If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit the Yucatan area, I would highly recommend a visit to this beautiful peninsula within Mexico. Not only is it a stunning beach location on what is known as the Mayan Riviera, it is also a region full of so much culture and geological wonder. While a large number of Americans fly to Cancun and never leave their fancy resort and explore, we departed Cancun as quickly as we could and based ourselves out of a small fishing village called Puerto Morelos for the first week of our visit. Puerto Morelos was recommended to us by friends and it was exactly what we had hoped for, muy tranquilo, more local than not, and lots of overall ambience.
While the Mayan Riviera is known for its calm turquoise sea, we were reminded again that this is an El Niño year which resulted in some windy and rainy weather this spring. Having just spent six weeks in sunny Nicaragua we welcomed the clouds and cooler weather and headed inland to explore some different cenotes (definitely read Grant’s Powerpoint on ‘Cenotes and Mayans’ to give you a better overall description of this geological phenomena).
Our amazing exploratory field trips during the day were followed by an evening of browsing the boutique shopping stalls at the town plaza, discovering a delicious restaurant, taking a salsa dance class, or listening to some live music in Puerto Morelos. One evening we found an amazing jazz trio and our wise son Grant suggested we “get a drink and listen to some music.” So, banana milk shakes and sweet jazz it was, and some very fond memories of our amazing week in Puerto Morelos.
I would be hard pressed to try to capture all of our wonderful moments of this trip into one blog so instead will give you an insight into one evening in Vallodolid….. We finished eating our delicious dinner consisting of locally seasoned cerdo (pork) on freshly-made corn tortillas with pickled onions while looking out over the main town square. The lights capturing the beautifully built Cathedral de San Gervasi completed in 1570 and the sounds of a band, reminding me of childhood days listening to Desi Arnez’s band featured on “I love Lucy”, radiated from the town plaza. It was Sunday night in Valladolid, the night they close off the main street to car traffic and open it up to dancers. On our walk home, we couldn’t help but join the slowly growing number of dancers in the streets. While we didn’t have quite the same smooth dance moves as the Mexican couples, Ryan, Grant, Ethan and I practiced our salsa moves under the stars.
It’s moments like these that make me realize time and again how fortunate I am in life. I have an amazing husband and two wonderful boys who all are enjoying this year of travel and the crazy cacophony of diverse experiences we are sharing together as much as I am. We have many fantastic moments combined with some very average ones, a few scary experiences here and there, and lots of good conversation and quality time together that have given us memories that will last a life time.