zucchini but more sour tasting… not really our thing but good to try!
We walked the beach again after lunch and then to get us out of the sun and doing something shady – Blair decided to continue with his book and I decided to do some arts and crafts and painted a cute little Piggy Bank for our little girl – we thought of her lots on this trip – all the fun things we will do, places we will travel with her and most of all how much we love her already and can’t wait to meet her!!
Sunset was again epic – it’s been so nice to watch it sink into the ocean each day! Today we got a treat as we watched as this cruise ship leave town and pass by the sun – SUPER KEWL!
Tonight we dine in the Asian BAMBOO restaurant again — but this time our reservation is at 6:30 a more reasonable hour, plus it will be less picked over and more fresh — Can’t wait!! After that we will be calling it an early night as we have our big adventure ahead of us tomorrow on the Jungle Tour… we have to be ready to go before 8am.
Day 6 – Thursday
We awoke to a white expanse off the balcony… couldn’t see the ocean (but could still hear it!!).
Were we in a cloud hotel? Nope just the Fog that greeted us this morning! 🙂
Today we went on our second of two tours – THE JUNGLE & BEACH TOUR!! Organized by King Edward Tours – via the Sunwing Rep – it looked to be relaxing and informative, the company also works with local initiatives to save sea turtles!!
We needed to be in the lobby by 7:50am – so we were up early – had a nice breakfast in the buffet and then headed up to to find out there were only two other couples from our hotel coming… but there would be others from other hotels which we would pick up along the way.
Once we had everyone the bus took us to the ferry docks.
There was a hustle and bustle about with fisherman and shrimp boats preparing for their day. All around there were pelicans and gulls and other sea birds – with the fog it was really quite fantastic a sight!
Along the way the fog cleared and the incredible beauty of the canals were revealed.
Rich green and lush – much different then the mangroves we saw in the south Yucatan while on our honeymoon last year.
We also had many close encounters with sea birds while winding through the waterways.
Gulls, pelicans, great blue herons, yellow-crowned night herons, tri-coloured herons, ibis, egrets, turkey vultures, cormorants, frigates, even a pink spoon-bill, and osprey!
Here are some of the birds I was able to capture – it was awesome to be so close and see so many of them through the canals and on the beach. I even got to feed the pelicans and frigates on the way back to the docks – which was an outstanding experience!!
We arrived at our lunch spot were we were greeted with some ceveche on a tostada (seafood salad on a crispy corn tortilla – YUM).
After that and a bio-break we hopped on a tractor pulled wagon for the short ride to the beach… on Stone Island – which is really a peninsula – and were greeted with an eerie foggy day on the beach. Lots of the group decided to sit in lawn chairs not far from the tractor… some went for a short walk.
Since we had 45mins to enjoy the beach – we made the best of it and went for a long walk, had a picnic with some treats we packed from the resorts breakfast bar and took photos of the various treasures we found.
The offerings were a smoked 1/2 fish plate or cheese quesadilla plate – both came with beans and rice and salad & corn tortillas.
For an additional fee we opted for the breaded shrimp – which was super tasty and filling!!
Blair enjoyed a Pacifico beer and I had water. For desert we were given something called coconut candy – which was a very sweet macaroon like cookie – delish!
After digesting and thanking the our lovely hosts we boarded the boat for the ride back to the docks. Many people napped…
I on the other hand was happy to sit at the front of the boat and watch the mangroves and glimpse birds and take more photos! 🙂
As well as feed the birds as mentioned before.
Once on land we all headed back to the bus… We asked our tour guide to drop us off in the old part of town so we could enjoy it at our leisure – the city tour was too quick!
We also had some more shopping to do so we were dropped right at the main road leading into the historical centre and we walked up.
It was great to visit again and see some more of the restored buildings. This one had some great statues… and other details that I loved!
After we found all the spots we missed last time – we headed to the malecon and walked along watching the sun coming down over the ocean and lighting up the dolphins of the Continuity of Life Monument… lovely!
We then grabbed an ice cream at Dairy Queen and did what everyone should do at least once – and maybe only once – while visiting Mazatlan… took a ride on a Pulmonia!
We wanted to buy some silver and the Golden Zone is where it’s at!
So after walking along the malecon and flagging one down we were on our way. It’s basically a golf cart – only better! As they have Volkswagen bug engines… varoom!!!
He dropped us right in the middle of the action — and it only cost us $60pesos. In fact we were so in the middle of the action we were right in front of a nice silver shop who was advertising a 30% off sale — PERFECT!!!
We got what gifts we needed and some treats for ourselves… then shopped in a few other stores found some neat iron and pottery and then hailed a cab to take us back to the resort.
It was a very long day, we were both tired and very hungry and we wanted to make it back to get our last souvenir — some tile art!
After we showered and changed for dinner we headed straight to the market… although we were hungry we knew this was our last chance to get this unique hand painter to make us a sunset scene on tile.
We looked through his over 100 designs and choose this one — originally it had two palm trees and we asked if he could add another small one to represent the soon to be three of us. He really liked that idea and even added three sea gulls flying into the sunset also. Was incredible to watch him create our masterpiece and it only took him about 15mins to do so!! We were third in line so we got to see two other creations manifest right before our eyes!
We were then so hungry we headed to the buffet for our last dinner here in Mazatlan… we were very good this trip not to over eat — as you can easily do in a buffet — tonight is no holds barred — going to eat whatever we want and have fun!! 🙂
Day 7 – Friday
We awoke to more fog today… so it was not hard to get on the bus to the airport.
It still made for quite the spectacular view!
We sure will miss this place.
We still went out to sit on the beach — in the fog — squish the sand between our toes one last time and enjoy what we could until the 1pm bus departure.
We were still here & were going to make the best of it – woke up early, had a big breakfast with all our faves – omelettes, quesidillas, sausages, plantains & fruit – with nice tasty “green juice” – which is juiced spinach, parsley & cilantro mixed with pineapple juice… Super tasty!!
After breaky we got our bags and put them in the going home pile in the lobby… checked out of our room and ahhh… relaxed some more! Sat on the beach reading until about noon — when we headed to (you guessed it!!) the buffet for our final meal LUNCH — or ALMUERZO as they say here in Mexico!
We had the same waiter as breakfast — who served us many a meal while we were here… very nice older guy named Armando (see below). The buffet chefs made some departing gifts in the form of fancy fruit carvings for all of us leaving — pretty cool!
We ate well again and were set for our trip home!
The day before yesterday I talked to our Sunwing rep about our seating arrangements on the plane (as we were seated in different rows coming down originally)… now we were able to check in electronically and change that, but I knew that is not the way it would be going home. I explained that since I am pregnant I wanted to be next to my husband so he can help me with my bags and general support… he agreed wholeheartedly and told me he would take care of it!
Little did I know he would go above and beyond and get us not only seats together but call us to let us know to take the second bus and not the first bus. We got priority at the airport — he even grabbed my suitcase and help us to the front of the line. He was amazing!!
Since everything is manual at the check in the airport staff search your checked baggage by hand and check in is done with a very slow and old system. By the time we were done it took about 20mins and we were only the 4th people to be checked through the two lines. As we walked to our gate the last bus had just arrived and some familiar faces were just lining up — it would take them the better part of the 3hours we had left to wait for our flight to get through!! YIKES!! Well we are glad it is them and not us 🙂
Here I sit in the airport with my netbook, an electrical outlet & FREE WIFI!! (take note Pearson!!) and lots of time to reflect on this awesome trip, while my partner and best friend reads another book he brought and gazes at me occasionally with a smile… I am one lucky girl!
On the plane all smiles!
We arrived into Toronto around 11:20pm — to 90km winds — making our decent very turbulent 🙁 we are glad to be home! My feet did normalize while on our trip from the flight to Mexico… however they are now very swollen and I cannot get my shoes on – LOL!!! I am going to be a true Canadian and wear my flip flops home… it started snowing but what can I say!