I'm starting this post at 12:34 in the am and that has never once been a good idea. But we are headed on a road trip to beautiful, cool Phoenix in the morning and I promised myself I would get these pictures up before we left. I know you are probably thinking, "Weren't you just on vacation?" The answer is yes and the explanation is that Greg and I are both teachers so when summer rolls around we do what we want! Ask me if there is anything in the world as great as having ten weeks off of work with your husband and your baby. There is not.
We got back from Mexico two weeks ago and I am mad that I still haven't gotten around to posting these pictures. It isn't so much that I haven't gotten around to it, as I lost the cord to transfer the pictures. I am technology disabled. It is no fun.
I am tired enough that I probably won't go in to a lot of detail about the trip. Here's the short run of it- I went to Cancun with my entire family- my husband and baby + my mom + all seven of my siblings + their spouses + their kids. There were 36 of us. It was wild! And so fun. I don't remember a time in my life where we have all just hung out for a week. It must mean we really like each other, right? Either that or we're just totally nuts.
My mom planned and organized the entire trip. She's a soldier. I don't know how she did it all. Organizing a trip for that many people- she should practically be a travel agent at this point!
And now, an absolute ridiculous amount of pictures.
WE ALL ARRIVE AT THE AIRPORT IN CANCUN...
THE HOME WE STAYED AT...
My mom found a beautiful home with ten separate bedrooms. Each room had a bathroom and small living area for each individual family + a room for my mom + a room for some of the older grandkids. The accommodations were awesome. Our only slight disappointment was that it said the property was beach front. We thought that meant we'd be right on a beach and be able to play on said beach all day. Well, beach = lots of dangerous rocks but you know, at this point we're just arguing semantics.
WE PLAYED IN THE POOL...
Almost all of our activities involved water. We swam in pools, in the ocean, in a cenote! (A spring.) It also rained every single day we were there. It was warm enough that it didn't matter too much except for the two days there was a hurricane and we literally couldn't leave the property. Ah, mother nature, you sneaky vixen you! (I'm mad I didn't get any pictures of the hurricane. It was unlike anything I've ever seen. I seriously wondered if we were all going to blow away.)
WE RODE BIKES UP TO SOME RUINS...
Our tour guide was really nice to always offer to take pictures for us, but sheesh, he ain't got no picture taking skills... I'm so bugged you can't see ANYONE'S FACE in this picture.
Again. Awesome sight; bad picture.
My handsome beau... check out that sweetmaroon/ bright red color combo. You're telling me you're not in to that?
Greg insisted we make human sacrifices when we got to the top. I obliged.
That hat that Greg is wearing is my favorite history in the history of ballcaps. We lost it that day. A moment please, for the ballcap.
WE GAVE AWAY SOME STUFF...
Hands down the coolest part of the trip was when we stopped in a village to give away school supplies, clothes, toys, etc. My mom had organized a humanitarian effort to bring some of the extra stuff we have to those who need it more. She somehow talked Delta into letting us all bring an extra suitcase free of charge (my mom is AMAZING) so we each stuffed a suitcase full of stuff to give away and brought it down with us to share. (The last day of school I sent an email to teachers asking for any old notebooks, pens, pencils, binders, etc. The response was overwhelming. We filled three full, big suitcases with school supplies to take down. People are good.)
The experience was very sweet, but also very painful. The distribution of wealth in this world confounds me. It was so sweet to see how the people gathered and crowded, anxious for our supplies. It was heartbreaking though, at how quickly the stuff was gone. I felt like it was a matter of minutes and the suitcases were empty. There just wasn't enough. And when the stuff was totally gone people kept coming, hoping to get clothes for their kids, notebooks for school. We had to keep saying, "Ya no hay. Ya no hay." (There isn't anymore.) It was crazy because I felt like we had brought an absurd amount of stuff down with us and then it was just gone. Like that. There will never be enough in the world to fill the need and gosh, that's a hard truth to stare in the face.
Even though we couldn't give "enough" and there will never be "enough", it was still a beautiful experience. I'm so grateful for my mom who always encouraged us and continues to encourage us to think about more than just us and to look out for the world around us. My mom is one of the most amazing people I've ever met. (You can see her in the left of this picture giving something away to a little boy.)
WE JUMED IN A CENOTE (SPRING) OVER AND OVER. AND OVER. AND OVER.
Even though it was rainy and cloudy most days, Cancun was still plenty hot. We were sweaty all day (Oh, the humidity!) and jumped at any chance to get in the water.
My mom and two grandbabies. Jensen and June were born weeks apart.
WE SAW MORE RUINS...
WE HUNG OUT ON THE BEACH
Well, some of us slept on the beach anyway...
A rousing game of smashball. It's like four square meets racket ball meets tennis.
WE WENT TO XEL-HA
Xel-ha (Pronounced Shell-ha) is basically a huge water park for snorkeling, tubing, jumping off cliffs, ziplining, and eating! All you can eat food the whole day and all the outdoor adventure you can imagine. It was the perfect day.
This is my pretty mama who organized the whole trip. I'm sure she'll be mad that I put the picture of her up with her snorkel on, but she's gorgeous nonetheless, right?
Above and below are pictures of me and my adventurous, free spirited niece, Josie. She's one of my favorites. Sometimes I wonder if she is me in a five year old's body. We also share that spirit with Davy, my 12 year old fun loving nephew.
One of my favorite pictures from the whole trip. EVERYBODY GRAB A HAMMOCK.
The afternoon we all left for home. WHAT A TRIP!
If any of you are thinking about traveling to Cancun/ Tulum area I'd be happy to answer any questions or share any advice we have. All of our activities were so much fun, but my favorite part was just the uninterrupted time with my family. We played late night games of mafia, talked about books, shared spiritual insights. The cousins played and played and played with each other. I feel so grateful for my family. They are everything. And I like to think that my dad was there with us too- watching us run wild around Mexico and being so dang happy for all of us.
P.S. A short short side note on vacations with a baby. They're awesome! I loved having June along for all of our adventures. There were definitely things that were different or that we couldn't do in the same way that we would have pre-June, but having our girl with us on the trip made it that much sweeter. Before I had June I thought kids would be the end of vacation and the end of traveling and that's not the case at all- if anything vacations and traveling are better with kids in tow. It is so fun to experience everything through their eyes. Somehow it makes everything a little bit more magical. I am totally of the mindset that you shouldn't let having a baby stop you from doing any of the fun things you would have done before kids- it is easy to make it work and so worth it for me.