Sunday, May 3, 2015

My Daughter the Tour Guide

My daughter tagged along on one of my most recent Mexico adventures and became my fact-filled Mayan ruins tour guide.

We got on the ferry for a 40 minute ride from the island to the mainland. We walked another half a mile or so to catch our tour bus. An hour's drive later we arrived at the Tulum Ruins. All along the way the tour guide told stories of the Mayans.

I should mention I am totally clueless when it comes to history of any kind. You’d think being married to a history teacher my knowledge and/or interest would be high. Nope. Obviously our daughter picked up her dad’s history genes because all the way to the ruins did she not only quiz me on Mayan culture and history, she gave me a lesson. Multiple lessons. There is no doubt in my mind that she could have assumed the tour guide role right there and then on that bus.

Between the lessons of the tour guide and the lessons of my daughter that day I certainly felt “schooled”. But my lackluster interest in history left me confused – there was so much new information! (I did learn that our calendar is based on the Mayan calendar.) Geez, I’m a sorry example of a history student.

Even my pictures from the day reflected my disinterest in history. There we were at the Tulum Ruins in Mexico and most of my pictures were of the iguanas all over the place.

Sorry, kiddo. You were an amazing tour guide but I’m a terrible (history) student. I can take the pictures, though!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Morning Walk

I was lucky enough to get up and get out walking by 6:30 this morning. I've got almost five miles in one day. Woohoo!

I also got in lots of pictures along the way. Blooming shrubs, evergreen trees, and even a friendly squirrel. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

An Adventure Soft as a Baby’s Bum

I imagine there aren't many adventures that could be described as soft as a baby’s bum. But there are such adventures and I had two of them in one day.

What could they be? One was on my 50 by 50 list; the other wasn’t but it was such an amazing experience I just have to count it.

Clue #1: They both happened in the Cayman Islands.
Clue #2: The first adventure happened when I jumped into water that looked like this:

Clue #3: I wore my snorkel for this first adventure.

Clue #4: I touched an animal. (Here’s the picture to prove it.)

Clue #5: That animal’s underside looks like this:
The first adventure? How about snorkeling with stingrays? Their skin was so soft, just like a baby’s bum.

The second adventure also included an animal and swimming but no snorkel. It did include kissing.

Soft as a baby bum’s dolphin swim and kiss.
What a day. What a life.

Creepy Crawlies

I'm not sure what I did to get all these creepy crawlies around me, but every time I turned around in Florida something was close by. From a multitude of lizards to a dragonfly on my iced tea outside Cracker Barrel to the love bugs, it was clear I was not alone. Thank goodness I'm not fearful of lizards anymore!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Thing About Poverty

The taxi turned into the entrance and drove up the pothole-pitted dusty road. At the end of the driveway, near the entrance to the building, broken playground sat deserted to the left. To the right a dog could be found resting in a shady spot in the dirt, seeking escape from the uncomfortable combination of hot temperatures and high humidity. 

Also on the right near the dog and dirt and shade and weeds and garbage and dumpster could be found a busted up picnic table.  On what remained of the bench a person could be found sleeping on her side. As I've been around enough to know a homeless person when I see one, I looked away from the bench and focused my attention on the front door. 

The taxi driver honked the horn. 

The lady on the bench awoke and approached the vehicle. She appeared to be the one in charge. She took me inside the building and had me sit down at the large table where all the meals were served. Where holes could be found in the wall, where a sometimes-functional TV sat. Where I visited with the only other person on campus, the cook. That high school Spanish class paid off as I spoke with the cook about the pollo and plantains she was frying for the children. I was shown around the small, steamy, non-air conditioned rooms where up to six boys shared a single room. 

This lady, the one who I thought was a homeless person sleeping on a bench? She was the gal who runs the orphanage in Honduras. As I delivered the homemade pillowcases I had sewn for the kids, I wished I had made ones for the adults, too. The level of poverty I found at this orphanage is beyond description. 

The thing about poverty is that you really can't understand it, even when you see it. And just because someone looks to be homeless doesn't mean they don't bring value to others' lives.