Saturday, April 30, 2011

Mexico - Day 2 The Mayan Ruins

Tulum - Mayan Ruins
After massages and kayaking, we headed to Tulum to go see the Mayan Ruins. I do believe that Tulum is my favorite area in Mexico. The ruins are spectacular, but that is not all that Tulum has to offer. The town is adorable. Full of yoga studios and cute restaurants and cafe's. The hotels are not large resorts, they are smaller, more personal, relaxed, unique accommodations on the beach. Today we were not in town, we were at the ruins. If you saw the movie Apocalypto, you would swear you were on set of the filming. Walking around, it is so beautiful that nothing seems real. This is definitely a sight to see. 

Papa & Patrick walking to the Ruins
It was a really really hot day, and we were already a little worn down from kayaking, but this was definitely worth the heat and the crowds. You can definitely feel the sacredness of this space as you walk on this land. The location is out of this world. The ruins were built on a bluff. facing the sunrise overlooking the Caribbean. The beach below is one of the most beautiful beaches that I have ever seen.

We will definitely be returning to this sacred place.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mexico - Day 2

We are starting off the day today with massages!!! I love when I can be on vacation and have a fantastic massage without having to give any massages for an entire week. Thankfully Papa has found what has to be the greatest massage therapist in Mexico. He is a local Mayan, and he is very gifted! The greatest massages that I have ever had were in Hawaii when I was in Lomi Lomi training. Mayan massage is very similar. It is so wonderful to have the therapist come to you, especially when you are in a beautiful location that you can be massaged outside at. This massage was so good that I scheduled another for Friday morning. I would pay him 5 times his going rate. 

Papa receiving his massage - Notice he is as dark as the local Mayan
My massage - In need of a serious tan
 Patrick could not find it in him to be comfortable with a man massaging him, he is crazy and definitely missed out. He lounged in the pool while we were massaged, which was very relaxing and therapeutic for him. We enjoyed some terrific papaya and we were off to go kayaking. We headed to a beautiful area to kayak. kayaking is one of my favorite things to do. Patrick and I went out on a two seater, which was very entertaining. The water was beautiful. There wasn't anyone else around, and Patrick, Papa and I saw the largest turtle that we have ever seen. I'm talking gigantic! Unfortunately I did not have my camera to photograph that one, but it was big and beautiful. There was not a cloud in the sky and it was getting pretty hot out. We headed in from Kayaking and we were off on our next adventure, the Tulum Mayan Ruins. 

To be continued

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mexico - 1st night

Our accommodations are lovely. Akumal is a small fishing village, and my dad has been staying in the jungles of Akumal for the past 6 months. They call it the jungle and there is some serious wildlife around. I'm a bit concerned to take a walk down the road in fears that a puma or a Jaguar is going to eat me. Thankfully that did not happen, but seriously they are wild here. We got settled in and took a walk around the beautiful property. It was already late afternoon so we jumped in the car for a quick ride over to town.

Akumal, the place of turtles,  is located on the Mexican Caribbean coastline of the Yucatan Peninsula. It is a small, peaceful fishing village. If you asked around, you wouldn't find many people who have heard of Akumal in the United States.

The town is not over populated with tourists, which is fantastic. Most of the people you will find here are locals, current residents who have moved here from another country or people who live here part time. Everyone is happy, peaceful and have a smile on their face. There is really something to this warmer climate and beautiful location that makes people look and feel better. 

After walking around town, we had a fabulous dinner.
 I love being able to eat outside on the sand. 

La Cueva Del Pescador  was the 1st place that we ate at during our trip and it was our favorite. We ended up having 3 meals here during our visit. This restaurant is a local favorite for good reason.

This night, our menu consisted of margarita's ( for Patrick and Papa) chips and pico de gallo (amazing) Lobster ( Patrick & Papa) and fish kabobs for me. I have never made fish kabobs before, but I am determined to figure out how to make them. They were delicious. I'm sure the fact that the fish is delivered that day by the fisherman has a lot to do with it. 

Now we are ready to go back to the villa and have a good nights sleep. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mexico - Arrival

We have safely landed. Thank goodness that is over. What a turbulent flight. Now we must go through customs which I found to be very entertaining. Some ladies were taking pictures in the customs line and they got yelled at. They do not mess around at customs. Patrick is always making jokes so I was fully prepared for the customs worker to not let us into the country. Thankfully when it was our turn to approach the desk he kept quiet. We were cleared to go to baggage and pick up our luggage, then we had to get cleared with our luggage which thankfully again was a breeze. When boarding the plane at O'hare I was the lucky lady who got to be randomly searched. I guess my smiling face looked suspicious. Now we were off to pick up our rental car. The car rental attendant who walked us out of the airport and waited with us for the car rental shuttle was adorable. He was local, had a big smile and was maybe 4ft tall. I loved him. I spoke my very best Spanish with him, which was very entertaining. I took French in high school.  Sadly my new best friend and I had to part as the shuttle picked us up to go to the rental car lot which was a 1 min. ride. I would have preferred to walk if I knew where we were going. The shuttle driver was not as friendly. Renting a car always seems to be a long process and I learned that renting a car in Mexico is an even longer process. Finally, paper work is over and we are given a car. Not the car we were hoping for, but it will do. We flew into Cancun, so now we have about an 1hr and 1/2 drive to Papa's house in Akumal. Just as I began to relax and close my eyes for a sec., I opened up my eyes to about 20 men with machine guns at a check point. This is not a sight that I am used to seeing and it terrified me. They had a bunch of cars pulled over that the were raiding, and their guns were gigantic. Thankfully we were waved right through, and I was happy to have that behind us. Once we were out of Cancun we only passed another small check point in Playa Del Carmen. It is nice to know that they are looking out for our safety, but machine guns are always unsettling to me. The drive was one main road and it was very simple. We even found my dads hidden jungle road with ease. I called my dad and he opened up the gates for us to enter. Heidi, my dads doberman, and my dad where their to great us at the gate. Ahhh vacation has begun.

Papa's Mexico Jeep & Villa

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Mexico - Departure Part 2

Surprisingly, getting through Ohare airport on an early Monday morning was a breeze. We drove ourselves, so we had to park the car in an overly crowded, gigantic parking lot and then take a long walk to the tram. Last time we took the tram, I had a mild panic attack due to claustrophobia. I don't think that I will every by riding the New York Subway.We were the first people on and Patrick immediately made me sit in the handicap seat, the only seats on the tram. I debated him and told him that I could not do that because the sign said they are reserved for the elderly and handicap. I'm a rule follower. Well there were not any elderly or handicap around. Just a few business men. Patrick put me in the seat and cleared the space around me. I sat and looked out the window and I was perfectly fine. We checked in, checked our bag and made it through security in no time. Once we made it to our terminal, which always seems to be the farthest one in the airport, we sat down and enjoyed a lovely breakfast. We chatted with some interesting folks and we were ready to board. We were very spoiled with amazing seats on our flight to Hawaii, this time we were not as fortunate. Patrick is 6'6 so the splurge for extra leg room is a necessity. We booked late and flying to Cancun during Spring break gives you a full plane. He survived, but I'm sure that is the last time he sits in a seat without extra leg room. I have flown a lot , and I conceder my self a really good and calm flyer. I have to say, this was the most turbinate flight that I have ever been on. I started to discuss with Patrick the possibility that I was going to throw up as I clenched his leg and made my I'm going to be sick face. Just as I started to feel really nauseated, the teenager next to me grabbed his barf bag. Pat looked at him and said " don't do it man. If you do than we are all going to". This was not a sight that I wanted to see. Fortunately none of us lost our breakfast. The landing was really rough, but look at this amazing view that I got to focus on:

Friday, April 22, 2011

Mexico - Departure

We spent the entire last week in Mexico. You know what that means, many blog posts about our trip. This trip was a bit shorter than our Hawaii honeymoon so I'm sure that there won't be as many posts. We were so very excited to have a week away to travel, but leaving Ellie-Mae is always the hardest part. This time Ellie-Mae had her own special week planned. She stayed at the Pawsatively Heaven Pet Resort. Sounds fancy doesn't it. It was fancy and very expensive. Ellie-Mae had her own private suite, with an elevated human like bed, T.V with animal planet, doggy door with outside patio and web cams so we can check in on her from Mexico. Yes I know, she is super spoiled. We had a bad experience with the trainer who we left her with while we were on our honeymoon, so this time around we were very cautious and wanted to make sure that she was very well taken care of, and having a good time. We packed her bags, she had more luggage than we did, and I organized all of her meals for the week. At 5am we were on our way to the Pet Resort. Ellie slept the whole way there, it was too early for her, and Patrick and I were silent. This was the calm before the storm of my tears. We checked her in at the front desk and then we were taken to her suite to get her and her things settled in. I was very impressed with the cleanliness of the resort. It was immaculate. We gave our hugs and kisses and then I was out the door without looking back. I made it to the car without a tear and then I saw Ellie peaking her head out her doggy door. Her ears were hanging on the ground and I saw her sweet face and I lost it. I'm talking full on hysterics. I love this puppy so much it's ridiculous. She spends everyday and night by my side. It was so painful to leave her. I felt like I just handed over our baby to a stranger. We had an hour ride to the airport and thankfully by the time we got there I had pulled myself together. 


Saturday, April 2, 2011

What is in your Laundry Detergent?

I have always been an advocate of Natural cleaning products. My husband however is a clean freak and has been using the standard popular brands that he has known all of his life to be trusted to get the job done. I think that it is wonderful that he likes things nice and clean, I do not however enjoy walking into our house during one of his cleaning sprees and being poisoned from the abundance of chemicals he has used. Lets start this topic off with laundry detergents.

I love fresh laundry. I even love doing the laundry and having the smell of laundry in the air. Many people are unaware that the popular brands of laundry detergents that you find at your local grocery store are full of toxic chemicals. These soaps are harmful to our health and harmful to the environment. Laundry detergent contains up to eight poisonous chemicals. Many of these chemicals have been scientifically proven to cause cancer.  

  • Phosphates
  • Chlorine Bleach (Sodium Hypochlorite)
  • Lye (Sodium Hydroxide)
  • Ammonia
  • Phenois
  • Fillers
  • Nitrilotriacetic Acid (NTA) & other NTA's

Our skin is our largest organ. Anything that touches our skin gets absorbed into our system. We are giving our clothes a chemical bath and then putting them on our bodies all day when our pores are opening and soaking in these chemicals. Gross!!!! We are also toweling off after a shower while our pores are freshly opened and drinking in all the chemicals from our towels. Then we get into our beds and sleep all night on sheets full of toxic chemicals. I'm not sure who ever came up with the idea of putting all of these chemicals together to get our clothes clean, but I strongly believe that this is a huge problem and not to mention totally unnecessary. 

The good news, there are so many Natural cleaning products available that work just as good if not better. My current favorite laundry detergent is made by Earth Friendly Products. Their laundry detergent is called ECOS. They have amazing scents that are perfume free and 100% Natural Essential Oils. Magnolia & Lily is out of this world. Oh and in case you are wondering what the ingredients in this detergent are: 100% Natural Coconut Kernel Oil, essential oils and purified water.