Saturday, February 5, 2011


(More stories of our ten day visit to the Yucatan in January 2011)

DH and I decided to attend church on Sunday.  Using the meetinghouse locator on, and information on Google Earth we were able to locate a chapel and meeting times in Tulum, a half hour drive from where we were staying.

 (An L.D.S. meeting house similar to the one we attended)
We arrived and were greeted by friendly members.  After we found a seat, more gracious people, all speaking Spanish, came up to shake our hand and welcome us.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or, Mormons, is a worldwide church.  Although the location and language may change, the gospel and the spirit of the members do not. We’re not world travelers, but we've found this to be true everywhere we’ve attended church.

The meeting was Spanish speaking, but we recognized the service and the hymns.  We felt at home so far away from home.

After the services we visited with more of the members and also a few people from the U.S.A. who were residents or visitors like ourselves. 

On our way out of town we passed an open air fruit and vegetable stand.

 We don’t make a habit of shopping on Sunday, but the place was so inviting and DH is a sucker for fruit stands.  We looked over the produce and purchased a pineapple, some citrus fruit and some large and beautiful radishes.

Back in our rented car we pulled on to the main street and were almost immediately waved over to the median by a Mexican traffic cop.  He came to my side of the car, stuck his head in the window and asked for DH’s driver’s license.

We said, “License, license? We don’t need no steeeking license.”  
Okay, just kidding about that one.

We’d been warned about the police in Mexico by several sources.  We were told if we were stopped and they asked for license and passport that:

1.  Be courteous at all times.
2.  Don’t speak Spanish even if you are fluent.
3.  If they want to ticket and fine you—offer to pay the fine right there with a twenty dollar bill.  Usually the policeman will pocket the cash and send you on your way.

The officer examined DH’s license and told us in broken English that we’d made a wrong turn.  We were told we would get a ticket and we’d have to go to the police station to pay a hundred dollar fine.

DH handed me a twenty and I offered it to our new acquaintance.  In almost a slight of hand movement he slipped the bill out of my hand and the license in and told us to proceed.

“Go! Go!”  I said under my breath to DH. “Did you get my license?” He hissed.  “Yeah! Just drive!”

As we proceeded out of town we had the following conversation:

“That was one expensive pineapple!”
“Guess we shouldn’t have shopped on Sunday.”
“Yeah, God knows where we are even if we escape to Mexico.”

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


In June of 1999 DH went with a group of university professors 
on a trip to learn about ancient cultures of Mexico and Guatemala.  
Spouses were invited along.  I didn’t have to be asked twice.

 We spent two weeks visiting some amazing places and toured the ruins 
of Teotihuacán, Tikal and Chichen ItzĂ .  
Before we returned we spent two days and a night 
in a little village on the Caribbean.

DH and I brought along our snorkel gear and were enchanted 
by the beauty of the life in the coral reefs 
just yards from our bungalow on the beach.

 We vowed some day to return.

For a long time we could only watch that turquoise sea 
on the Akumal beach webcam. 
Finally, after twelve years, the pieces of our plans came together.

The morning after we arrived we found the web cam 
on a restaurant by the sea.  We texted our daughters in 
Utah and Idaho and told them to check us out on their computers.

 I wrote, “HI ANN” in the sand 
and we received excited text back that they could see us. 

A friendly couple came by with the same kind of idea.  
She was from the United States and he was originally from Germany.

While we visited with the wife he grabbed a piece of coral from the sand 
and proceeded to write, “BERLIN” for his friends to see back in Germany

 As a result the screen shots our daughter saved on her computer 
have the rear end of this geezer wearing a  floppy hat 
and long black socks—one up to the knee and one down.

 We didn’t care.  We were in paradise.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


“Flying a plane is no different from riding a bicycle; 
it’s just a lot harder to put baseball cards in the spokes.”

 “What kind of plane is it, Johnny?”
“Oh it’s a big, pretty white plane with red stripes, curtains in the windows and wheels.  It looks like a big Tylenol.”

 In the unlikely event of a water landing… (Water landing??? Any fool can see this airplane can’t land in the water!)…the seat cushion can be used as a floatation device. (This seat cushion is so thin it couldn’t float a Chihuahua.) If there is a loss of cabin pressure an oxygen mask will drop in front of you.  Place the mask over your face and breathe normally. (Sure we’ll be shooting toward the earth at five hundred miles per hour and I’m supposed to breathe normally.)

 Ladies and gentlemen, this is your flight attendant speaking.  We regret any inconvenience the sudden cabin movement might have caused.  This is due to periodic air pockets we encountered.  There’s no reason to be alarmed and we hope you enjoy the rest of your flight.  By the way, is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?

 Do you know what it’s like to fall in the mud and get kicked…in the head…with an iron boot?  Of course you don’t, no one does, it never happens.  Sorry Ted, that’s a dumb question…skip that.

 “Airplane management, the FAA and the airlines.  
They’re all cheats and liars.  All right, let’s get out of here.”
“I think I broke a nail.”


 “They bought their tickets.  
They knew what they were getting into.  I say let ‘em crash.”

 Bad news.  The Fog’s getting thicker.

 Auntie Em, Uncle Henry, Toto! It’s a twister, it’s a twister!

Beavis:  hope u r fine.  im in DFW waiting 2 fly 2 SLC.  they took ur dads passport in mexico and said it wud cost a 100 thousand pesos for his return.  i offered 50.  they countered with 75.  I sed 2 hi.  when they wudnt come down i walked.  That will teach them to haggle with THIS chica.  C U 2 nite.  luv mom

Boarding pass to S.L.C. $200.  
Getting out of D.F.W. before the ice storm.  PRICELESS

most quotes stolen from the 1980's movie AIRPLANE!

Monday, January 31, 2011


I awake on my back looking up at a white ceiling fan; but not the same ceiling fan.  The breezy sound I can hear isn’t coming from the gentle wind lifting palm leaves outside our open window; it’s the sound of heated air flowing through furnace ducts.  And the rhythmic rushing sound isn’t waves of surf on a sandy beach a few yards away, but the peaceful snore coming from the other side of the bed.  I am home.

No more red tile floor of La Casita Sombra.

No more being awakened by 
the trill and squawk of jungle birds, 
no more quiet days free of 
unwanted conversation and responsibility. 
No more sand between the toes.

But I’m so glad to be back. 
Being a gringo is a challenge 
even when the locals try very much to be helpful.

I look through the photos and the stuff in our suitcases and think of the Parable of the Pebbles.

A man was walking along the beach in the evening when a voice said to him, “Pick up some pebbles and put them in your pocket, and tomorrow you will be both happy and sad.” The man obeyed. He stooped down and picked up a handful of pebbles and put them into his pocket. The next morning he reached into his pocket and found diamonds, rubies and emeralds. And he was both happy and sad. Happy he had taken some—sad that he hadn’t taken more.

I’m happy to have the precious memories of our amazing adventures and fun experiences; ecstatic that no disaster or calamity happened; and grateful to return to find all well with home and family. But still I’m so sad. I'll miss Akumal.

And I know I said we'd try to bring back some warm temperatures and sun.  
One look at the weather map tells you we FAILED MISERABLY!