Sunday, December 30, 2012

vacation adventure: part 7

My mom got up early one morning and got these shots of the sunrise from her balcony.

A view of the resort from our balcony.

We went kayaking out to a little island. (Thanks Mom for the great pics.)

Then the kids took some paddle boats out.

This is where Drew was sick of doing all the paddling for the two of them.  (Notice the princess lounging as he throws his hands in the air.)

They all look so serious.  They got in a splash fight.  Not sure what happened, but they don't look happy.

On the bus back to the hotel.  Mike hopped off to stop at a pharmacy and get some ointment for himself and the boys.  Living in swimming trunks caused some chaffing.

Family picture: Cancun, December 2012

Walking to the bus to head downtown for shopping, the boys were all walking like cowboys that had been in the saddle all day.  Thankfully, the special Mexican ointment worked wonders.

Bargaining for souvenirs.

Last meal before returning to real life, and having to cook for ourselves.

One last daiquiri. (Actually, we all got one before heading out in the morning.)

It was a great trip.  We were ready to come home, but once we got home, we immediately started talking about where we want to go next...someplace with sand and water and sun.

vacation adventure: part 6

My parents had already been to Chichen Itza, so they stayed back at the resort while we headed out to see the Mayan ruins.  It was about a three-hour trip there, but we figured we couldn't really come that close and not go.  Chichen Itza is one of the "New Seven Wonders of the World."

Some of us got a little rest on the way there.

Our tour stopped at a cenote (big sinkhole) where we could swim.

Drew, Bev and Jessi got in.  The waters are supposed to have "healing qualities."  I wanted the benefits of the water, but didn't want to get wet.  We then went to a "Mayan village" which is filled with vendors and a restaurant.

After eating, we headed to Chichen Itza.  El Castillo is the main pyramid.  It used to be open to the public, but I have to say that I am glad it isn't now.  It is tall and those stairs are steep.  My brother and sister climbed it when they were there a few years ago.  

There is a lot of symbolism in the number of steps and the depiction of different characters on the stone.

Entrance to The Great Ball Court.

The game was played sort of like basketball, except that one had to make baskets without using hands.  The game sometimes ended with human sacrifice.

After the tour, we were hot and tired, so we took a little rest in the shade of the pyramid.

Temple of the Warriors.

Temple of a Thousand Warriors.

There are vendors all over the grounds.  Mike used his mad bargaining skills to help the kids score some treasures.

We learned all about the Mayan Calendar, and the end of it coming soon.

Christian picked a whistle that when you blow into it, makes the sound of a jaguar.

Friday, December 28, 2012

vacation adventure: part 5

One of our favorite parts of the trip, and one of the reasons we brought the kids to Cancun, was our day at Xel-Ha.  It's a natural water park with snorkeling, cliff-jumping, and a lazy river.  

On the bus. 

Mike and the three oldest rode bikes to the start of the lazy river.

They saw lots of creatures on their ride.

My mom, Jessi and I floated on tubes, the others snorkeled down the river.

Jessi was a little nervous to snorkel, but once Mike got her warmed up, she loved it.

Andrew jumping off a cliff.

The boys climbing to the top and Bev getting ready to jump.

Christian was so independent, he just took off with the big kids.

My mom is such a good sport, getting right in the action.

At the end of the lazy river, the kids did a rope walk and zipline over the water.  The lazy river leads into a big bay where we snorkeled.

The gang, minus Grandma, who took the picture.  My parents both stayed in the water for a long time.

When Jessi announced she was cold (she gets cold easy) Grandma took her to the shore where she searched for coral and shells.

I went to shore, but I wanted to catch up to Mike and the three kids, so I conquered my fears and headed out to find them.  I had to cross the entire bay to find them.  (I get a little freaked out sometimes when I am in the ocean.  I hear Jaws playing in my head, and I have to go to my happy place.)  As I was on my journey, I swam from group to group.  As I approached one group, I heard them excitedly saying that they had seen a barracuda.  I went the other way.

 I am so glad I caught up to them because as I did we saw a family of stingrays.

Mike and the kids had gone into a cave where this picture was taken.

I only got one great shot with the water camera.

My mom.

My dad.

My mom got this shot of the bay.  It was great having two of us taking pictures--she got a lot that I would not have.