Even though I love reading lifestyle blogs and seeing travel vlogs, the idea of making my own seemed silly, specially because my life is not that interesting and I barely go anywhere. Despite all that, when my family and I went away on vacation for a whole week I thought the trip would be an amazing opportunity for me to share a little of my life with you guys and fulfill one of my blogging dreams: a Lifestyle post.
Make sure you see the video I made! It’s at the end of the post.
Without further ado… Onto Travel Talk
Early this month my mom, dad, sister and I traveled by bus to Merida, Yucatan here in Mexico. We arrived Saturday morning around 7 am and after leaving our bags and resting for a little while in the hotel we walked around downtown. Getting the lay of the land, eating yummy food and booking a tour for the following day.
A friend of my mom’s recomended “La Chaya Maya” restaurant. She said it was a must-go place to eat Yucatecan food and she was right. The service was amazing and so was the food (that bit of chicken we ate after taking the photo).
Four people is the minimum number the tour agency accepted when booking a tour and on Sunday morning we were happily surprised to be the only ones going. Having a car and a driver/tour guide all to ourselves. Felt so fancy.
The driver was super nice and friendly, he picked us up from the hotel and took us to first to Izamal “The Yellow City” where almost all houses and stores (even known franchises) are yellow on the outside. The reason has to do with the Mayans, this city is very important in Mayan history and for them Yellow represented the south (the city is in the south of Mexico). Incidentally, I wore a yellow top that day. Total coincidence.
Next up, he took us to Chichen-Itza, you might have heard of the place. Mayan pyramids from the prehistoric era, and one of the most advertised tourist locations of all the Mayan Riviera. The place is huge and there are several small pyramids surrounding the biggest one, the “Castle of Kukulkan“. This is the pyramid that on September 21 and June 21 (during the solstice) you can see the shape of a snake on the sides of the pyramid all the way down to the snake faces that are built at the bottom. Those Mayans were crazy smart if you ask me.
After that part of the tour was finished it was the middle of the day, we were tired from walking and starving. So we went to a Hotel near by and eat at the Restaurant’s buffet (lunch was part of the tour price). The food was typical Yucatecan food and it was yummy. That on my plate is “Cochinita Pibil”. Apparently mega unhealthy but totally worth it.
Lastly on the tour we were taken to a Cenote (basically a naturally created, sweet water filled, whole on the ground). The place is not far from Chichen-Itza and in 2010 was the home of the Red Bull Cliff Diving world championship. Not that I’m into that but it seemed interesting. We also tried (mini) diving. It was awesome!.(that’s my sister. someone got in the way of my pic and I didn’t notice until we were gone)
We walked downtown around the town square, entered the Cathedral and the MACAY Museum that is right next to the Cathedral. Later that day we found out about the Wilberto Cantón Theatrer Festival. Showing different plays and musicals for FREE in all the different Theatrers and Cultural Centers. The festival started about a week before and didn’t end for another week or two. Impressive.
That night we went to a play in the Daniel Ayala Theatre and saw “No somos Frida, pero somos libres” (We’re not Frida, but we’re free) from the YUMACA Gay Art company. Interesting and fun.
I have to say this city is HOT! A lot, if not most, of the events and activities are held in the evening or at night, when is a little less hot.
Near Merida there is a place called Puerto Progreso. It is a port city with one of the longest ports I’ve ever seen. This place is also one of the stops for many Cruises when people are traveling through the Mayan Riviera and the Caribbean.
To go there we took a bus in downtown Merida. Pretty cheap for a two-way ticket in a bus with A/C and no condition with time, you can just buy your ticket and get on the next bus and then when you are tired just go to the bus station and get on the next bus.
We spent the day by the beach. The water was warm but amazing, the waves were a little strong for my taste but overall it was a great day. That evening there was yet another cultural event held by the city government. It was a sort of Outdoors Concert, there was a band playing super-slow music and a lot of elderly people and tourist (like us).
It was nice, my parents danced and before we left the band started playing “Caballo Viejo” by Simón Díaz (a famous Venezuelan composer and artist) so we had to stay for my parents to dance one more song.
This state is know for it’s Mayan culture so of course we had to go to the “Gran Museo del Mundo Maya” (grand museum of the Mayan world). On our vacations we never go to museums or theatres at all. My parents and sister are not really into it, but this year I don’t know why they were… YAY!!
We had to pay to get in. Quite expensive too. So we walked very slowly and look at everything (getting our money’s worth). It was really cool and very technological, with iPads and big touchscreens everywhere that showed you presentations and had interactive activities that you could do in English, Spanish and Mayan.
That night I dragged my family to the Armando Manzanero Theatre to see a musical: The Wizard of Oz (El Mago de Oz). I’m a sucker for classics and I had to go no matter how many times my sister told me I was silly for going to a “children’s play”. There were people of every age with and without children just FIY.
There is a famous street in the city of Merida, the “Paseo Montejo“. It has so many beautiful, big old-styled houses or more like mansions throughout the street. Only two are museums and a few others are now banks, the rest are inhabited and look that way too. Oh, one of them is a school, did I say the “houses” were more like mansions?
We also walked between the streets, found a couple more Squares/parks . And the main event of the day was to go to the Peón Contreras Theatre (the biggest and most talked about Theatre in the city), it was also the last play we were going to go to. This one was “No soy Guillermina, soy Guillermo” (I am not Guillermina, I am Guillermo) featuring the Junglares (a group or band I had no idea existed).
Where did the week go?! None of us wanted to go back to reality, our jobs and routine. But you can’t vacation for a living.
At least not us.
There was another free museum and a Cultural Center we wanted to go to. We went to the City Museum and the “Centro Cultural de Mérida Olimpo” the Olimpo center has toured guides twice a day, there were no pictures allowed inside, but on the way out the building we saw a Time Capsule. No kidding a real Time Capsule!. The City Hall placed it there in 2012 and it will be opened in 50 years, 2062. We were told inside are USB ports, and iPad, drawings and all sorts of things that represent the current world we live in. I have never seen a time capsule of any kind so for me this was pretty amazing.
That night, before heading to the bus station, we went downtown for our last Outdoors Cultural Event sponsored by the government. It was a representation of the Mayan’s ball game: Juego de Pelota Maya.
The city of Merida is a beautiful place to vacation in. It’s main income is tourism so they encourage it any way they can. But we found out that even in months where not a lot of tourists around there are still cultural events, street performances and lot of theatre plays.
I want to thank you SO much if you read this far. Also, I want to let you know that in NO WAY I am trying to be a show-off. I just wanted to share a little bit of my life with you guys. And fulfill one of my blogging dreams: to write and publish a lifestyle post. I don’t think there will be another one any time soon but please do let me know in the comments bellow if this is something you’d like to see me write about in this blog.
Now for the VIDEO!!!
Like I said in the beginning of this post I love watching vlogs on YouTube but I am way to shy.
The idea of my filming my first video, with my family, out on the streets scared me. But I did film some of the things we saw and the places we went to and compiled a little video I want to share with you. It has both pictures and videos in it.
I really hope you enjoy it. It was the first time doing something like this. Maybe next time I’ll talk, if I dare.
Check my social networks for more randomness nail art related and not so nail art related.
Love and Smiles, Jessi