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July 1, 2011

Part One: Our Vacation to Riviera Maya

This weekend Tom and C took off for Texas to be in one-of-Tom's-childhood-friend's wedding. So that left me to my own devices...using my time alone wisely to clean organize make freezer meals blog.  I figure it is high-time I posted about our incredible week in Mexico, and try to sort through the digital stack of photos on my computer.  I think the most efficient way to do this is to post about each day, showing pics along the way.  I hope you don't get too bored!

DAY 1:  We (Tom, me, and our friends Wendi and Gary) left Denver at o'dark:thirty to make the 9 hour trip to Cancun (including a layover in Houston).  Definitely one of the easiest travel days I've ever had so it was off to a good start.  We arrived in Cancun and met up with Tommy and Sara, the third couple.  Once we got through customs, we went to the car rental place (herein known as "rent-a-wreck").  We proceeded to get the most beat up cars you've ever include a burned out tail light, missing hub cap, and dents/scratches galore.  Mexico mandates that we get car insurance which, we were soon to find out, does not cover much at all.  Quite a racket they have going on there.  I had to laugh at the notion that we girls thought we would bring along our ipod cables to listen to non-mariachi music in the cars.  Laughable because we actually assumed we'd be getting cars manufactured after 2000.  Silly Americans.  Needless to say, there were no auxiliary ipod hook-ups in the cars.
So, we went on our way...down the highway from Cancun to Riviera Maya, about 2 hours south to where our rental house was located.  Tom and I in one car and the other 2 couples in the "swagger-wagon".  I have to insert here that I had done some "travel advisory" reading prior to our trip and was made aware that corrupt police like to target rental cars (read: Americans), pull them over for some bogus thing, and ask for a bribe in exchange for letting them go.  We were advised to carry a separate wallet with about 200 pesos for this very situation.  Well,  Tom and I failed to get pesos (or any cash) at the airport, and thusly had no bribe money what-so-ever.  Poor Tom, the whole way down all he heard from me was, "slow down!", "I don't care how fast Tommy is driving, we need to stay at the speed limit!", and "I don't care that the locals are all passing us, we are foreigners and they know it!".  Um, yeah, I don't think the police looked twice at our rent-a-wrecks.  Guess it does pay to rent crappy cars in Mexico.  Either that or the stupid travel advisory is being overly paranoid, as usual.  Live and learn.
Around 7pm we finally arrived at our house, Casa Escocesa.  It's a gorgeous, private villa located well off the beaten path.  We were greeted by the caretakers, Elder & Elda, who were easily the sweetest people we met down there.  We had pre-arranged to have Elda cook our first-night dinner, and she was grilling meat kabobs when we showed up.  She prepared the most delicious meal of the kabobs, rice, beans, salsa, and guacamole...all homemade.  It was awesome. 
After dinner we all changed into swimsuits and jumped in the pool, with the clear starry-filled sky above us.  Not a bad start to the week if I do say so myself.

DAY 2:  Shopping day.  Before getting out and about, we needed to go to the local super market and pick up food and other necessities.  Tom and I stayed behind and relaxed, taking in the house and the beach.  Here's some shots of the beach as we saw it from the house...
We even had Elder nab a couple of coconuts for us to enjoy...

Aside from lots of swimming and napping, that pretty much sums up our first full day.

DAY 3:  We went a bit south of our house to see the Tulum Mayan Ruins.  Luckily Tommy is a planner and we got there well before the tour buses and extreme heat...which also meant not sleeping in.  It was worth it though, we got some great photos without tons of people in the way.

DAY 4:  Was basically a repeat of day 3, but this time we got up early and headed west to the Mayan Ruins of Coba.  This was a bit more of a drive but totally worth it as we actually got to climb one of the ruins.  Also, if you ever find yourself visiting Coba, rent a bike!!  We chose to walk the ruins which was crazy dumb in the heat.  Plus, these ruins are extremely spread out within the forest.
gotta get a  "Captain Morgan" pose in there
Tom, Wendi, and Gary climbing the ruin (which I ventured to do after these photos were taken)
view from the top, amazing!
At one point in our hike, Tom had a footwear malfunction...not surprising since the only time he EVER throws something away is when it literally falls apart.  The above photo to the left is him trying to go all MacGyver and reattach the sole of his sandal with vine or a palm leaf or something.  The photo to the right is the sole of his sandal, after giving up on the vine and walking the rest of the way on the leather foot bed.  Needless to say, those sandals did not make it back home with us.
Wendi & Gary...walking one of MANY trails at Coba.
Tom and Gary did the zip-line over crocodile-infested water.  
I was happy taking pictures from non-crocodile-infested land.

{Ok, I'm burned out and need to stop avoiding my child. I will post days 5-7 later. Adios!}

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