Saturday, July 25, 2015

Doth Mine Eyes Deceive Me?

Today was a really, really, really chill day.  By chill I mean we basically only did like, four things today.  One of them was waking up (a miracle in and of itself, trust me) at about 10 AM (though I stayed in bed semi-napping till noon.  I had some, uh, interesting dreams).  Following which, I decided to do catch-up on my blog (aka, write about what happened yesterday).  Eventually I got dressed (admittedly that did not happen till 2 PM, also known as lunch time) and, after finishing up the last of my blog, I went to go eat some lunchie.  (Which, referring to yesterday's blog, for those of you who read it, I apologize for complaining at the end there.  Life = better now.  What's ironic is, literally the only blog I complained in this week is the blog that has gotten the most views.  Must be that stellar blog title I came up with).

Lunch was yummerific!  It was yellow rice with some sort of stir fry (potatoes, onion, pork in a sauce that's normally used for cochinita) and a mini loaf of bread.  It was delicious.  But immediately after I excused myself to go rest on my bed (I didn't say it aloud, but my stomach was like, "uhhhh...yeah.  You shouldn't have eaten all that"  Pero vale la pena!  But it was worth the pain).  At which point my roommate and I talked a little, then discussed some things we could do for my birthday on Monday.  Eventually, we started watching Once Upon A Time (three episodes!  It was really good).  Then we decided to do something more than lounge around, so we went over to Claire's (where Whitney, Ellora, and Jordan also live).

At Claire's we watched the Youth Theme Video for this year (it had me in tears) before heading out to get ice cream at DQ (I know, we are such gringas).

Reese's Blizzard
 Here's the video we watched (it's worth the four minutes, trust me):

On the walk back from DQ, we saw this awesome sunset, where the moon looked super cool, so, of course, I took a picture.

That little white dot is the moon.  Not a very good picture, I'm afraid.
When we got back, we had some dinner (Ellora kindly made me a grilled cheese sandwich of happiness):

before watching the rest of I am Sam (and it ended happily!  I was impressed).  By that point it was 9:30 PM, so we decided to play just one quick card game before heading home.  I don't know the name of the game, but I know that it's a Mexican game, and it's super fun.  I'm totes teaching it to my family when I get home.  I was in 3rd place on the first game, then first place on the second game.  (Mainly because I have ninja like reflexes).  (Also, funny side note, I totally brought my homework with me to their house.  I have no idea what I was thinkin.  Ain't nobody got time for homework when there's a party goin on!).

After that game, Christina and I decided to head home.  Which was quite the adventure.  Mainly because we missed the bus, or thought we had.  So, we get out there to our stop at 10:20 PM.  I just saw the bus pass by (as we were walking towards the stop) and thought, Oh cool!  The buses are still out!  (We'd been told that they stop running by 11 PM).  So we stand at the stop.  I talk poor Christina's ears off for about thirty minutes.  Still no bus.

So, we decide to flag down a taxi.  Which we successfully did.  We told him where we wanted to go, but then he said something really fast and was like, I'll be back.  And we were like, "okay."  But we felt like it was super sketch, so we ended up going back to Claire's house to figure out what we wanted to do with our lives.

We ended up letting our MM know what was up (cause we needed WIFI to contact her, as we'd forgot our phone) before ending up deciding to try to flag down a taxi again.  By this time it was about 11ish something.  So, we go out there and, of course, don't see any taxis.  So we wait, and wait, and wait.  And THEN (as I was watching the road) I saw a pair of headlights that looked shockingly like a bus.  And I thought, "Doth mine eyes decieve me?"  Okay, I didn't think that right then, I came up with that line after we were on the bus :P  Anyway, so we flagged it down (after deciding it was the right one) and got our ride home.  (Luckily we recognized our stop, else we'd still be on that bus, singing that song, "Oh he'll never return, no he'll never return, and his fate is still unlearned!  He will ride forever on the streets of Boston, he's the man who never returned!  Ten points if you know that song).

When we got home our poor MM was like, how come you didn't answer??  I was worried!  And we were like, we forgot our phone...yeah.  Won't be making that mistake again.

Oh!  An important note.  At the end of the night, I talked with Whitney (who helped plan the last party, I think.  Or something like that) about what was going down on Monday.  I was like, I feel bad asking if there's a party, but then I said, "I'm also totally willing to plan it if ya'll don't want to."  I guess I just like to know what's going down, mainly because I really wanted to do something on my birthday - regardless of whether it was a group thing or not.  Anyway, so we talked about it and made some plans for Monday (a good conversation, as it helped me dig myself out of the little pity party I'd been throwing myself.  Why I was so upset, I have no idea.  I think all my rationale went out the window last night/today.  Which happens a lot more easily when I'm tired).  So, yeah, basically, Whitney is the best (and Christina is too).

Yep.  The sun is shining once again and I am once more looking forward to my big day of birth.

'Til Tomorrow.

R J Carr

Follow the Yellow Kelp Road

Yesterday was legit.  But long.

Got up at 5:40 AM (our MM knocked on the door about 2 minutes before my alarm was supposed to go off), was ready by 6 AM (I'd packed my bag the night before), and the bus arrived at 6:30 AM (figures).  I thought I would sleep on the bus ride there, but everyone was much to excited (or something like that), so we all talked for the first little bit (mainly while everyone was still getting picked up from their respective houses).  The real excitement began when Claire's house got on the bus because they brought Krispy Creams to share.

About an hour and a half into the bus ride, we stopped at some bathrooms for a quick little break (which was nice.  My legs were so restless!).  At which point, I asked someone (dang, I'm suddenly spacing on who it was I asked) to braid my hair.  Of course, that was right when the profe came out (meaning it was time to leave), so we got back on the bus and she braided my hair there.

Shortly thereafter, I ate my chocolate muffin that I bought from the panaderia yesterday (SO yummy.  Not too sweet.  It was just right).

Eventually, we arrived at Tulum!  (I think it was a 3 1/2 hour drive in total.  But don't quote me on that).  It was SO cool.  I loved the ruins (though Uxmal is still my favorite) and the ocean.  Twas my first time stepping into the Caribbean Sea!  #awesome

The entrance diorama. This is showing how you get down to the sea (though I should note, the steps were a dark brown, not yellow.  I was very disappointed :P)  

The look out towards the other side of the park.

Iguanna!  Really not a rare sight in Mexico, but I took a picture anyway :)
It was at this point that we decided to split up as a group and that we'd meet back at the entrance at 1 PM.  So, I followed Becca, Profe, and a few others down to the ocean (the others went to tour more of the park).  It was a BLAST.  The Caribbean is definitely the strongest ocean I've been in so far - by that I mean, the waves get preeettty big when they come towards the shore.  What was cool was, when the big waves came, you literally felt the water you were standing in get pulled out (consequently, the water level dropped) before the wave came crashing in.  (Guess I officially understand more about how Tsunami's work).  

After the ocean, I decided to go explore some ruins.  No one else in the group wanted to, so I thought, "Well, I didn't come all this way to just look at half of the ruins, so I'm going" and spent some alone time looking at the different ruins.  

Beautiful jungle path down from the biggest ruin.
 It was after coming down this that I ran into part of the group.  I chatted with them for a while (I found out later that they'd been waiting for some other members of their group) until Whitney and Olivia (I think?) showed up (they were the members being waited upon).  Then the main group went to go shopping, and I went with Whitney, Janice, and Olivia to tour some more of the ruins.

We accidentally got split up from the other two, so we just carried on!

After that, we headed back to the front.  Luckily we ran into a group who was returning from going the wrong way (saving us from going the wrong way) and returned to our meeting point which was in front of this lovely store front:

Unfortunately, there'd been confusion about where we were meeting, etc, so we ended up waiting an hour as some of the group went searching for Raquel and Claire.  Luckily, they were finally found!  So we then called the bus and piled on to search for food (by now it was 2 PM).

Well, we looked around the immediate area, but there was not really any good, cheap food (and the beaches were not the best), so we ended up deciding to drive forty-ish minutes to a town called Carmen (the Playa de Carmen).  We got off the bus, then split into groups of three (so we could divide the food money amongst us.  I was the money holder for Christina and Janice).  Then we set our meeting point (make sure everyone was clear on where it was - we'd learned out lesson) and headed off!  Our group paired up with the group of Conner, Claire, and Jordan.

Our meeting point.

Found this cool little hotel place whilst looking for bathrooms.  Which we eventually found at a little tacoria (or whatever those are called.  Which ended up being perfect because Conner was wanting tacos.  After that we headed off to find ice cream!)
And find the ice cream we did!  Christina, Janice, and I ended up getting 1 liter of ice cream, three different flavors.

Strawberry, Key Lime Pie, Nutella

Yum.  (We ended up eating it in a Burger King because the Burger King had AC).
After the ice cream, we headed down to the beach.  There was lots and lots of kelp.  (We believe the water isn't as beautiful as it normally is because of the red tide).

After we got all settled (most just wanted to lay out on the beach), I left my stuff beside the tanners and went to explore the beach, solo style.

Mound of seaweed/kelp
I thought the moss/little green plants on these rocks were pretty.

Little cruise ship in the background.
I was so proud of myself.  How did i get this picture you ask?  I asked a waitress (standing on the beach, looking quite bored) if she would mind taking my picture IN SPANISH.  #success.  She took a pretty nice one too.  
It was literally right after this picture was taken, that a random man came up and started talking to me in English (with a heavy Spanish accent).  He asked where I was from and I said the states (he thought I was from England).  I guess he was from Houston and was looking at a house to buy down here near the beach.  He was saying that he was sad at how the beach was so...nasty.  (Cause it was.  It smelled awful with kelp everywhere).  It was a pretty fun conversation, but I'll admit, I was glad when the Profe and his group randomly showed up, because it saved me from trying to figure out how to politely end the conversation.  So, I ended up heading back with that group to join up with the others.  That was when I decided to get back in the ocean and have some fun!  (Mainly by trying to get pictures of breaking waves.  And by taking fun pictures with Becca).

The feet of Becca and I.

Whilst over with the Profe and his kids (who were playing in the water), I gathered a bunch of kelp, then brought it over to Becca asking, "What some food?"  Hence this picture happened. 
Let me just say, swimming with a bunch of kelp/seaweed in the water is quite interesting.  Mainly because it feels so rough (as Profe would say, just pretend it's a loufa!)  It was at this point that we joked that it was like we were swimming in Japanese soup and when I was like, "it's the yellow kelp road!"

Shortly after that, we met at our reunion point, just to decide to split up again for another hour and a half (by this point it was 7 PM) for shopping and food.  I was part of the "I need food" group, which was Profe, his two kids, Conner, Claire, Christina, Raquel, Becca, Olivia, and Janice.  It was while we were searching for food that we found Capt Jack Sparrow (which makes sense, ya know, since we were close to the Caribbean and all) and that I photobombed my first selfie (I couple was taking a selife, so I walked behind them a little ways, then turned round and posed).  And took this accidentally creepy pic of this couple (they happened to be smack dab in the middle of the photo I was taking to capture the essence of the night life here).

We ended up finding a restaurant somewhere (very descriptive I know, lol) and eating some pretty good food (though it was quite expensive!!).  I should take a note that after I ordered, I went to go change and, can I just say, I think this restaurant has the nicest bathroom in all of Mexico.  It had nice marble, flowers, the whole sha-bang.  (I was so happy I'd waited to change until then).

It was actually a pretty nice little restaurant.  They even had live music!
After changing, it wasn't long till the food arrived!  (Christina and I ended up sharing a plate).

I ordered some Jamaica
Enchiladas in red sauce, rice, and dip.  I ended up adding some spicy sauce to mine.
I was still hungry after eating, so I helped one of Profe's kids eat their nachos.  (SO yummy).  And it was shortly after that that we headed back to the meeting point (8:30 PM by this point).  It didn't take too long before the bus was there (okay, so like, 15 minutes.  I had time to buy me a water and a little snack for the ride home):

The bus ride home was about 4ish hours?  (We got home at 1:30 AM.  Course, we had to stop a little while because one of the poor girls was super sick to her stomach.  I felt so bad for her).  It was interesting.  We watched the second movie in the Percy Jackson series (wasn't too impressed with it).  And "I am Sam" - a super depressing movie.  At some point we discussed what we may do on Monday for FHE (my birthday!  Though I don't believe we are doing anything for it.  I know that I am calling my family - all of em, Frank - which I am really looking forward to.  I'll admit, I got more than a little homesick last night.  Though I am thoroughly enjoying this study abroad, It really stinks to be celebrating my birthday without my family...again.  And it really stinks that I'll be missing seeing my sister and her kids when they go out to visit my family...again.  Basically, sometimes being an adult with your own life sucks).  Anyway, after that discussion (which was short) we watched the movies and I was in and out of sleep, trying not to loose the contents of my stomach (car sickness, I believe).  But, eventually, we made it home!  Finally.  I think I stayed up for little while (till bout 2 AM) just trying to get my body in sorts (I always feel super weird after long days in the car).

And that was the day.

Though, quick side note, I just have to say, the Profe's kids are the cutest and he does such a good job with them (I've been super impressed.  He's so patient!)  Last night, his son's balloon sword popped and, of course, the son got super upset (it was super late at this point, which always makes it harder). But it was so sweet to watch his older sister try to comfort him and find new ways for the little boy to use the broken sword (I think my heart literally melted watching her).  Anyway, basically, their little family is great and I'm so grateful that they are on this trip with us.

Anyway, that's all for now.

'Til later.

R J Carr