Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Hola from Cancun!!!

So when we went on our honeymoon five years ago, we were pretty much lamo. Aside from the obvious we basically did nothing for the entire six days we were there (and we were in Maui so that's saying something) besides go to a luau, snorkel once, and rent a sea kayak for a couple of hours. Yeah, about enough to fill up one afternoon. We were total dweebos with each other, didn't know how to act like a married couple, didn't know how to vacation, and we were sooo worried about spending money. We were coming back to school right after, and so we wanted to keep the cost down. Pathetic. It wasn't until we got home and everything got really stressful that we learned a very valuable lesson: Spend the extra 500$. How often do you go to Hawaii? Fast forward 5 years. So as we were getting ready for Cancun, we really didn't want to make the same mistakes we had last time because it had been like 5 years since we had gone on vacation, and I'd always regretted not living it up on our honeymoon. So that's what we did. We just lived it up for 8 days, and I've got to tell you, I highly suggest it. Here's a little taste of our week in Paradise, enjoy:

Saturday June 7: Getting There
Our first day we got up super early to catch our flight at 9am on Frontier Airlines, and side note here: What is up with their advertising slogan, "A whole different animal." Raar, what the h?! Did someone actually pay for that? And I love having a demented dolphin smiling at me from the wing for 4 1/2 hours, yeah they've actually got animals painted on their wings, sick. So we got to Cancun at about 2:30, went and got our ghetto fabulous "upgraded" piece of junk rental car, and we really felt like we were in Mexico. After we got to our hotel, which was Gorgeous and way more luxurious than I imagined, we jumped into our suits and headed for the beach. We spent about an hour letting the ocean beat the crud out of us, before we changed and drove down the hotel zone to get some dinner at Johnny Rockets. Yummy. Craig and I walked on the beach that night.

Me in the airport, that was a seriously yummy bagel.
Waiting for our rental car, yeah super ghetto
Sunday June 8: Chichen Itza
So there's a toll road and a free road to get to Chichen Itza (Mayan ruins about 100 miles from Cancun). The toll road is like a freeway and takes about 2 hours, the free road is nothing at all like a freeway, winds through every tiny little village (huts and all) with random speed bumps everywhere, and takes about 4 hours. So we decided to go with the toll road. Only problem was none of us speak Spanish and when we went to get on the road there are two signs. Both say Chichen Itza, going 2 different directions, only one says Chichen Itza Libre. So we whip out the Spanish/English dictionary(that book seriously saved our life) and look up the word libre, which means free so we all think "free...freeway! Yippee, that's our road!" No, not at all. Free meant free, as in no cost. Yeah so we literally drove 4 hours through the jungle and every little village looking for the cuorta or toll road, and trying to communicate with people that literally spoke zero English. At one point Craig was trying to ask a guy how to find the toll road, "Donde esta el..." and the guy is just shaking his head and saying "no comprende" when Craig just starts saying okay okay , in Russian. I look up at him and start busting up. "Honey, if they don't understand English, I don't think Russian will help." Finally we figured out that there is no way to access the toll road but in Cancun and Chichen Itza. We were in it for the long haul. We finally made it, ate lunch in some hole in the wall, with chickens cut in half, BBQ'd and stuck on top of rice, seriously good. We got to the park and had a guide who was no kidding a head shorter than me! I looked up at Craig and said, is this how you feel around me all the time? She was pretty cool, though and knew just about everything about Chichen Itza there is to know. I can't believe that place, seriously incredible stuff. On the way home, we took the right road this time, we noticed that our gas needle was getting a little low because of our excursion that morning. Of course there are no off ramps on the toll road, which also means NO GAS STATIONS! Oh lovely. So we get to the army checkpoint at the state line, seriously there were guys with machine guns, gulp, and we say "Um, Yo necessito gas." The guys there go, "Oh yes, yes, we fix you up. Ten liters for ten dollars." Great we say and they pull us around the corner and a minute later this guy comes around the corner holding a bucket filled with gas and a funnel. Are you serious? And he's sloshing it all over the ground and Lori and me are just dying we're laughing so hard, so they put the funnel up to the car and filled her up. Okay we thought, we are DEFINITELY in Mexico now. After we got off the cursed toll road we headed to Walmart and stocked up on snacks to fill up our condo fridge. That was interesting, Walmart is exactly the same whether you're in American Fork or Mexico. We walked on the beach again that night too. Craig on the balcony of our hotel

Me on the beach in the morningChichen Itza, yeah, I know I'm a midge. This is the gasoline episodeYeah, our super ghetto rental car
Monday June 9:Snorkeling Puerto Morelas
There's this awesome little town about 20 minutes south of where we were staying called Puerto Morelas, and it's got some pretty good snorkeling about 200 yards off the beach. So we grabbed our snorkel, mask and fins and headed out there on Monday. We saw a Barracuda which seriously sent chills down my back and Craig found a Conch shell that we brought home. After snorkeling we laid on the beach and read, and then had lunch at this little restaurant right there on the beach. After lunch we packed it up, headed back to the hotel and got ready for the evening. We spent an hour driving around Downtown cancun, and the driving and roads are insane there, no order what so ever, looking for this flea market called Mercado 28. We finally found it, did some haggling, (I bought a necklace) and then went to find some grub. We walked on the beach that night too. My sexy pose on the beach picture, I'm so seductive, haha.Mercado 28
Tuesady June 10: The cursed day on Cozumel
We got up at 4:20 am so we could leave by 5 am drive an hour down to Playa del Carmen, catch a ferry over to Cozumel and make our dive boat at 8:30. Yeah, that didn't happen. First we missed the ferry. We weren't too happy about that. There's no ferry at 7 am so we missed our dive trip as well, luckily they let us reschedule for and afternoon dive without charging us double. So we caught the 8 am ferry and decided we would rent scooters in the morning, dive in the afternoon. Sounds great right? Yeah, first turn out of the scooter shop and I totally wreck, scratch the heck out of my arm, and completely embarrass myself. It's hard to drive a scooter when your feet don't touch the ground. Then our scooters almost got towed because we parked them in a "no scooter zone" although there wasn't actually a sign saying no scooters, so what the heck is up with that? Then came the good part of the day, we drove half way around the island, it was beautiful, then went for our dives which were fabulous. We had this tiny little perverted Mexican named Chino for our dive master. Every time we drove past a boat with bikini clad girls he and the driver would start yelling cat calls, nice... real professional. But our dives turned out amazing, and is everybody listening? WE SAW A SHARK! Yes you heard me right, Cori was in the water with her biggest fear and I didn't freak out. It didn't even scare me, and it was like 8 feet long! Our dives went so well, we thought our luck was changing for the day. Um, no. We went to return the scooters, and told the guy we thought we put one scratch in the side when I tipped over, and all the sudden he starts trying to charge us for every scratch in all 4 scooters! Um, I don't think so. They were saying we owed them something like 1500$ when all the sudden it hits us, this is how they make their money. They charge 20 bucks for the rental, and 500 dollars for a scratch. Luckily Craig laid the smack-down on them and we got away only having to pay 400 dollars for 3 scratches 2 of which we didn't do. Ouch. The worst part was coming home and looking at our pictures from before we took the scooters out, and right there on front are the scratches we DIDN'T DO and paid 400 dollars for, I guess we learned our lesson.

Sleeping on the FerryMy war woundThat's our dive master Chino behind Craig
Wednesday June 11: Laying By the Pool
We were a little gun shy after the cursed day on Cozumel so we decided to stay at our resort on Wednesday. It was just what the doctor ordered. We played tennis, laid by the pool, swam, read, ordered virgin strawberry daiquiris, and built a mini Chichen Itza on the beach. Fabulous. That night we went out and Craig did this bungee jumping thing where you can flip, it was pretty cool.

Blue SteelOur Mini Chichen ItzaCookies, RAAAA RAAAA
Thursday June 12: Tulum
Thursday we drove down to Tulum and did our third dive of the trip. The ocean was too murky to dive, because of the rain the day before so we dove a Cenote instead. A cenote is kind of like a fresh water pool/crater thing that has also sorts of Caverns and caves to explore. And now here is my gripe about my size. Most of the time I don't mind being tiny, it's only mildly inconvenient and in fact I never go through my air very fast diving so that's good. But they never have anything my size! My wet suit was about 8 sizes too big and was just hanging off me, which totally defeats the purpose of wearing one, by the way. So it was giving me tons of buoyancy issues during the dive, because it kept filling with air when I would breath out, and that would make me start to float up, which is the last thing you want happening when you're diving in a cave with rocks about and below. Then to add to the buoyancy issues, about half way through the dive our dive master starts holding hands and playing kissy mask with this German girl named Anna who was on the dive as well. What?! I turn around and look at Craig and he just shrugs, so we finished out the dive watching their little love fest in the front. It's a good thing none of us ran out of air or anything, because there is no way he would have noticed. After our dive we hit the Subway, we all had Diarrhea at this point and wanted some totally American food, and then went over to the beach, explored some tide pools, watched a guy net fishing, and then headed home.

Craig is totally sucking it in for this picture, haha.I'm a butterfly, Meaker/ Thomson Girls may remember this...
Chariots of Fire Tulum style.
Friday June 13: Jungle Tour:

On our last full day we pulled out all the stops. We did a Jungle tour. I'm telling you, if Disney did a jungle tour this is what it would be like. It was SOOOO nice. They had this huge pavilion where you get all harnessed up and then they take you on 11 ziplines through the jungle, and the guys working there are seriously cool and go swinging around upside down on the ziplines. It was awesome. Craig even went upside down a couple times. Then you get on mountain bikes and go biking through the jungle to a cenote to swim. They have a zipline that you can ride out over the water and drop in. It was amazing and so refreshing. I totally side flopped it the first time I went on the water zip, and of course Craig did a perfect back flip off it. But the next two times I went I didn't have any trouble, so ha! After your finished swimming you ride the bikes back to the pavilion and they make you a fajita feast. Delicious. When we got back from the tour, we headed to the pool for a couple hours until 4 o'clock when Craig had scheduled me a massage at this little gazebo right off the beach. Seriously the most relaxed I'm ever been getting rubbed down with the sound of waves in the background. Thanks Babe. That night we got all dressed up (Cancun sweaty style) and rode the bus down to the heart of the hotel strip. Okay, so if you ever wanted to know what it feels like to ride the Harry Potter Knight Bus, um, just go get on one in Mexico. This guy was insane. He's go from zero to 4o in like 1/2 a second, weaving in and out of cars, slamming on the breaks and all the time counting peoples change. Yikes. We had dinner at this super nice authentic Mexican place with a live Mariachi (sp?) band and I accidentally had my first (and hopefully last) sip of alcohol when they brought me my not-so-virgin peach margarita. Um, I don't know how people can drink at all, that was disgusting! Other than the little oops, it was a totally romantic dinner. When the band found out we were there for our 5th anniversary they totally serenaded us with this beautiful Mexican love song that made me cry. I am so happy with Craig, and looking at him that night, I fell in love all over again. Sorry, I know that's cheesy, but it's true. Craig gave me a ring he'd bought earlier in the week half way through our meal, supper pretty silver with two blue stones in the middle. We finished it off with tres leche cake, and then caught the bus home.

After the bike ride

At the cenote: All greased up from my massage...The Knight Bus
My personal Mariachi Band
Saturday June 14th: Heading home
We utilized this day, let me tell you. We got up at 6:30 am packed up our stuff, went and played tennis for half an hour, then swam and laid by the pool for an hour and a half, went up, got ready and still checked out by 11am We drove down and haggled some more at a different flea market, I found a pair of earrings to go with my necklace, and Craig found a guiya vera shirt. We grabbed subway again and were at the airport by 2:30. We finally found a place to drop off the rental car, all breathed out a sigh of relief when they didn't charge us for scratches we didn't cause, and then headed to the ticket counter, check our bags and spent 17 dollars on 2 scoops of ice cream. But boy they were good. I was glad too because both coming and going home there was a passenger with a severe peanut allergy, so you guessed it, no snacks. Plus we had to listen to all these ridiculous little fresh out of high school boys talk about how they got totally wasted the entire time they were there. Wow, so impressive that you couldn't remember the first 3 days of your trip. When we landed in denver we waited forever to get our bags through customs and recheck them, then sprinted across the entire airport, grabbing chips as we ran, only to get to our gate and find out that they had changed it. You guessed it, all the way on the other side of the airport. Yeah it was totally the scene from Home Alone, I could almost hear "run, run rudolph" in my head. And then, the peanut girl was on the flight home. We pulled into Salt Lake about midnight, waited 40 minutes for our bags and finally made it home about 2 am. Yeah, we were beat.
Craig on the plane
I guess I totally left out of the whole thing that we went on the trip with our good friends Neil and Lori Jeppson, which probably makes it seem like we didn't totally have a blast with them. This would be a misconception, they were awesome! We had so much fun cracking up, getting lost, eating scetchy looking food, the resulting constarreah/ diapation (figure that one out), and just relaxing. They are totally wonderful friends and we had a blast with them. Adios!


Kaisa Bailey said...

I am so glad you posted pictures. I have been checking your blog hoping to see how Mexico was and it looked incredible! I am glad you guys had a great time. I promised myself on our honeymoon we would be back in Maui on our 5 year, but unfortunately I was an 8 month pregnant beast! I'm great at planning ahead...I just should have had 3 like you (: I love you!

arah said...

even with all the mishaps, you guys made some great memories. We have been married almost 9 years and still haven't gone on a second honeymoon and it's not happening this year. Hopefully 10 years will be the one.
Glad you posted pictures. It looks like you guys had fun. Cute bathing suit, by the way.

Rocia said...

oh cor, my husband owes me BIG time after we graduate next year. i think we will pull a trip to cancun as well. i will be calling you for all the details. awesome awesome awesome pics.

Scott said...

Cori- you write like you talk and it's funny to me. I can just picture you telling me this whole story. I can't believe those people got $400 out of you guys. It seems like other countries like that know how to weasel money out of rich Americans. Your experiences actually remind me of a few episodes of The Amazing Race. I don't know if you've ever seen that show before but a lot of the participants have a lot of the same problems in other countries as you did. It looks like you had an awesome experience, though. Thanks for sharing the pictures and the story.

Oh and P.S., you look HOT in a bathing suit:) I guess that dance workout video is a keeper..or maybe it's just the fact that you have been tiny your whole like and don't need to ever workout.

Darla said...

Wow. You look just like your mom. Crazy. Cancun was beautiful!! It makes me want to go back! So jealous. Isn't it nice to splurge??

Monique said...

Looks like so much fun! I'm glad the trip turned out great, overall. How did the kids do while you were gone? The pictures are great! Thanks for sharing!

Roger and Amy Ann Deming Family said...

If we ever go on a vacation like that, we know who to take to have a good time! Sounds like you guys had a blast,and happy anniversary!

Unknown said...

Maran, bless you for saying I look hot in my bathing suit. You seriously boosted my self-esteem for the next five years! When your 4'11 and have NO chest it's hard to feel anything but juvenile. Plus I've pretty much been pregnant every summer since we got married and I was getting a little tired of looking like a beached whale in a bathing suit, hahaha.

The Sharp Family said...

I'm so glad that you guys had the chance to go on your vacation! It was so fun to look through the pictures and hear about all that you got to do.

Amy Jo said...

where did you get that yellow swimsuit? its stinkin cute! oh and guess what?! only 2 more months til i'm in provo and visiting you guys all the time when i'm poor and starving! hahaha. love you! *amy

jordan and maci said...

how fun cori! i am so glad you guys had such a fun trip!

julie said...

holy crap about the scooter!! sounds like my kind of luck. looks like you guys had a blast... i'm jealous!!

Forever Young said...

I loved the pictures...and oh by the way, Ashton and I did the same exact canopy tour that you did. The Cenote was awesome and perfectly refreshing. I am so glad you guys had so much fun. I will post about my trip soon.

RachelBarker said...

1-You are so beautiful!
2-Love all the swim suits
3-You did all the fun stuff you could do!
4- Looks like you had a blast! Isn't great being married to our bestest friend!!!!!
5-Life is GOOD, keep enjoying