Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Cenote

After sweating all morning in the heat of Tulum, we cooled off in a Cenote (a natural pit with fresh water)  Gotta admit I was a little nervous swimming in a somewhat dark cave with bats over head, and who knows what fish below me, but I was so hot my bravery wasn't real hard to find.
There was a family of turtles swimming around us.  It hard not touching them because they were everywhere, but of course we obeyed the rules and did not touch.  Jake lived in that water, exploring every nook and cranny.  Me?  I was good after a half hour.  Then I just hung on the dock watching Jake basically become one of the fish.
It was still the best way to cool off and one of those things to say I've done it.  Jake wants one in our backyard.  I love how we compliment each other.  Check!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


We signed up with Alma LDS Tours and took a tour of Tulum one morning.  We learned an incredible amount of information, especially relating to the Book of Mormon and the gospel of Jesus Christ in ancient times.  Of course these ruins aren't during the time of the Book of Mormon people, they were many years later, but it gave us a clue of what life was like back in that time, and how the Mayans and Incas were trying to live religiously.  There was so much symbolism all over that place-- the Tree of Life, the Godhead, Temple Ordinances, Christ's birth and resurrection, and Christ's visit to America.  We learned a lot about the people themselves--they were astronomers, geologists, archeologists, and mathematicians which was enlightening because I always thought they were a barbaric culture sacrificing human life and such.  However, from looking at the carvings and their structures of temples, it showed they were trying to feel the spirit and hold onto religious teachings.
Tulum sits right on the edge of the beach and it was breathtaking.  It was probably the prettiest beach I've seen.  They built their temple on the highest point in the area so they could help steer in the canoes from the beach.  On each side of the back wall of the temple, there was a hole through the structure. When the people out in the water could see both holes, they lined their canoes in between them and it helped them steer in between the reefs so they wouldn't crash getting to shore.  The ability to figure all that is amazing.  What a highly educated culture.
On this smaller temple you can see parts of 3 statues.  The first one is of a baby, then a king, and then a God.  Our LDS tour guide explained that this could be interpreted as Christ's life on earth.  The Mayans probably put that on their temples and many others to remind and teach of His life.
There was so much we learned!  It strengthened my testimony about the Book of Mormon and Christ's visit to America after he was crucified in Jerusalem.  It also bore testimony to me of the Prophet Joseph Smith who translated the Book of Mormon.  He was truly guided through the translation and received Divine help and could not have made this up all on his own.  For example, throughout the BOM there is a phrase "and it came to pass".  This helped the editors of the BOM know when a new verse or chapter began because there wasn't any punctuation during the translation process.  In the Mayan language there is one symbol that only means "and it came to pass".  Interesting little tidbits like that we gleaned from just a few hours with our tour.  We loved Tulum and felt the spirit there.  What a beautiful place.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Playa Del Carmen!

I think another word for "paradise" is Playa Del Carmen.  We soaked in the white sand, turquoise water, and the hot hot sun.  Or maybe it was our resort that we stayed at--the Mayan Palace.  It was beautiful.  I don't know if we'll ever stay in as nice as place as that ever again.  So we took advantage!  We slept in, ate when we wanted, worked out at the gym together, napped on the beach, jumped from pool to pool, ate dinner really really late (because we didn't have to work around bedtimes!) and then sacked out ourselves no matter how late.  It was just me and Jake.  No schedules.  I want to go back!

And the best part was, we flew down in First Class.  On our first flight to Dallas we were in the back of the plane (above).  Right by the engine.  But then on our connecting flight to Cancun, they gave away our tickets to people on stand-by so they upgraded us to First Class.  There was leg and elbow room, and warm towelettes.  And a meal.  Now that's how you fly.

The reef was close to the beach so they had 3 piers that led you out to the clear water and soft sand.  Jake was a regular.  And me too.
Everything was giant size-- the pool, the market/boutique (two pictures up), restaurants, and even the planters.  So exotic!
The resort was covered in Jungle.  All the pathways were these wooden walkways that twisted and turned through all the foliage.  Our hotel room looked out to all this greenery and it was not a bad sight to wake up to every morning.
It was a vacation that I will never forget.  It's been hard coming back, so good thing for my babies and their sweet hugs or else I'd be on a plane first thing in the morning.  What mattered most to me was my one-on one time with Jake.  I love this man.  I love him more than I did when we got married so I felt spoiled being with just him for 7 days.  We talked about silly things like "what's your favorite birthday memory?"  or "what vegetable would you eliminate?" and "what oreo should they make next?".  Some serious stuff.  It was just what we needed and we felt lucky to have this trip given to us for free.  Thank you Landvoice for your generosity and a trip of a lifetime!