Cirque de Soleil

On the drive from the airport to our villa on the first day we passed these huge black and white striped circus tents. At first I assumed it was a sketchy local circus until we saw the huge Kooza signs, it turns out cirque de soleil is in town.

I’ve seen cirque twice before – both in Vegas – and both times have been mind blowing. We showed the kids some videos and they were also instantly hooked. We made it a reality Sunday.

The show did not disappoint. It never does. The kids spent 2 hours mesmerized by tight rope walkers, contortionists, acrobats, the ring of death and clowns. They were all completely exhausted for the ride home. My pictures will never do the show justice – you need to see it for yourself – but these do give you an idea of just how incredible this show is. I’m sure this won’t be our last cirque show.


Mom and Jim arrived mid-week and have been soaking up as much sun as possible while they are here. We have quickly oriented them on the lay of the land, lack of schedule or plan and general laziness of vacation. They’ve caught on quickly.

Sadly, for their first day here I spent most of it inside nursing poor little Madeline. It wouldn’t be a family vacation if someone didn’t get sick and unfortunately this time it was little Mads. She spent the day in bed, mostly all alone (at her request) attempting to rest between bouts of sick. The boys still had a great first day on the golf course – even if the round took 6.5 hours. Nora and Mom spent the day poolside.

Lucky for everyone, kids bounce back quickly and by the next morning she was more or less back to herself. The boys headed back to the links for another extraordinarily long round while the girls spent the afternoon at the beach. We all met up for dinner, eventually, before calling it an early night.


Monday evening marked the halfway point of our trip. So far we have spent two weeks just being. There’s no agenda here, no plan to the day. Nothing to do. Nowhere to go. And it’s exactly what we need.

The weather has just been marvellous. Each day we wake up to sunshine, a few clouds a nice breeze and every once in a while a brief rain shower.

We slowly start each day. The kids often have school work to do. Jacob and I catch up on emails over coffee. There’s almost always a quick dip in the pool or on the rare morning I nip down to the beach for an early morning walk. The afternoons are much the same. We head to the beach, lounge by the pool or play at the resort.

Jacob and Charlie have played a couple rounds of golf. Or rather Jacob has and Charlie plays caddy and chugs free Fanta from the drink cart. The girls and I have made many sand sculptures on the beach.

Our house here is absolute perfection. It’s enormous. Enough space for us all to have some alone time. Gorgeous grounds for us to hang out in.

This is definitely a different vacation for us. We have never just stayed in a single spot for our whole trip. I don’t know if we will necessarily do it again but after skipping a year and all the ups and downs of the last two years this is heaven.

This has been a fairly laid back week. Jacob managed to get an infection in his eye and now spends his days wearing his sunglasses in the dark bedroom. He does come out at night. Sunglasses are included. With the help of tele-health and JoJo we should have him on the mend. He’s less than thrilled with the lack of golf and outside time.

The kids continue to spend their evenings on stage. Nora believes the show actually *needs* her. It’s awful sweet.

We had a few great afternoons at the beach. Nora and I snuck out for a walk just the two of us one afternoon. Another day I took the kids down – just like summer at home. The girls discovered that the sand here is easy to mold and had a great time.

We also came down the other evening to a spider the size of a pot light. So. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows! Luckily though, for me, bugs fall squarely on Jacobs list of responsibilities and he took care of. I’d probably still take the spider over the cold and snow.

Bravo Bavaro

Saturday we bought a pass to the Iberostar Bavaro Suites resort. The villa we are staying in is inside the Iberostar complex. This means that we can opt-in to the all-inclusive plan at any of the three resorts. The kids had been eyeing the Bavaro because it has a splash pad right next to an ice cream bar and they really couldn’t imagine what would beat that.

We spent the first day really wandering around and getting our bearings. The kids were all rather excited about all of the seemingly endless possibilities. Turns out, they love a buffet. We spent the morning camped out at the splash pad where they all had at least four ice creams. Nora decided strawberry daiquiris NO ALCOHOL were more her style. We grabbed some lunch and headed to the beach for the afternoon.

After dinner, the kids discovered the joys of the evening show at a resort and played a starring role in the entertainment.

Sunday and Monday were pretty much a rinse and repeat of Saturday. With the added bonus of watching the super bowl half time show on a big screen at the beach! Jacob was more than thrilled with the half time show and educating the children on the entertainers. By Tuesday we figured we should slow down a bit and maybe just head to the resort for supper.

Lazy Days

The kids are exhausted. Turns out swimming three plus hours a day will wear you out. To avoid spending the whole day listening to them whinge and whine we spent the day sitting around the house. They spent way too much time on their screens and were sent to bed early. I got to spend a bit of time alone in the beach though so it wasn’t a total loss.

We did learn that we perhaps aren’t giving the kids the worldly education we thought. They asked me if I made the coffee all by myself, “like from scratch” when they saw this contraption.

Morning beaches

We made a home-schooling deal and decided we would work hard on Tuesdays and Fridays while Jacob also has to work and less on Wednesdays and Thursdays. This means we have the chance to go to the beach in the morning on Wednesdays.

We headed down around 10 this morning and finally figured out that we aren’t the only people using the beach club. It seems our 2pm start was way too late in the day. We got ourselves settled the kids started sand castling then one or the other took turns whining.

I managed to put up with the constant complaints for a couple of hours before we packed it in. Two hours at the beach is a pitiful performance from this crew. A few days of above average doses of vitamin D and exercise in the pool have left the kids exhausted. We headed back, grabbed a quick bite to eat before cooling off in the pool again.

The kids finally finished their schoolwork, with much prompting. As a reward, Charlie and Jacob went to scope out the resort that we are going to opt-in to for a couple of days. The girls and I used our pool loungers and floated around before they settled in in front of the TV. Charlie returned to give his report (two thumbs up) and then got his butt kicked in our swimming races.

Villa schooling

Tuesday is always a busy day for Jacob – he doesn’t ever completely stop working so the kids have decided that Tuesday would be one of their main school days. It’s still vacation though so school doesn’t start before a quick dip in the pool. We can call it gym class.

After we finished off our studies Jacob headed out to the grocery store with a very long list and a time limit. He managed to overflow one cart worth before he ran out of time. The kids and I played in the pool, had lunch and sunbathed. We also fashioned a water pump out of a coke bottle, a ball needle and a leaf to make it water tight. That counts as science right?

Once Jacob got home we headed down for a couple of hours on the beach before supper. The kids had new buckets and shovels to try out so while they buried each other I went for a walk down the beach. At some point we are going to opt in to the all-inclusive package at one of the resorts so I took the opportunity to scope out the different options. The one with everyone on spring break probably isn’t for us. I’ll continue my research.

We got supper together and decided to eat outside. There’s always a nice breeze so it’s quite nice in the evenings. Plus eating outside seems so novel in February. As we were wrapping up eating jacob noticed the bats were coming out. Apparently our roof houses dozens of bats. I quickly decided to give up our table to let them eat in peace.