Mike and I explored the Mexican Yucatán Peninsula for 2 weeks of flyfishing (Mike), diving (Stacey), snorkeling, Maya ruins, a colonial city, cenotes, quite a few hammocks and lots of great food.

When Mike flew home I headed to San Cristóbal de las Casas in Chiapas for 2 weeks of Spanish study with a small group in tow. We lived with host families and visited area sights including villages, museums, and ruins.

When the group flew home I bused to San Pedro La Laguna on Lake Atitlán in Guatemala for a week of planning for future growth of the Beca Project (link below) and meeting our sponsored kids and their families.

When our daughter Mariah and her husband Greg invited us to share a timeshare in Quintana Roo between Christmas and New Years, a new chapter to this blog was added. HAPPY TRAILS!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Mike goes home, Stacey goes to Merida

Mike and I dodged the raindrops to head down the street for just our 2nd breakfast out this trip, the 1st and the last mornings. We organized and packed and headed out from our little apartment to the ferry dock 3 or 4 blocks away. I have lots of unfinished business on Isla Mujeres - may have to take care of that some day.

The transitions from apartment to ferry to airport went really smoothly, leaving us hours to spare before our flights. We shared chicken burritos for lunch while we watched part of the US vs Ghana World Cup match (Ghana won) before parting ways - Mike through security, me outside for a shuttle to another terminal for my departure to Merida. Miraculously neither of our flights were delayed; from my terminal most were due to Tropical Storm Alex, the sky's excuse for dumping lots of rain on us the last day or 2. Except for the extra waves on the whale shark trip it was a blessing to have the rain and the breezes cooling things down.

I liked Merida immediately - all the airport workers were laughing and talking and my taxi driver was very friendly and helpful. He dropped me off at my hotel, Las Arecas.

From the outside it's quite plain but inside it's like taking a step back in time to a more beautiful, restful era - lots of antiques, cheery blue paint, garden areas and spacious rooms. The elderly owner, Raul, and his elderly German Shephard showed me my rooms and left me here alone - they live elsewhere and there are no other guests.

After exploring a bit I left with map in hand to visit as many churches as I could before darkness fell. Merida is much larger than Valladolid and not as polished and painted, but has a friendly feel and I was impressed with the variety of churches and neighborhoods. After dark there was live music in nearly every park area - from jazz to Mexican ranchero to rock. With only this one night in Merida (and TS Alex threatening to dump more rain tomorrow) I'm happy to have seen so much already. The 1st 2 photos look amazingly like the zocalo and church in Valladolid.

Some sort of ceremony for girls in fancy white dresses

This church is just a block or 2 from the hotel - that's a soccer game going on in front.

San Cristobal de las Casas tomorrow - HAPPY TRAILS!

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