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My love affair with the Yucatan Peninsula began back in college, when I studied abroad in Merida, Mexico, and has burned brightly ever since.  I would be more than content to spend every vacation from now until forever there.  From its colonial cities, to the ancient ruins, to its colonial cities built smack dab on top of the ancient ruins, the rich history and culture of Mexico calls to me, as I sit in my cold apartment wearing my 5 dollar old man slippers that keep me feet (tragically unstylishly) warm.

After our terrifying flight, we zonked out in our new digs (um, muchas gracias Living Social deal), to get some rest before our first busy day of…laying on the beach, reading, and drinking far too many piña coladas.  Work I tell ya, hard work!

The next day we went on our first real adventure off the compound resort, to a horseback ride at Bonanza, and beautiful ranch with well taken care of animals (something that is extra-super-ridiculously important), a gorgeous cenote, and a trail along one of the beautiful beaches.

Our third day there we spent at Hidden Worlds, ziplining, cenote diving, jungle buggy riding, and scarfing down on authentic Mexican food (tacos made by someone’s mama).

Our last and final day we spent at Ek’Balam, which is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful places on earth.  Tucked away in the forest, Ek’Balam may not draw as many visitors as Chichen Itza, however, this is part of its allure.  That and the fact that archeologists are still excavating many of the ruins, and not too long ago, found a perfectly preserved fresco.  And you can still climb, explore, peek inside, and run around all of the structures, which is fun.  Win, win, win.

After the ruins, we took a bus up to Ria Lagartos, a lagoon that is a spectacular place to bird and alligator watch.  We then hopped over to the colonial city of Valladolid for the last supper before heading back to the states.

The minute I boarded the plane to head home, I could already feel the familiar pang rattling around in my corazon, missing a home that was never really mine to begin with.  This trip was a little different though, as I got to share with A quite a few of the things and places that I love, and feel like a royal smarty pants hitting him with all of my knowledge.  

Hasta la próxima, Mexico.

music: Julieta Venegas – Limon y Sal / Cafe Tacuba – Eres