Showing posts from 2016

Adios, Mexico

Our last days in Cozumel were relaxing and low-key with nothing but resort activities planned. Each day still had its highlights though!

Thursday, September 22, 2016
French toast for breakfast! Sue and I got massages in the morning, followed by some resort-sponsored "arts & crafts" time where we learned how to make the easiest and coolest string bracelets! In the afternoon, we went to the ceviche cooking lesson again. Now that we knew how good it was we weren't about to miss free food! The rest of the afternoon was pretty "typical" with some pool and hammock time. While eating supper in our room, we noticed the stunning sunset, so we left our plates and ran outside for pictures.

The evening was spent in the resort restaurant enjoying Karaoke Night! If you know me at all, you know I am not one to willingly put myself out there, especially singing karaoke. "When in Mexico" though I guess because toward the end of the night, I mustered the courage, got…

Snorkeling and Pirates!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016
What a day! We were sitting on the patio, which had become a morning ritual for us, when Adrian and Azael found us and asked if we were going to feed the fish. So far we had seen adolescent and adult French Angel Fish, Doctor Fish, and Parrot Fish. Today we saw two new kinds of fish! One aptly named Black Fin because it is white with black fins, and the other was big and speckled with a mouth that jutted out in front of its face. We never learned the name of the second new fish.

After fish feeding, Sue and I changed into our swimsuits because the next activity was snorkeling! I'd never been snorkeling before, so I was nervous, but also very excited. We had the choice to wear a life jacket or not. I consider myself to be a pretty good swimmer, so I chose not. It proved harder to coordinate with the large fins than I anticipated however, and I quickly changed to wearing a life jacket. It was pretty smooth sailing then...until my goggles started to leak …

On Our Own

Monday, September 19, 2016
After a morning of packing, Andy and Jayme left for the airport shortly after lunch. Sue, Dave, and I were now on our own in Mexico for five more days. I had picked up some cultural cues and Spanish words in our stay so far, but there was no denying we just lost our resident translators! We (probably, mostly me) were determined to prove that we could make it on our own though!

We hit the ground running with a stop at the bank and taxi ride to downtown to finish our souvenir shopping! Our taxi driver was the friendliest, most talkative one we'd had all trip. We weren't sure what the name of the shopping square was, but he dropped us off at a large store down the road from the main square. We looked around, but weren't too impressed so we continued on. We found the "Isla Cozumel" sign Jayme and Andy had found days earlier and stopped for pictures. We got our bearings, found the shopping area we visited the other day, then had our Mexican p…

Race Day!

Sunday, September 18, 2016
Alarms went off at 5:15am! This was such an important day-the whole reason for traveling to Cozumel-that everyone set their alarm the night before to make sure we wouldn't miss it! This was the day that Jayme would compete with triathletes from across the globe in the World Championship!

Everyone was up, dressed, with breakfast eaten, and we were out the door at 5:45am. We walked a little over a mile in the dark to the race venue and Jayme went to set up her transition area. When everything was set, we walked to where she would begin her race with a swim in the ocean. The sun rose over the marina as she was warming up, and she started swimming at 7:08am. They swam in a rectangle, following the buoy lines off the coast from where we watched. The current on the longest part of the swim was so strong that the race officials had shortened the swim course earlier that morning. Sue and Dave stayed with Andy as he video graphed her entire swim, and I waited wit…

Mr. Sancho's and Sunburn

Friday, September 16, 2016
Today we rented a car and hit the road! Our first stop was Mr. Sancho's, where we bought wristbands for the Aquatic Park. The Aquatic Park is a buoyed off section of ocean filled with blow-up water fun and obstacles! Water trampolines, log roll, Rock-It, climbing towers, and slides! Of course I put sunscreen on as soon as we got there, and waited for it to soak in. We swam for about an hour before Jayme and Andy headed back into town for Jayme's Team USA picture. Once they left, Sue, Dave, and I swam for a bit longer then found a place in the shade (obviously) and ordered lunch - right on the beach! After lunch I reapplied sunscreen, and again waited in the shade. I headed back out to tackle some obstacles! I climbed the giant "iceberg" twice and slid down Level 1 and 2. When Jayme and Andy came back we climbed it to the top and Jayme and I went down Level 3 once together, then Andy joined us in going down. We moved to the log roll, determin…

Life Changes in Mexico!

Thursday, September 15, 2016
We planned to stay at the resort all day because there were 6 cruise ships in port on the island (one with 9,000 people), and roads were closed at different times for the Triathlon.
The day started with me in the lobby (only place with reliable wifi connection) working on a resume and cover letter that were due the next day. Before leaving for Mexico, I had interviewed for my dream job, a position at Camp Luther in Three Lakes, WI. I would find out either while in Mexico, or shortly after I got back if I got it. While the thought of not working at camp full-time made my heart sick, the "responsible" part of me begrudgingly knew it would be wise to start looking into second options. So, I would use a lazy day in Mexico to apply for a "Plan B." It was extremely rough-going. It seemed like everything I typed sounded cheesy or dumb. I finished a [very] rough draft of my cover letter, took a Facebook break, and saw that Woody from camp had mes…

Swimming with Dolphins

I know some of you read this post title and are judging me for swimming with dolphins. Believe me when I say I debated doing it or not. I want animals to be treated fairly. I don't want them to live in small, unnatural environments, and be beat just so I can swim with them for an hour. I decided to experience it myself and come to my own conclusions. In the end, I was pretty happy with what I saw of how they were treated, and I'm glad I participated because I learned more about dolphins in that hour than I have any other time.

We were in a taxi on our way to Chankanaab Adventure Beach Park a little after 8:00am. Andy and I had passes to swim with the dolphins; Sue and Dave weren't too interested in it, and Jayme couldn't because she was pregnant. The enclosure for all the dolphins and manatees was a large square of docks with fencing under, so their habitat was all ocean water, but they couldn't get out. Along the edges of the big square were smaller enclosures whe…

Rollerblading & Volleyball in Mexico

Sunday, September 11, 2016
We had breakfast overlooking the ocean at our resort's open-air restaurant, then took a taxi and actually made it to the supermarket we looked for the day before. The store, Mega, is just what it's named. It was like the Mexican version of Wal-Mart, and had everything! Jayme and Andy were the only ones in our group who knew any Spanish, so shopping was an adventure all in itself! Trying to figure out what the packages were telling us, converting pesos to dollars to see if the prices were fair, and trying to explain pesos, dollars, and exchange rates to my aunt took up our entire morning.

Our afternoon was spent relaxing. We ordered Pizza Hut for supper, and it was delivered on a motorcycle! We spent the night like any loyal Wisconsinite would, watching the Packers! Only our commentary was in Spanish...

Monday, September 12, 2016
When we met with David on Saturday, he told us we could get free breakfast one day if we listened to the resort's timesha…

Viva Mexico!

I'll be honest, Mexico has never enticed me as a travel destination. However, when you have the opportunity to tag along to beaches, and get another stamp on your passport, you don't pass it up! We didn't exactly choose Mexico either, it was chosen for us. When my cousin qualified for the 2016 World Triathlon Championships in Cozumel, Mexico, my aunt started making plans to attend as well, and I wasn't going to miss it! When I boarded the plane, I was excited to be traveling again, but not necessarily for the country and culture that would meet me. When my two weeks in Mexico were over, however, my attitude had certainly changed! Traveling has a way of doing that, turning what you were skeptical or judgemental about into something you appreciate and maybe understand just a tiny bit better. My short time was filled with new experiences and people. I learned new things and was challenged in new ways. It may have only been two weeks, but there is certainly much to tell!