Before Christmas break started, my Dad told us that we were going on a mystery trip. Each day he gave us a hint as to where we were going.
The first hint he gave us was that it was in the Americas.
The second was that the people there speak Spanish.
We kept on guessing but he wouldn’t tell us anything. On Christmas there was one gift in a traditional Mexican Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) bag. Inside it contained three books about Mexico. We then knew where we were going.
We left for Mexico two days after Christmas. After renting a car, we went to Cancun, a very industrious area with a lot of tourism. We stayed in the Westin, a hotel along the coast. We spent a few days there to relax before setting off to the real Mexico.
Our next stop was a small town called Valladolid. We stayed at an old but beautiful hotel called Casa de Tia Micha, which means, House of Aunt Micha.
A funny thing that I remember about Valladolid is that when we went to a small market across the street from us, my little brother wanted to get some ice cream, so we took him to an ice cream cart. They only had two flavors. One was coconut, and one was a word that we couldn’t understand, so my brother tried it. We knew the flavor when he said, “the only thing I don’t like about it is that it has these,” and he held up a kernel of corn.
We left Valladolid and ventured to a place called Chichen Itza, probably the most famous Mayan pyramid. We stayed in a cool hotel right near the ruins, and took a guided tour to them first thing in the morning.
Next we went to Tulum, a place known for its ruins and its many cenotes, large underground caves or caverns filled with freshwater. We swam in a few cenotes here, where I was constantly searching for axolotls, a Mexican salamander that people often keep as pets, but all I found were catfish. We also went to a beach where we snorkeled and I found a baby spinytail iguana, the native iguana species.
Finally as we were on our drive back to the airport, we stopped at a place called Dos Ojos, a guided snorkeling tour through an underwater cave system, actually a large cenote with the top caved in. There were fish, bats, and everything there. I tried again for the axolotls, but had no better luck.
I loved Mexico, and I definitely want to go there again someday!