In the summer of 2007, I left behind a terrible year of eighth grade and opened my door to high school. Part of this process was recovering from a broken foot, beginning to dance again (something I have done nonstop for eleven years), and of course, a family vacation. After months of debate, my parents finally settled on Mexico.
This would be my second time in that country, only instead of visiting the strange Aztec ruins floating atop Mexico City, we saw the back-breaking Mayan ones. Our plane landed in Merida, and from there we rented a sleek, tan colored car and headed downtown to a nice hotel that we called ‘home’ for a grand total of three days. After accommodating ourselves and dropping everything we carried, we slathered on sunscreen (with the highest SPF) and put on some caps.
In a short half hour we linked arms and began our walk to the city square. Strange smells filled the choking air, and every way we looked we saw vendors selling chocolate covered bananas, ice cream, etc. After eating dinner at a quick restaurant, we headed back to the hotel ready for the next day.
After we left Merida, we began the road trip to Cancun, stopping at various Mayan cities along the way. Our first stop was Uxmal, the second-largest city, and spent about three hours touring the ‘palace’, housing, game field, and tombs. We eagerly left only to find ourselves at Chichen Itza, the largest and most powerful Mayan city of them all.
To entertain ourselves as we climbed the giant pyramid, my sister and I carefully and quietly snuck stones (extremely heavy ones) into the already loaded bag my mother carried. We finally reached the top (where looking down was out of the question) and started laughing hysterically as our mom set down her bag. She opened it to get out some water, and her face froze; the rocks were a huge surprise.
She laughs about it now, but I promise that she was not laughing with us at the time. When we finally got to Cancun, we spent the mornings touring the city, and the afternoons on the beach. On the night of my sister’s birthday, we decided to walk along the beach.
When we reached the shore, a hotel employee stopped us and quietly explained that we could not walk because some sea turtles were coming to lay their eggs. In the end, we waited two hours for the creatures to finally find a spot in the sand that they were happy with to lay their eggs. And so we comforted a sea turtle as she laid her offspring, and watched her go back into the ocean.
We boarded our plane back home too soon. And even though we didn’t spend enough time there, we have unforgettable memories and pictures of our time in Mexico.
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