Thursday, May 15, 2014

Happy Birthday to Rick

Rick celebrated his birthday in Mexico, so here are a few pictures of that celebration...
On the beach in Telum.

We really enjoyed Telum and if we were ever to go back to Cancun, we would stay in Telum.
This is where we found the best tacos in Mexico.  But, soooo hot.

It was after a day at the beach, so everyone was a little tired.
We were laughing at all of the things in the background here.  Electrical cords just haphazardly hanging.  A giant fan perched above the random restroom.  Tables stacked on top of tables...

We all enjoyed a little horchada.  The girls were obsessed with it and tried it nearly every place that we stopped.

At Acumel:
This was after a day of snorkeling.  It was getting dark and we stopped at this taco shop just before it closed.  I was fine until the cats showed up.  The people that were sitting at the counter just to the left of this picture did not seem phased one bit by the cat that was just about to share their dinner.

Cole and Rick waiting for their nachos.

On Rick's birthday we stopped at the supermarket and picked up a cake.
We couldn't find any candles and we couldn't figure out how to ask for them, so we just used matches instead of candles.  
It was a very tasty cake, but we did learn one thing...the cake and all other bakery items that we sampled we not nearly as sweet as anything that you would find here at home.

Happy Birthday Rick

Rick got an iPad for his birthday which arrived a few days before we left for Mexico so he was able to open it and get it set up with apps, movies, and books for our trip.  I had picked up this shirt for him in Seattle a week earlier.  I was so excited to surprise him with a little something from our trip.  Except that one of my children had shown it to him right after I got home from Seattle.  It's OK, he still acted surprised.

We were fascinated by the different types of vehicles that we saw in Mexico.
Definitely different registration standards in Mexico.  Sierra was on a quest to find her most favorite hippie van and I think that was it!!
If you google Hasta Alaska, you will find YouTube videos and a Facebook page devoted to a group of people driving this van from Chile (see the license plate?) to Alaska.  

Pictures from our favorite beach in Telum and our very last taco shop meal...

(I need to use some mad photoshop skills and remove this tourist from my picture...)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


We also visited the ruins in Tulum.  It covers a much smaller area than Coba and was manageable by just walking.  Here is Cole with our tour guide, Mosiah.
We learned that in order to get all of the Mormon inside info, you find a tour guide with a BYU hat.

We arrived at Tulum at the about the same exact time as a European Cruise Ship.
There were SOOO many people.

 It was interesting to listen to our Mormon tour guide's explanation of things in comparison to the other tour guide's explanation of things.

Our tour guide, Mosiah, had explanations and connections to Mormonism for everything.
It was interesting.  I need to add lots of these things to my "list" of questions.
Mosiah is a branch president south of Tulum.  His brother is the Stake President in Cancun.
His brother's names are Helaman, Moroni, Samuel, and Lemuel.
Tulum is right on the beach and we had planned on finishing our tour with a little dip in the ocean.
But, there were just too many people (I cut them out of this photo.  This pic  makes it look quiet, but really there were 100's of people on the beach and in the water).  We ended up finishing our tour of Tulum and driving down a ways to a more secluded beach.  We could still see the ruins from there though.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Tacos Conejos

After our hike to the Coba ruins, we were HUNGRY.  Summer, always on the lookout for a good taco shack had noticed a sign for tacos on the way to Coba.  So, on the way back we decided to give it a try.  Here is the shack.

It seemed pretty authentic.  They took us past this front area and into a covered area that we later named "the front courtyard".  (meaning the front courtyard of their home, since the front door to the house was basically about 10 feet from where we were sitting.)  
Incidentally, another family stopped for tacos at the same time we did.  I had guessed that they were LDS when we had seen them hiking at Coba with us earlier in the day.  Upon further observation at the taco shack, it was easily confirmed that they were indeed Mormon:  5 kids, drinking orange fanta, long pants/sleeves, the CTR rings, and well, the garment lines.
In order for Summer to be excused from missing her Spanish class, she had to use her Spanish language skills in Mexico and then do a write up about it.  So, Summer ordered for us.  Good thing.  This was the most remote place that we ate and therefore, they spoke the least amount of English.  Which really means that they spoke NO ENGLISH.  WHATSOEVER.
*I think* Summer ordered 5 of each type of taco for us. 
Here are the pork tacos.

This little hombre apparently lived at the house we were eating at.  He acted like the dining area was his playground, which it basically was since it was right out his front door of his house.
We tried to interact with him.  But, he was funny, he just rode around on his little bicycle & cart, played with his toy cow, and watched the TV which was showing Spanish version of Lawrence Welk.
We later found out that his name was Chucho. 
At one point, his "mom" came out of the front of the house and we saw her pick up a bunny.
So, later Summer asked, "Como se llama su conejo?" (what is your rabbits name?)
His eyes got really big, he shook his head, and said, "NO, NO, NO"
(Stupid Americans, don't you know you don't give names to your next meal?)

And then our server brought us out the next set of tacos and we realized why Chucho doesn't name his rabbits:  we were eating one of them for dinner.

After we finished our tacos, we checked the sign on the way out and confirmed our suspicion:  
we had just eaten rabbit tacos for lunch.  "Tastes just like chicken."

This adventure certainly gave us something to laugh about and it gave Summer a story to tell her Spanish class when she got back to school.  
We have repeated this phrase: "Como se llama su conejo?" about a million times.
And we laugh every single time.


We went to the Mayan ruins at Coba.
The entire area of ruins extends as far as 80 square kilometers.
Only a small percentage of the structures have been excavated.
There are trails leading from each set of pyramids or ruins.
It was a long, hot walk.  It was a good choice to rent bikes.

I had told the kids to jump up on these pillars for a picture, 
but we clearly understood the Spanish instructions not to climb on the ruins.

Riding to the next ruins.

"La Iglesia"

Ixmoja, the tallest pyramid in the Yucatan peninsula.
It's 130 steps to the top.

The view from the top.

I think it was about 120 degrees F at the top, but at least there was a breeze.

Contemplating the climb down.
(mormon friends from Australia behind us.
And it front of us, and next to us.  
Easy to spot with their UofU t-shirts, Utah State hats, and their modest choice of hiking apparel.)

And, it's 130 steps to the bottom.

A few of the ruins had "courts" which were used for sporting events as well as trials.
It was so hot when we got done with this adventure.  We drank all of our water that we brought.
But, there was a well placed ice cream stand at the exit which we took full advantage of as we finished our tour of Coba.