Mat and I recently had the opportunity to visit the sweet surfing city, Sayulita, Mexico for a friend’s wedding. The verdict is out and…we are in love with it. So much so that we may or may not have looked at property while we were there. 😉 This was such a wonderful trip because we were able to travel with our good friends Tony and Heidy! Travel is always enhanced when you can spend it with friends and family.
We found a great villa to rent on Airbnb (Casa Kukana) that came with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a full kitchen and our own private pool. We did some research before we went and found that most travelers rent golf carts (how great/cute is that?!) to get around the town. If you are traveling to Sayulita, I would definitely recommend getting one mostly because it’s so fun. Plus, it helps you get around fast and is easy to find a parking spot.
It is important to note, however, that depending on where you are staying or wanting to visit, a golf cart may not get you there. There are two neighborhoods in the town that a regular ol’ golf cart can’t access: Gringo Hill and Nanazal. The town is built up in the hills, and these two areas are too steep to access with a regular four-seater golf cart. If you are staying in these areas you will need to rent a larger golf cart or a Polaris.
Sayulita is about a 45 min drive north of the Puerta Vallarta airport, so we arranged (through our Airbnb rental) a private taxi to pick us up. What was great about this arrangement is that not only was it a luxurious SUV, but the driver had ice-filled coolers in the back full of water and beer for us! Perfect for after the semi-long flying time to get there.
Scheduling a private ride from the airport worked out great because the price we paid included a stop at the Mega, which is basically the Wal-Mart of Mexico. Since we had a full kitchen in our rental, we stocked up on food and drinks for the week. Mat and I spent less than $100 on food and alcohol for the week, and if you know how often Mat eats, you will understand how much money this saved us! We also picked up some other items at the Mega including SPF, tanning lotion and a sports bra for me. Long story about the sports bra…but it’s nice to know that items like this are available if needed!
The villa we rented also provided all the filtered drinking water we needed, which is a must in Sayulita so you don’t get sick drinking the unfiltered water there. We even used the filtered water to brush our teeth just to be cautious. I loved our villa so much that it was difficult to ever want to leave it! We had the most amazing views of the beach and the town from our pool.
The town itself is what totally won me over. It is basically everything I want to be able to do every day including: laying on the beach, never brushing my hair, not wearing a bra or shoes, macrame, live music, yoga, delicious food (including pizza and dessert!), cold drinks and amazing shops. All of this is available in this adorable city! We found that Sayulita is a vacation destination for both Americans and locals, which is so cool!
Heidy compared the little town of Sayulita to one of her favorite travel destinations, Costa Rica. Mat and I haven’t been to Costa Rica (yet), but we thought it reminded us a little bit of Curacao. The adorable surf and yoga town is a bit more jungle-y than other places we have visited in Mexico, which makes me feel like I’m in a tree-house up in the hills. I loved it.
One of our favorite parts of the trip happened because we took a wrong turn on the way back to the villa one night and randomly came across a street we nicknamed Carnival Alley. The reason for the nickname was because on this street there was the greatest carnival-like game ever. I don’t think it has a name but we called it Beer Toss. There was a large makeshift wall with rows of glass beer bottles held up by nails, and in front was a table filled with rocks. Yes, glass beer bottles. And yes, rocks. So simple yet brilliant. You pay 30 pesos (equivalent to about $1.60) for three rocks to throw and try to break a glass beer bottle. For every bottle you break, you get a beer. No joke. So, you could potentially win three beers for for about a buck and a half. And it’s oddly satisfying to break a glass bottle with a rock. We had SO much fun in Carnival Alley. You can see the bottle breaking action near the end of our video below this post.
All in all, the wedding was beautiful (congrats to the new Mr. and Mrs. T!) and the laid back, surfing town won us over. I’m hoping to see you next year, Sayulita!
Last year I got Lacey a push-pin travel map for our anniversary. It’s a really cool map, but I realized that it might have been kind of a sucky gift for an anniversary. Anniversaries probably call for a little more effort than just ordering something online. My bad. This year, Lacey and I put our heads together about 4 months in advance and came up with an awesome idea. Rather than doing material gifts, we were going to spend our 2nd wedding anniversary in Maui, HI.
This trip was a rare case because we actually paid for most of it out-of-pocket and did not use any rewards points. We did, however, get 1 of our flights for $99 + taxes while using the Alaska Airlines “companion fare” that comes with this card. So we still saved about $600 dollars on flights. Our tax returns covered the rest of the trip including a 5 night stay in an ocean front studio suite at the Honua Kai Resort.
The Honua Kai is beautiful. The resort has multiple pools, a water slide, a lazy river, a charming ocean front restaurant, and easy beach access. We would definitely recommend staying here if you’re planning a trip. It is located on the northwest side of the island, minutes from Ka’anapali Beach and Lahaina. The studio we stayed in was incredible. We had a full kitchen (where we baked our wedding/fun-fetti cake), living room, large bathroom with a tub and shower, and a large patio equipped with furniture. The best part was the sliding glass door leading out to the patio. You could slide and fold this door together creating an “open air” feel leading from your room out to the resort and ocean.
While we didn’t have much planned for this trip, there were a couple of things we really wanted to do. I wanted to see some waterfalls and Lacey wanted to do some cliff jumping. We knocked out both pretty quickly and stumbled upon some awesome plants, animals, and geography along the way. We visited the Heart Shaped rock near the Nakalele Blowhole and we happened upon the Twin Falls and Garden of Eden along the road to Hana.
We spent our final evening in Lahaina on a bench facing the ocean and sunset. We shared a giant shaved ice while marveling at nearby whales as they lept out of the water. So incredible!
For us, this was the perfect way to spend our 2nd anniversary. Hopefully this becomes a Thompson tradition!
Being that it’s New Years Eve, Eve…we thought it would be appropriate to look back on some of our more memorable experiences from 2015. We narrowed it down to 15 simply because “Top 15 from 2015” sounded kinda cool. In 2015, among other things, we watched some sausages race each other, hung out at a waterfall, walked 100 stories over a city, dropped it like it’s hot, and participated in a very important ceremony 😉
When we were putting this post together, we were a little intimidated with trying to figure out a way to make 2016 live up to the year we just had, but that’s a problem we look forward to dealing with. We have been so fortunate and blessed to have had the chance to experience so many amazing events in just 12 short months.
Here are our top 15 for 2015. Hopefully you won’t be surprised with what landed at #1…
Our seats at Miller Park were AMAZING! It also didn’t hurt that the home team (and underdog) won! Not much better than a sun-filled day at a stadium eating hot dogs and nachos. Mat was super excited to see the mascot go down the slide after a home run. We also got to see the famous racing sausages in the 7th inning stretch!
The Sausages ran right by us!
For being last minute outfits, we loved how they turned out! Not to mention we got to hang with our closest friends and have an epic dance party. Don’t play Rhi Rhi unless you want Lacey to put on her own concert. Our friends had some epic costumes as well. There was a seductively creepy Bob Ross, Wayne & Garth, Ace Ventura, and some Minions.
13. Christmas Snowboarding
Santa (Mat) successfully hid a snowboard under the tree for Lacey to find Christmas morning. After a couple cups of coffee in our pajamas, we headed up to Bogus Basin for a half day of snowboarding. There was plenty of snow and plenty of room for us to hit jumps, eat shit, wipe the snow off our heads and do it again!
12. Collie Buddz (Phoenix)
On our way home from Cabo during Thanksgiving week, we had an overnight layover in Phoenix. It turns out this was a blessing in disguise because Collie Buddz was performing that same night! Collie Buddz is one of our favorite Reggae/Hip-hop artists and he sings the song (Gimme Love) that we used as our first dance song at our wedding reception.
11. Michael Franti (Boise)
Another of our favorite musicians came to town this summer to perform at the beautiful Botanical Gardens. This super high energy show was one that left us reminded of what’s truly important in life. …enjoying each other, loving each other, and having an awesome time while doing it! Michael Franti is the artist behind the song “Life is Better with You“, which became the theme of our wedding in Cabo. #LifeIsBetterWithYou!!!
10. Snoop Dogg (Boise)
I think we were both very surprised that this concert made our top 15. We both knew the concert would be fun, but had no idea just how much fun we would have. It was a blast! Mat rapped every line of every song, taking him back to the age of 13 when he used to listen to Snoop religiously AND Lace booty popped and c-walked to the sick rhymes Mat was bustin’. Toss in a couple of good friends and this results in the #10 best experience of the year!
9. Water Slide Birthday Party (Hagerman)
Lacey’s family were the creative minds behind this awesome idea. We pulled up to their house to find a GIGANTIC bouncy castle-like water slide set up in their back yard. The day resulted in tons of (sketchy at times) fun for us and everyone else that attended. You can check out the full details along with the video in a previous post here.
8. Jump Creek Falls (Marsing)
Jump Creek is a hidden gem about an hour away from where we live and we had no idea it was there until this summer! This waterfall destination ended up being quite spectacular, much to our surprise. Read more about this day trip here.
7. Luke Bryan (Boise)
It is going to be hard to top this concert. Everything just fell into place for us to see Luke Bryan. When the tickets first went on sale they sold out before we could grab any. Mat was able to purchase floor tickets just weeks before the concert was in town, which worked out way better than our original plan. We had margaritas at home before riding our bikes to Taco Bell Arena and rocking out just feet away from the stage.
6. Bachelorette Party (Portland)
Lacey got to experience Portland for the first time while attending a friend’s bachelorette party and had an absolute blast! They stayed right downtown at Hotel Modera, shopped at Nordstrom (obviously), ate to their hearts’ content at the many food trucks and danced the night away at Holocene. Finding a dance club in Portland was difficult, but they knew it was “their spot” when they walked in and Rhianna’s “B**** Betta Have My Money” was playing. On a classier note, the girls even had a fancy dinner at Departure which sits on top of The Nines Hotel.
5. Willis Tower (Chicago)
Chicago quickly became a favorite city of Mat’s following his visit this summer. While Gino’s East had delicious pizza and the baseball game at Wrigley Field was amazing…nothing will top the experience from the top of the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower). Standing in the glass box looking down 100+ stories will make for a life long memory. The full details of this trip can be found in a previous post here.
The Skydeck “Ledge” was an experience I’ll never forget. 103 stories down.
4. San Francisco Weekend Getaway (September)
We fit in so many experiences in the long weekend that we were in San Francisco. This city holds a special place for us because it is where we met nine years ago (exactly nine in a few weeks!). We walked across the Golden Gate Bridge and hiked in Muir Woods. We had breakfast at The Mill then hung out in Alamo Square Park like the Tanners. One of the most amazing experiences of the weekend was drinking cocktails while looking at the views of the city from the 39th floor of The View Lounge. Our last morning we sipped coffee at the hidden rooftop garden of the One Kearny building. You can read all about our San Francisco trip in this post and this post.
3. Thanksgiving (Cabo San Lucas)
Our highly-anticipated vacation to an all-inclusive resort in Cabo fully lived up to our expectations. This week was packed full of food and delicious pina colladas. The gorgeous weather and surroundings definitely accounted for one of the most memorable weeks of our year. Read a recap of it here.
2. Make the (wedding) Cake Party (Cabo San Lucas)
On the eve of our wedding, our friends and family gathered in the kitchen of our villa to help us make our second most memorable event of the year….and our wedding cake. That’s right, our closest friends and family helped us make our wedding cake the night before our ceremony. Talk about special! This also ended up being a little rowdy because some tequila and flash tattoos were involved. It was such an amazing feeling to have everyone that we loved and loved us be involved in this intimate activity. Mat was the mastermind behind this idea and it was a huge success. Read all about it here.
1.Wedding Ceremony (Cabo San Lucas)
A very special group of family and friends gathered in a white domed gazebo in the Pedregal Hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean. One of our best friends officiated the ceremony and many of our family and friends shared stories, advice, and loving words with us. Lacey’s father wrote and recited a blessing over our marriage while our guests stood around us. We couldn’t have asked for a more intimate, heart felt, personal, and beautiful wedding ceremony. This is undoubtedly our #1 experience of 2015…and likely of our lives.
Needless to say, it’s going to be hard to top the year that we have had, because it’s not every year you get to marry your best friend. 2015, you rocked our socks!
We are so excited for what experiences lay ahead for us and look forward to continue simplifying our life to make room for what is important: making memories with family and friends. And of course traveling as much as possible.