Travel Post

Getting to Know Mexico

A Long Awaited Visit

Sebastian and I got married in my parents’ back yard two years ago in August. It was the most beautiful wedding (I’m gonna toot my own horn here! lol).

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Literally, a backyard wedding!Photo by Lovelight Photography

Our family and friends gathered and danced and drank and ate yummy BBQ until 2am! Woop!

But then, in September 2015, we left for Chile on a one way ticket. Chile is kind of a tough place to get to (and leave, if you have a dog hahaha. Read this if you missed that saga). Seb and I have lived in 6 different countries in the last 4 years, and missing family and friends is something I struggle with daily!

So when we arrived in Mexico in January, and my mom and dad AND my Aunt and Uncle all said they were coming to visit, I WAS SO FREAKING HAPPY!!!

Due to travel restrictions everyone was planning to arrive the end of January. Seb, Bruno, and I got to our Airbnb and we had just a few weeks to get acclimated before they were here!

Reunited and It Feels So GOOOOOOD!

AAAhhh it was so good to hug everyone! We all crammed into our 2 bedroom Airbnb, which meant Bruno, Seb, and I were sleeping on the couch/floor in the living room. I did not care…my family was here!!!

 

 Mayan Ruins!

I am fascinated with ancient ruins so we definitely had to go check out a few while my fam was in town. This area has many geological sites with ancient temples, roads, and marketplaces.

 Coba  and Chichen Itza Ruins

We left really early in the morning in order to get to both Coba and Chichen Itza in one day. Seb stayed at home with the Bruno, who probably would have had a heart attack if we left him all alone after all he went through on the journey.

I loved Coba. We got a tour for this one and our guide was very knowledgeable! He even gave us a ton of information on Chichen Itza. The tour did not cost very much and I absolutely recommend it. Such interesting stuff! Like, did you know that if you won a game of pokolpok (an ancient Mayan ball game) you’d be honored by having your, uhh, willy gently sliced for a blood offering? I had no idea!

 

 

After our tour, we rented bikes for 50 pesos each (around $2.50usd). It was so refreshing to have that wind in your face! The walk to the main building wasn’t long, but it was really nice to have the bike. RENT A BIKE PEOPLE! haha.

We were able to climb up to the top. I’ve heard that 2017 is the last year they are allowing this! They had a rope, but basically crawling on hands and knees seemed to be the easiest option. Toward the top, the stairs were really worn and super slick. So that was a little hairy, but I was actually surprised how fast I made it up! Woop! Way to go me haha. Once you get above the tree line, you can see forever! IMG_0209

It was pretty incredible to sit atop that pyramid and look out over the land. It was interesting to think about the people who made these ancient structures; what their lives must have been like. Thousands of years ago, someone could have been sitting in my exact spot, looking out into forever just like I was. It made me feel really small!

Chichen Itza

After Coba, we piled in the car and drove to see Chichen Itza.

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I’ll be honest, it felt like Six Flags or something. Tons of people!

Waaaay more than at Coba. And there are stalls set up everywhere selling t-shirts and trinkets. I did see a bunch of “Predator” memorabilia too haha.

Even with all the people and the constant calls from the vendors, Chichen Itza is BADASS. It is huge. The whole site is massive and you could spend all day looking around. We didn’t even see the whole thing! Not enough time!

The main event at Chichen Itza is El Castillo, the giant central pyramid.

Big. Bad. El Castillo. Just look at it! IMG_0104

Our Coba guide told us the people who built El Castillo had overtaken the area from an enemy (sorry I can’t remember who was who here lol). The enemy had a central pyramid already and the new rulers just built this mega pyramid right over top of it!

 

 

So there is a whole other pyramid inside this one…perfectly preserved we are told. I’m fascinated by this stuff! I’d love to go see that spooky inner structure!

Another of my favorite parts of Chichen Itza was the ball court. This one was ginormous! I’ve been to towns in Montana smaller than this court! haha. It definitely dwarfed the one we saw at Coba.

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Pokolpok court at Chichen Itza.

The stones lining the walls are carved with pictures of warriors and panthers, etc. It is so cool you can still see the detail!IMG_0184

 

 

I probably took 500 pictures here lol. There is so much to see. We walked so much my mom blew out her flip flop! We had a wonderful time at the ruins. I loved being able to experience it with my family! Most of the rest of their trip was spent on the beach, which is a whole other post hahaha.

Saludos!

Sarah

PS! Chichen Itza is about 2 hrs away from Playa del Carmen by car and there are tolls! So if you are driving, make sure you have some pesos handy. I can’t remember the cost though, oops.

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