Day 18: Reflections Two Weeks In…

Last evening, we had the opportunity to take another walk on the beach as a family.  We strolled north for a while and then stopped and set up house.  The kids jumped right in and had a blast playing with each other and throwing sand “snowballs”.  Finally, when they were exhausted, they sat at the edge of the water, half submerged, just chatting.  Their silliness and laughter was infectious and we eavesdropped for quite a while, taking it all in. Ryan and I enjoyed watching them interact with each other and their environment. We… Read More

Manny’s Story – Cancun, Mexico

  I’d love to introduce you to…let’s just call him “Manny.”  We met him our first day in Playa del Carmen and he shared with us his unique story.  In 2002, when he was 17 years old, he met a woman who was 11 years older than he was.  She was a tourist who frequently visited Cancun.  Over time, she talked Manny into sneaking into the United States.  She said it would be easy, and she would take care of all of the details.  He was reluctant at first, and didn’t know… Read More

Day 15: Friends and Fun

One of the things we made sure to tell our family and friends was that they were welcome to come visit us as we traveled.  Of course, we meant it sincerely, but wondered if anyone would actually be able to make the trip to Playa del Carmen.  We know life is busy, and schedules are packed. So…imagine our surprise when we had not one…but TWO separate visits from dear friends!  On Sunday afternoon (yesterday), our friend Linda, also from Chicago, met us at a restaurant close by.  We finally got to introduce our… Read More

Day 12: Learning to Make Guacamole

Part of our 3-day resort training included a Mexican Cooking Class!  We learned how to make one of our favorite foods…Guacamole. The ingredients? 1.  Fresh Avocados 2.  Cilantro 3.  Habanero Peppers 4.  Freshly squeezed Lime Juice 5.  Salt & Pepper Time well spent!

Day 7: Venturing Out to Shop

After attending our first church service in Playa, we headed over to Sam’s Club, just down the street, to stock up on many needed supplies and food. We assumed this would be the best place to shop but after looking through the prices and talking to several locals, we have determined that shopping at La Mega or Walmart may be just as cost effective, in addition to searching out little specialty shops like Dak (on Constitution and 30th, near La Mega) that offers fresh produce as well as Gluten-Free products. The first… Read More

Day 8: Mikayla’s First Adventure

Day 8 Mikayla’s Blog: What is an adventure? I believe an adventure is experiencing something new. Arriving in Mexico was just the beginning to a very long adventure for my family and me. It started out as just an idea, a dream long wished for, but soon grew to possible options, then fully emerged as a plan laid out for the next year and two months. The first real thrill and feeling of reality came when we jumped in the car at 5:15 am with all of our luggage, on the morning… Read More

Day 6: Dinner Tonight…

After meeting our Spanish teachers for the first time at Kava Kasa tonight, we headed back home, hungry but not in the mood to cook.  We opted to steer clear of the more expensive Fifth Avenue restaurants, and opted instead to explore the non-touristy areas of Playa.   While walking, our paths intersected with a “salesman”, trying to draw us into the restaurant he worked for.  We explained that we were not tourists and were more interested in finding a place where the locals ate.  We were not too convincing at first,… Read More

Finally Here!!!

A small stream of light hit my eyes, rudely awakening me from a deep sleep. “Mikayla…” I mumbled something inaudible, too tired to care if the loud voice could understand me.  How could they have had the audacity to rouse me from my ever-so-needed beauty sleep?  And then I remembered.  It was Monday, June 16, the day of our departure from Illinois to Mexico.  This was the day I’d been anticipating for months!  Now it was finally here. “C’mon, Mikayla.  It’s time to get ready.  We’re already running a little behind,” my… Read More