Mexico :: Day 4

Nell Yellow House Hand Up Small Caribbean Couple Small Nell Top of Tiki Lifeguard Stand Small Steve Mimosa Bar Small Nell and Steve on Wall over Beach Small Nell Close Up Small Steve Standing on Golf Cart Small Carnaval Dancers Purple Small Kissing in the Caribbean Small Barefoot in the Streets 1 Small Nell & Steve Up Close Beach Bed Small Steve with Mexican Man Statue Small

Last days are always hard; soaking in the final bits of your destination before you head back home to reality.  We took in as much of the island as possible.  One really cool part of this last day was sitting on a second story balcony of a little Mexican cantina watching the super bowl in Spanish on the TV while watching carnaval parades on the streets below during commercials. Well this was cool until the following morning.  I knew not to drink the water in Mexico.  It’s a well known fact that the water is not at all drinkable.  This was ingrained in my brain.  Little did I know that the ice in my drink at dinner while watching the super bowl (and carnaval) was not filtered.  I woke up the next morning stupid early to the sound of an alarm feeling all kinds of horrible.  I didn’t realize right away what was wrong with me.  I literally vomited my way back to the U.S.  I threw up in the airports multiple times and had to repeatedly jump out of the customs line to run to the bathroom to vomit.  When in the United States customs line, you see signs everywhere stating all these different symptoms and their related diseases.  I made sure to force my happy face when getting to the front of the VERY long customs line in the U.S. I did not what them to suspect anything strange.  I just desperately needed to get home to my bed.  Needless to say, it was the worst travel experience I’d ever had.  After thinking it through and talking to a few people who had traveled to Mexico, we narrowed it down to that one glass of ice.

Isla Mujeres was quaint, authentic and breathtakingly beautiful.  I would go again in a heartbeat but will NEVER have ice in my drink again!  Adios!


Mexico :: Day 3

Nell Hammock over Water SmallNell & Steve Underwater SmallNell Swimming Down to Car SmallReef Fish SmallSteve MUSA Swim Down SmallSteve Snorkeling SmallSteve Walking down wavy Pier Front 2 SmallWavy Pier SmallSteve Underwater Upside Down Selfie SmallSteve MUSA Swim Over SmallReef SmallNell Swimming Up SmallNell Posed on Wavy Pier SmallMUSA Statues Up Close SmallNell & Steve Swimming Up Small

The snorkel trip had a very interesting beginning.  We went to what we thought was the dive shop that I booked the trip with.  After several back and forth trips and stringing us along, we found out that this dive shop was not who we booked with.  They were apparently trying to scam us into booking with them instead.  Luckily, a sweet lady that represented our dive shop, Isla Mujeres Trips, called our hotel to say that we were late to check-in but they would wait on us.  When getting on the boat we were a bit surprised to be the only English speaking people.  Our tour guide didn’t even speak any English. Yikes!  Steve and I looked at each other and said, “well this is going to be an interesting trip!”  After a bit of time, we found out that a young Spanish couple on the boat lived in New York and could speak English so they translated the important stuff. Thank God!

This was the only day I had actually booked ahead to do an excursion.  The only thing that I didn’t want to miss was MUSA, an underwater art that lies between the shores of Cancun and our little island.  I have to admit that I half heartedly booked the trip not expecting to see much.  Because we are not certified divers, we could only snorkel and the museum was 30 feet beneath the surface.  I thought we would be able to see hints of the sculptures at best.  Man, was I ever wrong.  The beautiful water had certainly impressed me the first day, but that was nothing compared to our snorkel of the museum.  When jumping off the boat, the first set of sculptures were the grouping of statues.  The statues were so visible and clear from 30 feet that we could see the details of their faces.  It was so clear, I felt like I was in 5 feet of water. AMAZING!  From there we went on to see the VW bug sculpture and the sculptures of people in prostrate form.

Even though the snorkel trip was MUCH colder that I liked, it was all worth it.  I love snorkeling and have seen many reefs but this snorkel trip took the cake.  It was by far the prettiest and most memorable trip of all time.  We ended the day at a restaurant (with the wavy pier) for a nice fish dinner.

Mexico :: Day 2

Nell Looking over Cliff Small Nell & Steve Kissing over Cliff Small Nell Flying Small Nell Palm Stump Leaping Small Reggae Band Small Zipline Platform View Small Nell on a Cliff SmallSteve Sitting over Cliff 2 Small Nell Zen over Ocean Small Nell Corner View Small Steve Tiki Swinging Small Steve Beer to Go Small Nell Joint Surfboard Small Ocean Cemetary Small Steve with Golf Cart SmallPina Colada in Cocount Small

Day two was shaping up to be a fairly cloudy and somewhat chilly day so we rented a golf cart and toured the island.  Isla Mujeres is so small that you can see the entire island in 2 hours via golf cart.  How cool is that?  We set out on the adventure with no agenda in mind (quite unusual for me).  There is almost no possible way to get lost since there is only one road that goes around the island (with ocean views, I might add).  We rode in the golf cart and simply stopped when we saw something of interest; a roadside restaurant with a very unstable “wavy” pier, intriguing B & B with the best piña colada I’ve ever had, random reggae bar with a live band, beautiful rocky oceanside views and a surprisingly colorful and beautiful cemetery (never thought I’d think of a cemetery in that way). It was the best day and I fell more in love with this beautiful little island and the golf cart driver.  😉

Mexico :: Day 1

Steve in Water Behind SmallSteve Downtown Small Beach View from Hotel Small Nell Leaning Over Hotel Balcony Arms Up Small Steve at Beach Side View Small Nell in Water Small Steve in Water Behind 2 Small Nell Downtown Isla Mujeres Small Boat Gazebo Caribbean SmallSteve Swing Bar SmallNorth Beach SmallNell Swing Bar Small

After a flight, a shuttle and a boat ride, we landed on this tiny island just off the coast of Mexico.  Isla Mujeres was all that we thought it would be and maybe even a bit more.  I was immediately taken by the views. I assumed all the pics online were touched up but I was completely wrong.  The water was a bright, crystal clear, fluorescent, turquoise dream; amazing! We were ready to start the “becoming 40” celebration.


Isla Mujeres

Tomorrow, tomorrow; I love ya, tomorrow.  You’re only a day away.  This time tomorrow, this will be my view.  Let the 40th birthday celebration commence.  Vamonos!


Becoming 40

Isla Mujeres Pier

Let the celebrations begin!  In my last post, I mentioned that 2016 is the year of celebration.  It will kick off in exactly one month.  One month from today, I will be sitting right here on this beach.  I will be spending the last week of my 30’s in style!  How do I prepare for becoming 40?  By going to a very small island in the Caribbean off the coast of Mexico.  Isla Mujeres, here we come!

2016 :: A Restart

Vision Board

In many ways, my life was on hold in 2015.  There was the tragedy of my mom’s life and death struggle and recovery from her car accident.  My daughter graduated from high school and then moved out of our house for the first time and went to college.  My 3 year long technology project at work launched (still smoothing out the details).  My son moved to a new school and started high school.  2015 was most definitely a year on hold personally as I prepared for and worked through the tragedies and milestones of life.  While there is still much investment to do in these areas, I want to be intentional about my 2016.  I want to make up for lost time.  I want to have a vision, goals and aspirations.  This is quite a strange thought for me as I have literally never done a New Year’s resolution.  I don’t really believe in them.  Instead of putting together a resolution or multiple resolutions that you forget about within the first month of the year; I decided to make a vision/goals board that fully incorporates everything that I want to do this year.  Most are not simply do and forget goals, but things that I want to do, not only in 2016, but on an ongoing basis.  These are things that I want to make into a lifestyle.

So, here it is; my 2016.  It is going to be a year of celebration.  I turn 40, my parents turn 60, my brother turns 30, I celebrate my 20 year wedding anniversary and my brother is getting married.  How can you not celebrate with this line up?  This is a year setup for celebration.

Here is the list of 2016 visions/goals that went into building the board pictured here.  Happy 2016 to you!  Seize this year.  You never know, it could be your best year yet!

Travel – Hawaii/Costa Rica/Mexico
20 year anniversary & pics
Book teaching
Making friends
Investing in marriage
Have more fun
Smile more
Peace, joy, hope
Stillness (not busy) – letting God work
One day at a time
Invest more in 401K
Less confusing; simplify
Go to the ocean more (body board, sup, snorkel)
PMP (project management) certification