El Dorado Casitas Royale – Adults Only Resort

My husband and I have been married 10 years this year. We have 3 kids. They just turned 5, 7 & 9. We have not been away for more than an overnight together since our honeymoon.

We went away for our anniversary, just the two of us for 5 days to the El Dorado Casitas Royale. It was pure loveliness.

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We needed this. The word deserve gets thrown around a lot, but dare I say after the winter we’ve been through with said 3 kids, we might just deserve this.

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It took a lot of planning, negotiating, compromising, prepping the puppy for a doggie hotel, and 2 sets of grandparents. Basically just sheer will to get this done. Probably the reason we’ve haven’t done it in 10 years. Because holy hell I need a vacay from planning my vacay. And the guilt too. OMG the mom guilt. I got over it as soon as my toes touched the sand however. YES I did. In the end we were rewarded with 5 glorious days to ourselves.

We decided early on in the planning that we would give all inclusive a try. Even on our honeymoon we didn’t stay at a super fancy resort. We backpacked, finding hotels on the fly in Greece. It was amazing and we loved it. But this time around we’re a bit older, slower and well, in need of a bit of a rest.  I planned the whole thing with my husbands only two requirements in mind: A swim up bar and NO KIDS.

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I zoomed in on Cancun because the travel time was reasonable, the weather is awesome, and rave reviews from others. We narrowed it again to the Riveria Maya. A little less spring break-esque. I looked at a lot of all inclusives in the area and there are many. Wittled it down to the adults only. I kept coming back to one over and over again – the Casitas. In particular, I kept coming back to this picture imaging myself there…

I looked at this picture every day as we prepared to go and I worked out the details. I couldn’t wait to get there! I mean LOOK AT IT!

We arrived in Cancun at 3 in the afternoon. We found our car that was taking us to our resort no problem. It’s best to set up the car before you even leave the country. When time and relaxation is of the essence you don’t want to wait on a taxi. Hire a service. It’s well worth it. As we got our belts on the driver offered my husband a beer. An effing roadie man, are you kidding me?

His face lit up. Seriously. He was on vacation and I could see him settle in. I declined because Corona Light smells and tastes like a frat party to me and um, no thank you. I do not need to be reminded of frat parties on my romantic weekend with my husband. When we got to our resort I was offered something a bit more my speed… a chilled glass of champagne. Thankyouverymuch.

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Everything about the Casitas Resort didn’t scream luxury, but rather mentioned it in a quiet attentive voice. There’s no need for screaming, the kids are at home. Did I mention that already? There are no kids. My kids aren’t here. YOUR kids aren’t here.

I just adored this resort. From the room to the pool to the restaurants. Everything. A special mention needs to go here about the people that run the resort. And I mean the men and women on the ground. Sweeping the beach, bussing the tables, serving the deliciousness, cleaning, organizing, working. WORKING. The resort staff are so service oriented, it’s staggering. We wanted for nothing. Ask and it appears, with a smile. A warm genuine smile, not an ‘I’m just getting through my day here’ smile. As someone who is not accustomed to this type of service, I was just in awe of it. Lovely people, all of them.

But you want to know about our stay right? :-)

Our suite was just gorgeous. We had breakfast delivered to our room every morning because I couldn’t be bothered to leave. Really, could you…

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But when we did leave the room our pool with swim up bar was only steps away. And a few steps after that… the beach.

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During the day, I sat by the pool, laid down on the Bali bed, or took a walk on the beach to the salt water pool. (This would be the ONLY con to this whole resort. Beach erosion has taken it’s toll and the surf is sometimes unswimmable. They have also put large unsightly barriers in the water to help with this problem. Not one person ever mentioned this the whole time we were there as being a problem. After the first day I was okay with it too.)

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I read a whole book cover to cover. I even read a magazine.

But mostly, I just had lovely daydreams. I dreamt about my kids, my life, what my husband and I would do later ;-) I had time to day dream people. I was lying around doing nothing. A highly under rated activity IMHO.

At night we had the most gorgeous meals with crazy exceptional service. This Karisma Resort is a Gourmet Inclusive. I had uninterrupted meal time conversations with my husband. No one asked me for anything except what I wanted to eat and drink :-)

We went to shows at night. Beach bars. And wine by moonlight on the beach beds. We held hands and went for walks. Had some sexy time. No “OMG what’s that noise? Is it one of the kids.” Nope just the ocean or someone bringing us room service!

The Casitas are a part of the larger El Dorado Royale by Karisma. It is a private enclave dedicated to providing an even higher level of luxury and personal attention. You can enjoy all of the amenities, restaurants and activities of the neighboring El Dorado Royale and Generations Riviera Maya. But as guests of Casitas Royale we had exclusive access to our own private pools and swim-up bars, and concierge services just steps from our room. They even have aromatherapy and pillow menus! There is just so much goodness.

As an all inclusive we never had to worry about what to eat or drink. We just ordered and it arrived. Price was not a factor or a deterrent in any of our decisions. We ate and drank as we pleased. That was a true luxury. I think the food and drink alone need a post!


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IF you can get away. DO IT! I would go back in a hot minute!

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Disclosure: This post (and my sharing on social media) was inspired by my participation in a program by Karisma Hotels. I have been given a discounted room for this post. 

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Preschool Graduation – the baby is all growed up

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My baby just graduated from Preschool. That means he’s off to Kindergarten in the fall.


Elementary School.

With the big kids.

A giant backpack on his back.

Lunch made.

Jumping out of the van.

Running up the path.

Away from me.


They are all moving away from me, all three. All the time. It’s the nature of kids. The grow. They move away from you. That’s what’s supposed to happen. But GAWD it hurts like a mutha.

I just want to keep them all right here, for just a bit longer.

I am having all the feels.

Next year means all the kids will be in one school. I got little brother into the after school program for the kindergarteners. That means one drop off. One pickup.

I have 8:30 – 2:45 all to myself. To do anything. Or something. I don’t even know what. What the hell am I going to do? But what if they need me? They’re so grown up, but still so little. Ridiculous.


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Happy Anniversary to my husband. Imagine that – 10 years?


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A golden doodle puppy plays in the snow

A one minute meditation for all the snow haters out there.

Are you sick of the three feet of snow in your backyard. Another Snow Day? Kids Home? Will they get out of school in July? Does your back hurt from shoveling? Again?

Here is your One Minute Snow Meditation.

If you can’t smile about this 4 year old playing with his golden doodle puppy in the snow there is a problem. Perhaps the snow has frozen your heart ;-)



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The grass is greener where you water it.

A quote by Neil Barringham. Made pretty by the people at the blog Are you Serious.

You can buy a postcard of it there :-)

This snow outside is quite high and I’m dreaming of spring and the smell of grass. But that’s not what this quote is about is it. I’m am in and out on here and on social media becasue I’ve been spending more time watering the grass at home ;-)



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He lived and he was loved.

I have some friends that haven’t known me for very long. I have some friends that have known me for what seems like forever.

Everyone that knows me should know this one thing. I have a brother and 19 years ago today he died. But more importantly, he lived. He lived and he was loved. He was loved by me and so many more. He lived and he was loved.

I want my kids to know him the way I did, but it’s been so long that I’m starting to forget.

I was snuggling with my girl the other night making funny faces and I showed her Uncle Danny’s favorite funny face. I wish so much that he was here to show her. This is the best I can do. Funny faces, funny sayings, and stories. But the memories, they fade.


My brother Dan as a baby and his nephew Theo. A slight resemblance there, huh?

I have a friend who very recently lost her own brother. We were in Vermont watching the Olympics together as Bode Miller broke down on TV about the loss of his brother. And there we were, the three of us, crying for our brothers. She and I talked for a while about our brothers. It was sad, but also nice. I think we both appreciated the space to talk about them without fear that we would upset someone or say the wrong thing. I understand her. I have been where she is.

I don’t get to talk about him much with new friends. It’s an odd thing to bring up and most just quickly move the conversation along. Fair enough.

But he is a part of the person I am today. His death is a part of the person I am today. If he had not died I would not be same person that I am right now. Had he not lived I would be no where near the person I am today. He was and is my brother.

I’m writing this not for a chorus of “I’m sorry” or “Hugs” (not that I won’t take them), but just so that you know he lived and he was loved. If you don’t know me that well maybe you didn’t know I had a brother.

Well I’m here to tell you I have a brother. His name is Daniel, Dan, Danny, Bean. He lived and he was loved.



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