ahhhh, mazatlan.
our home away from home.

Back in July, I shared our love of the Philippines. Well, my husband a.k.a. Pro Look Sports also has a factory in Mazatlan, Mexico.
Since PL started contracting work with this factory our family has been traveling to Mazatlan. While recently there we tried to nail down how many times we have gone. We think this was our seventh family trip. Of course Dusty has also gone solo. Our first trip there as a family I was pregnant with KJ. We have celebrated Halloween in Mazatlan, Thanksgiving, and lots of birthdays in-between. I am drawn to the familiarity Mazatlan has to us, and love the memories of being there with incredible friends and family.

One draw-back of going to Mazatlan is that we are not quite as close to the family/workers who run the factory there. First of all, the factory in the Philippines is BIG and only works for PL. The factory in Mazatlan is smaller, and contracts work with PL but also sews for many local companies in Mexcio. Another drawback in Mazatlan, not many of the factory owner/workers speak English. Our family doesn’t speak Spanish either. So, Troy-the COO of PL and a dear friend run the relations between them and us. Troy speaks spanish fluently as do his wife and kids. So, our communicating is very limited, although, we do enjoy our time with them and they are so genuinely kind.

As I mentioned in our trip last month to Cabo, we have a timeshare in Cabo and in Mazatlan with Pueblo bonito. If anyone is looking to invest in something like this, let me give you one tip- buy on Ebay or the equivalent! We purchased our first timeshare with Pueblo Bonito a few years ago in Mazatlan and spent a lot, then a few months later we discovered them being sold online at Ebay or other equally respectable timeshare resale sites for the lowest price around $2K. {depending on the size of room you want this gives you one week per year for around 30 years} A few of our friends have purchased since we did and it’s so fun to travel in groups. And, the Pueblo Bonito resorts are gorgeous.

Pueblo Bonito at Emerald Bay-

hands down, this is the best pool ever! It’s even just a little bit warm, perfect!
After the rush of Disneyland it was so relaxing to be at the pool, lounging, and doing our favorite activity – painting ceramics poolside!

kj-doing lego’s poolside, and swimming with them!

one of our favorite things about the emerald bay beach is that there is a section that has hermit crabs living all-over and the kids LOVE to go down there and catch them.

The funny thing is, they bring them back up to the pool in cups and forget to watch them…

Sooner than later we have escapee-hermit crabs hanging out in the pools!

One highlight of our week was playing sand volleyball, this was the first time that some of the older kids joined in with the adults. What’s better than playing a sport/game on the beach with your kids!?! I was so proud of Kiana, Eli, and Ethan {Howell boys} they all did so good! We didn’t take it easy on them either, they had to play tough!

This is how the story goes…

5am – our bedroom is dark, KJ is tapping me on my shoulder in my sleep}

KJ: “Mom, there’s a fire.”
{yeah, notice the PERIOD. not an exclamation point! he’s totally calm…}

{Groggily, I roll over to focus on what he has said and REALIZE immediately there is reflection of FLAMES on our bedroom door from the other room!}

Jane: hitting Dusty from across the bed “omGOSH! Dusty, Dusty, wake up! There’s a fire in the other room!”

We both go RUNNING into the other room to spot Sela sitting across the room on a sofa, passionately holding her pillow and sucking her thumb while she stares on at the fire…

I turn off the stove top and hit the vent on the microwave to try and help the smoke and Dusty started dumping bowls of water of the stove…


This is how we imagine the story goes…

Sela, our ONLY child {I’ve mentioned this before} who thinks it’s acceptable to wake up at dawn, was up and going early every morning in Mexico. She was up very early this particular morning. Our routine was to wake up, get her the food she was requesting, turn on the TV in the living room to watch while she eats her breakfast meanwhile we try to get another hour or two of sleep.

It seems, she also wanted popcorn. Without waking Dusty or I to make it for her, she pulled a chair across the room to try and reach the microwave. When that failed, because she still couldn’t reach the microwave, she set the plastic wrapped bag of microwave popcorn on the BURNER of the glass stove top and turned it on. WAIT! We have a few things laying on the stove top. A cooking pot, two nintendo DS’s one of which was plugged in being charged, and a plastic strainer. We assume it didn’t take too long for the fire to break out.

KJ was not in the room where Sela had been. He was in a bedroom down the hall, sleeping. When we later asked him why he was awake? He said, “I heard Sela watching TV and wanted to come out and see her.” So, when he woke up at 5am {totally not normal for him} and strolled out to the living room he immediately saw the FIRE and came in and told me, casually…

“Mom, there’s a fire.”

Damage done:
Water everywhere from extinguishing the fire.
Two extremely well-done nintendo DS’s
a melted strainer
a smoke-burned microwave



Successfully, sela did pop the popcorn.

Luckily, no one was harmed!

Afterthought, to take a picture of the smoke damage…
What better thing to do after a fire?
Spend the day at the beach!

Emerald Bay, where we stay is located in “nuevo mazatlan” a few miles outside of town so we are not in the heart of the action for most of our week. But, we usually try to go into the Pueblo Bonito in Mazatlan at least one day to enjoy the action! Lots of vendors selling souveniers, boogie boards, hair braiding, Dusty tried surfing this trip!

a new event at our resort is the Mexican fiesta on Wednesday nights.
we had a blast!
We had lots of delicious traditional Mexican food, great entertainment, and best of all, really good friends to party with!

The kids all participated in a traditional game that was similiar to musical chairs. They stood in a circle with the music playing and passed a sombrero, but when the sombrero was handed to you, you had to put it on your head, spin around 2 times and then pass it. If the music stopped on you, you were out. It was a riot, and the best part was our little buddy Esher who’s only 4 was the winner!

This was one of the only nights we didn’t stay up late as adults playing cards. It still amazes me how in-to-it Dusty gets. He is a freaking little kid and must win!… and did 2 out of 3 nights. He and Danny also had fun starting a new tradition during cards not necessarily to my approval. 🙂

Next Day:
more pool time-

Everytime we visit Mazatlan the Mom {grandma} of Rudy & Inez, the owners of the factory host all of us in their home for lunch. It’s tradition that she makes us mole’ and rice pudding, it is seriously a treat. So so yummy!

After our lunch we all piled in Rudy’s truck and headed to the downtown markets
KJ is working on mastering the rubik’s cube, his buddy Eli is helping him. So far he can get to one of the first steps, where he completes one side… Just a little more time, and he’ll have it! KJ had his rubik’s cube to keep him busy while most the girls shopped!
Sela’s new Mexican sandles, she was my little shopper!

a pulmonia – an open-air jeep/taxi. they are really fun to cruise around in, especially on the roads right along the beach!
The kids spent one afternoon in the kids club- One activity was to make “dinosaur eggs.” It was really cute, you take a balloon, fill it with flour, tie it. Take another balloon and cut holes in it, slide it over the flour-filled balloon and you now have a spotted dinosaur egg. Evidently, while just starting to use the flour, Myla blew in the top of the bowl and surprisingly covered her face with flour. So, since she was already covered she kept blowing. She was seriously unrecognizable! that’s my Myla!

One very disappointing element of our trip…
Kendric and Bethany were planning on spending the week with us in Mazatlan for their first time. But, Bethany’s passport didn’t come on time. Long story short, Bethany never made it and Kendric spent the week with us as the solo uncle. He was a great sport all week to play with the kids for endless hours and even let the older kids have sleepovers in his room where they could be left without their younger siblings bothering them! That alone is worth gold! Thanks Kendric for being so unselfish & fun! Bethany, we missed you and plan on you being th
ere next time, dang it!

the circus came to town!
one guy was in this cage with 17 tigers all the size of this one, he was crazy!
my girls all snuggled up to get a good view-

at intermission the dads’n kids went down on the arena floor to pet the white tiger cub! priceless!
This place is a party 24/7, although compared to our last very innocent dining at Senor Frog’s, this time was pretty lively and it was not-so-kid-friendly, we will most likely not be going to SENOR FROG’S as families in the future!

balloon hats-

All the kids – dancing on stage!
marshmellow fights!
always sad, our last day to paint and lounge in the sun…

nothing in the world is as good as when this little guy crawls on my lap to snuggle
still practicing!
and last, but not least!

On our flights home, we flew Mazatlan to L.A.
and L.A. to Salt Lake City.

On our 2nd flight {that we barely made}
as we walked on the plane {very late} the flight attendant leaned over and asked if our family was American Idol fans?

ummm, YEAH!

He then whispered that DAVID ARCHULETA was on the plane, and it just so happened he was two rows in front of us!

After we got off the plane he was so friendly and totally willing to take a picture with Kiana & Myla!

We came into Salt Lake City with the airport temporarily closed due to the snow storm.

welcome home to utah!

Luckily, the pilot said we had lots of fuel and he was going to continue circling the airport till we could land.

We finally made it.

This trip goes down in our family history as another wonderful week in Mexico. It is truly valuable family time. If you could all see my planner, it’s so funny because every day leading up to our trip looks like madness and immediately the next day after we get home again is madness. We all love every activity we get to do, but time stops on vacation and it’s magical to be together.

10 responses to “mazatlan”

  1. Beautiful pictures! Great Stories! Good times:) I truly admire how adventurous you and your family are. I would imagine that you guys could have a blast at a retirement home! You bring the party:)

  2. I am so sad for Bethany i thought of her the whole time wondering if she ever made it!
    What a SUPER FUN Time! I love hearing all of your Mexican Traditions. I can’t believe how Tan Kiana gets holy Cow!! She looks awesome, as do all your beautiful kids.

    How fun that David Archuleta was on your flight, i love that the girls got a picture with him.
    You guys always have so much fun, We want to come next year for sure!!

  3. I have two words for you: spoiled rotten. Actually, I have three more for you as well: Can I come?

    And yes, I’m with you on the ebay timeshares. We went that route and like to mock people who pay full price.

  4. All of that looks so FUN! Thats funny David was on the same plane as you guys because a couple of weeks ago my dad sat right next to him on the plane & david recognized my dad from My brother's Concert!

  5. Ahhh Mexico. It’s fun to relive it on your blog and pretend like it’s mine and I’m already done posting:-)

    That trip gets better and better every year…and longer and longer apparently.

  6. WOW! What a seriously awesome vacation! I LOVE the white tiger picture and Sela setting the condo on fire – what?! Thank goodness for KJ!

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