Category: Travel

Beach Vacation Style: Resort Casual

riviera maya mexico
walking on sunshine

Resort casual is a bit of a misnomer, because our resort was nothing but casual. All day, every day. I probably could have worn this tie dye affair for dinner, and not been kicked out of the buffet. As it was, I wore it a lot – during the day.

beach vacation style; resort style; resort capsule
Dress, thrifted; flip flops, Old Navy
beach vacation style; resort style; resort capsule
beach schmatta
beach vacation style; resort style; resort capsule
upside down blogger shot

It’s incredibly comfortable – perfect for cuddling up with my kitten on the beach.

beach vacation style; resort style; resort capsule
afternoon siestas

Also comfortable? This J. Crew Factory cover-up.

beach vacation style; resort style; resort capsule
Cover-up & shorts, J. Crew Factory; flip flops, Old Navy
beach vacation style; resort style; resort capsule
blogger half tuck – handy for when your shirt is too long
beach vacation style; resort style; resort capsule

It was a hand-me-down from my mom, and I wore it a lot on – where else? – the beach; it was perfect for the afternoons, when I reached my max sunscreen limit, but didn’t want to risk burning. The woes of the incurably pasty, y’all.

mexico mayan riviera
hola, sunshine!

The other thing I wore a lot was my pair of floral print shorts. I can’t believe that a year ago, I didn’t have a single pair of shorts in my closet. These 5 inch inseam ones are great for covering up my post-babies tush, without making my short-ish legs look extra stumpy. I’ll probably end up collecting every print pair that the J. Crew Factory store throws on the clearance rack this year.

beach vacation style; resort style; resort capsule
Shirt & shorts, J. Crew Factory; flip flops, Old Navy; bag, Longchamps
beach vacation style; resort style; resort capsule
shorts, resort style

Other than taking a million OOTD photos – much to my family’s chagrin – my other important vacation quest was drinking out of a coconut. I know, I have very lofty goals. However, this proved more difficult than I expected; we were surrounded by coconut (palm?) trees, but I had no way of climbing up to get a specimen, nor did the resort bars offer them. At long last, on the very last day of our stay, I happened to come across some staff carrying large bunches of coconuts they had just cut down (for safety reasons?) from the trees in the pool area. They seemed a little befuddled by my request, but graciously offered me one and, voila – coconut drink quest complete.

beach vacation style; resort style; resort capsule
coconut drink quest complete

For the record, I’m not a fan of coconut water. So I asked the bartender to fill the coconut with my favourite alcoholic concoction: tequila + blue curacao + 7Up. It’s not the world’s most sophisticated cocktail, but it hits the spot on the beach. And, yes, I was day drinking. Hey, that’s what resort vacations are for, right?

riviera maya mexico
the unbelievably clear waters on Riviera Maya


Beach Vacation Style: A Walk on the Shore

beach vacation style; resort style; resort capsule
Dress, Tibi (via eBay); bag, MbMJ (via consignment); sandals, Old Navy; cuff, Free People
beach vacation style; resort style; resort capsule
the (blurry) details

Did y’all know I went to Mexico? L to the OL, because of course you did. Yeah, I’m that person who bores you with umpteen stories about her vacation. The truth is that, between the kids and my job, we don’t get to go on many vacations any more, so I milk them for all the conversational fodder I can get away with. Hey, be happy you’re not my co-workers.

Gosh, I have quite a way with an introductory paragraph, don’t I? So, yes, I went to Mexico, and had a pretty good time of it, too. The kids were (predictably) a handful and a half, and I didn’t get to sleep nearly as much as I had (optimistically) hoped, but we got to enjoy some beautiful moments. Like this one:

riviera maya mexico
at dusk
riviera maya mexico
afternoon rainbow

There aren’t many things in life better than a late afternoon stroll along a gorgeous shore with your loved ones. It’s a sort of re-set button for the ultra-hectic lives we seem intent on pursuing. But enough philosophizing. You guys are here to talk clothes.

One of the pieces I was really excited to bring with me on the trip was this Tibi iris-print dress. It’s a little too va-va-voom for my everyday life here in Edmonton, but is made for the vibe at a tropical resort. Even when it’s just for a dinner with the family.

And it seems to go really well with 80s-rock-band-video-chick hair. Tropical humidity + ocean breeze, joining together to make a mockery of your humble blogger. Not cool, Mother Nature.

beach vacation style; resort style; resort capsule

Leaving on a Jet Plane, Finally

It has been almost exactly 4.5 years since the last time my husband and I left Canadian borders; back then, we were headed to Mexico on our honeymoon. This time, we’re again headed to Mexico … with two kids (and two grandparents) in tow. Writing all that out is slightly discombobulating because one, I can’t believe how much our life has changed in less than 5 years, and two, I can’t believe it’sĀ been only 5 years. I feel like I’ve aged a decade, at least. Tired cliche is true. Anyway, Mexico. Or, rather, Mexico!

I know many people are not fans of resort vacations, but I find them incredibly relaxing. Sometimes I want adventures from my travels; sometimes I just want to sloth. Reading and eating and sleeping are, literally, the only things I’m interested in at the moment. Of course, kids change that formula somewhat, but I’m hopeful that I can hit at least 2 of my 3 lofty goals on any given day this time around. And having the kids around will add a healthy dose of excitement – this will be their first time on a bona fide beach (Vancouver doesn’t count because we were there in the winter time), and they are bound to lose their minds, judging by their love of water parks and backyard splashing pools exhibited this past summer. You know I will be that mom on the beach snapping a bazillion photos. Call me a documentarian of important childhood memories.

The real point of this post (you were wondering, I’m sure) is the packing. Sorry: my tropical vacation capsule. (Totally on top of blogging trends am I.) Normally, I’m all about packing smart and light; this time, I took a slightly different approach. We’re paying a crapton (rough estimate) of money for our tickets, so you better believe that I’ll be taking full advantage of our checked luggage and carry-on allowance. The kids’ stuff takes up approximately 80% of that allowance, but this did not deter me from my plan to take exactly all the pieces I wanted to wear. That was my guideline: take everything I was really looking forward to wearing in a warm climate. Why wait for summer to come to me, when I can go to it.

First order of business: no pants. Except shorts (and my fleecy leggings/lounge pants for the plane ride). For an 11-day vacation, I am packing:

Eight dresses (but of course) …

beach vacation capsule

Five tops, two cardigans, a denim jacket (not pictured), one pair of shorts …

beach vacation capsule

Three swimsuits and a cover-up …

beach vacation capsule
beach stuff

Seven pairs of shoes (I know, I know) …

beach vacation capsule
sneakers and flip flops not pictured

And a bunch of stuff to wear on the plane. Oh, and workout gear I probably won’t use. Also, 3 books (this is key):

beach vacation capsule
books, books, books

I’ve talked about my approach to picking vacation reading material before, but this time I went with a 2:1 fiction to non-fiction ratio – two novels (one recommended by a BCRL reader, one an impulse buy at Chapters) plus a history book about St. Petersburg I’ve been meaning to read forever. Is a 3-book reading list too ambitious for a 11-day trip with kids? Possibly, but I hate running out of reading material at a resort where my options are really limited, so. Better safe than sorry. That’s why we’re paying the big bucks for all that luggage allowance, right?

Of course, there were some last minute additions. I went out to the outlet mall the weekend before the trip, and $37 later, came home with these:

beach vacation capsule
more stuff

The J. Crew outlet came out with another print version of my fave 5-inch shorts, and they proved to be sartorial catnip to my vacation-obsessed mind. (Never thought I’d write that about shorts, to be honest.) I threw in a couple of tees because they were less than $5 apiece and you never know when a comfy cotton tee will come in handy. The book was a bargain bin find that had me at “entertaining romp for any Downton Abbey fan”. Talk about catnip!

Because the majority of the pieces I packed are lightweight summer clothes (and the rest I’m wearing on the plane), they take up almost no room. The only 2 pieces that might be overkill are the jelly pumps (but I’m not sure where else but Mexico I’d wear them) and the sneakers (the odds of my working out while on vacation are … slight). But we’ll see how good the pack-everything-you-love approach to vacation capsule-ing turns out to be – stay tuned.

For more vacation capsules, see here and here. And read this for my general random thoughts on vacation packing.

Note: I’ve got a bunch of posts scheduled to run next week, so feel free to stop by. I may not be able to respond to comments right away, but I love getting them so, you know, comment away. Or not. No pressure.