Sunday, November 30, 2008

About Our Yucatan, Mexico trip

Alright I'm giving a shot at trying to share some tidbits of our trip to Mexico. What a task! And a little overwhelming. There is so much that won't be in here and so much information about each place that I decided to leave out because of time constraints. Perhaps at a later time I'll try.

In brief, we went with Nate and Collete, stayed in Cancun the first night, four nights in Merida (at my parents vacation house) where we ventured out and visited ruins including Chichen Itza, Uzmal, Ek Balam, and Dz and swam in Ik kil (a cenote), and the last two nights in Tulum visiting the ruins of Coba and Tulum, and snorkeling at Xel Ha.
And that really isn't doing the trip justice. So many of the little, funny, things that happened can't all be included. Like the speed bumps that Chris kept launching us time we'll know what the sign is for topez (speed bumps) or the endless games of Hearts that we played and I lost each time and the look Nate gave me when I gave Collete her first "shooting the moon." Or experiences such as when we discovered Gorditas after a long day and bit into such delicious heavenliness.

Overall the trip was a huge success from gas prices dropping, the dollar going farther, great weather, good company, diversity in activity, doing most everything we wanted, not getting sick or getting in an accident and having fun. By the end we were all missing our kids and both sad and happy to be going home.

Highlights (not in any particular order)

1. climbing the Mayan ruins/pyramids at Ek Balam, Coba and Uxmal. I thought the steep climb was scary and thrilling. I loved seeing the view from up trees that seem to go on forever with no apparent civilization around. The fresh air was nice and felt like home. It was so peaceful and quiet as well.

this is the Coba ruin. Yes we climbed it. There I am below from the top.

2. swimming/jumping into the Cenote, Ik Kil. It was beautiful to see it from the top and then to jump in it was a real treat.
Cenote, Ik Kil close to Chichen Itza. Video footage to come courtesy of Collete

3. sleeping in a hammock on the beach (2 nights). The wind was loud and strong. It was a new adventure for me to sleep like that outdoors. Surprisingly I woke up without any body aches and it wasn't too cold. I was afraid of being slaughtered by the unknown which made it that much more exciting and was happily awoken by the sunrise, something I don't get to experience from the ocean very often or at all! This was the sunrise from Tulum.
This is what I woke up to in Tulum where Chris and I slept on a hammock on the beach.

4. no one got sick....even me. Any trip to Mexico where no one gets sick is a success, for me. This is the first time I've gone there and not gotten sick.

5. seeing/driving through the small, poor towns on our way to our destinations.....clothes being hand washed and hung to dry, huts, dirt floors, humble homes, the different colors on the houses, the people, their clothes, the city gatherings and festivities, people laying in their hammocks, peope hanging was all interesting and refreshing.
6. discovering new places. It was an adventure trying to find our way around, getting something to eat, seeing something for the first timetaken at Ek Balam
Some of the Indians getting set up to sell their good at Chichen Itza

7. rope walking. It was an activity we tried at Xel Ha. I had never done it before. It was a rope you held onto while you walked on one to try to get across. Harder than it looks. I love to get physical and this was a nice treat.

8. coconut tree climbing. I didn't know I had it in me. Another one of those hands on activities I love.

9. snorkeling/swimming/tubing in Carribean waters. It was relaxing, new, and fun. Seeing the fish and shells was an added bonus.
This was taken at Xel ha. The waters are part of the Carribean ocean but in it's lagoon where the water was much calmer and predictable. Nice for first time snorkelers like myself. I thought it much easier to do without a life jacket but wearing flippers and much more pleasant with goggles that don't fog up.The crew doing some last minute snorkeling before heading out

hammocks at Xel Ha. Not to mention the bike ride and wild animals in the forest adjunct to our bike trail, kayaking in black waters (literally), being able to hold beautiful parrots, tubing down the river, and all the yummy food and drink you could ever need in a day.

Some things I thought were indispensable on this trip:

1. Frommer's guide. Collette checked it out from the library and brought it along. It has info. that helped out alot on this trip; info such as driving tips, info. on the places we visited, maps, places to eat, etc. We used it on a daily even hourly basis.Frommer's guide. Highly recommend it for traveling. Thanks to Collete for it.

2. A rental Car. Having one was so nice. We didn't have to wait around for transportation and were solely self reliant in getting around. We visited tons of places and it was soooo nice to get up and go whenever we needed to, especially on our runs for food or supplies that we needed.

3. Chris' mad driving skills. If you want to drive in Mexico be prepared, it's no easy task and Chris was the mad man, hands down. We made it through without any incident

4. Nate's navigation talent with an outdated map. Anyone who can tell Chris where to go and not get chewed out has skills.

5. being able to speak/understand some Spanish. For the most part it was more convenient to be able to speak the language, but there were a couple of times I was glad to be able to communicate with the people.

6. bottled water

Fun discoveries:

1. Ek Balam was our first ruin we checked out. It was on our way to Merida after our night in Cancun. It is a ruin that we were able to climb and it was a steep one. It was fun to be there with friends

This is from the top of Ek Balam

2. Sorianas was a grocery store we went to often. We bought our Mexican pastries there for breakfast and other needed goods such as dinner supplies, Chris' gotta have pineapple, Nate/Collete's blue slush

3. Gorditas is a yummy fast food place in Soriana. After a long day at Chichen Itza and swimming in the cenote, we were all hungry and discovered Gorditas. They make little fluffy tortillas stuffed with a variety of Mexican favorites such as pollo pibil, beans/cheese, pork and green salsa. They even told me how to make themGorditas in Sorianas. Yummy. I finally succombed to eating Mexican food and not food I brought in my suitcase from the states.

Things I'm thankful/glad for:

1. good weather including lots of cloud cover that kept us cool

2. not the busy season
these lizards are everywhere
3. the humidity wasn't bad
This is on our walk to see the Coba ruin.
4. hardly any mosquitos
An alligator Collette spotted... amongst the many things she spotted with that eye for detail

5. that Nate/Collete like/maybe even Love Mexican food. It made things very easy
For the first two night in Merida I cooked dinner. I didn't eat it but I thought I needed to participate in dinner and this was the way.

6. Sack lunches, bottled drinks, snacks....we did alot of driving and sight seeing

7. lemon drops. these made the long drives a little tastier

8. we had no lines/crowds at the airport to and from. We even had our own aisle on the airplane both ways, not to mention the empty aisles around us. Alaska Airline rocks.

9. gas prices were down which my our driving trip to and from CA. more affordable

10. that the dollar was stronger to the peso just in time for our trip.

11. Nate and Collete were fun to hang out with and were positive/upbeat and excited to be there.
This was taken on our walk at Progresso Beach

12. My parents house in Merida where we stayed for four nights and saved a bundle of money
My parent's house in Merida

13. Going on a kidless vacation with my hubby. Wow, that made for easy traveling.

A kissing us from the top of a pyramid in Uxmal

Some more pictures categorized Ruins:

Some more pictures categorized Beachy stuff:


Lisa said...

How fun! Cody and I went out there for our honeymoon. I recognize your pictures from Coba and Xel Ha. We also went to Tulum. Glad you guys were able to get away with great friends and without kids. Love all the pictures!

D said...

Look like you guys had a great time. I love all the pictures, especially the one of the old Mexican lady.

Cody said...

Great pictures of your trip. There's something about the beauty of the Caribbean water, the mexican culture, food, language and people that get my blood pumping. I love it, and this post makes me so crazy to go back again. Hopefully soon.....

Lettie said...

First of all, totally great write up. Don't read mine...yours was way more interesting and fun.
Second, I love the pictures! I think my favorite (well one of them) is the one with the guidebook. Very clever!
Third (and really is way above and not below first), THANK YOU! We really had so much fun and it was beautiful and it was just so much fun. Oh, and the food was great. And did I mention it was fun?!

Supergabesmomma said...

Wow - that sounds like an amazing trip! How cool that you go tot do all that - very adventurous! Your pictures are fantastic, as usual, too. Welcome home!

Emily Redd said...

Wow nance! Looks seriously AMAZING!!!! I am jealous! It looks like you had a wonderful time. IT's always hard to come back to real life, right? Talk to you soon. THanks for stopping by today. Let's get together real soon. xoxo em

Jessica Hughes said...

Wow!! Looks like you had an amazing trip. So blessed are you. The beauty of the earth that God has created. The pictures are fabulous. Your parents watched the kids for you? and are they selling their home. I hope one day I can do and exciting trip like that. I can tell you had fun and enjoyed time away from kidlets but, alwways a joy to see their faces.

lucy said...

thanks for the messages.
Lisa, I had no idea you guys went there for your honeymoon. I would have probably called you with a ton of questions prior to the trip
Cody, I hope you can get back there soon...I'm glad the post got your heart I did a decent job.

Collete, it was a great time and you guys made even better

Jess, sorry I didn't come by...I thought about you several times and even tried calling. Things were hectic and when I did have a chance to come by I completely spaced it. My parents are moving back to their first home and living there for a couple of years until it it no longer deemed a rental property and won't have to pay capital gains tax when they sell it. The plan is to move back to where they just moved out of and rent the house out until then. Crazy huh?

Sara C. said...

Have to admit I have never had any desire to go to Mexico, but now I do! Like someone else posted, very refreshing. Your pictures are absolutely gorgeous! Seriously.

Glad you guys had fun, and were safe.

What kind of camera did you end up getting, btw?

lucy said...

We got a Nikon D80. I've been happy thus far.

and I'm glad you're now open to visiting Mexico. It really turned out great and it helped that we stayed at my parents house as well, otherwise it wouldn't have been as cheap.

Jen said...

What wonderful pictures! I almost felt like I was there for a second but then I looked and my window and Oh well! Glad you had fun.

jkziel said...

I refuse to read this post for fear that I might be overcome with jealousy. I'm glad you enjoyed yourself!

Amy-Alisa said...

To return the compliment, every time I read your blog, I want to go for a run or learn how to take gorgeous pictures! Those pics from Mexico are pretty amazing.

Bridget said...

Your trip looks amazing- You did it the right way. Richard and I did a similar trip about 11 years ago for like 10$ a day and we brought a baby! Only I got sick... Next time I'll copy you.

Leslie said...

Hi there! It looks like you had an awesome time -- I am dying for a vacation like that (climbing up a coconut tree would be too fun!). Great pics too. Glad you guys had a safe trip.

CUTRER said...

You make me sad I wish I could go to Mexico I haven't been there since I was 14. One of the photos of the guy on the beach looks like my uncle LOL