We got sorted out after lunch (quick pool game first) and spent part of the afternoon just recuperating a little. Before too long though, we headed down to the beach and ocean again. We played in the waves for awhile and then retreated to the beach and decided to dig a hole/build a castle. Of the three resorts, Live Aqua was the only adults only resort, so it was slightly ironic that we chose that location to do this. But it was fun and we had a good time! And then I buried Brandon up to his neck and watched him escape. When we finished there we rinsed off and headed up to the pools and hot tub. We met a very nice couple from Cincinnati who were so excited for us and that we were on our honeymoon. We chatted with them for awhile before finally heading back in to have dinner. We'd done a fairly good job on our own of never getting too much food, but that night at dinner we didn't quite estimate the portions correctly. We definitely had more than we could eat, though it was all interesting and good.
|Brandon documenting that we were both|
|And - buried.|
Wednesday morning we again woke up bright and early and caught our bus to Excaret. It was actually a two piece ride, as we took the bus to another location and then redivided up into the buses going to our specific destinations. The bus to Excaret wasn't too bad - comfortable and not too long. When we arrived we went in and found our lockers and checked all of the stuff we wanted with us later in a bag to be picked up at the opposite end of the park. There are three underground rivers at the park that go from one end of the park to the other (about a twenty minute walk if you're not a speedy walker). At different points we took all three of these rivers. They gave us life vests and flippers and I don't think I'd realized until that day how much I enjoy using flippers. It is amazing how much they increase your speed. The rivers were fantastic. They took us through passageways and caves and by different animal enclosures, through theaters and mangrove orchards - awesome. At the end they would all rejoin and deposit us at a lifevest/flipper drop and bag pickup. Near the bag pick up was the Fish Therapy station. Fish Therapy involves putting your feet in a basin of water filled with tiny toothless fish that suck dead skin off your feet. It was SO ticklish. For the first five minutes or so we just couldn't stop squirming and giggling. It was ridiculous.
|Horses! (The first of many animals!)|
|Relaxing in a hammock (the correct way - flat).|
|So much to do and see!|
|At the top of another pyramid.|
|So many butterflies!|
|The river going by was one of the three. Very fun.|
Other than the rivers and the fish therapy, we spent most of the day just wandering around seeing the animals. We saw dolphins, sharks, manatees, countless fish, stingrays, turtles, bats, cats, pumas, jaguars, a random raccoon like thing (not a raccoon), so many animals. Over lunch there were three stray cats that wandered around begging for food....we may or may not have fed them some tuna.
At the end of the evening we changed out of our bathing suits and headed to the main theater. The show was about two hours long, but it was fantastic. Excellent performance of the Mayan ball game and dances and music from all over Mexico. Folk dance always makes my heart swell a little bit. It's very special to me and I recognized so many of the styles that were performed. For them to additionally be performed by the culture that they come from - truly special.
|Costumed figures leading into the show!|
We moved back to our bus, headed home, and were quickly asleep. I've rarely been so consistently exhausted at the end of each day.
Thursday morning, we got up early and grabbed some breakfast, and then headed back up to our room to thoroughly pack everything to be airport ready. The bags were full. A little before noon Alberto, who had arrived at each of our transfers to make sure we got on our tours and everything fine, arrived once more to take us to the airport. IVI, the DMC we'd used for transfers the whole time was fantastic. We loved working with them.
Brandon and I bought some Kinder Bueno at the airport and waited for our flight to Charlotte. They actually changed the gate on us a little last minute and only because they were calling our names did we know to move gates. The flight to Charlotte was quick, and then before you know it we were on our way to Huntsville! We arrived in Huntsville around 11:15, picked up the bag, and hurried to the car rental place. We we got up to them they said we had two options - a Mazda Miata or some kind of Kia. Brandon didn't know what the Kia was, so he told the car rental employee we wanted the Miata. The guy looked back at us, asked us if we knew what it was, Brandon told him he knew that it was a sportscar, and the guy confirmed that it was very small.
And it was! Between us we had two backpacks and two pieces of luggage (a small one and a bigger one - both small enough to be carry ons). We were barely able to fit most of it into the tiny trunk. I had to keep the backpack up with me between my legs. But everything was in and we were able to quickly make it to our hotel, check in, and go to bed!