Our Mexican 10th Anniversary travel blog

Playa Maya Hotel from the beach

Natasha in the Basket

My Grammy

Back Home To Snow!

People can you feel it? Love is everywhere -Allman Brothers

You know us. I don't think we've ever been labeled as religious zealots. Our own hybrid beliefs are exactly who we are: God fearing mutts. So after an unprecedented release of adrenaline, endorphins, and good vibes over the last few days, it feels appropriate to pause here for a few moments. It's Sunday and I've got the pulpit. Stand back cause this is as gospel as I get...

To be here, right now, experiencing these amazing things makes me very thankful. I've felt more humbling moments in the past 6 days then ever before in my entire life. It's been an injection, an soul re-awakening of sorts, to have experienced these completely new heights of awareness. This week has been motivating for sure. A kind of confirmation that the world has so much more here, there, and everywhere to experience. Gods Earth is vast but we are blessed to be here, right now. Many of the people we've seen on this trip are desperately poor. But universal is the individual effort to make peace with the land, your family, your neighbors, and God. These ideals are timeless and humbling to witness in action. Love is indeed everywhere.

Ok folks, sermon is over. Exhale.

Alli and I both know we wouldn't be here without the love and support of our awesome family and friends as well. Please allow me to run a brief list of our vacation enablers by you.... And be forewarned, if you're mentioned below it only means we will be asking for your help again soon....suckers!

-Erik- Cared for our boy Mason and our home while we were gone. Snowed in at our tiny house with a crazy dog and no internet access is not vacation. Thanks brother! There is nobody else in our world who we trust to do these important tasks. That's the truth. I would kill for pictures of you shoveling my sidewalk!

-Dad- Rides both to and from the airports. Critical, critical logistical help here. We were nervous leaving then exhausted coming home so we probably weren't the best company to ride with either! Thanks for always creating your own magical grandparent paradise for our girls and of course thanks for always being there for us too.

-Grammy- Our recently departed family matriarch (on my Mom's side) defines the very meaning of strength. She is the measurement by which I view all women in the world. Saying goodbye was not easy but I see her spirit everyday within our family. My mother, my sister, my wife and even in my own dear children. We all carry her wonderful determination with us along with her ability to absorb life's ups and downs in stride.

-Mom & Bob- Caring for our children. I wish it made sense to show you pictures here of them and their equally wonderful vacation with Bammy & Pop Pop. The back to back trips to Magic Kingdom and Wild Kingdom must have cost a small fortune alone. Not to mention the other 5 days of non stop entertainment and required constant amusement. Signing temporary guardianship paperwork is a sobering moment for a parent but you both made us feel like we had left them in capable, loving hands. No one else of Earth is trusted to this task either and we can't express our thanks enough. Beware, a dangerous vacation precedent has now been set! (Call us later tonight for details on our big 11th anniversary plans!)

-My sister and bro-in-law- for blog and general writing inspiration. I don't know how you can possibly keep a monster like this going for a long time without going completely mental. Writing is wonderful gift you both have. Thank you for sharing and inspiring media clumsy amateurs like myself.

-Natasha- Our fierce family guardian who left us suddenly this past summer. I found myself often thinking of her on this trip. We miss you!

Additional Thanks to Technology in General

-Skype Video- Nightly video calls back home to our girls made travel just a bit easier. Cutting edge communication for mere pennies! Woot for technology!

-TripAdvisor.com- You've been warned. It's a time sucking vortex, but an invaluable traveler's tool as well.

-Google & TiVo- (shameless family plugs)- For general trip research and the ability to never miss an episode of Ancient Aliens. Thanks!

-Spell Check- Trust me, you would be going crazy with my distracting misspellings by now...

Negative Topics that didn't make this blog: (A Director's Cut of sorts)

-Baggage fees & Teleportation- (Sub- American vs USair)

-Chair Kicking 101- (Flying With Your 3 year old)

-Mexican Pharmacies- (The Real US Drug Cartels)

-Snakes & Rabid Dogs of Cozumel- (Do we have enough cash to get home?)

-The True Moments of Marital Bliss- (Goodnight, You Jerk)

After one final self indulgence in blissful massages at our Courtyard of Tranquility, we sadly packed our bags for home this morning. It's hard to leave here. Really, really hard. Like, crazy-ideas-start-to-make-a-lot-of-sense kind of hard!

We gave honest hugs & tips to the staff of Playa Maya Hotel and wheeled our luggage through the sandy exit, then back down the cobblestones of La Quinta Avenida one last time. We lovingly gazed out the bus, then airplane windows as we bid dear Playa Del Carmen & beautiful Mexico our first but not last goodbye.

After a groggy midnight reunion with the girls and quick re-pack job in Florida, we were on the ground in frigid Philly airport by 10am Monday morning. Shoveling snow by noon!

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