Avoiding a Griswold Situation
Have you ever planned a trip for three generations of family? How do you keep everybody happy and find time for yourself? Planning family vacations can be hard, especially when you have a variety of demographics and interests to balance. Such was the case for our spring break trip to Loreto where we balanced our personal travel styles with Ed’s mother and daughter. The first order of business was making sure everyone was comfortable and would have some fun. We really wanted to explore the area for ourselves both by land and by sea. It was also important to us to fit in a little ‘together time’ if you catch my drift, especially challenging given the motif of a family road trip. We tend to love to go go go, play play play, but that’s not always the best use of a vacation day for everyone. It has been said that our best vacations are some people’s worse nightmare. Ed’s mom joined us for the journey to celebrate her 70th birthday. She was looking forward to some family time along with catching up on her reading in a beautiful location. This was Ed’s daughter Dreya’s last spring break with us before college, and her goals were to crank out a handful of school projects and study for exams, while trying to fit in a bit of fun and relaxation/downtime.
The standard hotel route was not the go for us
After an hour or so spent on Trip Advisor and various other search engines, I was convinced that the standard hotel route was not the go for us, It would be awesome for us to have a house where everyone would have their own bed to sleep comfortably in (big bonus), a living room and outdoor area for family time, the ability to cook family meals, and a dedicated workspace for Dreya. That idea led me to the Homeaway website. I was amazed at how many options I had for prices comparable to less expensive than the hotel options, with hotel type amenities such as pool and hot tub, super key in my vacation world. This is where I found our Loreto home for the week from Hamman’s Vacaciones.
We were able to rent both their largest place Tequila Sunrise and their adjacent smaller unit Dolphin Cove for less than the cost of two hotel rooms, and we got so much more. Tequila Sunrise had a large living room with a dining room area perfect for Dreya to set up her laptop, and a large kitchen with everything we would need to prepare meals. It had one bedroom that was separate with a really lovely bathroom and shower. Mango deck was a smaller unit with two single beds and a small kitchenette and bathroom. They were linked by a beautiful outdoor courtyard with the lounge chairs, a barbecue, and the ever so important pool and hot tub. Included with the property were daily maid and laundry service (yes really) and town bikes that we could take at our leisure to explore. This was a huge bonus to us as we love to ride bikes!
Lynn and Randy were the consummate hosts. They took the time to acquaint us to our surroundings and gave us all the tools we would need to enjoy our time in Loreto such as information on grocery stores, restaurants, and activities. Two of the best things about Lynn and Randy were Lynn’s homemade mango jam she left for us and the fact that they were both around if we needed them. However, we did not feel like we were being watched over by Big Brother, which does happen according to many funny, but not so funny antidotal stories I have come across researching renting a house or apartment for vacation.
Our Loreto home was everything we’d hoped for, convenient, comfortable, and relaxing. We so enjoyed our stay that I was inspired to write my 1st Trip Advisor review. We can also recommend the Homeaway platform but with caveats. Make sure you read the community reviews. Read between the lines and with a critical attention to detail. The owners on site worked great for a family trip. However, if we were going out with friends and looking to raise some hell, I am sure that both parties in the transaction would have been disappointed.
Our breakfasts and snacks were cooked in our kitchen but we really enjoyed going out and sampling the local cuisine, after all, that’s part of the fun of travel. On our first morning, we took the bikes out before breakfast to Pan Que Pan, a little bakery where we bought some yummy danishes, muffins, and breakfast rolls to take back to eat with Lynn’s mango jam. For lunches we had lunch provided for us on both our diving trip as well as our Loreto bay tour or we would eat something light at the house. That left dinner, and we had lots of fun finding places to eat every night. Everywhere we ate was not only reasonably priced, but also had tasty good quality food. On average, we paid $40-$50 dollars US for dinner for four people to eat which included 2 to 3 cocktails. We definitely enjoyed many a tasty and strong piña colada and margarita. We are big proponents of umbrella drinks on beach vacations! Truth be told, we did not do our due diligence as bloggers taking restaurant notes or photographing all of our meals, so here’s a quick rundown of where we ate and any meal highlights:
- La Palapa– Solid traditional Mexican food with a stand out chicken mole
- Loreto Islas– Tasty pastas with rich decadent cream sauces
- Mi Loreto– Cool treehouse atmosphere, amazing tortas in place of the usual chips and salsa, and the best piña coladas of the trip
- Cafe Ole– one of many ‘local’ taqueria’s that offer simple but tasty Mexican food at very reasonable prices.
Our only dining regret was that we were not able to make it to Orlando’s Mexican Cocina which was widely recommended by locals as well as #1 on Trip Adviser. During our time in Loreto they were closed for floor restoration so, unfortunately, we missed out. Lucky for us that was our only regret for the trip, that and not having more time to spend drifting around Loreto enjoying the slow-paced beauty and friendly atmosphere.