As if the fact that I posted earlier today didn't tell you that... lol. But! In response to Steph's demand for blogging with pictures, here's a little recap of my trip last week.
I flew down to meet my parents and my sister (Nicole) for a week on the Mayan Riviera. This was my first time to the Cancun area and it was just gorgeous. We stayed at a beautiful resort between Cancun and Playa del Carmen that had killer swimming pools and beaches. Here's a pic of the beach at the resort:
We mostly took it easy during the week, but we did get out to see the sites, enjoy the weather and the views, and of course, to do some shopping :D We followed our Cancun explorations with a trip to Senor Frog's. It was a bit over the top for my parents, but the butt-cheek barstools were highly entertaining for Nicole and I.
Tuesday, we took the ferry over to Cozumel. If I get down there again, I'll make sure to do some snorkling while I'm there. We didn't spend enough time on this trip to do too much, though, which means I'll just have to go back, huh? We did find a very delicious restaurant a ways off the beaten path that had some killer guacamole and tacos for solamente quatro pesos. And, of course, we shopped. Bargains to be had. My mom has like a bargain radar or something. I learned quite a bit about bargaining with the shopkeepers on this trip.
Wednesday we spent the day at Xcaret. It's a place just past Playa del Carmen that's kind of like a Mayan Sea World. They have snorkling, diving and a gorgeous beach along with ruins (it used to be the port city of Polé), animals, cultural exhibits and displays, a Mayan village, and a very cool evening show. Nicole and I rented some snorkling gear and went snorkling in the underground river. It wasn't as good as it would have been at Cozumel, but it was pretty cool to snorkel through Mayan ruins! Here are Nicole and I after the snorkling.
Thursday we mostly just hung out at the resort. They have this HUGE series of swimming pools - supposedly the largest free-form pool in the world (or at least the country) and it was gorgeous. Surrounded by palm trees and thatched cabanas, tropical drinks at the ready and the beach just down the path.
Friday, however, is what I was looking forward to the most. Anyone who knows me knows my passion for old buildings; especially if they're historically significant. I just think it's so cool to walk in the paths of historical figures and think about how the things that happened in those times affect our world today. It's just cool. So Friday we took a tour to the ruins. We hooked up with an LDS tour company, and our tour guide's name was Lemuel. He assured us, however, that he's reformed. His nephew Nephi drove us for a while, and we met one of his brothers, Limhi and one of his sisters, Alma, towards the end of the tour. Anyway, it was so cool to go to the ruins and learn about them from a Book of Mormon perspective. It really gave a lot of insight into the symbolism that we saw in a lot of the buildings and carvings.
We started out with a trip out to Chichen Itza. It was hot. Very hot. But so very cool. I didn't realize how much is there... over 2000 buildings! A lot is still buried in the jungle, but I saw enough ruins to satisfy even me! The big pyramid, many other temples, their huge pelota stadium, the observatory and more. There were little vendors everywhere - lining the paths or walking around with masks and carvings. "just one dollar!" Of course, when you find out what they were selling for $1, you realized it wasn't as good as it sounded... lol. We did see some good deals, though. I could spend a fortune on that kind of stuff! But anyway, here are a few pics from Chichen Itza.
We left Chichen Itza and went to a nearby hacienda (now a restaurant) for a little Mexican food. Pork barbacoa, beans and rice, some stuff that looked like flan but tasted like french toast, and candied papaya (mmm...).
After lunch we headed back on a long drive to Tulum. To pass the time, Lemuel put on a movie in the van. We were surprised to find it was a church movie (although maybe we should have expected it, as both families were LDS) and it was Sons of Provo. I hadn't seen that one, and most of those types of church movies are painful for me to watch. This one was pretty funny, however. That might have been the long-boring-drive-in-the-hot-Mexican-Sun talking, however.
Finally, we got to Tulum. South of Playa del Carmen and set up on a cliff side overlooking the sea. Just gorgeous. We went through looking at the temples and seeing the evidence of how amazing the Mayans were with math and astronomy. Then we went up to the edge of the cliff for a stunning view.
Anyway, that's about it! We drove back to the resort and relaxed with books for the evening and then hopped on our planes home the next morning. I think I'll have to go back again, though. I definitely need to check out some more ruins, spend more time at the beach (with many more books and tropical drinks), do a little more snorkling, and of course, more shopping ;)
If you're interested, the rest of the pictures are here.
And, just a final note, here's what was waiting for me when I got home on Saturday night (names have been blurred to protect the innocent... lol) :D Counting the days until the next adventure!