Notes from our Mexican vacation

I've been thinking about the best way to write about our fantastic vacation to Mexico this week past. I've decided to try somewhat of a chronological log of our activities, along with some commentary, and lump it into this one blog entry. Thus, I will be updating this entry over time, since I am certain not to finish describing our weeklong vacation in one sitting. Also, this entry will become long. It's main purpose is to chronicle what we did on vacation, and what we (primiarly I) thought about it. If it becomes boring at times, forgive me, and please move on to more exciting frontiers of Blogistan.

Sunday, January 23, 2005
I have to admit that, on this day, I was more excited about the AFC Championship game between the Steelers and Patriots, scheduled to kickoff at 5:30, than I was about vacation. I attended mass alone, where I was scheduled to read. When I arrived back home, Sharon, Lynae and Dominic were all packed and ready to go. I had to put the car top carrier on the car because we had so much luggage. After taking time to pack the car which I admittedly should have had done the night before we left, we didn't leave the driveway until after 12:30. By the time we stopped at the bank and stopped for a bite to eat, it was after 1:00 and we hadn't even left Kansas City. Since kickoff was at 5:30, and it normally takes 4 hours to drive from Kansas City to St. Louis, I was getting nervous. We listened to The Proclaimers CD Sunshine On Leith a couple of times. Then, I tuned into the NFC Championship game between Philadelphia and Atlanta. Sharon read a little bit and napped a little bit, and Lynae also napped a little bit. Dominic was awake and happy the whole car ride, and he didn't even complain about me listening to the game on the radio. He made a game out of spotting water towers along the road. We stopped for gas and a potty break in Columbia. Surprisingly, this is the only stop we had to make the whole way to St. Louis. We arrived at the Airport Mariott in St. Louis at about 5:10, plenty of time before kickoff. My nerves were on high alert and I was really excited about the game. Unfortunately, the game started out bad and only got worse throughout the night. The Steelers tried to make a game of it in the second half, but could never come up with a really big play when they needed to. I was more upset about the loss than I thought I would be. I typed up some notes that night about the game that I will post in a seperate blog entry. Anyway, it was a great season. I thought it was fun watching the game at our nice motel. I would have probably been down at the bar partying if the Steelers would have won. They must be saving the win for when I am in attendance. We tried to get to sleep soon after the game, because we had to get up at about 2:45 AM! Our plane was scheduled to leave at 6 AM. With emotions swirling because of the game and the upcoming flight, and all looking forward to vacation, I don't think anyone slept all that much. Dominic had trouble getting to sleep because he was so excited. But, he woke up in a great mood in the middle of the night, took a shower, and was ready to head to the airport!

Monday, January 24, 2005
Awake at 2:45! I'm serious. Surprisingly, espcially given the Steelers loss the previous evening, nobody was grumpy. Everyone decided to take a shower except me. I didn't see the logic of showering in the middle of the night just to get on a plane, and then ride an hour on a tour bus. I decided that I would wait until we got to paradise to shower. We were all dressed and down in the lobby with our luggage by 3:45 AM. There were several groups waiting for an airport shuttle. Despite being the first group in the lobby, we got crowded off of the first shuttle. No problem. Another one came about 15 minutes later. Somehow, after we managed to get our 20 bags of luggage onto the shuttle we still had room for ourselves.

We got to the airport and there was a long line at the check-in counter. The line actually moved at a decent pace. We only waited in line for about a half hour. Of course, it was so early, none of the restaraunts were open yet. There was a Starbucks right next to the check-in counter teasing our appetites. We were all thirsty and hungry. Checking-in was easier than I thought it would be. This is the first flight I have been on since 9/11. We had all our documentation in order, so things went smoothly. We had to take our shoes off going through the security clearance. I've never had to do that before. I blame that one on that Richard Reid dude. Anyway, we made it through without any problems. Finally, by the time we got to our boarding gate some of the restaraunts were opening, and we were able to enjoy some early morning fast food.

The sun was just starting to sparkle in the eastern sky as our plane took off. By the time we reached our cruising altitude, we were able to see the bright sun on the eastern horizon. In fact, it was so bright, the entire east side of the plane had to shut the window shades. Our flight went smooth, outside of the fact that I'm convinced that Sharon, Domi and I had the worst seats on the plane. We were in row 18, about halfway down the aisle of the cabin. Our seats were on the bright east side, and we were directly overtop of a wing, so our view was hindered. Also, when the snack carts came out, one cart started at our aisle and the other cart started at the first row, so we were effectively blocked off from the bathrooms at both ends of the plane for about 45 minutes. This wasn't good, because we were the first to get our drinks. Dominic did a great job not peeing his pants, because he really had to go!! This was the first flight I have ever been on that showed a movie. None of us rented the headphones to see the movie Mr. 3000, starring Bernie Mac. The flight was short of 3 hours. It was awesome coming in to Cancun and seeing the water, beaches and jungle. Dominic, despite a lack of sleep, was excited when the plane landed. He was happy to be in Mexico!!

It didn't take us too long to get through customs at the Cancun airport. It was really pretty simple, once again, probably because we had all of our documentation in order. When we finally stepped outside of the airport, the weather was about 80 degrees!

Tuesday, January 25
Italian resturaunt at 9:30.
Wednesday, January 26
Visit to Lapaz jewelry store and Playa Del Carmen shopping district.
Thursday, January 27
Visit to Coba Mayan archeological site, Mayan cooperative and Mayan jungle village.
Jogged around Puerto Aventeros at night.
Mexican resturaunt at 9:30.
Friday, January 28

Saturday, January 29

Sunday, January 30

Monday, January 31

Sharon read 3 books on vacation.


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