For Dan's graduation gift, Grandpa Holbrook gave us a week at his timeshare anywhere in the world we chose! Dan's parents kindly watched Milah and we went to Cancun and she had a blast! She learned how to go down the stairs backward too :)
The ruins at Coba. We went with a really neat LDS tour guide who enlarged our understanding of the scriptures and helped us see the ruins with great insight!
Breathtaking ruins on the seashore -- Tulum. We loved this place! One of my favorite parts is that it is surrounded by a coral reef behind us. To get through the coral reef without wrecking their boats, the people would line themselves up between two lights that directed the way to the temple of Tulum. This is like us as a couple. To come to the temple, we need two of us aligned with God's will and then we will safely come into harbor on our journey of life.
This was a really neat stone that depicted the high priest who lived in the home nearby the temple. The Mayans made this stone to tell about the priest's life, but then they ended up worshiping the priest (kind of like some people now pray to Mary). Much of the time we just saw how they distorted the truths.
We saw a game they played that they ended up distorting and worshiping the players and sacrificing them. Below is a depiction of how they played with hitting a heavy ball with their hips or knees and trying to get into a hoop.
We also saw ancient roads like the ones that connected all the lands in the book of mormon. They were high so they didn't go up and down like our highways, and they were covered with cement so they were white and their chariots and horses could go on the roads as is mentioned in the Book of Mormon.
One of our other favorite things we did was see a Cenote -- an underground sinkhole. You walk down and down these stairs seemingly forever until you see the sink hole filled with water. Dan swam in it, even jumping off a high dive. There were fish in the water and it was really clear blue water.
Also, at Xcaret (kind of like Sea World and the Polynesian Cultural Center), we got to do some mushroom farming (picture below), and plant some orchids. We learned that orchids don't bloom until they are 7 years old! The yellow flowers are vanilla plants. Oh, and we got to go to a butterfly pavillion
Then we went snorkeling through underground cenote's and also outside through the channels. Our favorite part of the snorkeling tour was snorkeling by a manatee! There was glass separating us (of course) but we were 2 feet away from him!
The night show was really fun. They had elaborate costuming and we got to see the Mayan ballgame played out. The performance first depicted Mayan people's history and the second half was their festivals and songs they loved. We got a real feel for the Mexican culture with that because the people all sang along to their country's songs.
We enjoyed attending the all-Spanish ward in Cancun. We took two busses, asking people for directions and even from miles away, everyone knew where the Mormon church was! Great job, missionaries!
This was our favorite dinner of the trip -- an Italian buffet with an awesome chef who made-to-order our delicious pasta.
This is hard to see, but it's in the airport and it says "the best mother in the world." The flights all said happy mothers day and were so happy to congratulate me on #2! I was grateful we had chosen a place that wasn't too far as the plane rides were rough on a pregnant belly. ;0 We got to sit by Emily Ivory and the whole Ivory sales team on their way to Thailand and I was so grateful to get off that plane. I was feeling so sick, I walked up the aisle while the steward was still seat belted in. He was saying "no! no, go sit down. you can't be up yet!" as I walked up the aisle. Haha, there's no stopping a sick pregnant woman. I was getting off that plane ASAP! So yes, I never throw up in my pregnancies but it's not without 40 minutes of air blowing in my face, gum chewing, deep breathing and visualizing on each plane ride. I did NOT want to throw up on an airplane of all places. And we emerged victorious!!!
MORE PICS OF THE RUINS
We saw Solomon's temple and the altar and the inner and outer courtyard. I thought it was neat that they painted their temples (and the high priest's homes) red symbolizing power and blue symbolizing the heavens.
We just so happened to take the entire tour with Bryan (Dad's) old roommate and his family. We enjoyed our time so much including climbing the tallest Mayan ruin together at Coba (behind us).
We also saw the city walls like where Moroni put sharp sticks up in the book of mormon.
There were a ton of iguanas all over and they were huge!
Being away from Milah was hard, but we were so happy to have this one week just for Dan and me to celebrate our marriage before baby #2 comes :) Thanks to Mom and Dad Holbrook for keeping Milah happy as a clam while we were gone!