RJ found a place not far from home called Lake Maria. We went and hiked in the woods and checked out the cabins for some future camping.
Friday, June 14, 2013
RJ got discounted tickets through work for two all day wristbands and body glitter art at Como Town. He had a service project there on Wed., so we met him for rides and a picnic lunch. So fun. Reagan had a poker face on all the rides but I assumed she was having fun.
She did smile when daddy got sick on the tea cups! What a good dad! Not only for squeezing into that little cup but for letting the girls go crazy spinning the wheel.
We did the swings several times. It was so nice to not have to wait at all.
For the glitter art, McKenna got two seahorses and Reagan got an angel. It was really cute and lasted a long time. Maybe I should bathe them more frequently?
I love having an enjoyable time with the kids. It’s always fun when everyone is happy.
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Mother’s Day was two days after we got back from Mexico. RJ had to give a talk and the kids had kept their mother’s day presents a secret for a long time (not too hard I guess when I wasn’t here). RJ made me a delicious breakfast and delivered it to our bedroom. Nothing says you’re a mom more than having your children jumping on the bed picking at your food.
McKenna made a cute bag full of handmade things while she was at Lisa’s for preschool. I quite enjoyed the peanut butter cups which I did sneak when I was alone.
Hunter was equally crafty. He wrote and illustrated a whole book for me! It goes like this:
I love my mom! I love to play fun gams and mak hre lafe. I like wen my mom maks dinr yuuum. I like to see my mom smile. I like to see her sleeping. I like to see you in the mire (mirror). I love to see her in her dres for church. I like wen my mom hugs me and makes me fele speshl. I like evrething abowt my mom.
I printed the spelling errors to remind me of his innocence and growth.
Time to wrestle!
As is usually the case, the fun couldn’t last forever. Hunter and McKenna started fighting bitterly and Hunter decided he needed his own room. McKenna was glad to haul his stuff out and bring Reagan’s cute baby stuff in. Before we had to leave for church, we had completed the swap.
RJ gave a great talk about the women in his life and what he has learned from them and how the men need to support these good women.
We had loaded brownies (nuts, chocolate chips and caramel) with mint chocolate chip ice cream. Delicious!
I think the difficulty of being a mom is the best kept secret in the world. I won’t let the word out though because it is equally difficult to capture the love and joy these little creatures can bring.
RJ and I lucked out and won a trip to Mexico right in time for our 10th anniversary. We talked the deSully’s into joining us for our 5th couples getaway.
We asked Allie Heroux (my visiting teacher’s daughter home from BYU for the summer) to watch the kids. It was comforting to know that her mom was just around the corner. I put a lot of time into cleaning the house, making freezer meals, writing schedules and organizing play dates to help Allie out. We had a hard time communicating while we were in Mexico not being able to use our phones and having the internet service in the hotel go down but when we did get to talk to the kids, they said hi and took off. We didn’t bend over backwards to get a hold of them after that. We just enjoyed being a couple again.
Our room had a balcony that we didn’t end up using but for this picture that we took before going to the gym to workout. We found out two mornings later that it was a lot more fun to play tennis than run on the treadmill and we burned just as many, in fact more, calories.
The first day was a little humid and about 70 degrees. We enjoyed breakfast at the buffet (especially the churros). I noticed that their sweet stuff wasn’t as sweet as ours (ie. the donuts were more like fried bread and the ice cream tasted like ice milk). We overate anyway.
We found a bus to take us to our first big adventure… XPLOR.
We put our things in our lockers and smothered coconut oil all over our bodies before heading out. We purchased the following pictures from XPLOR. We actually did the zip lines first though. Note* Most places we visited required biodegradable sunscreen. Chuck did some research and found out that coconut oil worked as a natural sunblock. They tested it on their family and confirmed the findings.
There were two routes for the jeeps. RJ drove first and I held on for dear life. I was surprised when we came to a bridge with the middle stretch missing. Yikes! I had to look back and see Theresa’s reaction when she came to it.
Chuck drove all four of us the second time through. We saw a cool monkey looking thing swinging in the trees as well as two crocs in a deep wide well and several iguanas.
We paddled around on these little two man rafts through these amazing caves.
RJ was all about the cameras.
We got to swim a 30 minute loop that felt awesome. I loved going through the whole park at our own speed in the order that we chose. There were many instances where we noticed that Mexico’s laws are a lot more lax.
We actually started with the zip lines. There were fourteen of them that took almost 2 hours.
Best compliment ever! Theresa wanted to be able to watch Chuck zoom in so she plotted to have her and RJ go first. When I stood up on my block, the worker motioned for Chuck to come with me. I told him I was going by myself and he said I was too light! Theresa got a little surprise watching us come in together.
RJ came down behind me on this slide and there were two points at which I slowed down substantially. I was afraid he would come flying down and kick me right in my helmet.
We zip lined into the water a few times and it was a competition to see who could go the furthest before hitting the water. Here comes RJ working those abs!
After enjoying every part of XPLOR, we ate at the buffet. Surprisingly, we all got burgers and fries. We decided that since we were close to Playa del Carmen, we would take a “bus” (van) up and check out 5th street. I quickly remembered what it was like to walk the streets of a Mexican flee market….not a fan. We got all American and walked over to Wal-mart for souveneirs. We didn’t back to the resort until after 7 and had dinner at the Italian restaurant. It was such a great day!
On Tuesday, we took an LDS tour (Alma’s) of the Mayan ruins. We left around 8 with one other couple and headed to Tulum. Our guides were a father and son named Miguel and David. Miguel’s wife, Alma started the business. They brought us cold water and snacks and were exceptional guides.
When we got to Tulum, the first thing David pointed out was a tree that had green bark. he said it was a tree that represented life to the Mayan’s and everywhere it was found, there was another tree with poisonous black sap that instantly causes a rash. Next to that tree was a copper colored tree whose bark was the antidote for the sap.
Iguanas were lounging around everywhere and many people were more interested in them than the ruins.
There are three panes across the top of this ruin. The one on the left is of a man, the center is a man upside down and the last one is empty. It is a representation of the Godhead (Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ- the descending God, the Holy Ghost). The Mayan’s kept track of the seasons and remembered special days by how the sun shone through special stone arches they build. One corner of a wall almost came together looking like a bottle with a diamond shaped tip. On April 6th, the sun shines through the tip of the bottle illuminating the temple of the virgin. We also saw some examples of stellas. They were stones that had different phrases. One phrase was “Once upon a time” OR “And it came to pass”.
This (above) is a grave. The graves were inside the homes (row of rocks in front were the outline of the home). People were buried so that when they rose, they would walk out of their graves toward the East.
Here’s RJ and the backside of the largest ruin in Tulum.
We drove about an hour inland and had lunch at a very nice Mexican buffet. Along the way we passed by some villages where they still speak Mayan. Men and women in traditional garb danced while we ate.
Chichen itza is now one of the 7 wonders of the world. People use to be able to climb to the top but there are ropes around the base now. The steps were made to be just less than 90 degrees and the structure was built so that the priest could speak from the top and everyone could hear him below. The acustics were amazing! Our group did several claps together and the rebound off the temple was like nothing I have every heard.
At the bottom of the temple was a serpents head. On April 6th, the outline of the serpent is lit up. That’s when they believed their God, the feathered serpent, was born.
This statue was of a man sitting with bent knees with a bowl in his hands. The hearts of the sacrificed humans were put into the bowl.
This was a wall of stones with skull outlines of the “winners” of poc-de-poc (a sickening athletic event where the captain is beheaded and the team members’ sternums are slit open and their hearts ripped out. The hearts are then offered to either a jaguar or eagle. If the eagle eats the heart, the spirit goes to the sky, if the jaguar- God of the underworld, did, they went to hell.)
The “game” was played in this stadium. It was played when the people were in need of something like rain. It was a great honor to play and a disgrace to lose. The athletes wore special gear and had to launch a leather wrapped ball through the stone hoop on the side of the stadium without using their hands. Only the elite could watch the games.
This is a depiction of the aftermath. The captain is being beheaded while the team is cut open. The losing team would perform the sacrifice which was suppose to be humiliating.
Here we are with our guides and the temple in the back. Recent ground tests have shown that the temple behind us (Chichen itza) is only 1/4 of the ruins. Underneath the ground is 75% of it’s base!
Theresa tried her hand at bartering for some bowls or table clothes but didn’t bite. I had no money and when I tried to explain that, I started getting offers for my watch or hat!
We went to a cenote (a deep natural pit, or sinkhole, characteristic of Mexico, resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath) afterward to cool off. There were four different height ledges you could jump off. It was so cool and jungle like with the vines hanging down. Small catfish swam around and the water was on the cool side but jumping was a rush!
We ate that night at the Japanese restaurant at the teppanyaki grill. It was absolutely wonderful. We enjoyed margaritas, pinacoladas and strawberry daqueries.
This is the pool at the resort. We spent the next day (Wed) just enjoying what the resort had to offer. RJ and I got up and played tennis and pitch and putt golf before breakfast. We swam, kayaked in the ocean, I played beach volleyball (horribly), entered a ping pong tournament, learned the tak-a-ta (dance lesson) and fell asleep in a hammock.
We ate dinner at a steakhouse and doubled up on dessert. YUM!
On Thursday, we took a bus down to Akumal to snorkel with sea turtles. We saw several and the neatest part was watching them come up for air. They would come up right beside us, bob their head out of the water then head back down to munch on vegetation on the ocean floor. It was unreal! We would have liked to have seen more brightly colored fish but called it quits after seeing the turtles. The sun started taking it’s toll as it climbed throughout the week from 70-90 with 60-80% humidity. Unfortunately, Chuck’s home remedy of sunscreen (coconut oil) only worked the first two days and we all had sore shoulders and necks our last two night there.
All in all, we had a great time and it went by too fast which is always the case when you are having fun. It was so nice to have RJ with me all day and to have a special date every day (as apposed to once a month)! The deSully’s are such good friends and wonderful examples. it wasn’t but one week that we were home and RJ was giving me price quotes on cruises! I would not get in his way if he were ready to book anything.
We took a picture with Chuck and Theresa before getting on the shuttle that took us back to the airport. It was a long day of travelling but it did feel good to walk through the door of our home. Allie did a fantastic job with the kids and we were gone a sufficient amount of time to start missing them so it was fun to spend Sat. all together.