Build A Travel Bridge To Somewhere

Last post I shared some thoughts on my attempt to bridge the generational divide in my own family through multi-generational travel.  Here is the rest of my personal quest.

Endless Activities

If your grandchildren are at all like mine, they will constantly crave ever more stimulating activities and this is where Marival Residences really shines.  I have been to countless all-inclusive properties over the years but never to a property quite as ALL-inclusive as this one.  There is something for every generation.

Speaking personally, I no longer…actually, I am pretty sure I never did…associate terror with pleasure.  In fact, to me they are pretty much mutually exclusive.  Therefore, to say that careening through the jungle canopy sixty feet off the ground suspended by a narrow wire cable with decades of deeds and misdeeds flashing through my conscience did not appeal to me is a gross understatement.  I left that particular temptation of fate to the pure hearted sons-in-law and grandsons.  My hunger for excitement was more than satiated hitting a towering four- iron from 185 yards out  that nestled close to the pin on the fifth hole of the Weiskopf course at Vista Vallarta.  Asking if I sunk the birdie putt would only interrupt the flow of this blog.

One activity that we immensely enjoyed as a group was the dolphin and the sea-lion encounters.  Of the two, surprisingly the bigger hit by far was the sea-lion experience.  Both experiences are offered at the same location and you can book them back to back one hour apart as we did.  (Insider tip # 3:  If you only have time to do one, choose the sea-lion experience.)  These gentle behemoths interact with people in amazing ways.

I wish I could tell you all about the spectacular sunset cruise that is also included in the Marival Residences package.  The reason I cannot brings us to another tip.  (Insider tip # 4:  Do not schedule the sunset cruise on your last night in paradise.) 

Dinner cruise

The reason for this is you might well face the same ugly insurrection I confronted when the family realized they would not get back until well after 10 o’clock at night to face packing and an early wake up call for the flight home.  The fact that they stormed my room wearing straw hats and brandishing pitchforks is merely another testament to the resourcefulness of Carlos, the ubiquitous concierge who seemingly can supply anything.

Your New Best Friends

Which leads me to another pearl of wisdom.  (Insider tip # 5:  Make Carlos your new best friend…which will be quite easy to do…within the first twenty minutes you are at the resort.)  Carlos and his assistant Mayte are the kind of people for whom you would gladly risk human smuggling charges to bring them back in your suitcase.  If God has fashioned two more earnest and enchanting souls, I have yet to meet them.

Take it to the bank (as long as it’s not my bank), if you are looking for the perfect multi-generational vacation, the Marival Residences & World Spa deserves some serious consideration.  But wherever you decide to travel, take heart in hand and seize the opportunity to bridge the generational gap in your family.   I would be thrilled for the chance to make it happen for you (guacamole and all).

Have you ever experienced multi-generational travel?  Tell me about it.  Until we meet again, travel safe.

Bridging The Generations Down Mexico Way

Multi-generational Family Vacations

Have you ever seriously considered taking a multi-generational family vacation? Absent the influence of any adult libation, I mean. In case you are not familiar with the term, it describes some combination of the Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Z seeking common ground in an uncommon setting.

If you are a boomer like me, your first challenge will be the internal clash of two primal instincts. On one hand, we all love our children and grandkids and long to forge stronger bonds by spending quality time with them. On our less altruistic side, ever since emptying the nest of the last boomerang, we baby boomers have also grown exceedingly fond of… borrow a song title from our generation… The Sounds of Silence. So you are probably wondering, would a family vacation be pure nirvana or closer to one of the outermost rings of Dante’s Inferno?

Insu Sky Lounge

Take heart, fellow boomer. Having had such an experience, I can happily report that with proper forethought, such a venture can prove much closer to the former than the latter.

My personal multi-generational jaunt was spent at the Marival Residences and World Spa in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico. Nuevo Vallarta, or Riviera Nayarit as the entire region is called, is just north of Puerto Vallarta and is very similar to the more familiar Mayan Riviera south of Cancun. In addition to Nuevo Vallarta, exciting new resorts have sprung up in Punta Mita and Litibu.

Insider Travel Tips

For all sorts or reasons which I enumerate below, I could not have made a better choice. There are six adults and five children in my immediate family with the children ranging in age from eight to thirteen. We selected a four bedroom, four bathroom residence (Insider Tip #1: every additional bathroom is worth its weight in porcelain.) with a large living area, fully furnished kitchen and a balcony overlooking the Bay of Banderas larger than my first starter home. It took my family roughly 15 minutes to discover the complimentary 24-hour room service and the beleaguered staff 15 weeks to recover.

The property offers numerous activities without ever leaving the resort. There is a swimming pool half the size of Lake Michigan. It is no more that four feet deep which proved perfect for the grand munchkins. The pool is bordered on one side by a

Family fun around the pool.

wide section only six inches deep which was extremely popular with one of my sons-in-law. Corey spent a significant portion of the trip giving a credible simulation of a beached whale and became quite the topic of conversation among other guests. “Is he alive?” I heard one mutter. “I’m sure I saw him move.” chimed in another.

The Marival Residences is located within walking distance of their sister property called the Marival Resort and a private section of their beautiful beach is reserved as a private Beach Club for Residences guests only. Not that you have to walk – cart shuttles are always at the ready for the two minute ride. This cozy private area is staffed by entertaining waiters eager to see if they can magically replace your piña colada between your downing the last swig and setting your glass on the table. (Insider tip # 2: The guacamole and chips make a great afternoon snack. Corollary to this rule: Make sure your table is level if you prefer your guacamole sans sand.)

Next post, I will share some more insider travel tips from this great family adventure. A shorter version of this experience appeared earlier in Fort Worth, Texas Magazine, a great read by the way. As always, a Follow and a Forward are greatly appreciated. Until next time, travel safe!