Spoiler Alert: 2012 is NOT the end! Honeymoon

Remember how we honeymooned in Cancun--the Other Love of My Life (no offense Bryan)?  Well seeing as we’ve been back a few weeks I think it high time I document the trip.

Let’s see: condo ON the beach, invigorating 80 degree weather, the soothing scent of saltwater, picturesque ocean views, superlative snorkeling at Xel Ha, delectable food (I love LOVE beans, rice, and chicken), congenially peppy Mariachi bands, unbeatable ruins—Tulum, Ek Balaan, and Chichen-Itza—breathtaking sunsets, swimming in cenotes, New Year’s party on the beach, and so SO much more! I LOVE Mexico (as evidenced by the overly passionate description you just read). As much as I love the mountains, I confess I at times prefer the sea and endless warmth, particularly in the frigid months of winter.  And now for some pictures... 

This is from the balcony of our condo:
It was unbelievably fun playing in the warm waves!

Please note the epic New Year’s party that went down on the beach right outside our condo:


…4pm to 7am! No joke! We had VIP seating from our balcony!

Ruins of Tulum
"Site of the Descending God"



SO beautiful! It was right on the beautiful coast and absolutely phenomenal!






The Mayans were a very enlightened people. They knew a great deal about astronomy—the stars and the heavens. Therefore, they had buildings and temples aligned so on a certain day—April 6—the sun shines through to make 2 faces and illuminates certain holy parts of the site.  This is a picture of the event. See the faces?


This is a picture of the same area on other days:

Xel Ha
The largest outdoor aquarium! Snorkeling! Tubing on the river! Monkeys! Etc. It was phenomenally beautiful!  We chose to play rather than document, however. I’d rather not live my life through a lens. 

LOVED it!

Ruins of Ek Balaan
This site is SO intriguing! Opened to the public in the last 4 years! It is thought to be one of the Mayans most sacred sites—a temple if you will. Those who entered the temple had to give different signs in order to fully enter.  The shape of this door apparently symbolizes sacredness. The bigger the size of this shape of entrance, the more sacred the site. This door was one of the biggest we saw.


2nd tallest pyramid in the area!  And we could climb it (kind of scary)! Anciently, you would ascend the stairs in a snakelike fashion; this was done so never to directly look the Gods in the eye, nor to ever turn your back on him (and might I personally add that it was done for safety…).  Bryan was very good at the serpentine; I likewise snaked.



This is part way up the pyramid! Look at how well preserved some areas are! The below pictures are not restored but actually preserved! Phenomenal no?


Allegedly, the signs demonstrated by the below guardians are the required signs to enter the complex.


This next picture is beautiful:

See how the colors have been preserved. Some believe it depicts a lighter skinned man teaching the darker skinned people. This puzzles many, however, as the site dates before lighter skinned men actually came. So fascinating!


The coolest part about this site is there is still SO much that remains hidden! The area is essentially flat, so “bumps” are likely to be ruins! And there are many "bumps" all over!  How cool is that!

Ruins of Chichin-Izta
One of the New Seven Wonders of the Ancient World!  Which—side note—have I mentioned one of my life goals is to vist ALL Seven Wonders of the Ancient World?!

1. Chichin Itza, Mexico (600 CE)
2. Petra, Jordan (100 BCE)
3. Colosseum, Italy (80 CE)
4. Machu Picchu, Peru (1450 CE)
5. Taj Mahal, India (1648 CE)
6. Great Wall of China, China (5th century BCE—16th century CE)
7. Christ the Redeemer, Brazil (opened 1931)
8. And “Honorary Candidate” as they call it, the Great Pyramid of Giza (2560 BCE)

Now for Chichin-Itza. Being a Wonder of the World it was phenomenal as I’m sure you can imagine!


You cannot climb it anymore…which I can see why. I remember climbing that a few years back with my family. I was terrified. Huge, narrow steps! I would have had a heart attack had I been my parents! I scooted down the entire pyramid on my rump. I felt safe and happy on the ground this time. Ha.





A couple of cool things about the site:
The big pyramid is also built with regard for astronomy. Starting on the equinox, a snake begins to illuminate due to the angle of the sun on the stairs of the pyramid (on the left side in the picture). It goes from the top of the pyramid and down to the earth, getting longer each day until it disappears on the 6th of April.


A game of life or death! Check out this court! The goal is to get the ball through the hoops! The winning team was sacrificed—an honor—to the Gods!


The observatory! This is where the Mayans designed their calendar. Which, by the way, the world is NOT ending in 2012. Our guide informed us while the calendar ends in 2012, Mayan culture believes the end of their calendar in fact signifies the beginning of the last cycle of their calendar.  They believe 2012 is the beginning of the end—before the Descending God returns.


One of my favorite aspects about seeing these ruins was imagining the Book of Mormon as though it took place here. Obviously we don’t know where exactly the Book of Mormon was set; however, it has been said that it is not a bad idea to picture the ancient lands of Central America for the scene.

Cinote
After Chichin-Itza we swam in a cinote! A BIG underwater cave! SO fun! We got to jump off a tall ledge (semi cliff jumping). There were waterfalls everywhere! And the water wasn’t even all that cold! LOVED it!

We had a fabulous time!  Love Mexico!  Love the hubby!  Thanks Husband!!!

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