Friday, August 8, 2014

Life's a Beach

After making to Akumel, that evening we enjoyed beverages on the ocean at a funky little bar decorated with crazy skeletons that has tree houses and swings for seats.  On Wednesday we enjoyed some beach time, Laura swam with sea turtles and we got some reading in.  Today we are off to enjoy a lagoon and find some more cenotes.  
The lagoon was a beautiful preserved area where the water was crystal clear.  There were steps built in around the lagoon so you could enter at different points.  The water was so clear and there were so many fish that you didn’t even need to snorkel.  Marley and I rotated between the different sets of steps to get various views of the lagoon.  Marley really enjoyed kicking her feet in the cool water.  That afternoon we returned to the hotel and bummed around on the beach for the rest of the day.  Friday our final day of our trip we headed out to do some final souvenir shopping, we went back to Tolum because we had seen some items there we wanted to purchase.  We had lunch there and then set out to find another cenote.  The cenote we arrived at was built up like a pool with deck chairs around it and a zip line into it!  There were several families there and it was a fun and vibrate place to be.  After cooling off in the cenote we headed further down the road to bargain for some folding wooden chairs.   After going to two places we acquired two giant wooden chairs that were wrapped up in some twine and garbage bags.  We now were rolling with a car seat, two backpacks, two adults two wooden chairs in a tiny car that makes a VW bug look spacious. 
We then headed to the Tulum beaches to enjoy one last afternoon on the beach.  Marley loved putting her feet in the sand but wasn’t as excited with the waves as before.  We finished out the day with a wood burned pizza on the beach. 
Saturday was a epic travel day we woke up super early squished all of our possessions into our tiny car and headed to the airport.  Because we rented from such a super small car rental place we circle several times looking for it.  We finally got rid of the car and entered the airport which was wall to wall people.  Trying to navigate through the people with our stroller and our rolly cart with these giant chairs was insane.  We got our chairs saran wrapped and checked them and were off with our upgrade to the US.  Of course our crazy chairs got lost in ATL and were delivered the day after we returned.  

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Temple and Shhhhhenote

The next morning we woke up and headed out immediately for the ruins of Tulum.  The Mayan’s had built these ruins on the edge of a cliff right next to the ocean, talk about a view.  We were the first people in the parking lot and we headed into the ruins.  We climbed through the walled city and walked around the ancient ruins.  It was pretty crazy to picture the Mayan’s here building this and living here and it is still standing!!!  Exploring was pretty hot so we jumped into the ocean and it was Marley’s first dip in the Atlantic.  All the other tourists really liked her swimming hat!  After our ruins exploration it was getting really warm so we headed to eat lunch on the beach at a hotel in Tulum.  The hotels in Tulum on the beach are situated between rock cliffs so you feel nestled in between giant rocks and white sand beach.  People had built small cairins along the rocky cliffs and they were really beautiful to look at with be background of the crashing ocean behind it.  After lunch Marley and I took another dip in the ocean, this time with much less people.  She LOVED the waves and watching the birds.  After two dips, a ruin and lunch we headed back to the hotel for naps.  That afternoon we hung by the pool and ended the day with a meal of AMAZING mole sauce. 
The next morning we packed up the car and headed out to Chizen Itza.  To break up the car ride we decided to stop at a cenote on the way.  We saw several signs for “Mayan Cenote” and followed the signs there.  When we got there we found out that this cenote was $50 and included rappelling in.  Since no children under six were allowed we decided to continue our quest to find another cenote.  We saw signs for “Dolce Cenote” it wasn’t in the LP but we decided what the hell and continued down the road on our quest for cool and refreshing water.  When we pulled into the parking lot we were the only people there, we paid our $7 admission and headed into our private cenote.  It was EPIC, there were stalactites that were almost three stories long.  We headed into a massive pool of fresh water in a cave that was at least five stories tall.  We swam in the cool water and enjoyed the beauty of this natural wonder.  After our cooling dip we got back on the road to Chizen Itza.  We needed some lunch after all that swimming so we stopped at a roadside rest stop and ordered two of the chicken dishes.  When they arrived they were MASSIVE.  One was grilled chicken seasoned with adobo sauce and the other was like a country fried steak, both were served with beans and fresh tortillas.  Even after eating till we were full there was so much food left.  We then got back on the road and finally arrived at our destination.  When we pulled in a golf cart greeted us that wisked us away to the front desk.  The grounds were enormous with little bungalows that the windows were made of stained glass.  From the lobby you can see a view of the ruins.  We took a dip in the pool and ate a small dinner and headed to bed. 

Secret Cenote
We set an alarm and headed early into the ruins to beat the heat and the crowds.  These ruins were amazing  built so high in pyramid shapes.  The acoustics of the place were unreal, you can hear a whisper from one end of this large field to the other.  It is crazy to think that these ancient architects could design such an amazing structures when we have concerts halls that you can’t hear with speakers.  After exploring the ruins we headed to the Mayan cenote which was insanely crowded but still beautiful.  This cenote was completely open at the top and had vines and waterfalls coming down.  It was too deep for Marley to enjoy so we took turns and then headed back out.  After ordering too much for lunch the other day we learned our lesson and at this little road stop we ordered one dish of the signature Poc Phoc.  It was pork pounded thin and marinated in orange juice soooooo yummy and served with freshly ground corn tortillas.  After a near scare of running out of gas we made it back to the coast and settled in a new town of Akumel. 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Mexico or Bust

Since I last went on a out of country journey we have added a new family member to our pair of two.  So now I have married an Indian and had his baby!  Six months after Marley entered the world it was time for our baby girl to get a stamp in that blank passport of hers.  My traveling friend from before I had a baby Laura Mullkoff agreed to go on an international adventure with the Peanut and I.  After two hours of planning we headed to Mexico, the trip started out on a high note with an upgrade to first class!  We landed in Mexico and cleared immigration in record time.  The adventure really began in the car park of the car rental facility.  In order to rent a car we needed to have a credit card hold for the value of the card, neither of our credit card companies were willing to authorize a $7000 bill from Mexico.  As we were trying to figure out cellular service (yea we were renting a car from a place that didn’t have a phone) Marley blew out her diaper with an Epic brown movement.  Here was the moment I was waiting for having to change a diaper in a country that doesn’t have those fancy tables that come out of the wall in restrooms.  I quickly set up a changing area for Marley on the ground and used a pack of wipes to get fecal matter out of all of her rolls and every inch of her car seat.  We finally got a car (the size of a match box) and we loaded up and were off to Tulum.  Our lovely rental place also didn’t have a map so we were working off a Lonely Planet and a print off of google maps (half the ink because laura’s printer was out).  Once we set off down the road we realized that our car had no gas.  We pulled over to a gas station with an attendant, opps we have no Mexican Currency!!! They don’t have pay at the pump and only take cash.  The attendant said he would take US dollars (of course) but in our two hour planning session we didn’t look up the exchange rate.  We are extremely out of traveling shape and underestimated Mexico!  All gassed up ($30 USD with 15 M in change) we drove 150 km down the coast hoping to find our hotel.  Once we entered Tulum which is a happening little backpacking strip with lots of taco stands we looked for our hotel.  Well driving around randomly didn’t pan out too well and asking store owners didn’t work either.  The people who spoke Spanish we couldn’t understand and the people who spoke English didn’t know where they were.  One internet store, one taxi driver, two stops at hotels and one acquired bad map we made it to Villa H2O where we arrived in a lovely room.  We then headed out to a late night taco joint drank our Mexican sodas and enjoyed freshly made tortillas (all for the small amount of change from our gas station experience. 

The next morning we ate breakfast pool side and swam.  We walked into town and found an ATM and espresso.  We had a great lunch and headed off to Gran Cenote.  Cenotes are prevalent in this area and are basically large caves filled with fresh water.  It was an amazing escape from the warm weather where we could swim from cave to cave and look up and see the bats hanging over head and the fish swimming below in crystal clear water.  Marley was reluctant to get in the cold water but once in she was loving the cool water and all the amazing things to look at.  That evening we headed to the beach to dine on the rocks as the sun set.  We finally got our first margaritas of the trip and had a superb evening!