First Day in Paradise

It’s hard getting back to reality, we were spoiled with living in paradise the last 5 days. First thing in order was to buy groceries and food to last us a week, before we leave again next Wednesday. Next was to take the wedding dress to the cleaners. We did a trash the dress session after the wedding, and even though my dress isn’t trashed, it could use a thorough cleaning.

I cooked last night and it was nice to use our kitchen again. As much as I enjoyed having all the food served to me, I do miss cooking my own food. There was even a paella cooking class offered that I really wanted to partake in, but just didn’t have the time.

Enjoy the vacation recap. They are very detailed, more for me than anything else. It was a great vacation and I want to remember every detail.

Puerto Vallarta – Day 1 Recap

Day 1 of our vacation, which was 3 days before the wedding, started Friday morning. We drove to Chris’s parents house and they dropped us off at LAX. With wedding stuff in tow, we had 5 luggage, 3 carry-on bags + my wedding dress.

We were flying out of LAX on Memorial Day holiday weekend and it was packed. But we planned ahead and got to our gate with plenty of time to spare. Breakfast was eaten while waiting to board. Starbucks oatmeal, including all the toppings + fresh strawberries and nut butters I brought with me.


We made sure we were first in line to board the plane because I was carrying my wedding gown and need to hang it in the first class closet space. The closet space is on a first come first serve basis.

We were both so excited for our trip that we didn’t get any sleep the night before. After we took the picture below, we both slept until we landed.


We woke up in time to complete all the immigration forms for entry to Mexico before we landed.

IMG_7313 IMG_7310 IMG_7311 IMG_7312

We missed the on-flight snacks while sleeping so I munched on ginger chews and Dr. Crackers at the end of our flight.


We landed at Puerto Vallarta 3pm local time. I’ve been to Cabo and I am much more impressed with the cleanliness of Puerto Vallarta’s airport.


They randomly check luggage by having the passengers push a button. Green light means go, red light means all your luggage will be inspected. We got the red light of course.  No problemo, the whole process just took a long time.

After clearing customs, we passed by the “shark tank”, the place where all the aggressive time share folks come up to you, but we arranged for our transportation ahead of time so we can avoid the shark tank.


It was hot, hot, hot and humid! I’ve never been so happy to be drinking cold and purified bottled water.


Chris and I and all our wedding guests stayed at Dreams Resort & Spa in Puerto Vallarta.  It is an all-inclusive hotel. The hotel grounds are nice and clean, service is great and all the staff were very friendly. I would recommend this hotel for vacation because it’s affordable.


We stayed in a suite in the Preferred Tower. It was beautiful, spacious and very comfortable.

IMG_7344 IMG_7334 IMG_7336 IMG_7340IMG_7346 IMG_7348IMG_7353 IMG_7351IMG_7361IMG_7358IMG_7363

After we unpacked, we put on our beach outfit and  headed out to the water to get our feet wet and have some play time. We also met up with other wedding guests who checked-in the same day.

IMG_7379IMG_7372aIMG_7370IMG_7368 IMG_7369IMG_7379a

For dinner, we headed out to the Oceana Grill seaside restaurant. We have been craving fresh seafood all day long.


The view from our table. Prime seats to watch the sunset.


Mojitos for me. Sweet and refreshing.



Cheers to our first night in paradise.


Then time to chow down.

We started with appetizers to share around the table. Clams, Escargot and shrimp rolls.

IMG_7417a IMG_7419 IMG_7420IMG_7421  IMG_7426IMG_7424IMG_7431

During dinner, we watched the sunset.


My dinner was delicious. I love fish and this seabass plate was moist and flaky.


Chris’s plates. Yes, I said plates.


Desserts for everyone. Plaintains were used for the banana dessert plate so the texture was little different. The chocolate mouse cake was the best one of the four we ordered.

IMG_7462 IMG_7457 IMG_7459 IMG_7461

The hotel has themed parties every night and it was Fiesta Night that night, so after a 3 hour dinner (it’s a slow pace while your on vacation, especially the dining service during dinner time), we headed out to the party.


It was almost over at this point but the boys were in searched of some authentic Mexican tacos. You know, the one where the meat is shaved directly on your plate on top of your tortillas.  They found the tacos and said it was the best they tasted during the whole trip.


At this point, I was overwhelmed with all the food around us. I only wanted one thing and one thing only, churros. I took one bite and it was enough. I could taste the oil before the sugar and cinnamon. I’m glad I tried it though.



Puerto Vallarta is on Central time, ahead 2 hours local time for us, so we were always up late each night.

What a great night to begin our Mexico vacation.


Day 2 recap coming soon. Our 2nd day included an early wake up call to get ready for our first visit to the wedding venue, meeting my wedding coordinator for the first time and arrival of the rest of our wedding guests.

P.S. Chris is the writer in our family and had some of his stories published in the past. He recently started his own blog, where he post the stories he has written (old and new).

Today’s story is about surfing with manta rays. They were swimming and playing in the ocean during our stay. Chris was all over it and took great pictures and videos. He wrote about it here, if you want to check it out. It’s very cool.

If you are interested, you can check out his blog, Oakpower, by clicking—-> here. Say hi and let him know I sent ya 🙂

Have a great Friday!

Have you ever stayed at an all inclusive resort? Where? Did you have a good experience?


  1. WOW! The resort you guys stayed at and got married looks BREATHTAKING!!!! I can NOT WAIT to see all the wedding photos! I can only imagine how amazing they are!

    LOVE the bride and groom hats! so cute!

    The food looks amazing! I think Mike and I need to go here for our 1 year anny!!

    love you!

    • We had a great experience so I think you will have a great time if you go there for a trip. We stayed at Dreams Resort but the wedding was on a secluded beach, we had to take a boat. I’m so excited to show you the pictures. Catching up with you today.

  2. ahhhhhhhh! I’m so glad you decided to stay at Dreams! Since Dreams/Secrets are essentially the same- we LOVE secrets! If we get to do another all inclusive adults only (which probably won’t be for another little while now….) we will definitely do Dreams/Secrets again. The food there is awesome and the resorts are SO clean and gorgeous. mmm I forgot about Dr. Cracker- what a great plane snack

    • I remember I sent you an email, about 10 months ago regarding the hotel you stayed at. Thanks for the recommendation, we loved our stay at Dreams. All our family and friends raved about it too, one of their best vacations so far. In a few years, you can bring the baby with you. My sister wants to go back with her son once he is a little older.

  3. OH.MY.GOD. We stayed at the exact same resort for our Honeymoon and stayed in the tower on floor 18. LOVED IT!

  4. Wow! Everything looked amazing!

    I did! I just got back a week ago from our stay at the Royal Decameron Hotel Resort in El Salvador. I loved the experience and I cannot wait to do it again!

  5. Annette (Defiant Vegan) says:

    Wow that place does look immaculate and spacious.. Sweet..

    The food looks amazing and elegant! What a Classy venue..

    I’m happy you are having a great time can’t wait to see more pictures.


  6. Wow! What a BEAUTIFUL resort! Your room is goregous and the views are just breathtaking! I loved reading about your first day! I cannot wait to see pictures and read about your wedding day! 🙂

    I would LOVE to do an all inclusive resort for our honeymoon. We are thinking of Sandals.

  7. I have never been to one of those, but I’d like to! Looks like the travel was fairly smooth, and it DOES look like paradise!

  8. Your hotel room is gorgeous! I can’t wait to read the next recap.

  9. The resort looks absolutely beautiful! The beach is amazing; definitely a fantastic location. Glad you had a good first day!

Leave a Reply to Annette (Defiant Vegan) Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: