Thursday, January 5, 2017

Christmas in Paradise

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It was definitely a little strange to wake up and not be at home doing our normal run-down-the-stairs-to-see-what-Santa brought routine! Luckily he did stop by our hotel and brought each child a new book and some candy along with a glittery note that the rest was waiting for them at home :-).
One other family (from France) had been at hotel the day we arrived, but they left Christmas Eve while we were out on our tour and we then had the house to ourselves the 25th and 26th which was SOOO nice!!! Christmas morning we all went and sat out by the pool with our books and just relaxed listening to the ocean while reading and the sun came up. It was pretty heavenly. Remembering it makes me want to rewind and do it all over again :-).
After another yummy breakfast from Joyce we got our suits on and Norm dropped us off at a beach right up the road, Playa El Quemaito. It was yet another gorgeous pebble beach and we could see our hotel property from it. Hotel Panoramica really had the best lot of the houses in their row (2 were vacant and for sale and one has an owner but he is rarely there I guess) because their property juts out over the ocean giving them the best views. The ocean current was really strong at the beach so we didn't go in very deep, but we were still able to snorkel around the shallow water and see quite a bit. Mike and Addie even found a little octopus and a big eel! We got a little snack at the beach stands here...some sodas and johnny cakes (big pieces of fried dough)...and then Norm picked us up. We stopped by the colmado on our way back to the hotel and then spent the afternoon reading more by the pool, playing Uno and swimming in the pool a bit.
Since our Christmas Eve dinner was such a bust we decided to splurge on a nice meal with a nice view at one of the fancier hotels down the road, Casa del Mar. We got a couple appetizers with flavors that reminded us of home which was such a nice treat!!! Although I LOVE the food here, it was still a great treat to have some fresh flavors thrown in the mix. Our meals were all delicious as well. I got a type of fish they call dorado that was amazing and not fishy at all. It was a perfect end to a wonderful Christmas day!
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Mike and Addie are snorkeling in the background
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johnny cakes were a hit with the kids!
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stopped for some snacks and then back to the hotel pool
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the "hotel" view from the pool
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While we were waiting for Norm to open the gate and pull the car in after he picked us up from dinner Addie spotted something moving on this plant. When we went closer we could see these big fat caterpillars EVERYWHERE on the plant! They were just chomping away! I wish I would have taken another picture of the plant when we left 3 days later because it was almost gone. The caterpillars started with the petals but then ate leaves and even the stems of the plant. So crazy. I would love to see what kind of butterflies they turn into!

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