Cancun All Inclusive Resort

Cancun Resort – The Grand at Moon Palace Review

Sun, sand and warm water is all we wanted when we decided to plan a family vacation this summer. We also wanted the ease of an all-inclusive resort because of the freedom that it would give our kids, and us, for that matter! After doing some major research, we decided on The Grand at Moon Palace in Cancun. If your like me, you like to know exactly what you’re getting when you book a vacation. I decided to share my experience in hopes that it might be helpful to someone else!

The Basics

The Resort

There are 3 hotels located at the Moon Place Resort in Cancun; The Grand, Nizuc and Sunrise.  The Grand is the newest of the 3, having been completed early in 2017.  While staying at The Grand, one can move freely to all 3 hotels, which includes restaurants, pools, stores and other activities. When staying at Nizuc or Sunrise, one can move between the two freely, but can only enter The Grand with the purchase of a day pass.

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Mayan Adventure Snorkeling Tour

Cancun – Mayan Adventure Snorkeling Tour Review

First of all, I would like to state that this is not a paid review.  Our family chose to experience this snorkeling tour as it seemed like a great one to try. The review that is below is my honest opinion, which includes what we liked and what we didn’t like. My intent in all of my reviews is to share with my readers my experiences, in hopes that it will help when conducting your own research on a specific topic.

Our family recently vacationed in Cancun, Mexico.  We had a checklist of things that we wanted to do while on vacation and snorkeling was one of them. While we stayed at our all-inclusive resort the entire time, the snorkeling wasn’t very good there, so we had schedule an excursion. We chose the Mayan Adventure Snorkeling Tour through Aventuras Mayas.  This tour consists of snorkeling at 3 stops; a Caleta (Ocean inlet), a Cenote (cavern) and a Cenote Abierto (open cavern).  Each stop was unique and offered a fun new experience.

Scheduling and Transportation

We scheduled and paid for our Aventuras Mayas excursion through our all-inclusive resort, which was very convenient.  The vacation planner at the resort called Aventuras Mayas directly to ask for availability and booked it for us.  They were able to charge the excursion to our room, so we just paid for it when we checked out. Pricing was reasonable, around $115 for adults and around $90 for kids, considering the 3 stops you get.

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Salt Lake City Utah

Our Favorite Spots in Salt Lake City, Utah in the Summer

I have to admit that I was less than thrilled when my husband said that we were going to Salt Lake City, Utah for vacation in the middle of summer.  I didn’t know too much about the area, but knew that it would be really hot.  My husband, however, had been working on his Master’s Degree in Business from Western Governors University and completed all of the required courses in May.  So, whether I wanted to or not, we were headed to Salt Lake City in July for him to walk in the commencement ceremony.

We started doing some research on what we could do while visiting.  We began asking friends and family who were familiar with the area what their suggestions would be.  As we started to discover all the sites that Salt Lake City had to offer, we began to get excited about the various things that we would be able to do.

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Packing for vacation

Moms Guide to Packing for Vacation

If you’re like me, I am always looking for the most efficient way to pack the family as we head out on vacation.  And, if you’re like me, you have to pack for the entire family; the husband, the kids, the toiletries, the entertainment in the car/plane.  Yep!  I have to make sure we take it all. I used to completely stress out about packing, and still do a bit, but I have been able to put together a system that works well for me over the years.

Be Prepared

Being prepared is the key to efficient packing and ensuring that you don’t forget anything.  I begin preparing the packing list ahead of time, usually 3-4 days ahead of time, depending on how long the trip is.  This trip we have coming up will be 11 days long, with hotel stays in 3 cities, so I started my list about a week before departure time.

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The list created for each member of the family and is very detailed.  It includes the items needed and the number that should be packed. This allows me to give the list to the kids and let them pull out the clothes that they want to take.  If the trip is short, or in a convenient location, I may just let them put their stuff in the suitcase and call it done.  When we get to the destination if they don’t have an item, they can either live without or we can go pick it up.  If the trip is longer or not in a convenient location, I will double check the contents to ensure nothing is missing.

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Slow Summer Schedule

Slow Summer Schedule

During the school year, we are usually so busy that every minute of every day has a plan.  Now that we are in full swing of summer, schedules are so light that its hard to remember what day it is, or what I need to do!  It takes a few days to adjust to the slower pace, but once we do, relaxation mode sets in!

What I have come to learn is that there are some things that just don’t really matter in the summertime!

  • Bedtime – when my kids were younger, they still had bedtimes in the summer. Now that they are older, I have no idea what time they go to bed!
  • Mealtime – Meals are happening, I think…  My kiddos are really in charge of feeding themselves through the day, but they basically eat when they get hungry.  Breakfast, lunch and dinner times are not relevant.
  • Getting dressed – While my kiddos do shower every day, it usually consists of taking off one set of pajamas and putting another set on.  And if they do get dressed, chances are they will be sleeping in them!
  • Sleeping during the day happens regularly
  • Electronics happen!  As much as I’d like to say that my kids aren’t on electronics during the summer, I would be lying!  They are always watching movies, playing games, or on You Tube!

Slow Summer Schedule

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wear the bathing suit

Mom, just wear the bathing suit!

It’s summer time, and as we prepare for 4th of July gatherings, pool parties, vacations and the beach, moms are mostly excited.  But in the back of our minds, lingering, is the thought of the dreaded BATHING SUIT.  That is right, ladies, you aren’t alone.  Statistics show that roughly 90% of women are not happy with their bodies, and I am not ashamed to admit that I am one of them.

Over the years, I have tried many diets and numerous workout systems.  What I have realized that even when I have reached my ‘perfect’ weight, I still wasn’t happy with my body.  I would still pick apart areas thinking ‘I could lose a little more here’, or ‘It would be perfect if it was a little flatter here.’  Then, I realized that it has more to do with my confidence, than my actual body.  As I look back at memories from when I was younger mom, I can vividly recall moments that I was self-conscious about being in a bathing suit.  Those negative thoughts almost drown out the wonderful memories of interacting with my children in those moments.

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Keeping your kids motivated as Summer Vacation approaches

Many of your kids are already out for summer break (lucky you!), but we still have a week and a half to go…8 days to be exact!  The closer we get to summer break, my kids are less and less engaged in what is going on in school.  Granted, some subjects are winding down, and there isn’t as much homework, but the struggle to get them out of bed and out of the door in the morning is REAL!

If you are having the same struggles as I am, here are a few things that I am doing to help keep their focus and energy up:

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Summer Vacation

Summer vacation….is it really a vacation for YOU?!

Summer Vacation.  Yes, it’s a sentence all of it’s own!  The time of the year that our kids look forward to, and that mom’s seem to dread!

On one hand, I look forward to it.  Most of the ‘regular’ sports are on break for the summer.  That means no soccer, karate and dance for my crew, and our evenings are actually free!  On the other hand, I have spent the last 3 months (yes, 3 months!) coordinating summer schedules with sports camps, church camps, visits to grandma and grandpa’s, etc.  and trying to figure out how to get them dropped off at 9am and picked up by 3pm…good thing my job is flexible!

How to manage summer schedules

There are many mom’s who schedules aren’t so flexible.  We rely on the ‘village’ to help get our kids where they need to be.  Here are a few tips on how to manage your summer schedules:

  • Car pool – always try to find a car pool – Driving one time is much more efficient than having to drive twice!
  • Find activities that take up a majority of the day – even if it’s just for a week
  • Sleep away camps – YES – as long as your kids are comfortable with it, of course
  • Check out your local parks & rec – they usually have day activities for fairly inexpensive, if you can plan for a group of kids to go to the same activities, that’s even better!
  • Free events – there are usually a lot of free events in the summer, from day time movies, to free days at the zoo, concerts in the park or readings at the library; arrange with other mom’s to take each other’s kids to these events.

How to keep you kids occupied at home

If your kids are home for the day or week here are some ideas to help keep them occupied and off electronics:

  • Give them a chore list and provide rewards for completion; rewards could be money, time on electronics, etc.  Anything that will motivate them to work
  • Board games – as much as your kids might roll your eyes when you pull them out, they usually get into it
  • Let them work – if your child is old enough let them mow the neighbors yard or walk the dog.  It will be an opportunity to teach them about earning, spending and saving
  • Bored is OK – our kids are so used to being entertained by someone or something.  Let them be creative and figure out our to entertain themselves.  Their artistic minds will grow!

These are just a few ideas to help you with your summer plans!  If you have any ideas that you would like to share on how you are keeping your kids busy this summer, I’d love to hear from you!