From April 26-May 2, Dan and I embarked on a memorable journey to Mexico for vacation. It was such an amazing and relaxing time away; we have found ourselves a couple times this week wishing we were back there, but all good things have to come to an end at some point, right? There is just something about getting out of the country, getting out of the American ways of doing things, and just being together 24/7. We decided too, that to truly relax for the Sterks, we feel that fleeing the country is the best choice because you are around nothing familiar. Now to some that maybe scary, but now that we’ve been out of the country a few times, we’ve learned to embrace it. Here is what our week journey looked like…BEACH, BEACH, and BEACH. Just kidding, we did more than that, but not much!
Our day was a little rough, but that can be expected when traveling. On Saturday night at 8:15, we got a call that our flight from O’Hare to Charlotte was cancelled. We didn’t panic too much until they said that they couldn’t find another flight for us where we would be able to make our other one out of Charlotte. So about after 25 minutes, they found another airline that we could go through; for that we were thankful! We thought that flying out of South Bend would be a breeze b/c it’s so small and so close to home, but it actually gave us the most trouble because they didn’t have US Airways, so we flew out on United instead. Therefore, we flew down to Mexico on 3 different airlines! Kind of crazy, but fun! BUT…of course they lost our luggage when we got to Cancun, so that was a setback, but we had yet to panic. We figured we could cry if we wanted, but what good would it do? So we went to find our transportation to the resort, but soon learned they lost our free voucher to actually have the transportation. At this point we figured really nothing else could go wrong and yet we were as relaxed as could be because we knew we were going to be on “vacation” soon enough! But we received our luggage by 7 that night and that’s when I got a little teary-eyed b/c it was just such a relief…never thought luggage would cause a tear :).
Monday was interesting seeing how that was the day on CNN that they were discussing closing the borders b/w the US and Mexico b/c fo the swine flu. Of course I started to worry a little, but there really is no better place to be stuck than Mexico, right? We brushed those worries aside and thoroughly enjoyed the rest of it!! We had SUCH great weather; a little windy, but that kept us from sweating profusely! Apparently it was supposed to rain every single day, but it never did! We would see HUGE cloud coverage coming, but it would either break up or split and go around us. There was a lot of applying of sunscreen going on…in fact, we took SPF 4 and only used a little on the last day…it was the celebration of SPF 30 and 15 everyday :).
On Tuesday we went on a phenomenal snorkeling day trip called the Mayan Adventure.So all the places we went, we went snorkeling. We went to cenotes, which are like 30 ft. deep sinkholes. We also zipped down a zipline, which was cool, until the line got tangled and the fun was no more. We then headed to a cavern where there were stalagmites and stalagtites, with the freshest water I’ve ever been in. You could see down FOREVER! There were all kinds of tunnels leadin to who knows where. There were even little fish in there; we don’t understand how b/c we wouldn’t have a clue what they feed off of b/c the water and rock were just so clean. We have yet to figure that out. The water was a little chilly; okay, more than chilly, but it was one of the coolest things we’ve ever seen. Then we had a buffet type dinner at a little hut and then headed to an inlet that led to the ocean. What was interesting was that the inlet had fresh water and the ocean was obviously salt water, so when they mixed, it created an oil. Very hard to explain, but basically it looked like oily water when you looked down. And the temperature would change so drastically within a few feet b/c the ocean was so much warmer than the inlet. It was at this stop where we saw a GIANT sting ray, a sea turtle, coral (like brain), those fan plants, and many beautiful fish. That was probably my favorite part of the whole excursion. Also, just the drive out to where we had to be was neat b/c we saw a part of Mexico we had never really seen, like the residential areas, and then the richest of the rich in Akumal. It was a trip well worth it!
Another amazing thing we did was play beach volleyball at our resort. We played with people from Germany, Austria, Canada, Mexico (obviously :)), and a Yugoslavian/now Canadian who knows English. Just to be able to all come together and play a sport and have fun was just such a neat experience. Even though we didn’t have a clue what each other was saying. The universal words we used were “good” and “sorry” (of course when we messed up). In fact, throughout the week, when it was volleyball time, people would come around and round up the usuals and we felt special that they kept asking us to come each time. We must say we did quite spendid against them all, and we decided we’d want the Austrian on our team everytime. He was good too! Though, we only lasted about 1 1/2 hours playing b/c it was so hot.
The rest of our days were filled with laying on the beach, walking on the beach, reading, and just talking; oh, and eating :). We realized that we would read for awhile and then set down our books and just talk and talk and talk and not even realize it. We embarked on a walk to try to find our resort that we went to on our honeymoon (that we actually found out was closed when we were down there b/c they were fearful of the swine flu…so good thing we didn’t go there again b/c we were going to!). But we realized after about 40 minutes of walking one way, that we were really only halfway. The map we had was obviously not to scale. But it was neat to see other resorts on the way and just enjoy each other’s company.
Dan did a free trial of scuba diving in the pool there! It was something he had always dreamed of doing, and since it was free (being Dutch of course), he had to do it. And he loved it. I think he’ll eventually get certified, but it was quite the process and he didn’t know if he wanted to do that on his vacation. He thought he’d like it, and he LOVED it.
Besides working on our tans, we didn’t really do a whole lot, but that is what we wanted. We wanted to not have a schedule, though we realized we are creatures of structure and habit and we quickly set up a routine while there. We fell asleep at like 9 or 9:30…yeah…no joke, and woke up at like 6:30 each morning. We think the sun just wiped us out and the mornings are so bright that we went back to the old ways of sleeping. Fall asleep when it gets dark and wake up when it’s light. We enjoyed that, even though we realized we were rather wierd.
Our travels back home went a whole lot better! The Charlotte airport did close down for awhile b/c of a nasty storm that came through, but we were able to make all of our flights. And we knew things really couldn’t get worse than they did on that Sunday. In Cancun, we got tested to see if we had the swine flue, and we passed! We had to fill out a medical form and get our temperature taken, which we kind of appreciated b/c then we knew for sure we didn’t have it. Not near as many people were wearing masks as we thought there were going to be. But we realized that there were no cases in the Quintanaroo state we were in. There has only been one, which was 240 miles from us and it was from weeks ago. So we were in more of a threat here in Michigan than in Mexico. We got a lot of flack for being in Mexico and everyone we ran into had to ask if we had the swine flu, but we could always say no!! It’s kind of been a joke, but we realized that many assumed that since we were in Mexico, that we would automatically be sick, but it wasn’t true and we are thankful we escaped it :). We never thought when we planned this trip a few months ago that this would’ve happened…being in Mexico in the peak of the swine flu, but it was interesting being there when all that was going on. We realized how much the US media distorts the truth and makes a hype about really nothing! We would go back in a heartbeat!!!!!
I could say so much more, but I will spare your computer’s memory! When we were in Mexico yet, we were talking about where we were going to stay when we went back, so we are already thinking about next time’s trip…whenever that may be. We just love to travel and most of all, just loving being together! So with all that went on, we will always remember this trip, but even though some things went wrong, we never ONCE regretted going!! We learned sooo much and just can’t wait til the next one!