Packing…

Kit decided it was time she thought about packing for the trip.  She wasn’t sure what to take though, the most traveling she had done recently was back and forth between here and her parents home in Cincinnati.  She decided maybe it would be a good idea to get some help, so she went downstairs to see if any of the other girls had any ideas.  First she stopped outside of Cassandra’s bedroom.  After hearing the conversation, she decided maybe she’d better ask someone else as it seemed Cassandra, Shivan and Fiona were in a rather heated discussion about something that Kit didn’t understand.

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“I think Euclidian geometry is much better than Pythagorean geometry!” “No! No! No! Pythagorean geometry is better–it’s called the Pythagorean Theorem not the Euclidian Theorem!”

Kit continued down the hall to where Alya and Shivan’s room is.  When she looked in the door, she could see Alya showing Kanani the new bag she’d picked up.

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“Isn’t this bag adorable? I got it at Target, it was the last one they had in pink.” said Alya. “Oh, hey Kit, come on in!”

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“Hi guys!” replied Kit. “I need some help, I’m having a hard time with packing for the trip. I thought maybe since you both have traveled some, you might be able to help me?”

“Sure!” exclaimed both Alya and Kanani. “Go get your suitcase and bring it in here and we’ll get you all straightened out.”

Kit ran up to her bedroom and got her suitcase.
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“Let’s set it up here on the bed,” said Alya.  “Kanani, if you could go get some of the clothing out of the wardrobe that you think she’ll need, that would be a huge help.”

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Kanani came back with several items.

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Kit wondered outloud. “Guys, do you really think I’m going to need all of that?” “Oh, most definitely!” replied Kanani. “You don’t want to be away from home and find out you need something and you don’t have it!”

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The girls continued adding things to the pile.
packing-8“You’re going to need sandals, flats, boots, sneakers…”

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“…several pairs of pajamas and a bathrobe…”

Finally Kit couldn’t take it anymore. “STOP!!! GUYS! I’m only going for four days!!!”
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Alya and Kanani turned and looked at Kit and in unison responded. “Oh.”
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“Thanks guys, but I think I can handle this on my own!”

Do you have a tendency to over-pack when going on a trip?  I’ve never been one to get too carried away, but over the years I’ve managed to pack less and less and on our last trip to Ireland, both Mr. Flo and I took only a rolling carry-on bag and a shoulder bag.  I think Kit’s going to fit right in on this trip!

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Xoximilco

Originally we were supposed to go to a company dinner on Saturday night, but we were invited by two other couples also on the trip to go on a dinner cruise. At first mom and dad weren’t sure about it until mom found out what it was, and she was excited to try it. She’d seen a piece that Samantha Brown had done on “Passport to Latin America” about these cruises and thought it would be fun.

The cruise is called Xoximilco–which is pronounced “sho-shi-mil-co”. The original cruises are in Mexico City and done on the canals there. The boats are highly decorated and each boat has a different purpose: food, music, selling items, etc. Someone decided that since they were so popular in Mexico City that something similar might be popular on the coast, attracting visitors from Cancun and Riviera Maya, so they built an entire complex. At this time of year they only offer nighttime cruises, but it’s a whole evening of entertainment, from start to finish it takes over 3 hours!

When you arrive, the boats are being docked and all of the guests are being divided into groups. Each boat holds about 18 people (I think) and in the middle of the boat, there is a big table with chairs all around it. Our guide Luis told us all about the boats and how they are made very similar to the gondola’s used in Venice Italy.
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When everyone sits down, they each have a packet of tortilla chips and pork rinds.  There are several plates on the table with different dips in them–guacamole (which was yummy), a dip made from pumpkin seeds and a couple of others that I can’t remember.  Most of them were okay, but the guacamole was the best.  Oh, and those things in the middle…

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Crickets!!!!!!!  Blech!!  Two of dad’s co-workers decided to try them, mom and the one guy’s wife kind of gagged when they did that.  They both said they didn’t taste bad but left a strange aftertaste.  No thank you!!!

We cruised around the canals a little bit while Luis told us more of the history of the place and we listened to music, then we pulled up to another boat where he picked up some more food for us to eat.  Each person got a plate that had a salad made with some pieces of cactus in it (it was strange), and some delicious cheese from Oaxaca.  We stopped at another boat and got some tortillas filled with cheese (some also had mushrooms), I could have eaten a ton of those.  The last course we got were all sorts of different meat dishes: chicken, pork, beef, one even was flavored with a little bit of chocolate!  Everyone liked the pork one the best, it was very good.  At that point we pulled up to another dock as it was about half way through the evening and we all had a chance for a potty break.  While we were doing that, crews came in and cleaned up everything so far and when we got on board again, each place had a selection of dessert items on it, some were really good, some were a little strange.  It wasn’t a problem though, we’d already eaten so much at that point we didn’t care, mom took what was wrapped with her for us to eat later.

Now the ride got very interesting!  Instead of pulling up to boats with food, we pulled up to boats with different music.  Mom said she never realized how many different styles of mariachi music there were, some were very dance like and others were more calming.

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Every time we pulled up to one of the music boats, we were beside this group of crazy Columbians, they were having a really good time! A couple of them even jumped from their boat and got on ours and got everyone dancing, it was a lot of fun.

By the time we got back to our resort, it was after midnight, but it was a fun time, and we were really glad we decided to go. I hurried up and got my pj’s on, I needed to make sure I got a good nights sleep since we were flying home the next day.

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If you ever get to go to Cancun or the Riviera Maya, be sure to book a cruise at Xoximilco! It is so much fun, dad said he’d do it again in a heartbeat!

Cancun: Museo Maya de Cancun

Hola everyone!  By now you are probably wondering how I was able to go on this trip in the midst of the school year, aren’t you?  Well…fortunately it was only 2 week days so I wasn’t missing a lot of school, but in order to not have them marked as unexcused absences, I had to do something educational.  Mom had researched a couple of things, and after talking it over, we decided that going to the Museo Maya de Cancun sounded the best.

The museum is relatively new, built in 2012 after the previous museum was severely damaged by a hurricane.  It has a decent sized collection of Mayan artifacts, as well as adjoining the grounds of the San Miguelito ruins.  We were all amazed at how well preserved some of these artifacts are.  A few items are repoductions too.  The biggest issue we had: most all of the signs explaining what they were are written in Spanish!  Oh well, it was still fun seeing something so old.

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Something cool I have to tell you–twice we had someone recognize me as an American Girl doll!  The first time was while we were in the museum, a woman from Canada came over and started talking to mom and asked her a lot of questions about me.  Turns out she was a doll collector too!  Hopefully she will stop by the blog and say “Hi!”

The second time was while we were out by the ruins.  There was a little girl with her parents and she tried to talk to mom.  Mom laughed and said “sorry, no habla Espanol.” (I don’t speak Spanish)  The little girl replied something, but the only part of it that any of us could make out was “American Girl”!  Mom replied “si!” and the little girl got a big grin on her face.  We all thought that was pretty funny.  Mom had several incidents while we were there where language was a bit of a barrier, but if you find one or two common words, you can eventually get the ideas across.

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Check out this cool sculpture!  Mom said it looked like a giant alebrije, a type of sculpture from Oaxaca.  She and dad have two small ones, a lizard and a porcupine.  I don’t think this one would fit in the house.

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It’s a pretty good hike from the museum itself to the ruins, but it’s mostly in the shade.   These ruins aren’t as impressive as Chichen Itza or Tulum, but they served a very important purpose to the Mayan trade routes as this was the first stop for traffic coming across the ocean.

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Something that we all thought was very interesting about Cancun–as a city, it didn’t really exist until around 1970!  Prior to that it was a coconut plantation with only 3 residents.  Now just a mere 40 years later it has numerous hotels which contain over 36,000 rooms, several shopping malls and an airport.  These ruins and another group of them just down the road a ways were all discovered as some of the development in the area progressed.

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Every so often there is a bench where you can take a break. It was quite a walk and it kept sounding like thunder off in the distance, we were hoping we didn’t end up drenched.

Cancun day 3.1 photo 8Isn’t this tree interesting?  I loved how the roots looked like legs or arms.  It could have been used in Harry Potter.

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Remains of another building on the grounds.

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I’m looking a little worse for wear here, aren’t I? It was a long hike, that’s for sure! But check out that creature beside me–yes it’s an iguana! They are all over the place here, it’s kind of a sad story though. As hotel development has increased, it has destroyed their natural living spaces. So they have come here and to the other ruins site to live. This one was one of the smaller ones we saw while we were there. They don’t bother the people, in fact I don’t think he was too wild about me being so close! We saw several sunbathing on one of the other buildings, but they were hard to make out because they blended right in.
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Behind me is the largest structure on the site as well as being the best preserved. Hard to believe that it is around 800 years old!

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This is the back of the same building.

Overall, this was a nice way to get a taste of Mayan history and culture without having to travel a great distance. One admission fee covers both the museum and the ruins and was only a couple of dollars American. I guess I’d better get started on my report about it now!