Tuesday, 27 April 2010

A little culture

El Castillo, Chichen Itza

The Market

Group of a Thousand Columns

Mayan ruins in Tulum (by the beach!)

In order to make us feel like better people (and 'cause we were actually interested) we did leave the beach a couple of times while we were in Mexico in order to take a look at a couple of Mayan ruins. The first one that we visited was Chichen Itza, a large Mayan city near the modern city of Valladolid. The most impressive feature is the large pyramid-like structure called El Castillo, but since you can't climb that, Lily had more fun mounting The Market and mucking about in the Group of a Thousand Columns.

We also trotted along to the ruins at Tulum, which were particularly cool for being right on the ocean (they were built on cliffs that look out over the Caribbean sea and there is a perfect little white sand beach right in the middle of 'town'. So cool!) It certainly made for a picturesque setting.

We only spent about an hour & a half at each site so as not to make it boring or exhausting for Lil' and, honestly, that was nice for us too. They are seriously impressive, but after traipsing about in the hot sun for that long I was happy to walk away with my fairly superficial impressions. I'm shallow like that.

Beach life

Evening by the sea in Isa Mujeres

Dancing with a dolphin. (She got a kiss too!)

The view from our cabana in Tulum

Punta Allen in the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve

After the brilliance that was this holiday (now sadly departed) we have decided that all of our family holidays with small people will be on the beach. Right on the beach. But preferably somewhere that does not require 22 hours in the air to get to...

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Exhaustion and sickness fading fast. Sunshine, warm turquoise waters, sand and really big juices taking over. This feels like a real holiday.

Friday, 2 April 2010

A surreal week

It's been a long, strange week and it isn't quite over yet.

First, I said goodbye to my baby and Paul at the airport (which broke my heart) and jumped on a plane to the US.

Then I flew for far far too long and spent far too much time in airports and horrible, demeaning security clearance queues.

Then I finally arrived (36 hours later) in Syracuse, NY for a conference on the Right to Water (the subject of my thesis).

The conference itself was great. The other presenters were not only really lovely, interesting people, but their presentations were stimulating and challenging and gave me heaps to think about as I finish off my thesis.

However, I was a complete mess. I didn't really sleep on the plane (for the first time ever) and then I managed not to sleep during my overnight lay-over in Chicago (due to a combination of jet lag and feeling Lily's absence like a hole in my heart), and so by the time I arrived in Syracuse I was utterly exhausted. I was the kind of exhausted (and dehydrated, I think) that made my eyes stay bloodshot for three days straight, my skin redden and prickle and my nose bleed continuously. It was quite unpleasant.

Despite this, I am glad that I went - particularly because it gave me the chance to catch up with a very special, friend from high school (I attended high school in the US for a time). She took me to a vegan cafe and we talked and talked and talked late into the night (while I inhaled protein, after having been fed on carbs & zucchini for two days straight). I love those friends where it doesn't matter how long it has been since you last saw them, you can talk to each other as though you were just picking up a conversation from the day before. The only sad part about it was that I then had to leave and digest the fact that her and I live so very very far apart.

Anyway, now I am in LA. I have finally had some sleep, but now I have a nasty head cold (hardly surprising really). I'm waiting for Paul and Lily to arrive. They were due in this morning, but their flight was delayed out of Sydney for 8 hours (poor loves) and so they won't be here until this evening. No doubt they will be utterly exhausted and so I plan to spend today resting up so that I can do everything possible to help them to recover once they get here.

Oh, I can't wait to see them. I want to crush them both with snuggles!


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