Tips for El Cid and Mazatlan

mazatlan, mexico

There were a few things that I had somehow missed when I was reading up on our vacation.  First off I guess we were not allowed to wear shorts into some of the dining rooms.  We went to the Italian place and it said on a sign out front no shorts or flip flops allowed.  Well we were not prepared for anything else, we had brought nothing but shorts for the guys and my daughter and I had capris.  So we entered with our shorts and flip flops, although we looked nice.  There were people that were not dressed nice at all and no one was turned away.  [Read more…]

Review of Mazatlan Mexico

Church in Old Town

Church in Old Town

Ok, we are not fans of Mazatlan.  Its a very loud busy city with lots and lots of traffic.  We chose this place because my daughter found a killer deal and we decided to make the best of it. There is a pretty drive you can take along the coast line through the city. We were able to enjoy that when we went from the Golden District to Old Town Mazatlan.  Old Town was a really fun day.  There are some amazing buildings there and if you walk a ways there is a huge market in which you can buy and trinket, clothing and food you would like.  A few too many pig heads for me, but it was fun and interesting none the less.

The Golden District is a bunch of shops that sell the same stuff over and over again.  Our resort was just on the edge of the Golden District.  We went shopping through there one day and did have an enjoyable time.

The one nice thing about our resort is that even though there is a lot going on in Mazatlan it is really quite where we were.  It’s like we were on our own private island.  That really helped make it an enjoyable time.  But all that to say I don’t know that we will be running back there.  If we found another killer deal like we found this time, then maybe, but I would like to try something new.  I really want to go to Zihuatanejo, Mexico.  This town is the complete opposite of Mazatlan.  Its a quiet, quaint fishing village.  So you will need to watch for that review.

Review of El Cid Mazatlan Mexico

View from our room

View from our room

We were greeted at the El Cid with drinks, which was nice and the kids could not believe it.  From that moment on they decided they wanted to stay forever.

Our room was fine.  There are pictures on the web that make it look much more luxurious that it really was.  But it was fine for us.  We chose the most inexpensive room you could purchase and we were very pleased.  We had a view out of our room that was spectacular. [Read more…]

Mazatlan, Mexico with Vacationstogo.com

What a great trip!  We really enjoyed out experience with Vacations To Go .   They sent us all the info through email, but were also available by phone and we were able to talk with our guy directly and ask questions at any time.  GREAT experience.  We will definitely use them again.

The trip was all inclusive and even included our transfers from the airport to the motel.  We ended up in a taxi going to the motel.  The El Cid was a long was away from the airport.  It took us about 30 minutes to get there.  You really got to see all parts of Mazatlan that way.  All the way from everyday life to the touristy section. When we left the motel they took us in a shuttle van. [Read more…]

10 More days Until we leave for Mexico!!

So I was going over my stuff.  We booked this trip back in March and have been so busy lately that I haven’t had time to even think about all that we are going to be doing.  So today I got online to reaquaint myself with the trip we have planned, specifically the dining.

So we are staying at El Cid Castilla Beach.  Here are a list of the restaurants that we have to choose from [Read more…]

Kings Island

The Beast Kings Island '08

The Beast Kings Island ’08

Ah…after you leave Cedar Point you should NOT got to Kings Island.  We had been warned, but since we had platinum season passes and we got in with that card at no additional charge we thought we would at least give it a try.

First off the park is much, much smaller and packed.  We were there on a Saturday night and with the Platinum Pass you can get the passes that put you at the front of the line on 4 rides.  The catch is the rides are not close to each other and the times are pretty close, so you kind of need to choose what rides you want to do.  Now remember we had just ridden Top Thrill Dragster earlier that day, so every time we got off one of the roller coasters at Kings Island we were like “that was cute”.  The adjustment was hard.

We were not super excited about the park, so we didn’t have quite as much motivation to get there and open up the park.  So the nice thing was we got to sleep in.

Once we got to the park we decided to push through and make a day and hit all the rides.  The lines were long, so we had to change our strategy mentally.  We usually hit parks during off seasons, our kids don’t know what it’s like to stand in line for over 30 minutes.  Well they didn’t know then, but they do know now.

The Beast!!  It is a wooden roller coaster that’s all it’s cracked up to be.  It was long, amazing and not bumpy.  Son of Beast was just a great.

We took time to sit down and watch some shows too.  Or at least we tried.  Don’t judge us Barry Williams, but we just couldn’t sit through it.  Yeah that’s right the name is ringing a bell.  That’s Greg Brady along with Bobby and Cindy.  They were entertaining guests at Kings Island while we were there.

Over all Kings Island ended up being a fun time.  Even with the new ride Diamond Back coming out next year I don’t think we will ever return to that park.  Unless for some weird reason work takes us to Cincinnati, then we might.

My tip is don’t go over Labor Day Weekend.  Even though I knew it was a holiday I was kind of hoping that everyone was done with amusement parks for the summer, turns out they aren’t.  They like to end with a bang, literally, there were even fireworks, and quite a show at that.

Ohio Road Trip

We have only been to Ohio to visit Cedar Point. But this time we decided to fly out of Cincinnati and hit Kings Island for a day or so. So that meant a 4 hour road trip right through the middle of Ohio. We had opened up Cedar Point that day, done a few rides, then hit the road. So as we drove we were looking for a place for lunch. Do I need to say it again…we wanted good food and the search began. We ended up in a town called Bucyrus, and they were having Hobo Days. It was quite fun with a few vendors on the streets. What stopped us was a coffee shop, since sandwiches are a hit at our house this seemed like the perfect place. Plus we are from the NW and we do like our coffee, so had to test it out.

First off it was inside of an antique/amish furniture/gift shop that was all a buzz. At the coffee counter were 3 older ladies taking orders and making sandwiches. We all ordered our favorite coffee drink, and got these great sandwiches with chips and a giant pickle. The whole meal cost us $24. And the coffee was great. We ended up talking with one of the ladies and she found out we were from Oregon and she gave my husband a huge to go cup of coffee, which he thought was really good and very sweet.

Full stomachs and on our way to Kings Island…..

Breakers Express

Well if you read an earlier post you can see that we were pretty grossed out by our room in Hotel Breakers. When we made the reservation we booked it through Saturday, but they told us we could move to another hotel if we wanted Friday night for no additional fee. Not only was it free, but it was so easy. I did the whole thing from my bed.

When you stay on the property inside the park you get a pass to be back there. It has the date that you are leaving printed on the pass. Ours was dated for Saturday, but we ended up leaving on Friday. It’s a much better place to enter at the back of the park, it’s just that the general public can’t park there. But since we had our pass we showed Saturday morning, flashed our pass and parked at the back gate.

Now Breakers Express is so much cheaper. It was $129 after taxes a night on the weekend (in late August). It is newer and cleaner and nicer. It feels like a Holiday Inn Express, nothing fancy, just nice.

It was nice to be there not only to save money, but it just felt better.

Eating Good around Cedar Point

Food. That always becomes the source of concern when we travel. We don’t like fast food, deep fried food or just plain unhealthy food, so we have to search, and search we do. Before I left I had spent time on the web trying to find some really good places for us. We don’t normally like chain restaurants because they lack good quality taste and they lack nutrition. The first day we were having such a good time in the park we decided to try something just outside the gates and hopefully not too heavy. Heavy never works when you are riding rides all day long. We ended up at Famous Daves, which we didn’t know at the time was a chain restaurant. I ordered a salad, which wasn’t bad, it was all ice berg lettuce (see I’m even a salad snob) and it had a BBQ dressing on it that I was not real fond of. But since it was a BBQ restaurant that is what they had. Everyone else got hamburgers and fries. The Hamburgers were greasy and the BBQ sauce was real thick. I don’t think anyone finished their meals. The kids each got pops and we had water. The meal cost us $48.00. It was a huge disappointment.

We decided for dinner that we would try a restaurant that I had found online. It’s called Red Gables and it’s just a few short miles from the park entrance. It was not a chain and the food was amazing. They have a 2 pork chop special, which my husband and I got and split. My daughter got the crab cake dinner. (We are from Oregon and I try those everywhere we go, and those are by far the best crab cakes I have ever had. Lots a crab and just a little breading.) My son got the 4 cheese pasta. Each meal came with salad and 2 sides. Which means we ended up with 3 salads and 6 side dishes. We had so much food. We even ordered scallops (amazing) as an appetizer and the kids had drinks and we had beers with our meal. I know, it’s definitely a wine meal, but I was craving a beer. My daughter said it was the best restaurant that she had ever been too. The whole meal cost us $90. We got amazing quality food and we got superb service on which we chose to leave a great tip.

Ok, I know what you are thinking. That was by no means a bargain meal. I agree 100%. But we chose to cut corners in other ways. We had a fridge in our room. We started by bringing cereal that would last us the whole time. So when we got there we bought milk, I had packed spoons and we ate out of the cups in the room. So breakfast was cheap and it’s what we all enjoy eating for breakfast. For lunch (because we didn’t want more bad expensive food from and around the park) we chose to go to the grocery store and we bought cheese, crackers, fruits, plus we already had nuts, bars and dessert that we had brought along. So everyday we would leave the park go to our room and eat a snack that would hold us until we left for a great dinner.

The second night that we ventured out we went to Lymans Harbor and ate a very good meal there too. It too was not a chain, they pride themselves in their perch, which was great. It is across the harbor from Cedar Point. So again just minutes from the entrance and plenty of places to sit, quick service, good service and out the door feeling great.

The funny thing was both nights we would go back and pass the TGIFridays and there would be a line out the door, people would be grumpy and they would end up paying just about what we paid. Only our experience was pleasant.

The last night we were there we decided to go easy on the budget and we ordered Pizza. The Red Gables has a pizza place next door so we thought we would give it a try. That meal cost us $15. HINT: You can go into the nice side of Red Gables and order a great meal and they will let the kids order a pizza from the other side if nothing on the menu is to their liking. LOVE THIS PLACE!!

Millennium Force Ride Night

Oh how I wish we lived close enough to take advantage of things like this:

“We invite all Platinum Passholders to join us this Thursday, July 24 for the rescheduled Exclusive Ride Time on Millennium Force. Ride time begins shortly after park closing and lasts for one full hour. You must present your Platinum Pass to enter the line. We sincerely apologize for last week’s cancellation, and we hope to see you Thursday!”