Day 1: Checking off the Wander List

When we were first married, Kyle and I created a Wander List of all the places we would like to go together. One of the many was to return to Kyle’s mission area in Mexico. We didn’t expect that wish to be fulfilled so soon, but when we received news that a family that Kyle had served and converted on his mission was going to the temple, we decided the time had come to go there.

Day 1 of our traveling started at 4:30 am as we were driven to the airport by my oh-so-wonderful dad. We made it through security and then proceeded to wait. This became the trademark of our day… waiting.  We flew to Houston, Texas where we waited some more. Our plane was delayed, we remained where we were. Finally, we arrived in Cancun where were shuttled off to a car rental place. We waited in line, only to be told that our reservation was inaccurate and we were supposed to pay about 5  times the cost of what we had planned plus a $3,000 deposit. No thank you! We opted for another mode of transportation. Enter ADO buses, and taxis, and lots of walking.

Finally, around 8:30 in the evening, we arrived at our hotel. The Barrio Latino Hotel located near 5th avenue in Playa Del Carmen. It was a welcome sight to our weary traveler’s eyes. But we had yet to eat a decent dinner so after dropping off our bags, we headed out into the night to search for food. Now, Kyle had been in this area on his mission and had a very specific place in mind to fill our hungry stomachs.

After a good walk, we found it. It may not have looked like much, but the food was divine. We were brought cactus for our appetizer and ice cold horchata and jamaica to drink. (I was pleasantly surprised with all of these new flavors. Cactus tastes almost like green beans while horchata is like rice pudding with cinnamon, and jamaica is a pressed flower with a fruit punch taste.) We ordered and were happily filled with carne quesadillas and al pastor tacos complete with grilled pineapple and smothered in lime juice. We were even serenaded by a street performer nearby. It was the perfect way to fill the evening’s meal.

Afterwards, we walked to a nearby store to supply ourselves with water, and a little after dinner treat. I now have an overwhelming love of Mexican pastries. Especially conchas… With our stomachs full and satisfied, we traveled back to our hotel only to discover a fire dancers show going on. We only caught the end of it, but it was pretty impressive. I would not want to be dancing with a spinning ignited prop.

At last, after a long day, we finished our walk back to the hotel to shower off the traveling germs and crawl into our cool bed for a dead sleep. Not even the partying outside could wake us up, let alone our alarms the next morning.

To be continued…

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