Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentines Day

At the beginning of this week I was dreading Valentines day as most of Anjali's pre-school friends (their moms really!) went overboard with gifts and cookies. I hate feeling like I am obliged to do something. But this morning I was feeling a bit sunnier and decided to bake some yummy molasses cookies, which Anjali decorated with little chocolate kisses. She also "wrote" these Valentines for her neighborhood friends, which was so sweet. For some reason she continues to write letters upside down, I hope she is not as dyslexic as I am.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Mexico - Playa del Carmen

We spend the last few days of our trip in Playa del Carmen. This is a touristic town (less so than Cancun) with many mega resorts lining the coastal highway. There are three Starbucks in town, which says a lot. We stayed at a small hotel which was nice, but was full of American tourists! The main drag in town was lined with locals hawking everykind of souvenier you didn't need. As you walked by they said things like "Its cheaper than Walmart" which really annoyed me. But I am glad we had an opportunity to experience a different feel for the Mayan Riviera. I feel that we are a family who like to travel off the beaten path. I keep dreaming about what it would be like to actually backpack with Anjali and slum in a hostel.

Mexico- Chichen Itza

The second part of our trip was spent on a 400km day trip to the famous Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza. Archeologically, this was an interesting place; with ruins, stone images of Gods, a ball court, pool and many more structures of an entire city. For us, it was similar to Anuradhapura or Pollonnaruwa. What was interesting to me was how the Mayans ruled. There were many bas reliefs of beheadings and even a platform with stone reliefs of people who were beheaded. This one shows a soldier from a losing sports team being beheaded; his blood spurting out as snakes!

The sacrifice of virgins, young children, and young men were also common place. So imagining what it must have really been like when the Mayans governed is pretty terrifying.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Mmm..mmm Mexico - Tulum

We are still having those post-vacation blues. Mexico was supremely relaxing. We started off in Tulum which is a lovely stretch of beach and we stayed at a wonderful cabana and ate really good food. We didn't do much except read and hangout on the beach. It was fantastic to be able to watch Anjali stroll all over the property and the beach from the porch of our cabana or the shade of a palapa.We were reminded of the simple beauty of nature when its not developed by humans. Tulum has no electricity and no water supply. So everything runs on solar and wind energy. At night the sky was amazingly black and REALLY... we could see a million stars. Every constellation I could think of, I saw; and even witnessed a shooting star. The next day we saw this beautiful rainbow after a brief shower. That just did it for me.On the last day of our stay in Mexico we went to visit the Tulum Mayan ruins which was really a Mayan trading post. It must have been a beautiful place in its heyday. Unfortunately like every other place on earth that has been discovered, its days of simplicity are numbered, and likely to soon be 'wired' and replaced by mega resorts. But we certainly enjoyed a bit of paradise.