Monday, February 22, 2010

Cancun: The Big One

This is a long one! So click for more if you really want to go through the entire account of out trip. Click on the photos to view larger.

We had so much fun with Sir Luke's parents. It was a whirlwind adventure in one of the most beautiful places I've been. It turns out I'm an extremely nervous flier since I married Sir Luke. Not sure why but I wig out at every movement and sometimes no movement at all. It makes long flights nearly unbearable so sometimes layovers are best so it breaks up my travel.

When we arrived at our first stop in Mexico city it was freezing cold and raining and I regretted bringing only one pair of pants and no jacket. Thankfully when we got to Cancun and the humidity sunk in coupled with the 80 degree weather eased my mind over my light packing.

Our hotel was the most beautiful place I've ever stayed at. Our room faced the patio and the ocean. I've never swam in the Gulf of Mexico. It was gloriously warm.

Day 1: Market 28. Lucky for us Sir Luke's parets had been to Cancun in the past and knew all the right places to go. I felt a little silly buying souvenirs when I had barely seen the country but it was so much fun to wander and stuff our faces at the local eateries. I drank a lot of apple soda there. Mmm tasty. Mexico is known for pure vanilla and I was able to procure some on the cheap. Sir Luke scored some sterling silver cuff links (also a treasure of the area). It was quite helpful that he knew Spanish because as he started haggling the shop owners would soften up because he was fluent and respectful.

Plus I got this sweet purse. I love it.

Papa Stay had a coupe songs played for him by some local virtuosos on guitar and harp. His favorites and quite beautiful. As you can see by the smile he was pleased.

Day 2: SCUBA diving. I was scared out of my mind at first but I LOVED it. It was so magical being under the water. Luke and his dad were able to do two dives whereas my nerves could handle only the first. None the less amazing. The rest of the day was spent on the beach at the hotel and eating tasty food.

If you'd care to watch a videos (granted lengthy) enjoy. I'm the one who is holding hands the majority of the time. Octavio was very nice to me. If you want a recommendation for certified dives he is the way to go!

Day 3: Chichen Itza. I was looking forward to this as much as scuba diving. I've been pining for a look at some real live ruins since 7th grade when I did my first report on the Myans for Spanish class. The whole experience was just wonderful. We stopped at this cenote (a sink hole full of water) on the way there to swim in. Sir Luke and his dad jumped off the little cliff into the deep water while Mama Stay and I looked on and took photos.

When we finally reached the ruins the heat of the day was making my already burned face nervous and we relented to purchase a $5 hat from one of the 50 or so vendors flooding the stairs. Our guide was an elderly man who mumbled and had only one real hand. That fact I didn't realize until 30 minutes into the tour. He wasn't super informative, unfortunately, but I was so overjoyed at being there I didn't much care. One thing he pointed out and something Papa Stay later reiterated was that the structures built around 300A.D. were much less grand and were not used for human sacrifice, and no carved skulls in sight. Those built between 800A.D. - 1200A.D. were the huge snake covered edifices with violence carved into almost every stone panel. I found it very interesting considering the time-line of the people of Nephi from the Book of Mormon. I wish I had had one of my BYU professors there to walk me through and make parallels I was sure to miss on my own.

Unfortunately for Sir Luke he was feeling rather down for the count and spent much of the die hiding from the sun under shady trees. We're pretty sure he got the flu from his SCUBA regulator. Poor guy. While I was loving life and climbing (the few places we were allowed to climb being that Chichen Itza is now a Seventh Wonder) all over the place.

Day 4: Isla Mujeres (Island of Women). We set out on a boat for a little island off the coast of Cancun. We had a full day ahead and I was so excited to swim with dolphins, yet again also scared spitless. Once we arrived we took another ferry to the main city. It was there I found it. THE Mexican Otomi fabric I'd been pining away for for two years. And it wasn't just the regular solid color hand embroidered it was sewn in a beautiful array of colors. I was in heaven. I scored the perfect piece for a table runner. And a little rectangle to be made into a pillow for the living room couch.

Ok so after that we quickly rushed back to take our bike ride to visit the sea turtle preserve. That was a sight to see. And as you can tell I've become obsessed with those photos. I will definitely be blowing one up as a giant piece for our dining room wall. Perfect for my teal living room/dining room scheme!

Then we raced back and changed into our swimwear and hopped on another boat to go snorkeling in the ocean near some beautiful reefs. Not quite as thrilling as the diving but I still had so much fun. The current was strong that day and I kept getting hollered at to steer clear of the stinging coral.

Once we returned I basked under some palm trees on a hammock while we waited for our guide to take us in the manatee enclosure. Ceasar and Selena were delighted to see us seeing as how we had heads of Romaine lettuce to fill their gullets. Ceasar knocked me down with his algae covered tail. With the life jackets I could barely stand and was a little jumpy at first. In the end I grew to love those gentle sea cows. Unfortunately I don't have any photos with them seeing as how Sir Luke used up our first underwater camera on the diving fun and I wasn't about to spend $27 on another.

After we emerged from the water was our planned dolphin swim. Oh man I was nervous but it was so crazy and awesome. I never thought I'd ever be able to pet and swim with dolphins. We held them and were pulled by them (Picasso and Padme) and even got to be pushed on the nose by their feet. When we tried to do the actual dancing portion Padme decided to doa  belly flop on Papa Stay. The current was super strong so we didn't think it had been on purpose but she was put in the corner and didn't spend any time with us after that. There was a little fued right before we left for the night over the video they tried to sell us that cut out the compromising footage. In the end we didn't getting the tape but the day was fantastic!

Day 5: X-Caret. Papa Stay had to head back to the states for a speech he was to make to the accounting department at BYU. So it was up to Sir Luke, Mama Stay and I to spend the last day in Paradise without him. We got up early for the tour to X-caret. We started the morning with breakfast at a cafe just inside the main entrance. Seriously the best breakfast of my life. The fruit there was unreal. Heaven sent. Then we were off to the lengthy process of getting geared up to go snorkeling down an underground river. That was super rad. Those pictures are still stuck on the underwater camera that probably won't be processed for another month or so. But you'll see those and my Holga shots soon enough.

Once we finished that venture we wandered over to one of the coves for more snorkeling. It was nice to swim in the ocean some more and hang out with my loving Sir Luke. Unfortunately once out of the water and on to more wandering and food Sir Luke began to feel sick again and the rest of the night was terrible for him. We were able to see an amazing show depicting the Mayan people followed by the progress over time of the people of Mexico. It was filled with beautiful costumes and amazing music. I was only sad Sir Luke was counting the minutes until we could be back at the hotel in bed. By the time we reached the hotel he had a raging fever. After much prayer and medication he was well enough by the next day to make the flight back home.

We had such an amazing time and I am so happy we were able to go. If you get a chance to go to Cancun, go. Go as soon as you can. Beautiful!


Carolyn said...

Your trip sounds fantastic (minus having to fly there)! And the souvenirs you got sound great...what does your purse look like? Apple soda sounds delicious.

I'm so glad you had a good time!

Carolyn said...

I'm a fool...I just saw the "read more" link and I finished reading AFTER already commenting. Oh well. I'm sorry to hear that Luke was so sick! I'm glad you made it home alright.

I've been to Chichen Itza and I thought it was amazing. It's just incredible to think about what their life must have been like.

I loved reading about your adventures!

Tess said...

I read every single word and LOVED it. I can't wait to go there myself...someday!

heather said...

Greg visited my parents in Salem, UT while I was there too. He took us out to lunch and told us all about the vacation he had just taken with Luke and his "delightful" wife. I was jealous then and more so now (though not of the flu...) Glad you had such an amazing trip!

April said...

We are going to the Isla Mujeres in April to swim with the dolphins and I'm so excited!