Saturday, July 31, 2010
Our fifth day in Mexico was certainly the busiest. We spent the whole day touring the city of Acapulco. Baldo, our awesome tour guide, was nice enough to spend the whole day with us giving an inside look into Acapulco. We took some photos right outside our hotel room since this was the first day we had real clothes on (and I wore makeup)......
Baldo drove into the city---which mainly had bars appealing to tourists. The city was a little rough in my eyes. Then, we stopped to get some pesos, and set out for a beautiful drive along the bay, up in the hills where the rich people live. I remember being surprised at what constituted "rich". Still, nothing can beat the views these homes had. Acapulco is so tropically beautiful. The road up towards the nice part of Acapulco winds right along the ocean.
Addy enjoyed the ride, and this twix....
First Stop: a fort built to keep the city safe from pirates. The structure still stands. It was built at the top of the city so that intruders could be spotted. It provided an amazing view of the city, ocean, and bay area.
Next stop was the flea market: another cultural experience. The main thing I recall about the flea market was simply how sweltering hot it was. I remember thinking these people must feel as though they live in hell. No breeze. Slightly smelly. Dealing with cocky Americans who try to take you for every penny. I guess the later went both ways though. I loved all the things for sale, but hated being harassed by each person selling. One older lady followed me around the whole day saying "lady...how much you pay?". I hated bartering because it just didn't seem right...so I basically got taken. Oh well. Lyla got two adorable Mexican dresses, a t-shirt, and a bell. I got a plate and a spoon holder for the stove. We all left with serious swass. After the flea market, we had dinner in town at a "nice" restaurant. It had gravel floors and fans. Oh how I missed AC, but it was all part of the experience. We ate the best Mexican food we had all trip and sipped cokes in glass bottles. We had this really cool older Mexican waiter who did magic tricks for the little girls. I wanted to snap a photo (didn't out of respect) because he had one of those faces that you know has a story to tell.
Lyla learned she loves limes
After dinner we went to a the biggest attraction in Acapulco, the Cliff Divers! It's a 50 ft cliff that men jump from every night. There is some pretty cool story about how the cliff jumpers started but I can't remember it! Oh well. The cliff jumping is pretty serious. They are unionized! And make lots of money. It kind of reminded me of the quintilette boys from Twilight. haha. I was REALLY cool to watch. They walk down this path, jump into the ocean (with HUGE swells), climb the cliff bare footed, and then dive off the cliff! Pretty intense.
Look CLOSELY to see the divers
After the divers, we stopped in old town for a Palletta (ice cream). There were a lot of homeless begging for money in this area. They all looked so skinny.
Friday, July 30, 2010
On the morning of our fourth day in Mexico, I woke up fairly early and took Lyla for a walk on the beach. It was such a beautiful morning for a walk. She snuggled up in the byorn and we spent about an hour among the waves of the low tide. I found a few sea shells even and snatched them up to serve as a memory of that lovely morning I spent with Lyla.
Once we got back, had a nap and ate lunch, we headed back down to the beach to spend the day there. My mom (the early riser) had staked out a nice cabana for us to spend the day. Although it was hot hot hot, right near the ocean, in the shade, was nice and cool. I was a little worried Lyla would hate the beach, eat the sand, or bolt for the water, but none of these concerns came to pass. She LOVED the beach and would mostly just feel the gritty sand in her hands. I think she loved the freedom of the beach. It was pretty exciting to think that Lyla got the experience of sitting in the sand while waves threaten to get her, at such a young age. She would just laugh and slash as the tide came in and out. We didn't actually swim, but rather played in the waves.
I think what was most striking about our day on the beach for me was to watch the locals. The beach was a great place for sociological observations. All day, the vendors walk up and down the beaches, asking you if you would like to buy whatever they're selling. The goods ranged from clothing, to sand toys, to handmade pottery, to henna tattoos. I say the experience was striking to me because the majority of vendors were women, many of which, had children in tow. One woman's face will be forever ingrained in my mind. She had a baby girl, no more than 4 months old, wrapped in a little sling around her back, and would walk up and down the beaches packing her goods in another sling on the other side of her body. When I first saw the cute little baby's pig tails bobbing, I hoped that mom just did this in the early morning for some extra cash. I told myself the baby probably liked in. I told myself it wasn't too hot yet. I told myself this woman's success in selling today did not determine what they would eat later on.
My denial came crashing down when I passed the woman six hours later. Baby still in tow, sweat beads dripping down her leathery face. She wasn't the only woman either. I saw many. Many men as well, no doubt selling to feed their families. This was just the first in a number of experiences along this trip that reminded me what abundance we Americans live in. I am simply forever grateful for the opportunity to travel to other cultures so that I can be reminded of my own privilege and blessings. Since coming home, I've caught myself several times when I find myself wishing for something. I've since learned that even the poorest of Americans generally have it better off than most of the people I saw in Mexico. I'm going to go ahead and try to never wish for more, a bigger house, a boat, anything. I have it so good. This evening Todd and I went out for dinner as well. To celebrate our 4th year of marriage. My mom was nice enough to babysit. I think its the first night I've even left Lyla to do something other than work. We planned to go to the hotel's restaurant but after perusing the menu, Todd had the brilliant and romantic idea to get room service and eat on the Call's balcony as it overlooked the ocean (they were out to dinner). It was such a lovely evening. When we returned, we saw all the grandkids piled up like this. Doing patty cake. Sweet huh?
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Day 3 in Mexico was very chill. We didn't even leave the room until mid afternoon. As you can see from the above picture, we didn't need to with our lovely soaking pool just outside our bedroom door. We enjoyed a lazy morning (me, with my head in the Hunger Games--read both books in 4 days) and then went to the pool to enjoy the lazy river AND chips and guacamole with an ice cold coke . On our way there, we passed a GIANT iguana that really quite freaked me out. It was the size of Ty! People were feeding it. In the evening after it cooled down, we went for a walk on the beach. Todd was nice enough to pack Lyla in the byorn for me as I was feeling a little sun burned on my shoulders. The beach was hardly populated and very clean. It was fun to watch Lyla take in the ocean. You could tell she didn't quite know what to make of it. When we got back we made burritoes with the beans in a bag we found at the store. They were suprisingly good! The salsa was weird though. Hanging out in the room in the evening was fun. We played cards and relaxed on the comfy futons. The floor was made of marble so we used the giant futon pads to make a soft barrier for Lyla. She wanted to go EVERYWHERE. It figures that she would learn to crawl the week before we went on vay kay.