Monday, February 22, 2010

(no sacrifices were harmed)

I'm way behind so I'm going to start at the beginning. Kate and Co arrive in the US. Mike and I left our respective families and drove down to Phoenix and meet them at the airport. My tummy was all aflutter in anticipation and excitement. After 2 years Hal is taller than me, Sophie is as cute as ever and Kate and Duncan are just wonderful. Many hugs and happiness all round.
It's like we were never apart, funny and familar.

We flew to Cancun on Monday morning. Two easy flights and got there mid afternoon.
Stood in line at customs for 2 fracking hours...the longest wait I have ever had in all my travels. Lucky we maintained good cheer and eventually walked out to the darkening humid skies of Mexico.Shopping in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

I booked a 7 seater van and somehow we ended up with a 12 seater for the same price, which was pretty nice. Lots of room and no one was squished.
Drove down towards Playa Del Carmen looking for the 'Ocean Maya' sign.
Swim up bar, Ocean Maya resort. Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

The whole coast line is a succession of resorts, each vying for the worlds biggest entry gate.
When I went to Mexico the first time with Rob's family we stayed in a all inclusive resort down near Tulum called 'Freedom Paradise', it was one of the smaller more basic places, but totally adequate and fun.
We got a awesome deal on the trip and the reviews at Trip Advisor were mixed so we really didn't know what we would get.The gang at Muyil, Mexico

Mike and I were expecting something fairly low key, but Ocean Maya was a step or two up from that. Huge front foyer with massive Mayan glyphs and fountains. We got VIPed without asking or paying, not sure why but hey it got us better rooms and top shelf booze.
We had Iguanas and Coatis outside our front door. We all wanted a Coati to take home.

The main nom options is a huge all you can eat and drink buffet. The kids went wild. The food was good and fresh and neverending. All the staff were friendly and helpful. Mike's uber Spanish skills helped alot all throughout the trip. We could have gotten by without it but it did make things easier.
The kids picked some words up and started using them quite naturally, which was very cute to see. They still say 'Hola' 'Si'.
The first day was a rest day and we spent it hanging out. Though a word of advice. Buy sunscreen at the resort even though it costs $20. We all got sunburnt and paid for it for the rest of the trip.
Snowpea spent most of her free time in the pool with my snorkle and ordering strawberry Daquari's sin alcohol from the swim up bar.
The beach was nice( the Carribean sea was warmer than the pool) , we used the kayaks and Mike took the kids out on the Catamaran.
Kate amongst the ruins. Muyil, Mexico

The second day we headed south to a little Mayan ruin called Muyil, we were the only people there and got to climb the temples and explore the jungle.

Temple kids. Muyil, Mexico

One of the main reasons we came to Mexico was to see the history of the place. Its very evocative to walk through the jungle and see a grey stone structure hidden in the undergrowth. After Muyil and pirate tacos for lunch, we went to the ruins at Tulum.

Tulum, Mexico

We got there late so it was a whirlwind trip. It is a stunning area. They built the town on the coast and the views are spectacular.
Ruins with a view, and Snowpea. Tulum, Mexico

It was then I decided that I had lost my passport and green card.
That saga is for another day.

Thursday, February 04, 2010


The snow storm that walloped us has come and gone. Some say 3rd biggest storm in Flags recorded history, some say 2nd...snow and memory is a fickle thing.
No snow since then but still a lot on the ground. We will get more before the seasons out. I'm hoping so. I want the Kate and co to experience it and I want to go snowboarding.

Last chapter left me on the side of the highway in a sadly non moving vehicle.
Snow happened.
Axis and Allies, WOW, D&D online, real life sledding and your general lolling about.
Snow happened.
Mum in law lent us her car to get to work and buy food (love her lots).
On Saturday we went to the car place, the place that sells cars. We bought one, a new one, a shiny grown up one.
Its a Jeep Compass....yeah I know, I had never heard of one before either.

Ours is white.
It is a 2009 model with 40 miles on the odometer. The ticket price was $21k but they took $5500 off it cause they wanted to move it. We were looking at the 2010 Subaru Forester which started at $23k. For 8k less, I can live without power windows and central locking and it has enough room for the dogs and camping gear. I will never admit it in public but I will miss heated seats. When we bought the 2000 Subaru Outback in 2007, I thought heated seats was a complete wank, but as the freezing mornings progressed I grew to love them, far more than is socially accepted. It also has a great warranty thingy so if we break down we shouldn't have to cry so much.

Two more days till Kate and family arrive, and 3 more till we are off to Mexico...kinda happy.

Ohh and I built a snow Dalek....