***note*** We are already back home from our cruise. A few friends have been totally confused with these posts. I journaled (not sure if that is a word) while we were on the ship, but did not blog anything. So all of this is from me at home now. I did this for two reasons. First to protect my children and family while we were gone, since many people read this blog that I don’t even know, and second, because internet on the ship was about a dollar a minuet. Ouch!
As we stepped out onto the deck that morning, we were greeted with a blast of warm, humid Caribbean air. The sun was shining, full of warmth and a promising day of Caribbean bliss. We left the ship and headed down the long pier to Costa Maya, Mexico. We have never travelled as tourists before to another country. We have moved our family, and lived in foreign countries, but never showed up with a blinking sign over our heads that said “Hey, I’m American, I’m a tourist, I have no clue about your country and will only be here a few short hours!” I’m used to learning the ways of a country thru the backdoor. Living with the people of that country. Buying my food and whatever else from a place tourists hardly ever frequent. I love learning all the cultural differences that country has and how I can incorporate it into my families life as we set up camp in a new place. But today, I actually felt awful walking around the shops, listening to other “American tourists” go about their shopping. I was horrified at how rude many of them were to the locals. I was shocked at the amount of alcohol being consumed by the other tourists and the foolishness that was followed. No wonder American tourists have such an awful reputation. I wished to sit with the children that played in the back of their parents shops, to speak with the women about anything… their family, their stories, their heartaches. But these shop owners were very focused on selling their wares to the thousands of tourists that had just flooded the streets.
The pier we walked down to get to the island from the ship.
Dancers that greeted us.
Guards that “protected us”
Our cruise ship
Where I could spend the rest of my life…
Eric and I were signed up for a trip to the Mayan Ruins. So after walking around the “shopping center”, we found our tour group and loaded up on a very nice tour bus, complete with air conditioning, and headed into the jungles of Costa Maya. Our tour guide was very educated with the history of the Mayan people. We had an hour drive to reach the Ruins, and I was fascinated with the history of these people. We spent a couple of hours walking thru the Ruins, and then stopped at a little stand and bought some fresh pineapple, cut and sliced right before us with a cutlass (machete). It was so sweet and delicious.
A little store on the side of the road.
A little cemetery.
Our little stop for Pineapple
Our bus. (Or one of the buses anyway, each bus contained one tour group)
Marks made in a Chicle tree by the Mayans thousands of years ago.
Bats asleep in the top of a Palm Tree.
Coconuts that we use for coconut oils.
Chacchoben (Mayan Ruins)
Different views of Chacchoben
Our trip back to the ship was uneventful. We were told by our guide that it was “siesta time”, so no more history lessons. Except for Eric. We had been seated at the very front of the bus, directly across from the guide, so Eric took this time to ask her hundreds of questions about the Mayan people, the Ruins, and the guide herself. We made it back on board the ship (this is very important, because they do not wait for you if you are late) were sprayed by the Washee Washee Guards, cards scanned by the security guards, bags run thru the x-ray machine, and then ushered thru the metal detector. Whew, survived it all!
Things I saw on our trip back to the port.
Guards that stopped us at a checkpoint.
The sun setting on the shore as we headed back on the ship.
And the sunset that night.
Since we were cruising “Freestyle” we had decided that we would dress up for dinner a few nights. This was our first “Formal” dinner night. It was so much fun to put on an evening gown, and walk thru the ship to our restaurant. We had a delicious dinner served to us by a very friendly waiter. Afterwards we went to the show, an amazing husband wife team of acrobats. It was fabulous. Oh, and Eric had somewhere on the ship found a supply of earplugs and had given them to me. So this night was the first night on the ship that I actually got some sleep.
21 weeks pregnant!
Found this little guy on our bed when we came back from the show! Eric and I debated on whether it was a rabbit, pig, or maybe an elephant??? Never did decide!