Thursday, June 28, 2007

In My Mind I'm Goin' to C . . .

Vacations are great, but it's a little crazy to be going to Colorado in a few days when we have just returned from Cancun a few days ago!

. . . but, anniversaries and family reunions come at their own time.

So do babies.

I am going to Colorado, but in my mind I'm goin' to Carolina where my sister lives and is about to give birth to her first baby, Sierra Katherine.

I find this song very peaceful to listen to. If you miss my posts while I'm gone, you might want to sit back and listen a few times, slow down your pace, and go to Carolina in your mind too.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

CANCUN! (more images)

As promised, here are more photos - this time with captions included. At the hotel we had lots of water activities available. Here David is selecting a kayak - paddle boats were available as well.Here David is enjoying his favorite activity - sailing - and taking me along for the ride. That's our hotel on the right. The one on the left is owned by the same company, so we could use all the amenities at either hotel.Snorkeling at the hotel beach was another activity we took advantage of.There were three different pools for us to enjoy. Here is David in his favorite.We got into some beach volleyball action. Here David is serving.I learned that although my mind still retains every volleyball instinct trained into it while on teams in my younger days and still automatically follows those instincts, my body, which is a quarter of a century beyond when it was last on a team is not so happy about this. I paid for this choice for about 4 days afterwards!Boogie boarding was another available activity, and David took that on too! The color of the water was constantly amazing and also constantly changing. There is no way to capture it on film.People who got too worn out from beach activities could just slip into the pool and float right up to the bar to order their favorite drink.We took an incredible day trip further into the Yucatan Peninsula to visit Chichen Itza - a vast complex of Mayan ruins. As with the amazing Incan city Machu Picchu, Chichen Itza was abandoned even before the Spanish conquest. No one knows why the city was abandoned. Pictured here is the outer wall surrounding the city.Here is the main "attraction," a pyramid known as "The Castle" or "The Pyramid of Kukulcan." Sadly, climbing to the top is no longer allowed (as of two years ago). The complex is far more vast than I had realized, and it sure would have been a powerful experience to have seen it all from the top of this pyramid!Here is another view of The Pyramid of Kukulcan. The Platform of Venus is in the foreground. There are two other images of The Platform of Venus in my previous post just below the pictures of the large pyramid.We experienced a jungle thunderstorm while we were here - with lightning very close, the thunder and lightning coming simultaneously. It rained very hard for about 15 minutes, and we were soaked! Locals appeared out of nowhere selling ponchos for a dollar. The problem was that by the time they got to us we were so soaked a poncho would only have served to keep the water in!! Although the rain did not last long, we remained wet all day. It was so warm and humid that as time went on we could not tell if we were wet because of the rain or because we were sweating - pretty gross!Here is the ball court. No one knows exactly how the game was played, but it is thought that the players had to get the ball through this hole 24 feet above the ground without using their hands. It's been said this is partly where J. K. Rowling got her idea for Quidditch in the Harry Potter books.This is a carving at the base of the ball court. Our tour guide, Carlos, is explaining the meaning of the carvings to us. He is indicating the snakes that are emanating from a neck from which the head has been severed; the spurting blood turned into snakes, a sacred symbol. It is thought that the best player was decapitated and his head presented to his family by the second best player. At the bottom left is a circle with a skull in it representing the head of the decapitated player. The mouth of the skull is open, and a message to the gods is coming out. (I'll stick with beach volleyball - thanks anyway.)Outside the ball court is a wall of stones depicting skulls. Each is unique and represents someone who was the best player one year and earned the privilege of being decapitated to bring a message to the gods - a wall of fame, so to speak.This is a cenote or sink hole. This is where the bodies of those who were sacrificed to the gods were "buried." Only the high class people were buried here - kings, the best ball players, the best mathematicians and astronomers, etc. This was considered a window to heaven. The bodies were purified in a building nearby, weighted with stones and thrown in. Every 52 years live animals, jaguars, snakes, deer, birds, etc. were (are?) thrown in to feed the dead. In the late 1950's Jacques Cousteau explored this cenote and found a pile of bones 10 feet deep at the bottom. The lower classes were cremated at death and used for fertilizer.This is a low circular platform on which three circular calendars once were. The Mayan people have the most accurate calendar ever developed - even more accurate than the Gregorian Calendar used in most of the world today - although the Gregorian Calendar is far simpler to use. There were many similarities between the Maya and the ancient Egyptians (pyramids, hieroglyphics and calendar). Both of those societies predicted the end of the human race on earth as December 2012. The predictions are within one day of each other, the Egyptians saying it will come on the 23rd and the Maya saying it will be the 22nd. Hmm . . .A few miles away from Chichen Itza is another cenote or sink hole. This one was used as a swimming pool for Mayan rulers. The water is 300 feet deep.Here is David swimming in the cenote - clearly having a good time! (It was a bit dark down there for the camera to get a good shot. We had to hike down quite a distance to get to water level.)
And now, back at the hotel, we relaxed with one of our favorite games, the Hunters and Gatherers version of Carcassonne. (For those of you who know the game I'll say that David got all sneaky and connected a large meadow area that I didn't notice, and he creamed me!)Here is David near the pool and . . . . . . in the pool. I figured I should throw in a picture of me too to prove I was there!Time for another side-trip. We took some great two-person boats through a lagoon and mangrove channels out to a coral reef in the ocean to do some snorkeling. The little boats were a lot of fun!
Here is one little fishy we saw.
Hey, here I am again - on the front of the boat after snorkeling. The boat trip before and after snorkeling were a real treat.A night view of our favorite pool.Yes, it really was this beautiful!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

CANCUN! (preliminary pics)

This place is even better than it looks! We just returned home in the middle of the night last night (so thankful for safe flights for us to and from Cancun and for the boys to and from Michigan!! - also SO thankful for grandparents who helped make this possible!), and I wanted to get some pictures up here quickly. Only the pics from the digital camera are available to me right now, so I grabbed 15 of the 400+ to slap up here quickly. I hope to fill in a few details with writing and put up a few more pics over the next week.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Hello from the Palace!

Greetings from Cancun - Hotel Riu Palace Las Americanas! What a great place to celebrate our 20th anniversary.

I am eager to put up photos but can't do so yet, so I have created links to online photos of where we are and have been - although photos cannot do any of this justice. This place is better than I ever could have dreamed!!!

Yesterday we toured Chichen Itza, which is MAGNIFICENT! The history is amazing, and the site itslelf is indescribable. It is on the list being considered for the official 7 wonders of the modern world, and with good reason!! (If you click on the link to check this out, click on the map of the site to see pictures of the items.)

Tomorrow we jet ski out to a coral reef and will be snorkling, a first for both of us.

I will put up photos as soon as I can, but I'm afraid it will be hard to choose which ones of the hundreds we've taken to put up, and, as I said, the photos don't do it justice anyway.

Warm Caribbean greetings and best wishes to you all!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Modern Love Poem

David, although I know your style of poetry is much different from mine, on this special day I send this poem to you - written by e. e. cummings but coming from my heart.

I love you!
i am so glad and very
merely my fourth will cure
the laziest self of weary
the hugest sea of shore

so far your nearness reaches
a lucky fifth of you
turns people into eachs
and cowards into grow

our can'ts were born to happen
our mosts have died in more
our twentieth will open
wide a wide open door

we are so both and oneful
night cannot be so sky
sky cannot be so sunful
i am through you so i

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Kid Quote

Tonight we ate out at Applebees to celebrate the end of school. In looking at an old movie poster that was part of the nostalgic decor, David said, "Is that Mickey Rooney?" Our son Jacob replied:
He must be famous; I've never heard of him.

Friday, June 01, 2007


This month David and I celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary.

to all friends and family who have supported us during these 20 years so filled with the variety of life experience - times of joy and sorrow, loss and blessing, work and play, sickness and health, parenting, and everything else that has been part of the journey.

Part of my way of celebrating is to post pictures representing our 20 years.