Exotic Traveler member Ron Jacques submitted the following blog about his amazing experience celebrating 50 years of marriage with his family at El Dorado Seaside Suites:
My wife and I have been happily married for 32 years. We have been married nearly 50 years, but only 32 of them have been happy. The 70s and 80s were pretty good decades, but there were a few droughts through the 90s. We had some ups and downs as we adjusted to our empty nest, but retirement has really been great.
All kidding aside, a 50th wedding anniversary is a major accomplishment – especially when you add a large family to the mix. From the beginning we knew we wanted to include our children and their spouses in our celebration. The whole family knew how much we loved El Dorado Seaside Suites. In fact, several of our children had even spent time with us there as we shared our favorite vacation destination with them.
Our solution to a perfect 50th wedding anniversary celebration was to combine family and destination. But we knew we had to set up a few basic rules. After all, we are still Mom and Dad. Our set of rules consisted of:
- We would make all of the arrangements at the resorts ourselves. This was an easy task as the staff at El Dorado Seaside Suites were so helpful in our planning.
- They would take care of their own travel arrangements to the Cancun International Airport. This was also an easy task as we had raised them to be responsible adults.
- We agreed to eat supper together every night as a family. This was a concern as they had so many plans that affected their eating schedule.
- The rest of the time they could come and go as they pleased – with or without siblings.
- They had to agree to be nice to each other when Mom and Dad were around. Kids just never grow up, you know.
The plan worked to perfection. We all managed to arrive at the resort on the same day (rule #2). Six couples left at different times from different airports, all arriving at the same place. Our check-in included a refreshing drink and a cool moist towelette and we declined the usual tour of the resort. After settling in to our room, we greeted each of our kids in the lobby. We welcomed them with a brief tour after helping them settle into their rooms. We had pre-arranged with the resort to put our rooms close together – but not too close (rule #1).
We had made dinner reservations at each of the restaurants on different nights with the last two nights open so we could revisit our favorite menus. We told our kids that if they missed the reservation they wouldn’t be able to eat that meal. We wanted to make sure they all ate together (rule #3) so we had to stretch the truth more than a little. The truth was that each restaurant had open seating and the all-night room service, which would not allow anyone to experience hunger, ever.
After their first Gourmet Inclusive® meal, we had no trouble getting them to eat together every night. Our main reason for choosing this resort was its culinary experience. Each meal had several menu options; sometimes we would go to a food display (not for dinner) because we could not make another decision as to where and what to eat. There was also plenty of food available between meals.
The Mayan Riviera has a plethora of activities to choose from and there were plenty of on-site assistance in helping us decide what we wanted to do. We were free to do as much or as little as we wanted with whom we wanted (rule #4) and decided to do a day trip to Tulum and Xel Ha as a group (rule #5).
None of our family drinks alcohol, but that didn’t deter us from finding our favorite bartender and creating another “exotic drink sin alcohol”. However, our favorite activity was hanging out at the beach. Whether we were looking for a lounge chair, a beach bed, or a hammock, we were never disappointed. We even spent most of our time together at the beach (rule #5) and there were rumors that many of them had arranged their own couples massage.
By following our five simple rules, we really did get along as a family (including the in-laws) for a whole week. We all got there, ate together, and were genuinely nice to each other. It was worth the 50 year wait. Hopefully, the next celebration won’t be so far away.
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