The site that started it all: Chichen-Itza

Throwing this one back a bit.

In August 2017, Chris and I embarked on a trip of a lifetime to the gulf coast of Mexico – Cancún to be exact – to soak up the sun and visit some Mayan ruins. This trip predated the creation of this blog, but the trip gave us the idea to start it in the first place. Seems only fitting that our first “throwback Thursday” post be dedicated to our Chichen-Itza trip…even if today is a Sunday.

Chris: Complete agree. Mexico was awesome. Let’s start with that.

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Our first day in Mexico was as amazing as it looks (minus the ominous grey clouds in the back…don’t remember those). Sun, sand, light blue water. Cancún was proving to be the perfect beach vacation.

Chris: Our resort was located directly on the beach so we could walk from our room to the pool to the beach. Amazing.

We spent our stay in Cancún at Fiesta Americana Condesa Cancún. After soaking up sun on our resort beach, we decided book a snorkeling excursion on a catamaran. And thus we began…

Day 1

So, the catamaran. Sounds exciting, romantic, no? Well. The first fifteen minutes were great. That is, until I slipped attempting to move our backpack out of the splash zone and created a gargantuan cash on my left shin.

Chris: The bump was massive. I honestly thought she broke her leg.

Thankfully, it was not broken, but the sheer shock of the whole ordeal caused me to faint. Twice. Chris and I spent the next hour curled up in a corner of the catamaran icing my swollen leg.

Queue embarrassment…

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Catamaran recovery mode #lookinhot

Ok, yeah. Not my finest look. But hey, at least I’m alive to tell the tale. And I’m married to a guy who will document such a moment with a photograph. Wins all around I say!

In my injured state, I demanded to get off the catamaran and back to the hotel (a story for another time I assure you), but once back at the hotel, all was well. I celebrated my medical resilience with a tall pina colada. Cheers!

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Needless to say, that was enough excitement for day one. Moving right along.

Day 2

The next day, we board our bus to Chichen-Itza. As I mentioned in The UNESCO Project, Chris and I first met in an archaeology class that introduced us to the history of the Mayan civilization, so seeing Chichen-Itza was our dream. To get to that dream though, we started on a bus.

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The bus was pretty nice I must say. It picked us up directly from our hotel, and though we spent a good portion of the morning driving around to other hotels filling up the bus (I guess we were the first hotel for pickup?), the ride was comfortable.

As we’ve come to learn with these types of excursions, you rarely arrive at the destination as the first stop. This trip was no different. Of course we had to pass through several iterations of ‘shopping’ before we arrived at Chichen Itza.

Chris: I mean, you bought stuff each time.

I mean, yeah I did. I feel for the tourist trap.

Chris: You always do.

Yeah. True dat. Improvement point noted.

At least I looked cute though. I had to have Chris capture this moment. You can see from his expression that he is not about this right now.

Photoshoot done and shopping aside, we are now ready to re-board the bus.

A few hours later, we arrive at Chichen Itza. Tourists speaking every language you can imagine are flooding in to see the site. We quickly group up with other English speakers to get the tour.

The tour begins by showing us a map of the complex, and I have to say I am shocked to learn the sheer size of the place. Chichen Itza was a full blown city with acres of land. While I’m still comprehending the size of the site, we turn the corner and there it is. The temple in the center of the city.


WOW it is incredible!

Pictures don’t do it justice. It is enormous! And with so many stairs, all of which are incredibly steep.

Just like that, we were transported back to Mayan times. Standing in the middle of the city square. Imagining what life would have been like.  Even the street vendors that lined the paths within Chichen Itza give a feel for what life would have been like at the time.

Now, I’m sure this is obvious, given that we are in the middle of the Yucatan, Mexico but let me just tell you it is HOT. I grew up in Texas, and our summers were hot, but they ain’t got nothin’ on Mexico. And unlike other sites (i.e. Tulum), Chichen Itza is not near any ocean or water, so you are left to bake under all that heat.

But the heat didn’t matter to us. We loved visiting the ancient Mayan city and seeing its beauty and splendor. Onto the next site…

Day 3


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