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By Monica Randle

We booked our spring break family vacation well in advance, since we
were traveling as an extended family of seven to sunny Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Since the snow can linger in Chicago until baseball’s Opening Day (yes, I’ve been to Wrigley Field at the beginning of April when it was
snowing), we decided to travel
south to enjoy our spring break vacation on the beautiful beaches of Puerto
Vallarta. Grandma, Grandpa (babysitters!), Mom (that’s me), Dad, Uncle
Ryan and little 1-year-old Logan took a direct flight to Puerto Vallarta out of Chicago O’Hare
just before a snowstorm.

We stayed at the Velas Vallarta Suite Resort. It is an all-inclusive,
kid-friendly resort, just a short ride from the airport and about a
10- to 15-minute cab ride from downtown Puerto Vallarta. Despite what I had
read about this pristine resort, I had visions of an all-inclusive
having watered-down drinks, inedible food and an overcrowded romper
room of a kid’s pool. My worries were quickly put to rest.

Our hotel room was a three-bedroom villa with a veranda and gorgeous view of Banderas Bay. The room was set up with the crib and high chair Ihad requested, and it had a full kitchen complete with microwave and

From the hotel grounds, the adult and children’s pools and beach were all
beautiful. There was even a small playground next to the children’s
pool that my son loved. For older children, there’s a kids’ camp.
There were three restaurants on site (all kid-friendly) that did require
reservations, but we had no problem booking. There were also tennis
courts where my poor husband lost to my dad again and again. My
mom and I rose early (ok, not every day) for sunrise yoga on the beach.

Randle_mexicoviewOne of the perks of the hotel was that the staff was available at our beck and call. Need an apple juice in a sippy cup by the pool? No problem. Need another order of guacamole and extra towels sent to the room? It was delivered right away. If I saw a fun pink umbrella drink being delivered to someone across the pool, I could order it to try it myself. It was a great way to try things that I normally would not! I am now a big fan of ceviche and flaming Mexican coffee (which, as the name suggests, is set on fire!).

Our hotel was a quick cab ride (or bus ride if you are more adventurous) from downtown Puerto Vallarta -– a lively little town with great shops, restaurants andnightlife. On a day we went to town we visited the flea market where it’s fun to barter, stopped in the historic church and even saw four men descend from a two-story pole while moving to a lively band performing at street level.

We even were able to take a whale-watching tour and saw a few humpbacks –- how thrilling!

If you’re looking for a relaxing vacation on the beach, I highly recommend this all-inclusive resort — and Puerto Vallarta — for a family vacation.

Related Orbitz resources:

Monica is a full-time working mom to a rambunctious 2-year-old boy,
Logan. She enjoys cooking and spending time with her husband and son
exploring their Chicago north side neighborhood.

Tagged: Family time, Mexico

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