Mexico: Puerto Hello

My grandparents are the cutest people in the world. Seriously. I cannot explain how much I adore them. They’re the kind of cute that you only dream of. They’ve been amazing, godly examples to our family as we’ve grown up; I can’t say enough good things about them. They’re also the two of the kindest, most generous people I know.

My Papa turned eighty last October, and my Nana turns eighty this October. To celebrate, in May of this year, they took our entire family on a vacation to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for a week.

My Aunt arranged for us to stay in this amazing villa, owned by some of her friends (thank you for doing that, Aunt Glenda!), and honestly, it was perfect. Perfect. Like the kind of perfect that should be one-in-a-lifetime.

Sixteen of us stayed at the villa, called Casas de Las Brisas. It had more than plenty of bedrooms for all of us and separate living spaces. We had access to two pools, a hot tub, a tennis court, a ping-pong table, a pool table, a home theater, etc, etc, etc,. The margaritas flowed freely, too. Additionally, we had some of the most kind, most helpful people taking care of us while we stayed there. They cooked for us (almost every meal), helped to keep everything clean, and were really a big blessing for our time there.

In short, it was bougie, lavish, and a wonderful, relaxing time with the fam-bam.

That being said, there were, per usual, a few funnies along the way.

Prime example: On day one, my nephew was mistakenly tossed into the pool…

[Keep in mind that my nephew is not yet five, and his sister is younger than him. So, they are small humans. And also, another side note, out of respect for my family members, since this is not a private blog, I will not be sharing the names of my nieces or nephew. Thanks for understanding. 🙂]

We had all arrived to Mexico at different times, kind of staggered throughout the day, and the small ones wanted to get into the pool while we waited for the rest of our family. But once they got there, we were getting out of the pool to dry off and say hello.

My nephew was standing by the pool with his dad, Jake, bouncing around like the boy he is and asking if we could get back in the pool. No sooner had Jake said, “Not right now,” than my Uncle picked my nephew up and swung him back into the pool (Full disclaimer, my Uncle would never have done that if he knew my nephew couldn’t swim, but wow, joke gone wrong 😳).

My brother and I jumped back in the pool, literally faster than I’ve ever moved in my entire life. He wasn’t in the water for more than a second before Jake and I were both back with him, so everything was fine.

It’s all cool, right? Nothing to see here. Picture Source.

The little guy was pretty surprised and we had some tears, but he bounced back super quickly.

So, in a nutshell, that was the color of the first day (Trial by fire, as it were).

The next day was pretty uneventful, and epitome of what vacation should be (relaxed, sunbathing, having drinkies, napping in the sun…). It was perfect — we were on vacation after all.

The coolest little-dude around!

[Also, the staff served margaritas literally all day, every day. There was never a question of if there were drinks, but rather if you wanted one.

And the food – so much food, and so, so, so delicious.]

On the third day we were in Puerto Vallarta, our family went on a boat ride. My sisters-in-law stayed at the villa with the youngest kiddos, but everyone else, including my nephew, went out for the day.

The boat ride itself was perfect. Not super sunny, but warm , and the boat had most of its space at the bow, with little hammock-thingies to relax on. Again, super bougie, and super fun!

Moral of the story: Don’t snorkel before their monsoon season. Picture Source.

The snorkeling was questionable, because the water was pretty dirty, since the rains hadn’t come yet to help clear up the water. There was a lot of algae and floating matter, we’ll just say that.

So, those of us who went snorkeling had to be hosed off when we got back on the boat… and, I personally, felt weirdly itchy the rest of the boat ride.

On one day, we went into the flea market area of the city. We spent a couple of hours paying way too much for cute little take-home gifts. My best buy was a tequila-shot set, complete with a tiny salt shaker and a cute little dress for one of my nieces (The most impressive purchase by far, though, was my cousin Tarah’s hammock!).

Another night we had a surprise event at the villa for my Nana and Papa. My Aunt arranged for a Mariachi band to come to the villa and play music for a private concert. Watching how happy my Nana and Papa were, and seeing them dancing together, was a huge highlight of our time there.

That night, after the band played, we had a wonderful dinner together, that inevitably turned into a sob-fest as we all shared our favorite memories/things about Nana and Papa…

[It was a beautiful, bonding experience, and one that should only be repeated once every few decades… There was a lot of emotion.]

The “Crew”.

We also went Zip-Lining while there. I had never been before, but wow. Really, wow. I loved it. It was amazing. Anyone who is a moderate adrenaline-junkie should try it! Also, this course had I think about 14-zip-lines, so it was well worth the hour-ish trip from the villa to Canopy River. There was a good bit of walking/hiking involved from line-to-line, but nothing super strenuous, and the guides were very knowledgeable and helped make the experience as memorable as it was.

Upside-down zip-lining – 10/10 would recommend.

[My favorite part was getting to try going upside-down on one of the lines! So cool!]

One of our last evenings there, if not our last, we went down to have dinner on the beach. My nephew was completely mesmerized by the ocean. It was super cute to see. He also has a tendency to go full-blast anywhere he’s going (I mean, he’s a 4-year-old boy, so this isn’t exactly surprising), and managed to knock my Papa and niece into the water before dinner. Which resulted in my sister-in-law and I essentially giving my niece a bath in the bathroom sink…


After dinner, he wanted to go back down to the beach, so he and I were down running by the water again and he wiped out, taking me with him.

Double oops…

My nephew, precious little man that he is, does not like being dirty.

So, when we fell, he was not a fan of being wet and sandy. We almost had a not-so-tiny meltdown over it, until I pointed out to him that Auntie Haley was also super wet and sandy.

I asked him if he wanted to go back to sit with everyone else, or keep running… He chose the running. After we were done running, he wanted to snuggle up under a towel, kindly provided by the restaurant we were at, and he fell asleep in my lap watching the waves.


It was a pretty hilarious, albeit sandy, experience. And also one of the most precious moments of the whole trip for me (I couldn’t tell you when the last was that he had fallen asleep with me <3).

So, all-in-all, the trip was a fantastic experience. End of the story: my family is adorable, if slightly accident prone, and my grandparents are the kind of cute that’s too pure for this world ❤️ I love them dearly.

Enjoy the good-fun gallery below!

Thanks for joining for this story-time adventure. As always, if you’re planning a trip to this area and have questions, I’m happy to give out some advice based on my experiences!

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