Chichen Itza | Mexico

Back in October, Felipe and I boarded a late-night flight and took off for Mexico. While our final destination was Tulum, we woke up early in the morning to make it to Chichen Itza which was not exactly on the way but totally worth the detour. We made it there before most of the buses did and had it mostly to ourselves for awhile.

To ourselves, that is, until the Instagrammers. Within the span of a few minutes, there was a girl with wide-brimmed hat whichever way you looked, usually accompanied by a gaggle of other girls, all taking turns getting the perfect “shot”. I follow my share of travel accounts on Instagram but it was hilarious watching these people in action.

 Imitating the Influencers

Imitating the Influencers

Chichen Itza was a Mayan city on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. Although it’s an important tourist attraction, Chichen Itza also remains an active archeological site. New discoveries are still being unearthed in the area, providing even more insight into the culture and accomplishments of the Mayan people, who ruled much of present-day Mexico and Central America prior to the arrival of European colonists. Chichen Itza was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988 and, in 2007, it was voted in a global survey as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
— History.com
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This is the cenote or limestone sinkhole that attracted the ancient Mayans to the spot for Chichen Itza. Apparently, the water was more clear in the past. Cenotes abound in this region and you can see some of the ones we visited here and here.

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Christmas 2017

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Since being married, my favorite parts of Christmas are Felipe's sound effects and facial expressions. His eyebrow gets so excited!

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Our 2017 Christmas card pictures from the farm. Felipe was a trooper since there was a lot of trial and error self-shooting.

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Philadelphia | USA

In an effort to see all 50 states before we move on, we took a quick weekend trip to Philadelphia. The weather (mostly) cooperated and Felipe learned a lot about American history! We also took a drive to Gettysburg and stopped off in Amish country for while. There is nothing quite like the beauty of fall in the north!

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The Royal Flush @ BSR Cable Park

Over the summer, you might have seen this epic video circling the internet. It features masses of cool hipster types flying through the air into an emerald pond. I was surprised to learn that not only was something so cool in Texas, it was just down the street from Baylor, at BSR Cable Park. As my birthday is smack dab in the hottest of Texas months, I knew that this was where we would celebrate!

I expected to see a stereotypical water park when we pulled in. But, what we saw was more of a water wonderland. The main attraction of the park is a large lake with cables strung around that pull wake boarders around and over jumps without the use of a boat. I'm not much into water sports so perhaps this thing is common but it seemed so cool! There was a smaller pond for those who were less experienced to get in some practice before heading out into the big waters.

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The only negative part of our experience was the entrance fee payment. It was a rather complicated process that was not clearly marked and involved the internet, which was sparse. Before being allowed to pay the entrance fee, you have to fill out and submit a waver via the website. However, it was difficult to get connected out there. There was a paper option but that involved waiting in a long line with everyone else who was looking to rent other equipment as well. So, fill out the waiver before you go!

We opted for the package that included access to the lazy river (single and double floats provided free of charge). This lazy river was the definition of lazy, as in barely moving, but with a free afternoon and no plans, it provided welcome relief from the Royal Flush.

From the edge of the pond, the slides of the Royal flush don't look too daunting.The Royal flush has three different sized slides ranging from a dip in the water to an atomic explosion.

Haley and I chose the middle slide for starters. From up above, the slide takes on a bit of a different look. Let me just say that you get some SERIOUS air. With a massive line of people watching, water rushing in your face, and an inability to see what was coming next,  it was rather hard to concentrate on a proper landing and it was painful! On our second round, we built up courage to fly down the middle but gathered some advice from more seasoned sliders before we hit the slope. Though still inducing slight pain that did last for several hours, it was much better than the previous run. (Action shots of Haley and I courtesy of Debbie).

Though may slide-goers seemed to think that flying downhill at breakneck speeds with technology attached was a good idea, we heard countless stories of GoPro selfie sticks and brand new Apple watches resting at the bottom of the lake. One genius, though, had the brilliant idea to secure his selfie stick into a pool noodle so that in the inevitable event of a water crash, he hadn't lost his self indulgent footage. If you're into that sort of thing, it seemed like a good idea.

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Next time you find yourself in the midst of a sweltering hot Texas summer, I would highly recommend a trip to BSR Cable park for a cool off. You can even rent a cabin, lakeside, to be first out on the water in the morning.

Mardi Gras World | New Orleans | Louisiana

Since we hadn't been to New Orleans since we were little kids, Haley and I decided to head to one of the most touristy places in the city: Mardi Gras World. Normally I avoid places that involve organized tours but in this particular instance, it was really interesting to not only see the giant, colorful floats but also get a behind-the-scenes look at the artists at work!

After viewing the prop masters at work, we headed off to the warehouse to view some of the previous years' props and floats. Haley had a talent for mimicking the poses of some of our favorites!