There’s no question attending a destination wedding is a commitment. For the hubby and me, even though attending meant leaving the country again a mere four days after returning from three weeks in Southeast Asia, the decision required little thought. When very dear friends invite you to share a joyful occasion in their lives, you go. Barring an Act of God, there isn’t much else to discuss. Were the timing different, we would have stayed an additional day. But declining the invitation was never part of the equation.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and venture that most of us have been to weddings where the invitation and/or attendance has been “obligatory.” By that I mean there’s not a deep relationship with perhaps the wedding party, or it’s a business relationship. This is a friendship that goes back more than 25 years. We have witnessed the bride essentially grow up and mature — with a bit of typical parental angst as part of the journey. So to share the ultimate happy moment was something really special.
The destination was the Grand Velas Resort — one of many in Puerto Vallarta offering all-inclusive packages. There are spacious rooms, multiple pools, food and drinks galore and easy beach access. We arrived on a Friday afternoon and departed Sunday afternoon, never walking more than 10 minutes anywhere. That included the the pool, restaurant and wedding festivities. It was perfect.
But here’s the thing about traveling to Mexico. Beginning with entering the terminal, there can be a lot of confusion as to which personnel at the various counters are actually in charge. “We’re from the government” was a familiar way to grab our attention (they weren’t). The central contact for this wedding had provided us with directions for where to go for our pre-arranged transportation. If one made the leap to ask where to find this, that led to “that’s us! We can take you!” They weren’t of course. With some language barriers, it can become quite a frustrating situation when one just wants to get to the destination and not be pitched on a timeshare property. Give credit to the Mexicans, they can be very creative in handling tourists.
Here’s my take on all-inclusive resorts: I think they are ideal for families with children. Trying to please fussy eaters on random schedules can take away from the parents actually enjoying themselves. Were guests to actually pay for all that food and drink, their bill would no doubt be higher. But — much like cruises — this type of property is not something I would opt for given the choice. I will reiterate — it was perfect for this wedding. And US News & World Report ranked the resort #1 for best all-inclusive resorts in Puerta Vallarta. Click on this link to see the entire list.
About our Houston friends, this completes the wedding cycle for their four offspring, which events have allowed us to get to know their other friends and family. Kudos to the them for planning yet another beautiful and heartfelt event.
Below: Fred & Kay Zeidman walk beautiful bride Nancy down the aisle, having been preceded by the nephews; the bride’s brothers and groom’s mom under the Chuppah.
Below after the ceremony, us with the happy parents. The morning after, it’s possible one of us could have used a bit more sleep … and Advil.
As the sun set over the horizon, we were filled with gratitude for the friendships in our lives. There is much to be thankful for …