Somewhere in all of this we learned a few things... like don't tell someone you know very little Spanish, as that tended to be interpreted as being able to have a full conversation in Spanish. This resulted in a very confused me...
Monday, May 9th
We left home bright and early. Our flight was bumped up 10 minutes in the hopes we would get off the ground before a storm came in. The storm came in a lot faster than they thought, so we ended up leaving later than our original time. The flight was decent. We had a layover in Atlanta. Once we got down there we were put into a holding pattern and then it took awhile to get to a gate. We originally had about 50-55 minutes to get to our gate, but because of everything that had happened, by the time we got off, we only had about 20-25 minutes. We ended up in the worst case scenario of being in one end of the airport and needing to be at the complete opposite end. We ended up sprinting to our gate and as soon as we got there, they told us we had missed the flight. For some reason they changed their minds and opened the plane door and let us on. Everyone had already moved around, so only one of our seats was open and we didn't get to sit together. The landing into Cancun wasn't too great either. There was a lot of turbulence close to the ground and I just about had a major panic attack. Then of course because we basically missed our flight, our bags also missed our flight. So, we had a fun time trying to find them and making sure they would end up in the correct place in the end.
Finally in Mexico, we took a shuttle to our hotel through the travel agency we used. Nothing to exciting, it was just a van with two other couples. One was super paranoid about their luggage, which seemed kind of funny. We got all checked in, ate dinner, got back to our room and our bags were there. That night we had a bottle of white wine and chocolate covered strawberries. Yum. We had payed for some extra stuff when we booked our room and it happened to come with a bottle of wine and a plate of something every night. Great idea...
Tuesday, May 10th
Our first full day in Mexico was spent relaxing. It was exactly what we needed. After a stressful weeks getting everything ready for the wedding, we really needed a break. Luckily every day we were down there was perfect weather, about 100 and sunny.
In the morning we spent some time at the beach and the second half of the day was spent by the pool. The ocean was a little too cold to go swimming and by the afternoon an occasional cool down was necessary.
For dinner that night, we ate at the resort's Mexican restaurant. It was yum. Bill had a lot of tequila...
That night we got another bottle of white wine and a cheese plate.
Wednesday, May 11th
One of the only things I wanted to for sure do while we were in Mexico was visit Chichen Itza. Bill was a little worried about it being such a long trip, but it ended up being not too bad.
It took a few hours to get there, a guide talked the entire time about the history of things there. I slept a good chuck of the time and missed out on some of it. Oh well.
Immediately it was hot. So hot... There were lots of vendors every where trying to sell stuff. Nothing too exciting... It was no where near as bad as some of the people trying to sell stuff in India.
MAP of Chichen Itza and here is some INFORMATION on Chichen Itza
I believe these are the "Platforma de Aguilas y Tigres"
These are skulls that are on a ruin, Tzompantli, where I believe they buried the important people...
The next bunch of photos are of the "Juego de Pelota" or Great Ball Court, where they played a game where they tried to get a ball through the hoop thing.
The outside that faces the Castillo.
More of the outside and a Jaguar statue.
Details of the outside.
I like signs... This one is before you go onto the court.
One of the walls and carvings below one of the hoops.
I believe this is where the "ref" would be
The next few are of Osario, also known as The High Priests' Temple.
The next two are just of a home. It would have been someone extremely important and wealthy to have lived in a permanent, large structure so close to the center of everything.
The next set of pictures are of El Caracol, or the astronomy tower. A lot of it has crumbled and fallen at this point. But there were (can see one or two left) windows all the way around that they could observe out of.
The next two are just of some merchant set ups and then Monjas or "The Nunnery."
After we walked through Chichen Itza, we had lunch at a hotel, Hotel Mayaland, that is right by there. It was fairly good, they had some regular local Mayan food. I decided to not put anything extra on my food, so I missed out on some awesome spicy sauce.
After lunch we got to choose if we wanted to go to Cenote Ik Kil, a sink hole and go swimming. Um, why wouldn't you...? The water is about 85 feet below the regular ground. The cenote itself is about 200 feet in diameter and about 130 feet deep.
The view from the top.
A view from about half way down, they had window like areas carved out
at a few different spots on the way down. If you look really hard, you can see Bill.
View from at the bottom.
The right photo is of Bill jumping off the highest ledge.
After we left the cenote, we drove through a cute little town. I can't remember what it was called... but they have been trying to restore the building facades to make it all pretty again to show what it was like way back when.
It was a long day and it was really nice to get back to the hotel. That night we just ate at the regular buffet, because we didn't know when we would be back.
Thursday, May 12th
We decided that it would be great to go check out Playa del Carmen. It was only a short bus ride away.
We walked around for quite awhile. I bought a hat to protect my extremely sunburned head. Funny that I was the one that got so burnt on my head, seeing as I have a full head of hair... Bill was on the hunt for some liquor to bring home, so we stopped at a lot of shops to check out that. I was interested in some girly stuff and found some earrings. We didn't bring very much money with and almost immediately regretted it... We brought enough, but it would have been nice to have been able to pick up more than what we did.
We ate lunch at a little place along the touristy route. Note to others: always check the menu prices before you sit down... We spent about $50 on lunch. I thought that was a little crazy, but I had the BEST burrito I have ever had. Amazingly delicious.
We spent the rest of the day at the pool...
We tried out the resort's French restaurant for dinner. It was good, surprisingly good...
That night we had a bottle of white wine and these balls of cake that were covered in chocolate and all sitting in a bowl made out of chocolate. Way yum.
Friday, May 13th
On our last full day in Mexico, we just spent the day by the pool and beach enjoying some beverages and the sun.
On our last night we ate at the resort's Italian restaurant. It was good, but nothing too exciting. That night we were brought red wine and another cheese plate. Good thing we like cheese.
Saturday, May 14th
Bill's Birthday! Unfortunately he had to spend it traveling.
We left the hotel bright and early. We were dropped off at the wrong terminal... We had a layover in Mexico City, which I'm sure everyone else on our bus ended up at the right terminal. We had to walk (we could have taken a bus) to the other terminal, which was only about a ten minute walk away. The guy made it sound easy... I had to stop a few people on our way and try out my spanish. Luckily, "Donde esta terminal dos?" is easy to figure out and say in Spanish! We got all checked in and had the most expensive Burger King breakfast every... $16 for two breakfast meals. Luckily it was good. We flew to Mexico City without any problems and had to use my Spanish again to figure where in the world we were supposed to go in this airport (we weren't the only ones from our flight confused). That is of the mostly poorly set up airports... and luckily I remember left and right in Spanish. We then flew into Minneapolis without any major problems.
It was so good to be home... Vacations are great, but they always make you realize how much you love home (and to be back with your puppy!).