We’ve been going to San Carlos Mexico for as long as I can remember. My dad has been going since he was 12 years old. He and my grandpa went when they got certified for Scuba Diving. San Carlos and Scuba Diving has been a huge love of my dad’s ever since! My Dad’s family would go for family vacation there and camp on the beach. My mom and dad honeymooned there. I’ve been going since I was a baby. My family would often go one or more times a year (my dad going down even more!) Some of my fondest memories involve the water and a boat, and most of those memories are in San Carlos. It really is like a second home to me. All my siblings love it there and we all dreamed of bringing our own families there!
Spring Break of 2015 my family was going and they invited us. Chris was able to get time off of work (and school????) and we were able to go. Chris and I grew up together so I never had the nerves of introducing him to my family, but taking him to Mexico felt like it! I thought he would have a good time, but I wanted him to love it, like I did. I wanted him to want to bring our family back and want to vacation there. I was so nervous, which sounds silly, but San Carlos is a second home to me. Its the first place that I loved almost as much as my own home. Luckily he loved it! My kids loved! We even went at a time of year that the water is cold, so we didn’t do much of what I love most (scuba diving, snorkeling, boats, etc.). When we went deep sea fishing Chris borrowed the crew’s mask and snorkel and he snorkeled around for a while. The gear was awful, but he had a good time. (I don’t do cold water without a wet suit so I watched!) The kids didn’t love the wind in their face from the boat, but we spent time riding four wheelers, on the beach, and the pool so we had a good time. When we were home Chris told me that he would prefer vacationing there over going to San Diego. (We had recently done a family trip to San Diego and we had a blast!) I was so happy to hear that. He also said it was a blast going with all my siblings as well! All in all it was perfect and we knew we would be back as a family!
One of the bummers of moving to Washington was the fact that we would be so far from San Carlos! Before we moved we talked about how it would be complicated going back, but we knew we could fly into Mesa, Phoenix, Tucson, or even Hermosillo in Mexico. We knew it would be more work, but we both wanted to go back!
My family had been talking about going down in October for awhile, we really wanted to make it work, but we weren’t 100% sure we would be able to go. Both my brother’s weren’t sure if they and their families would go and it was tricky finding a place to stay. Luckily we were able to find a place and only one of my brothers and his family couldn’t go. (School and work.) We were extremely sad they couldn’t go, and the only thing that would have made the Mexico trip better is if they would have gone. I think we talked about James, Lara, and Remmy multiple times a day saying how much we missed them. Next time they better go! Since everything was coming together we booked our flights and off we went!
Friday we all left my parents house around 5am. Chris and I drove my dad’s truck with the kids, and with Beth. My parents drove their Expedition with Preston, Emma, and Parker. We made a few stops along the way . (We always stop at McDonald’s in Nogales for breakfast and bathroom breaks.) We also made several bathroom breaks, but we made great time and we made it to San Carlos in time for a late lunch at El Pollo Feliz. (Our favorite place to eat there!) We eat there at least once, but if we are lucky more than once, every time we are there!
After we were full we went to the condo we were staying at (Bahia Delfin), unloaded, and unpacked. The big boys (my dad, Chris, and Preston) went to get the boat ready and to put it in the water and the women and kids stayed home. (My dad has a boat that he owns with a few friends that stays in San Carlos. We’ve had it as long as I can remember and it really makes the trip!) While the boys were getting the boat in we took the kids to the pool to swim. My kids had been talking about swimming for ages. (Since we met James, Lara, and Remmy at Lara’s family’s house in June!) They were so excited to swim! After swimming we got the kids dinner and went to the beach to eat it and watch the sunset. When the boys got back we had dinner and celebreated Ryan’s birthday, (cake and some gifts that he got for the beach and pool!) and went to bed early. We were all exhausted!
The next morning the kids woke up about 6am. Since everyone was still sleeping I took the kids down to the beach. We were able to play in the sand and the ocean. We saw dolphins and it was great! When we would see dolphins we would run back to the house and tell everyone! Most people didn’t make it in time to see the dolphins, but we sure did! This turned into a tradition and every morning we would wake up early and we would have our beach time! I actually preferred getting up early and going to the beach. It wasn’t overly hot. It wasn’t crowded, the water was calm, and w always saw dolphins. It was great! Some mornings people would come out and join us as they woke up. Preston would bring Parker down and I got to love on him! It was perfect!
Saturday after everyone woke up the kids got some more pool time while breakfast was being made. After breakfast we loaded up on the boat and went on a boat ride! Since the kids didn’t love the boat last time, I was a little nervous, but it was a year and half ago that we went last and they both have grown up a lot since then! Both kids loved the boat! They sat on the sides like big kids and did so great! Ryan even got to drive the boat a decent amount and he did great! I LOVED the boat growing up. I loved the wind, the water, the sun! I loved the bumps and the up and down from the waves! I so wanted my kids to love it and they did! Some boat rides were super smooth and there were no waves. Others it could be a bit rough, and we would be splashed and jostled! Those rides were our favorites and me and the kids would just laugh! It was so fun sharing that with them! Both kids also loved napping on the boat. Warm and comfortable and they would just get rocked to sleep. The boat was perfect!
Our first boat outing we went to Double Point. It is a short boat ride and its a perfect little cove. It is pretty secluded from the wind and big waves so even if the ocean is a bit rough, it is almost always perfect at Double Point. It is also fairly shallow and there are so many fish, sting rays, eels, octopus, and so much more to see. Its fun to dive down and pick up star fish and other shells! I did my first open water dive at Double Point. I love it there! It can get a bit crowded which is a bummer, but that is the only negative for me of Double Point, and that negative is so minor! Plus most of the time it isn’t even crowded. I wasn’t sure how my kids would do in the ocean, not being able to touch the bottom, but they jumped right in! (I had to convince them to wait for another adult to get in first!)
The snorkeling at Double Point was great! The water was a perfect temperature. Chris really enjoyed snorkeling this time now that he had decent gear. His snorkel wasn’t leaking in water so that’s always a win. It was so much fun to see so much fish and sea life activity. It was great having so many adults to help with the kids as well. My mom was a huge help! She was able to snorkel some, but she helped out a lot with the kids so her kids could snorkel. My kids were able to swim with their Aunts and Uncles and Mimi and Papa, and with Chris and me. Chris and I were also able to have some time to snorkel just the two of us. It was a blast!
My dad then gave a lesson on Scuba Diving to Chris and Emma. Both of them have never been diving before, but lucky for them they married into a diving family! After their lesson they put on their gear and were able to bubble around for about a half hour. (They probably only went about 10 feet, but they were able to get a good feel for it!) It was so fun to see Preston snorkeling above them watching over Emma. They really have such a sweet relationship! I watched from the boat….After diving we got back in the boat and headed for home. Later that evening we spent some time on the beach enjoying the sunset and a bit of time at the pool too!
Sunday me and the kids woke up and went to the beach. Later that day we were able to go to Church in Guaymas. The kids weren’t sure what to think about sacrament meeting being in Spanish, but they did pretty good. After church we went on a drive and then went back to the condo. The kids went for a small swim. Then we went for an evening boat ride. My kids LOVE swimming in the ocean, so since we went out on the boat they thought they needed to swim too. The water was a bit rough and it was windy. My dad found a nice little spot near double point and my kids went for a swim. (Chris went in with them.) They wanted in the ocean even though no one else got in. The swam where they couldn’t even see the bottom. They improved so much from the last time we were there!
Monday my dad took whoever wanted to go diving out on the boat for a bigger dive. My mom and I stayed back with the kids and everyone else went diving. They were gone for a few hours and while they were gone my mom and I took the kids swimming and to the beach. Then we had food waiting for the divers when they got back. We had fun watching the kids play and enjoyed visiting for a bit as well.
The divers said they had a good time. It took Chris some practice figuring out equalizing his ears. His mask would also fog up. Emma had too much weight on or something because she sunk rather quickly to the bottom. (Hearing about it was so funny!) Chris and my dad were buddies so they were above Emma. They said they could see her just sinking like a rock, and Preston swimming as fast as he could after her. My dad got nervous, not knowing if something was wrong with Emma, so he told Chris to hang tight while he checked on Emma. Luckily she was fine and luckily she is a natural at equalizing her ears! Chris figured out his ears and they all made it down. (Beth was there as well!) They went about 60 feet. After their first dive, Chris and my dad went out again and they went in a little cave. Chris had a good experience and enjoyed diving! (In fact he would chose diving over deep sea fishing, which was his favorite thing before!)
That afternoon after everyone was rested up from the morning we all went out on the boat to Double Point again. We went in the later afternoon/early evening and we were shaded completely. That was some of the best snorkeling I’ve done. I’m not sure what made it so good because it was the same place I always go, but it was a lot of fun! We all had a really great time! Chris found a puffer fish. He showed it to my dad and while my dad was trying to catch it (If you corner them they will puff up and then they can’t swim. Then you can kind of hold them.) he stuck his hand in a rock crevices. He didn’t know it, but there was an eel in there and my dad stuck his hand in the eels mouth! (Chris has it on his go pro video. You can see my dad yank his hand out really quickly then shake it and then look inside the rock.)
We all practiced free diving some and Chris used that time to try to practice equalizing his ears. It was fun to dive down and grab things that were interesting or just to swim closer to the fish! When Ryan was swimming that day he got stung by something. I was afraid he was going to be afraid to get back in the water, but he said he wouldn’t be! After we all finished swimming we loaded up on the boat. This boat ride was a bit more rough, but SO MUCH FUN! I sat with Lillian and she just laughed. We had a great time! We were also able to watch the sun go down on the boat which was beautiful!
On the way home we stopped for coconuts and Carne Asada tacos. That night we watched some of the go pro videos from the dive and some of the snorkeling footage. It was fun to hear their stories and just to laugh!
Tuesday was our last full day and the kids and I started it the same way…out on the beach! We decided we were going to go on a boat ride that day. Preston, Emma, and Parker decided to stay at the house and relax a bit. (I think they went to the pool and the beach with Parker and just enjoyed time with their family.) The rest of us went out on the boat and we went to a place near Double Point. Kind of where Chris and the kids swam on Sunday. It was great snorkeling as well. It was deeper than Double Point (in places) and there were a lot of fish out. The water that day was so calm, that it made great snorkeling! Beth did really great free diving there. She was able to go down about 30 feet! It was fun to watch her and Chris got some good video of her. She looked like a mermaid! The kids had a blast! Ryan even got in with no fear despite being stung the previous day! We rode the boat around for awhile and we saw a Sealion. It really was a beautiful day!
We met Preston, Emma, and Parker at El Pollo Feliz for lunch, got more coconuts, then went back to the house for a short break. After our break we wanted to go out on the boat again. We had such a great time at Double Point the day before we wanted to go back again at dusk. My mom decided to stay with Parker and they hung out on the beach some. It was good that they stayed because it did great pretty rough coming back! The snorkeling was a lot of fun! I was able to hang out more on the boat with the kids which was fun! It was fun watching everyone snorkeling. My dad caught another puffer fish and he was able to bring it close to the boat for the kids and me to see it. They loved that!
Beth and my dad free dove through a cave. On the way up Beth scraped her leg, but she did great! She really has a talent for being in the water! Emma took a bag with her snorkeling so when she dove down she could bring shells back with her. She looked like Ariel in the Little Mermaid, but instead of collecting human stuff, she was collecting ocean stuff! The boat ride back was the roughest, but it was a blast. I loved sitting with my kids and laughing at the roller coaster we were on!
Wednesday the kids and I went to the beach. This time Beth woke up and came with us! It was fun having her with me! While we were at the beach, the big boys went and took care of the boat. We had breakfast, then we packed everything up. When the big boys got back they ate, then loaded the cars and we were off! The trip again was uneventful and we made decent time. On the way home we stopped for really good Carne Asada tacos. Crossing the boarder was easy with minimal wait time. When we got home we unloaded quickly and just like that our Mexico trip was over!
We had a blast! Like I said the only thing that would have made it better is if we had James, Lara, and Remmy! The kids loved the ocean and the boat which was wonderful! Ryan loved driving the boat, and he loved his boat jobs (holding a rope until it was time to cast off.) Both kids followed the rules really well and stayed safe, but had fun! I am definitely dreaming of our next Mexico trip!