Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Spring Break 2016 at Bluefields Bay Jamaica

I have been so horribly deficient at getting through our recent spring break pictures and sharing our wonderful vacaye. It's probably best. It's taken me a bit to get over being back from paradise and had I written a post immediately upon return, it would have been an overshare of how much insane fun all the adults and kids had. How everyone laughed hysterically. And lounged in true vacation relaxation. And ate and ate and ate. Instead you now have a slight overshare of photos and summary notes.

But, a little background first. A few years ago we went with our extended family to a fabulous "resort" of sorts: Bluefields Bay. It's really a small collection of fully-serviced vacation villas. And when I say vacation, I mean vacation. It's a helping hand with the kids and a pina colada before you even ask. Outrageously good food. Actual relaxed vacation.

So we decided to head back this year for spring break with a group of families who are also dear friends. It seriously couldn't have gone better. The kids did a fantastic job and I've come to the conclusion that this is by far the best way to travel with kids. They completely entertain and engage each other and the adults actually get to hang out.

But don't take my word for it, check out our photos. We've already planned our next spring break  albeit to a different warm weather destination. In fact, if you're in the market for a full-service trip but don't want to do the leg work yourself (because, honestly, who wants to do the leg work for a 16-person vacation?!), check out a travel concierge. We used D.C. local Luxe Traveler Club to plan our trip next year. Alisa researched and put everything together without charging us a dime. Check it out!

1 / Most of us traveled together from BWI direct to Jamaica. Best flight ever. Kids completely entertained each other! We stopped for lunch at Border Jerk en route to the house and spent the rest of the day poolside.

2 / A lazy breakfast together and reuniting with house dog Simba. More pool and beach. Football. A reception in a library overlooking the ocean. The first of many, many involved nightly kiddo performances. They sang, they danced. And they did it all over again. I will never be able to get their original song about the house cat Smokey out of my head.

3 / While some of us got a bit of work done, the rest took to the hills for a guided hike. We got a little taste of how people travel to and from work every day, how locals use plants, and what a village looks like. After lunch the kids played and crafted while the adults tried to light a cocktail on fire. More pool, football, bug catching, and after dinner shows of unforgettable original dance numbers, including the longest ever singalong to Hotline Bling.

4 / Beach day and I left my camera at the house for most of it. But I caught a few snippets of morning art time, metallic tattoos for all, and our evening sunset cruise on the "glass bottom" boat. So choppy, but so many smiles.

5 / Field trip day! We took a boat ride up the Black River and then a serious trip to YS Falls. We'd visited the same on our last trip, but just a few years had given the kids more confidence and ability to jump and swim in the falls. Kane and one of his gal pals showed some serious lack of fear in dropping from the highest rope swing into a waterfall pool. It was a blast and we ended the day at our friends' villa and plenty of Jamaican patties.

6 / A rough, but incredibly fun, day at the beach. A little mindfulness. Cam got the braids she'd been after. Our friends hosted an awesome Easter egg hunt and then we had a P A R T Y complete with local reggae band. We went out in style!

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