Friday, February 26, 2010

weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Xplor was AWESOME!!!  The morning started a bit frustrating because we had to get up early to go talk to a bank official for Marcos's missing ATM card.  The reason it was frustrating was because the bank opened at 9 am, we were there at 8:50 am, but no one showed up to unlock the doors until 9:20am.  ONLY IN MEXICO!  How unprofessional.  One of the office workers was there on time waiting to start work.  Geez...if I spoke fluent Spanish you all know I would have given them some words.
Moving along...Once we got to Xplor we were so excited I had to pee... not kidding.  I ran across the parking lot in a panic, and was greeted by a kind Xplor employee who pointed out where the toilets were.  Our first excursion was the jeep ride.  This is funny.  At least I thought it was funny.  So Marcos doesn't have a drivers license.  He never really needs one in Cadiz as he lives close to everything and doesn't own a car.  Plus it's a pain in the ass to get one there as you have to take a class, and its spendy!  Knowing he didn't have a license, I offered to let him drive the jeep.  I figured the jeep only goes like 15 mph and he drove the scooter all over Cozumel....I figured it would be fine.  We hopped into the jeep and listened to the nice lady tell us the rules.  "This is forward, neutral and reverse.  Do not get out of the vehicle." blah blah blah.  I could sense this would be an adventure when I saw Marcos with his foot on the gas as he started the vehicle.  Before I could tell him to put the break on, not the gas, he had already started the vehicle but kept turning the key.  It made that horrible grinding noise.  Both the woman and I were like "no no no stop turning the key!".  She looked worried.  I started to sweat.  Then I saw his left foot on the break and his right foot on the gas.  That's when I said "Marcos, I can drive, do you want me to drive?!"  Marcos confessed to the lady in spanish that he didn't have a valid drivers license.  She was like "aaaaaahhhhhh no no no no no you can't drive!!"  It was so funny to see her expression.  So I drove... and we lived!!  Here are some pics:


This actually made me a little nervous.

Next was the zip-lining!  This was the high-lite of the trip!  11 zip-lines, one over alligators, one water slide, and four that zipped into the water!!  Some we got to go on together, but for the most part it was just one of us going solo!! Some went really fast, which was scary when you go to the end.  I thought for sure I was just going to catapult into the open air after the line ended, but those awesome Xplor workers some how stop you!
At the end of this zip-line was a waterfall.  You go so fast that if you get turned around 
your bikini bottoms come off.   Of course this happened to me.  My bum skimmed the water and bam, butt exposed!  Geez, it's embarrassing!
Marcos doing some meditating in the air.

After our zip-lines we treated ourselves to the free lunch they offer.  Um, yeah AMAZING! They had so much food I could have eaten for a year!  It was yummy.  Then off to the next excursion... which was rafting.  This activity wasn't my favorite because it wasn't really rafting.  It was a small boat that you sat in, with paddles attached to your hands and you rowed through the cenotes.  Why they call it rafting?  I don't know.  The only truly entertaining part was about 10 minutes into it, (keep in mind its just Marcos and I in the cave, and it's very quiet, serene, tranquil, etc), when all of the sudden I hear "Helloooo"... almost like in a deep God like voice and it kind of echoed.  I screamed  "Jesus, Mary and Joseph!" (it just came out!)... scaring the man more than me...He was a life guard just kind of chilling in the water but I didn't see him, (he was about 2 feet away from me).  

oooooh look at the cenotes!! Did you know that 10cm of Stalactites (the pointy things that hang down from the caves) take over 100 years to form!!??  (No touching Stalactites!)

The last event was the cenotes swim.  It was so nice.  The water was perfect temperature, and it was quiet with awesome lighting all the way through the path.  At the end there was a waterfall that you had to swim through.  


This picture cracks me up.  I think we were trying to look like we were drowning
 but instead we just look crazy!

It was such a fun day!!!  The weather was perfect, sunny but with a nice breeze.  When we left, a storm was coming, rain, thunder and lightening.  I loved it!!
Val left today back home, and we all leave on Monday.  I am excited to get home.  I booked my ticket to Vegas to do research for the book (interview my grandma Sandy) in March, with a night in Salt Lake and a weekend in Boise! YEAH!

Love you all!
xo
Cole

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Chichen Itza, Alux Cave and more

Up at 6:30 am and ready to go by 7:30.... we waited patiently for our late van (very typical for Mexico!)  We took off for the two and half hour drive to Chichen Itza, Cenote swim and Mayan town.  I have been to Chichen Itza and luckily I got to go when you were able to walk up the tall pyramid.  Unfortunately someone fell down the pyramid and died, ruining it for us all (how dare they? j/k, horrible joke, poor tourist!)
The main center of the Mayan Plaza.  The "Mayan Gods"
knew when an Eclipse would happen but they wouldn't tell the people how they knew.  Instead they would convince them that their powers caused the eclipse, which of course lead to them having God like powers over their people.
They played a game with a rubber ball.  This ball had a lot of bounce (more than our average rubber dodge ball) so that it could bounce off the players and into that hole!!  They didn't use their hands or feet either... but instead their hips, forearms and thighs.  Most of the time they played for pure sport, but sometimes they played to death.  The loser would be sacrificed, um yikes!
The Mayan school
This is where they studied the stars and the moon... the observatory!

The tour guides were super "tricky".  They always dropped of us for toilet breaks where there was shopping to be done.  Instead of shopping we took pictures.
Valerie Jensen and I.....
Val and Ashley
Sarah sacrificed her head to this lion...
"i have to peeeee!"
The tour we got included lunch, swimming in a Cenotes Cave and then shopping in a little Mayan town.  The Cenotes was the highlight.  It was more a well of water, but absolutely the best fun!!  We jumped off a really high stair case on the side, and it was such a hard hit that I lost my top the first time I went in!!  OH BOY!  Luckily no one saw anything though... phew!
Check out how small Marcos's Margarita is...
 lunch was free, but they charged us for the drinks and they were tiny.
mmm.... food!!
The performers 
The natural pool "cenotes" that we jumped in!!
Me jumping in!!

Sarah didn't jump in, but Ashley, Marcos, Valerie and I all did.

The day was long, but good.  By the time we all got home we were all so tired we just zonked out.  The next night we went to the Alux restaurant to have dinner.  The Alux restaurant is build inside a cenotes cave, that doesn't have water in it anymore.  The food was great, the service was good, but the atmosphere was the best!!!  They had a man singing live music and he even played our request, "Vivir Sin Aire" by Mana.
Sarah, Ashley and Val at the dinner table.
kissy kissy
The music
The made our crepes in front of us, playing with fire... it was delicious!



phew... that was a lot of uploading of pictures.  The internet here has no mercy.... it is horrible, going off and on.  Blogging takes me at least two hours...this is why I haven't done it for a while.  Tonight I made my moms tuna noodle casserole and then the power went out.  It was fun because all the neighbors were out on the porch, lighting candles, and being silly.  
Tomorrow Marcos and I are going to Xplor.  You can check out the website here: Xplor  The girls didn't want to go to this park and instead will probably go to Cozumel tomorrow for their first time.

ooooooh and I almost forgot.  Today we all went to the PGA golf tournament.  We saw John Daly, Cameron Beckman, Joe Durant and many other golf super stars!  I actually liked it, which surprised me as I think golf is soooooooo boring, and when I play it I want to throw my club into the river as I have NO patience.  We had a good time and all got sun burned!! ouch!!

Until next time!!!
xoxox


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

2010 Carnaval in Cozumel, Mexico

Marcos is just one big ball of FUN!! oooh how I love that man!!  Yesterday started out as a relaxing day in the sun....hanging out on the beach and then off to designing our Carnaval costumes.  In Cadiz, Spain it's a HUGE event, where everyone dresses up in great costumes, kind of like Halloween in the states, but with big parades!!  So, in the spirit of Cadiz, Marcos and I went to the fabric/hobby store, and used what resources we had to make our costumes.  We decided to go as a Devil and an Angel... or Good and Bad conscious!! :)  Marcos did the face painting and arm paintings.  He's very crafty!
Here is the outcome!
Evil versus Good 
 Attack on the Angel
God's on my side though so I struck back and WON!
 
 Match made in Heaven or Hell? hmmm......

Walking from our house, down 5th avenue to the ferry terminal we were stopped mulitiple times for pictures.  We felt somewhat out of place and were really hoping that once we got to Cozumel more people would be dressed up.  45 minutes later on a very queasy ferry ride, we arrived to find masses of people, but no one quite dressed up like us!!  The parade started and we had a blast!!  10 plus people stopped us for pictures, and 20 plus stopped us to compliment us.  We were even stopped by the local television station to be on their TV!  During the parade I looked down the street and saw a building with huge flames coming out the windows.  "Marcos, look at the building, do you think that is part of the parade or the show?!?"  "I don't know, weird?  I can't tell.  Is it a banner on fire?"  Sure enough, the parade was delayed because Senor Frogs store was on fire and the fire trucks had to get on the street to put out the blaze!  Craziness!   The parade continued was at least an hour long if not more.  Here are some of my favorites:
Fire works were going off as the parade was in way.
It was like Vegas but better... so much visual stimulation!
Senor Frogs a little roasted.  Upstairs was worse.
After the parade, we went and danced in the center. 
They had a huge stage with performers dancing. 
(Sexy fire fighters, it was more for men as the ladies looked like strippers...!)
These ladies loved us..... and they were the only adults I saw really dressed up
that weren't in the parade, so we got photos with them!
We had to catch the ferry back at 11pm...  Unfornately Sarah and Ashely couldn't come because Valerie came into town and was arriving too late to catch the ferry with us.  It's so nice having her.  Tomorrow we are going to Chichen Itza for the day.  So definitely tune in for some more pictures.  Did you know that Chichen Itza is one of the 7 wonders of the world?

Love and Miss you all!  Hope you enjoyed the pictures!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Cozumel and More

On Saturday Marcos and I decided to go to Cozumel.  The festivities of Carnival were starting and we wanted to check it out.  Once we got over there, we didn't find much going on...so we decided to rent a scooter and tour the island.  This scared the crap out of me.  Not that I don't trust Marcos, its just that I was wearing a skirt, and the helmet was like a bike helmet, and well, it's SCARY!  So I got on the back of the scooter and held onto Marcos for dear life!!  We took off across the middle of the island to explore some old ruins called San Gervacio.  Check check check it out ya'll (sorry, i'm rockin' out to Beastie Boys right now!)





After our historic ruin adventure we hopped back on the scooter and took off to the other side of Cozumel. The road follows the coast line so it was one grand view all the way back to the city center.  Luckily there was a smaller road off to the side of the main highway, which made me feel so much more safe.  On the way, we stopped at Coconuts Bar and Grill.  The owner of the bar is the brother of Carlos Rojas, who is a police officer at the Ketchikan, AK Police Dept.  He was very excited that we stopped in to say hello.  


Owner of Coconuts Bar and Grill

This what the menu's looked like.... a wood sign.
Pico de gallo
We stopped along the way by the side of the road to check out these really cool rocks.  It was big huge rocks with pours in them, some so big they were caves.






There was to be a parade in Cozumel Saturday night but we had to catch the ferry back and missed it.  Tuesday (tomorrow), Marcos and I are going back to Cozumel to dress up for Carnival and watch the parade.  Valerie also gets into town tomorrow too!! YEAH!!  

Stay tuned to see our Carnival costumes.  We hand made them ourselves!!!

xo
Cole

ps.  It's raining, A LOT!!!  Why we decided to come to Mexico in Feb (the rainy season) was a bad idea!