Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Jake and Jesse Fundraisers

Figured this was the easiest way to send you all the information.  Just doing my mom duty and sending you the information about Jake and Jesse's Fundraisers.  You are in no way obligated or expected to take part (and quite frankly I rarely take part in these fundraisers because I hate asking people about them)  I do like a couple of the ones here so its the only reason I am posting them

Totally ignore if you want I won't be offended

Jake's Magazine Fundraiser

School Campaign Code: AB1556
Jacob Rayment
Grade 7
Teachers Name: Titopolus

Jesse's FundScrip

Invitation Code: MD96H9

Saturday, April 6, 2013

March Break in Cancun

Jeff and I decided that with the stress of moving away from all our family and friends, we needed to take a really nice vacation.  Since we both have a love of Mexico we decided to head to Cancun (a little safer and cleaner for traveling with small children) for an all inclusive vacation with our little heathens.  Since we knew we were getting a decent tax return this year (hey this stay at home mom thing has to be good for something LOL!) we decided to spend a little more than we normally do (yup no camping for us this year)

With the patient help of Darell from Co-Op Travel agency, and advice from Jenny (who works with Jeff) we settled on the Gran Caribe Real Resort and Spa in Cancun.  Since I am not much of a writer, I thought I would use the same format as I do for book reviews,  and give you the pros and cons of the hotel we chose.  Will also have some pics at the end and more run on sentences about our trip

The Good Stuff
  • After upgrading our room we had a spectacular view of the ocean. Worth every penny of the upgrade
  • The staff were out of this world. Friendly and helpful (especially those in food services and housekeeping) and really tried to communicate in English
  • Food was fresh, tasty and plenty of variety for all tastes.  I would have liked a bit more authentic Mexican (been to Mexico 4 times,  I like the real stuff) but other than that no complaints
  • Mojito's were yummy
  • Comfy bed and fabulous shower (once again only after we upgraded - our original room was horrific. Actually had to call for help when the shower wouldn't turn off on our first morning)
  • It was very relaxing in terms of you never had to carry around money, When you wanted a drink or needed something to eat there were always something to be had within a couple of minutes - very stress free let me tell you
  • Water slide was fun (could use some renovation) but we spent most of our time there with the kids.  We picked the place because it had a kids club, but it wasn't the type of place my kids wanted to go, so we spent most of our time at the slide.  Hey one of these days Jeff and I will actually have a vacation where we actually get a chance to spend time together
  • Jesse loved the mini put - it needs some touch ups but it was tons of fun
The Not So Good Stuff
The ship after finally being renovated
  •  One of the main reasons we picked this hotel was because of the Pirate Ship kids area. Much to our dismay it was being renovated for 4 of the 7 days we stayed. Was offered no compensation for this and have to be honest most of the families who stayed their will never stay their again because of this
  • They market this as a family resort but its not during March Break - the place was constantly noisy and full of drunken teenagers.  I didn't have one good sleep the whole time we were there.  I am a nice women but if I don't get sleep I am one nasty bitch (yes I did threaten the 20 year old Mexican teen in the next room if he woke me up again at 3am by banging at my door I was going to kill him - no lie I did that and only slightly ashamed - plus I am pretty sure his English wasn't that good so he probably didn't understand the kill part - but he sure as hell knew I was not happy by the look on my face)
  • We were called twice to come down and talk to Guest Services so they could help us learn more about the facilities. Yeah -- Guest Services is where they try to hook you into a time share.  Not impressed. Although we did go to the presentation and they were lovely when we just said -- hey not for us right now. Though the 90 minutes they promised was more like 3 hours. Ah well I got a $100 and a nice bag.  But if you stay there and guest services call - JUST SAY NO - unless you really want to know more
  • Kids club really only suited for kids 3-7 and mostly stuff just for girls.  Nice staff but I didn't feel comfortable leaving Jesse with them - as well -- Jesse is a wild animal and hard to keep track of.  Not enough supervision for a kid like him
  • Website out of date. Many of the features including the pool side sushi bar are no longer available
Who Should/Shouldn't Stay Here
  • During March break - families - go somewhere else - the place was a mad house and you will not get any sleep
  • If you are going during a less busy time it really would be a nice place to stay if you have kids up to the age of 7
3 Dewey's (Not bad, but much room for improvement - we will never go during March break ever again)

Fun Things we Did

Jake and I really wanted to see some Mayan ruins. I had seen Tulum when my parents took me to Cancun when I was 19 and  had told  him all about it.  I convinced him to go with me to Coba. Unfortunately, I  accidentally picked the wrong tour and didn't find out till it was too late.  It ended up being an Adventure tour that ended with a small tour of Coba.  It's ok though, we ended up having a fabulous time and tried some things that were way outside of both of our comfort zones. Tour was called Alltournative Coba Maya Encounter Adventure Expedition

The fabulous tour guide Eduardo (on Left). Guy on right was hilarious and sweet to Jake
Jake ziplining - yup he didn't want to do it but he loved it
Mayan ceremony to protect us from the dead before we swam in the ceynote
Jake repelling - he loved this and wasn't scared at all - unlike me
Again Jake out of his comfort zone - jumping into the deep ceynote - so proud of you!!!
Sweet Eduardo offering to be my hubby for the day
Yup I zip-lined too and LOVED it
Look at my mad kayak skills (Jake was no help at all LOL!)
Yes I repelled and yes I was so nervous
Our travel method to the temple
Walking up much easier - just ask Jake on way down

Made it to the top
Nice view from top
Looks much taller in person - dream come true getting to climb it
 Jesse and Jeff decided to go on a SubSee Explorer adventure. They had a fabulous time and even got to drive the boat on the way out to the submarine. The waves were pretty choppy and 3 people got seasick while in the submarine.  Glad Jake and I missed that part LOL!  While they were on the tour Jake and I went shopping for souvenirs and cheap Kahlua (bought 2 bottles as it is less than half price of what it costs here and Jeff loves it)  

Having a Good Time

Paella on the beach
Both of the boys loved the slide (so did Jeff - and man he could make a splash)

Jeff and I saw this on one of our walks
saw this beauty on the same walk

Yup Jeff said this was one of his fav shots
Surfer Jake
Playing in the sand in front of our room
Jesse loved playing this type of chess
Tired the little bugger out
 A little ticked off with WestJet as the 6 hour flight home had no TV's in the back of the seats.  Guys I have kids that is so unfair. However they do have Tablets with movies on it that you can rent for $20 each (you guys suck we already paid enough thank you very much) Of course we rented one for Jake and Jesse otherwise they would have completely lost it cramped in a seat for that long. Very uncool WestJet. Fabulous, helpful and hilarious flight attendants made it less painful. You really do hire the right people WestJet.

Glad to be home and get a relatively good nights sleep (hey I have kids and a puppy its very rarely a full night sleep) Miss wearing my sandals, listening to the ocean waves and a Mojito for lunch and dinner (though my waste line does not miss those)

Favorite dining spot - good food and great service
Jake got smoothies here every day - his favorite spot

Best Mexican coffee!!
Last Day

Bubba Gump Shrimp
Noisy little bastards

Oh yeah and if you are in the Calgary area and need help buying a bathing suit - check out Shapes N' Figures . Awesome service and they even found me two bikini's that were flattering (Trust me -- I have never found a decent bikini to suit my odd body style - and no I am not showing you pictures of it - I had two kids and there be cellulite people - not pretty) Also excellent waxing services at Frilly Lily

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Grammy's

t year we entered  and won a contest from Wonderlist for a trip to the Grammy's.  When we moved out to Calgary we figured our win was forfeit as it was an Ontario only contest, however,  Wonderlist graciously let us keep the prize (and saved a little cash as it is actually cheaper to fly to LA from Calgary than Toronto). We had one more hiccup before we could plan the trip.  As we had moved across the country we also left behind all or our friends and family and had no one to watch the kids. One of my husbands wonderful co-workers, Jenny (and her fabulous mom) offered to come to the house and watch the kids so we could go. I am truly grateful ladies, I will never forget what you did.

So on a chilly Saturday morning, Jeff and I, headed out on a comfy Westjet flight to sunny Los Angelas for a once in a lifetime trip.

Embarrassingly (I'm 42 and graduated from Travel and Tourism) I never realized that California could get so chilly and my wardrobe was slightly inadequate.  Although it really didn't faze me as I had just left -20 so even the "chilly" L.A. weather felt to me.

Our hotel Luxe City Centre Downtown
View from the fabulous hotel bar
When we arrived on Saturday afternoon (after our 1st celebrity sighting of P Diddy or whatever the hell he is called now at the airport) we quickly checked into our hotel, had a delicious snack at the upstairs bar (scrumptious Tuna Tar Tar & the lovely bartender Analee)  and unpacked.  As we didn't have much free time we decided to take a tour that afternoon that  would show us a bit of everything.  Completely forgot to write down the name of the tour company but it was a lot of fun and the driver/tour guide kept us entertained for the 3 hours.

Hollywood Walk of Fame

Rodeo Drive

Beverly Hills

Celebrity Houses. I was a good girl and didn't spit on Tom Cruise's House (yes I was really tempted)

Elizabeth Taylor's
Gene Kelley's house
Shatner's House
 We had a spectaculr, and really expensive dinner at this Japanese restaurant called Katsuya. The food was out of this world and the wine delicious.   Hey it was a once in a lifetime thing so we had to do it.

The next morning we headed out on a seriously long bus trip to the Santa Monica Pier.  Worth the time but it really set our day back.

The Beach was deserted, except for us touristy types, so we got to really enjoy the sights.  I got to dance around in the ocean and Jeff and I just enjoyed the beauty and time to actually spend with each other without the kids.

We decided not to go early to the Grammy's and just enjoy the pier.   At the last minute we raced back to our hotel and got our-selfs prettied up and ready to go.

The whole thing was just surreal. It was like being at a rock concert and they played all your favorite songs.  I was even rocking out to Justin Timberlake and Taylor Swift and I don't even really care for their music. They really know how to put on a show. It would have interesting to actually have access, or at least be able to see up closer the celebrities but other than that we had a fabulous time.

After the event we wanted something a little more low key so we headed out to this pub right beside the Staples Centre. We had a scrumptious, yet seriously overpriced, dinner.

On Monday morning we headed to the airport, where we waited in the line behind the yummy (and Canadian) Justin Chatwin from Shameless. But I was a nice respectable Canadian  girl and didn't take a picture when he was bending over and taking off his shoes and belt while going through security. My sweet hubby did get out of the way so I could get a better look of his behind

Oh yeah almost forgot. Had some excellent customer service while preparing for the event.

The Friday before I left I received a spa day at SunPark Spa and Wellness Centre from Jeff.

Had a relaxing spa pedicure and gel nails from the funny and lovely Jenny.   It was followed by a nice massage by Trish. Also since the owner, Sharon, didn't want me wrecking my pedicure she actually drove me to work so that my nails would have extra drying time.  Now that is customer service and will now be a regular customer.  The decor is fabulous and it was just a relaxing, yet fun place to be pampered.

The Outfit above was picked for me at the Guess at the Southcentre mall. The girl who helped me (whose name I cannot remember but she was beyond awesome) was tons of fun and made me go out of my comfort zone to pick something that was a little funky, yet totally comfortable and appropriate for me. What do you think guys?