Merida, Mexico & Mi Familia!

Talk about a shotgun wedding, I think this most recent trip was just that and more {{not my wedding!!!!}} 

Quick synopsis 

Tuesday - teach 24 hyper 8 year olds
Wednesday - spend the day flying from Ohio to Merida, Mexico
Thursday - check out some little known ruins called Chichen Itza
Friday - float around with wild flamingos
Saturday - here comes the bride and all that wedding jazz
Sunday - spend the day flying from Mexico back to Ohio 
Monday - 8:20 am...hello again my hyper children!

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I suppose if you're here you're looking for just a *tad* bit more information on my trip than that though! ...I'll see what I can do for you ;)

I'm 2nd grade teacher here in Ohio where I'm currently living and we get a whopping 3 personal days a year to take as we please. So come March, having not taken any days off of work yet, coupled with the prospect of a family wedding && getting to see all my family that lives in Mexico, I dove in and took Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday off BEST DECISION EVER!  (besides 15 pages of sub plans, planning for conferences, and 4.5 hours of sleep before teaching Monday morning.....but I digress!) 

Wednesday was mostly a travel day. Leaving my house at about 5am and landing in Merida, Mexico after 8pm. I made a couple quick layovers and met and picked up my mom and brother in Huston on the way. We landed, found our way to our hotel, and then went knocking on random room numbers until we started to recognize faces that answered the door...we made it! A quick food stop for a late (like 11:30pm late) and well deserved dinner and it was time to hit the sack for these 3 amigos!

Thursday was a little {{ok a lot}} more entertaining than our previous flight day. We didn't even try to wake up early as our tour wasn't leaving until 11, but when I found out the restaurant in our hotel was serving chilaquiles verdes for breakfast, I was downstairs in a flash. Post breakfast my mom, brother, aunt, and cousin {let's give out some names here: mom, David, Carmen, & Susana} hopped in a tour bus with several other tourists that we had arranged the evening before and headed east almost 2 hours to  Chichen Itza, the Mayan pyramids in the state of Merida. 

h.o.l.y- m.o.l.y were they breath-taking

The Pyramids of Chichen Itza are one of the new 7 Wonders of the World and just as amazing as I had been hoping for. We arrived to the pyramids and found ourselves an English speaking guide to show us around the grounds. Pyramid after pyramid and ruins after ruins, this place was gigantic with each new site leaving us more and more in awe of the almost 1500 year old structures that loomed above us. 

Once we finished our tour and wanderings (roughly 2 hours and we didn't even see everything) we hopped back in the van and headed for lunch. The tour group we joined included a traditional Yucatanian buffet that proved to be every bit wonderful. Bellies full we headed to our last stop of the day; a natural cenote. Cenote translates from Spanish into Sinkhole or natural pit and the are quite literally one of the most beautiful things I have seen. 

Dozens of meters below ground level lies some of the clearest & bluest water that you could imagine in the Cenote near Chichen Itza where we were in Merida. We walked down several flights of stairs that had been carved into the stone on the sides of the sinkhole until we were at the bottom starring up at the sky above us like we were in our own little world. A dip in the cool waters proved to be as exhilarating as the views and we swam until the last possible minute when we realized our tour van was ready to up and leave us behind {{not the worst place in the world to get left at overnight though!}}

After a now almost 3 hour ride back we were able to meet up with the rest of our family that was still trickling into Merida as well as grabbing dinner and drinks with my cousins and some of the friends of the bride && groom to be. Food + Family + Warm Weather + Laughter + Drinks = There's really no more a girl could wish for!

Saludos Day 1 :)