Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Jim, Katie and I just returned from a week in Mexico, specifically an all-inclusive resort near Playa del Carmen. This is an early graduation celebration for Katie, who is now done with college in less than three years. Though she doesn't receive her diploma until the spring, she is technically done with her classes. She does not like it when I write about her, so I have tried not to do it very often. But just this once I am going to say how proud we are of her for setting her goals and meeting them. She even received all A's in college and will graduate summa cum laude.

So before she heads back to Los Angeles and a new career, we wanted to take a family vacation with her. We chose Mexico because she and Jim are both interested in the Mayan ruins, and then I located an adults only resort so we didn't have to deal with any kids. The Ocean Maya Royale is a smaller resort, which we like, yet it has four restaurants including Japanese and Italian dining. It also has two swimming pools. Its main detraction is the fact that the beach got taken out by the last hurricane, so swimming in the ocean is not as great as it has been at the other resorts we have been to in the past. But we knew that going in, so no biggie.

Katie and Jim decided to try their hand at scuba diving, so they took a beginner class that starts in the pool before heading out into the ocean. They both enjoyed it, but Jim had some problems with his ears so he ended it there. Katie went on to become PADI certified, so she went out on an additional dive. More power to her. I have phobias about diving, so I stuck to snorkeling. It was the best snorkeling I have ever done! It seemed as though I was swimming in an aquarium. Awesome!

Down the beach about a 20 minute walk or so was a lagoon that we went to see. It reminded me of the movie "Blue Lagoon", and I was wondering where Brooke Shields was. It also made me think of a woman from my writing class a few years ago, as she was writing about estuaries. A river meets the ocean at this lagoon, so I visited my first estuary.

One of the other things we did was visit the Mayan ruins which are located about 2 1/2 hours away from our resort. At the suggestion of the concierge, we hired a taxi and driver for the day as it was less expensive than the three of us taking the bus tour to Chichen Itza. Plus we would be able to go at our own pace instead of the pace of a tour. What a great decision! The Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza are one of the World Heritage sites, and they are truly amazing. The only down side was all the vendors inside the site who were hawking their wares. What a distraction and annoyance, and they didn't want to take no for an answer.

We were ready for lunch after seeing these ruins, so our driver took us to a little restaurant on the way to Tulum that serves traditional Mayan dishes. Oh, was it ever good! Then he took us to the Tulum ruins so that we could visit that site. It is not as large as Chichen Itza, but it is perched on a cliff overlooking the the Caribbean, so it was wonderful in its own right. I wish that we would have had a bit more time there, but the bottom line is that we got to see both ruins in one day, which would not have happened on the bus tour.

One thing that is kind of weird in Mexico is that you are not allowed to flush any toilet paper down the toilets. They have little trash cans by all the toilets instead. I know that we are very spoiled in America, but this is one thing that would be a deal breaker for me if I was looking for a sunny, sandy retirement area. Especially once I came across something in Mexico that did not agree with my stomach. Ick!

Besides that, we had a really nice time and I am so glad we took the opportunity to make this last trip together. Having Andy and Megan on the east coast and working full time, I know how little we get to see the kids once they move away and get settled in their jobs. So I'm grateful we got to spend this time with Katie before she too flies the coop and the sun sets on this chapter of our lives.

1 comment:

Mrs. Wryly said...

Oh, your pictures are so lovely!

Sounds like a perfect vacation.

Congrats to Katie for her accomplishments! She is launching quite the career. Her life will be exciting and full of adventure.

Congrats to the parents, who made this all possible!