Tuesday, November 29, 2011

You'd Better Not Pout I'm Tellin' You Why....

My friend Shelley took our family pics the week before Thanksgiving.  As she was getting us all set up little Brynne was furious that she wasn't going positioned just the way she wanted, and stomped off pouting.  This was the very first picture from the day and it is hands down my very favorite!  I'll share the rest of the pics after the Christmas cards go out... Let the season begin!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Ancient Ruins

Okay before we start, I'm just gonna warn you of the picture overdose you're about to experience.  While in Cancun we went to the sites of several ancient ruins.  With the information the tour guide gave us the sites were fascinating and in gorgeous locations.  Our cameras were snapping nonstop.  
Without all the incredible information of our wonderful tour guide Helaman,  they probably won't look like much to you.  Get ready to see a bunch of rocks, crumbling old buildings, and the same four people in all of the pictures...at least I'm warning you first right? 

Chichen Itza was really cool.  It was huge with several large ruins.  The main one you used to be able to climb, but not anymore.  I would have loved to climb all those stairs!
This was one day I didn't mind the overcast skies and the wind to keep us a little cooler as we walked outside all day from site to site.

There was nothing about the construction of any of these buildings that was done on a whim of just because someone fancied it.  There was symbolism and meaning behind all of it.
On the top floor of the building behind us in the very center you see a small almost u shaped altar.  This is where they placed human hearts as an offering of sacrifice to their Gods.  They did not take the saying of a broken heart and a contrite spirit lightly back then.
Every detail from the number of stairs, the exact placement of of the windows, and how many of each, represented their calendar and the significance of dates, times and seasons and how all of it related back to a higher being.
I was in awe as we saw this temple that was being renovated.  The archaeologists were putting this back together piece by piece, stone by massive stone, like the most complicated puzzle I have ever seen.  I was truly awe struck
As new leadership came or one group of people conquered another the Mayans would build above and over the existing temples. I couldn't believe that the Mexican government hadn't even dug down to see just how much more building was still in tact below.  It was fascinating.
It was amazing to me to see how so much of what the ancient Mayans believed in resembled what I know to be true, but yet they had twisted it just enough that it changed the meaning of it all.
The grounds were beautiful as we walked along, but most of the paths weren't empty like this one but full of vendors selling every cheap souvenir you could imagine.  Well, except for the one Jeremy took home to remind him of his one true love...or was that just because he couldn't say no to the guy following us around?  The street vendors everywhere could see Jeremy's big heart from a mile away!
I am always one to appreciate the little details. Probably because I lack the patience to do them myself I am always especially interested in the work that comes from someone else taking that time.  The stone carvings were everywhere in these giant structures and I couldn't believe the details in them.
Helaman gave us a little time to wander on our own a take a few pictures and hit the vendors before we moved on to lunch!
After an interesting buffet and an hour and a half drive we arrived at Tulum.  The location on the beach was gorgeous!!
The ruins here were much smaller but seemed to me, more personal.
And while the shapes and sizes were different from the ruins at Chichen Itza, the components of the structures were the same.  

This seemed more like a little village though with the residences for the various priests and the walls of the city being more visible.

The beach on the back side of Tulum was somewhere I wished I had some sun and some time for!
It looked like something from a post card!
Here we are in the last group shot of the day with Helaman joining us.  He was a wealth of information and did a fabulous job of making the history and stories come alive for us!  It was a long day with over  6 hours of driving and almost as many spent walking, but it was one we were all grateful we had taken the time for.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Our day at Selvatica was incredible!! It was about an hour and a half away from Cancun and totally in the middle of the jungle.  It was beautiful and the staff there were so much fun!
We started off with doing some of the best ziplines I have done to date.  We zipped above the canopy of trees from tree top to tree top.

The guys kept us cracking up and the transition from one to the next was quick and seamless.
We even got to do it upside down!!  The guys started calling me "Jungle Jen"

 When our tour of the canopy was over we went to phase two of the adventure, the Razors!
They gave us the low down on operating our machines
And we were supplied us with lovely goggle and the cutest face masks so that we could pretend we were on the set of ET while we were riding.

or  perhaps it was because they wanted to make fun of how we looked in them
or maybe they just wanted us to be able to breathe and see while we were riding, I don't know...
Anyway after we were geared up we took off into the jungle!
We were like a bunch of 6 year old boys in the mud puddles
And our clothes haven't looked the same since!

 I was even glad for my super cute accessories...really, I'm smiling under there, you can't tell?
We had so much fun catching a little air on the jumps and dips in the road, and splashing through the puddles that before we finished Jeremy had determined to buy one!
We were a muddy mess when we got back.  The protective case on my camera couldn't even be wiped clean!
Next up was rinsing off at this gorgeous cenote.  They had two little zip lines on one side that you could ride into the water.
 We had a blast with that. My skills at jumping ended with a toe touch.  The guys however tried to a get a little crazy...
We swam around and tried rinsing the mud out of our hair and clothes and continued laughing with this fun group we had spent the day with.

 When we were dried off and sufficiently hungry, they brought us back to this darling hut. They fed us grilled chicken, rice and beans, chips and soda while we watched a video of our day and looked at all the pictures their photographers had taken of us while on the course.  
By the time we left we had some new facebook friends! ;)
 So for any one traveling to Cancun, don't be lured in to the "canopy adventure" at Xplore, come to Selvatica, you will not regret it, I promise!!