Friday, July 26, 2013

Aventura Spa Palace

Let's just say that as an all inclusive adults only spa resort, Aventura is AWESOME in so many aspects.  I enjoyed some pool time each day (except for the day of the long field trip to Chichen Itza).  Additionally, I enjoyed the hydrotherapy treatments four separate times (dry sauna, cold shower, steam room, cold shower, hot tub/whirl pool, cold pool with waterfall, warm water foot massage, relaxing on chaise lounge chair).  Additionally, I enjoyed...and I do mean enjoyed...1) a rejuventating massage with sea weed wrap, 2) a relaxation massage with aromatherapy massage, 3) a nearly 2-hour deep tissue massage with hour long facial, and 4) a manicure/pedicure treatment.  Aventura Spa Palace knows how to make you relax!!!

full moon in the background
sunrise in the Caribbean

Chichen Itza, not Chicken Pizza

Every time I head the name of the Mayan city of Chichen Itza my mind kept thinking about Chicken Pizza and I'd get hungry...anyway...

Built earlier than the coastal city of Tulum, Chichen Itza is another prominent Mayan city.  Its central location allowed it to become one of the most significant economic, political, and religious centers within the height of the Mayan civilization/empire.  Artifacts founded within the complex indicate an extensive trade network encompassing most of Central America (not simply eastern Mexico).
map of Chichen Itza from its page
Platforma de Venus
top of stairs at Plataforma de Venus
Cenote Segrado (alleged location of human sacrifices)
Templo de los Guerreros
idol at top of stairs in Templo de los Guerreros
Columnata Oeste
blocked tunnel at Columnata Norte
side wall of Plataforma Aguilas y Tigres
Juego de Pelota
Chichen Itza (not Chicken Pizza)

Tulum in Full Bloom

Tulum, located just south of Cancun and the Riviera Maya, is a pre-Colombian walled city from the Maya civilization.  It's coastal location made it an ideal location for both land and sea based trade within the larger Yucatan Peninsula, especially for obsidian (volcanic glass or "lava rock").  It is believed, based upon murals and structures at the site, that Tulum was a central location for the worship of the Mayan "Diving" or Descending God.
map of Tulum from its page
north west gate

the surrounding wall

Temple of the Frescos

the main (west) gate
El Castillo
the Great Platform
turtle egg nests

north east gate
stairs to the beach
view of the Caribbean Sea

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Iguana Scare You

Today has been a relaxing day here at the Aventura Spa Palace Resort.  A wonderful breakfast buffet followed by pool time which included an invigorating session of water aerobics.

The weather has included lots of time with sunshine yet still somewhat cloudy.  A couple of times it looked like rain.  There is a 30% chance for rain showers for each of the next several days.  Around 2:00 we did hear several bouts of thunder and could see lightening out over the waters off in the gulf.

One of the things about this resort that I hope to explore more is the wildlife which lives on the property.  As we arrived yesterday, I noticed a sign indicating some iguanas and a couple of varieties of monkeys.  While walking the main grounds and along the coastal rocks I have seen almost a dozen iguanas so far.  Sometimes you just stumble upon one popping its head out from the hole it's burrowed under the side of a sidewalk.  It can startle you!!!!  I hope to take one of the nature walks later and maybe see some of these alleged monkeys.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Wheels Up, Yes Again

I'm currently sitting in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Airport waiting with my friends Liz and Jack for our flight to Cancun.  We'll be meeting up with Jack' sister and brother-in-law (great people!!!) and a friend of theirs.  We began talking about this trip back in the Fall and made it official in January when we bought the tickets.  This was all before I even applied for the Korea trip; I'm super glad that both were able to be worked out.

I'm sure I'll post news of my adventures, along with pictures, especially when we go to see the Mayan ruins...yes I want to absorb some culture and history along side the sunshine's rays.

Previously may only adventure to Mexico was when I was a child (single digits age) when my family took a Spring Break trip through southern Texas.  One afternoon we did cross the border at Brownsville, TX and explored a little bit of Matamoros.  While I remember my father haggling with the market venders to get my poncho (still have) and my donkey piƱata (fell about years ago), I don't remember much else abut that experience.  While I know this visit will be ENTIRELY different, it is nice to be returning to the land of our southern neighbor.

I hope this proves to be another fruitful time of roaming the roads of lands remote!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Food, Glorious Food

Here are some images of the various foods I enjoyed (or at least tasted) while in Korea.  In all honesty, while there were some dishes that I'd rather never have again most of the foods I ate I did truly enjoy.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

bibimpop on board Korean Air flight from LA to Seoul

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

first official meal in Korea (for this trip)

Thursday, June 27, 2013
tteokbokki for lunch

formal welcome dinner 

Friday, June 28, 2013

buffet lunch at Korea University

mammoth sized burger at Burger Bay

Saturday, June 29, 2013

lunch in cafeteria at Korea University

dinner (followed by a traditional dance show) in an old Buddhist temple

Sunday, June 30, 2013 

a traditional lunch...the plates were "never ending"

fruit on the dinner buffet line

Monday, July 1, 2013

another traditional lunch with lettuce used to help wrap your food 

Free Shade: where the shade is free but the coffee isn't

traditional BBQ for dinner

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

dessert from the lunch buffet (perhaps the best part)

traditional tea house dinner (yep sitting on the floor again)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

lunch (floor sitting style) in Yangdong Village 

anyone need a snack?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

lunch at Haein-sa Temple: you MUST eat all you take 

dinner at Outback Steak House (a dry place during rain deluge)

Friday, July 5, 2013

lunch at McDonald's; local flair to "traditional" menu
beef bulgogi burger and Shanghai spicy chicken

   formal farewell dinner

Hot Dog Gangnam Style: street market fair

Saturday, July 6, 2013

more beef the DMZ...with great friends
Lyn, Jessica, Amber, David 

sweet chicken pizza at the baseball park