Let me start off by mentioning this was our first attempt at a family vacation with both Samantha who is now 5 months old and Emma who is 2.5 years old. We were a little nervous on how her sleep would go with all four of us in one room. She only recently started sleeping through the night and I was not expecting her to keep that up while in a hotel room.
We started off our vacation right by having a nice casual lunch at Scotty’s Landing. It was at a Marina with a nice view and Miami Breeze. Poor Emma thought it was the beach and was ready to take a swim in the water, but took it well when we explained that was not the case. The food was very good here and got us in vacation mode.
We got to the hotel around 1:30 and thought it would be a good time to nap the kids before heading to the pool. When we got there we were surprised to see a beautiful chocolate amenity which was eaten so fast I couldn’t snap a pic, and a little tray for the kids to decorate their own cupcakes. What a cute idea!
Our first nap was a complete failure. Emma was too excited to be on “cation” as she called it and wanted to go to the pool so would not sleep no matter what we tried. Finally around 3:30 we gave in and got us all dressed to go to the pool. The Ritz has a zero entry pool which was great for Emma to be able to stand on her own and for me to sit with Sam so she can wade in the water. There were many families there and we felt very comfortable. There were 5 cabanas at the family pool, a couple of them slightly larger, with amenities such as a fridge stocked with drinks, snacks, and even a tv! It was a great idea for families who are looking to spend the whole day at the pool. Make sure to reserve those in advance as they were all filled up when we were there.
Our first night we dined at Cantina the hotels casual Mexican restaurant on the beach. The view was perfect and we just happened to sit down during sunset. The temperature had dropped a little and the breeze picked up. That combined with the ambiance of the soft music made for a perfect setting for dinner. My sister and her husband were kind enough to watch Sam while we went to dinner. It was a nice to be able to spend a little time with just Emma. She also really enjoyed herself getting to watch the guacamole being made table side and sway to the music (seriously she was swaying). After dinner we stopped in the lobby where they had live music. There was another little toddler there dancing and of course Emma was totally into the idea of dancing too. We were all sitting there taking pics of the two of them dance together. Totally a melt your heart moment!
We came back to a delicious chocolate cake in our room in which we preceded to quietly eat in the dark. Those of you with kids understand the importance of not waking a sleeping child once you are lucky enough to get them to sleep. I would recommend a suite with separate bedroom or connecting rooms for the kids.
That night my sister and I watched the kids while the guys went down to the Rum Bar to watch football. I wish I could say that the kids slept through the night but that did not happen. Emma would not sleep in her cot the first night so as soon as I got in the bed she started cuddling which was super cute. What was not cute was the constant tossing and turning the rest of the night and even sitting up and talking to me up until 4am. Luckily this did not wake Sam who woke a couple hours after Emma finally quieted down so I could sleep. We were fortunate to have been staying in the Club level on this trip so I could sneak Sam upstairs at 7:00 am when they opened to hang out until the rest of the Fam woke up. This was 10:00 am by the way!!! I was ok with that because I did not want a cranky hubby and two year old on my hands all day.
I have to stress what a godsend the club lounge was on this vacation. I think that all families should seriously consider paying a little extra for this at the Ritz. The Ritz really goes the extra mile with their Club as they have food and beverages there almost all day and the staff there are super helpful and friendly. I have to mention the famous Ritz cookie jar… and it’s almost like a hotel within a hotel. Its super convenient to just pop in for a snack or even lunch with the kids. They have breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack, evening apps and desert! Not to mention they have a kids room with dvds and games and tables just their size. They also have a great little club lounge set up by the beach on most days.
The full day we were there we really took advantage of the pool and beach. Emma loved playing in the sand. It was a bit hot so of course I ended up carrying her back and forth from the pool to the beach.
We had such a long full day playing in the Sun we decided to keep it simple that night. We told my sister and her husband to enjoy an adults night out at Cioppino and we watched their one year old and our kids. We thought it would just be easier to have some apps at the club lounge and then go back to the room to get them to bed at a reasonable hour. Surprisingly Emma fell asleep in the cot this time and Sam was asleep in the crib so I thought we were golden! WRONG!!!! 11:00 my sister came back from dinner and popped in to close the connecting door and boom Sam was up. There was nothing we tried that got her to calm down and stop crying. It was now midnight and I was so scared that she would wake Emma. I threw on some shorts and walked the hotel a couple hours with a completely awake and happy baby. We did manage to get a couple hours of sleep that night before the short drive back home.
How can you be mad at this adorable little face for not letting you sleep on your vacation…. The sleep factor was a little messy on this trip but the fun we had and memories we created during the day more then made up for it. Our next vacation is in 3 months when we fly up to Vermont to see family and have an adults only retreat at Twin Farms. Stay tuned……