Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Cancun 09 - Day Two - WET

To describe today in one word... WET.
As we learned, the Mayan spirituality was all about duality. The "good" God and the "bad" God were the same God. For example... if it rained, this was good because your crops could grow. Unless you were trying to harvest, then it could be bad because you'd loose your crops. There was always two sides to everything. And so it is today with the conditions and our day in general.

We woke up to our beautiful view (that was good), but it was rainy and overcast (that was bad). We enjoyed breakfast on the balcony (that was good!) The kids balked at taking their vitamins (that was bad). We got to the lobby in time to meet our tour (that was good) but the tour guide did not have us on his list (that was bad) But, it meant there was an extra seat on the bus, because they sent a different bus to pick up the other passengers (that was good!). It took quite a while to pick everyone up and get to Xel-Ha (that was bad) but it rained the whole time and cleared up some by the time we were at the park (that was good!). I thought our tour would go to Tulum first, it didn't (this was bad) but it meant we got the best part of the day at Xel-ha (that was good!)

On the way in Umberto, our fabulous tour guide, explained the different activity options at Xel-ha. The Sea Trek program only required you to be able to walk - no swimming needed - to go under water and meet fish and sting-rays. John has never learned to swim, but his curiosity got the better of him and he agreed to give it a try. E wanted to snorkel, but insisted she didn't want to do a "tour". I really wanted to do the snorkel tour, having never tried it before, so I envisioned myself going off for an hour by myself to visit with the fishies. Somewhat like a massage.

Getting into the park, finding lockers and signing up for the activities took some time. I had an 11AM snorkel tour and John's Sea Trek would follow at 12:30, so it made the schedule seem tight. When we met Carlos, for the snorkel tour, I was the only one signed up, so he invited E and the rest of the family to give snorkeling a try. M was enticed by the fins and the mask, but in the end, he hated the taste of the salt water.
It led to some very bad parenting on my part as I had to walk him around to find John, who had left to take R to the kiddie pool. I felt cheated out of my one hour of fun. In the meantime, E was enjoying learning to snorkel and at least through the generosity of Carlos, we were getting the benefit! Deal of the day! 2 for 1 snorkeling tour!

Once I returned, I had to learn how to put my face in the water. I would have thought after a lifetime of mouth-breathing, it would have come more naturally. But, eventually, my rhythmic breathing skills kicked in and I was enjoying myself.
We floated around a beautiful inlet where the fish are in their natural reef habitat. Carlos would break out the fish food and we'd be in huge schools of fish! E was hooked and couldn't wait until we could do more.

Then it was John's turn. He went off to do the Sea Trek while we went to lunch. He donned a large helmet that didn't require him to remove his glasses and walked ten feet under the water where he got to view a variety of fish and pet sting-rays. Amazing for a guy who doesn't know how to swim! We bought an underwater camera, so we'll look forward to seeing some of his shots.

The buffet (pronounced "boo-fet" in Espanol at least by our tour guide) was wonderful. Some of the best food we've had so far! (that was good!) We were racing off to enjoy our last half hour of the park before getting ready to go to Tulum and we left the camera on the restaurant table (that was bad). When we returned from snorkeling we found the camera at the restaurant (that was good!) so we'll just have to remember the beautiful rainbow fish we found on our own. We will have another chance to take underwater pictures when we go to Xcaret next week.

There wasn't as much time for just relaxing and taking it all in today. We got to spend a short time in Tulum before there was a downpour. But, we did finally find M's sombrero for just 200 pesos at La Palapa shopping center in Tulum. Here is a video of what everyone enjoyed most about the day. I agree with E, I LOVED the snorkeling.
I DID wear the same shirt to Tulum that my sister wore there when she went (8 years ago??). But, alas, I did not get any pictures taken with it before the rain came. I did get this great picture of me and E and the mcaaws though!

And to the left is a picture of Rosie. It's amazing that she puts up with our globe trotting and doesn't act this way all the time. This was her one brief moment of despair all day. At other times she was singing and generally enjoying herself... as you can see in this video.

Tomorrow I begin the Masters training for B.E.S.T. Though it will be interesting and stimulating, the Morter's will really have a challenge in making their program stand out after these first two glorious, exciting, adventure-packed days in Cancun.

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