Some people enjoy being whisked off to magical places and that’s all well and good but I really enjoy doing the whisking myself. I was really looking forward to a real winter this year and since Florida was never going to deliver I decided it would be the best idea to grab my brother (who I never get to travel with) and bring him with me to Portland, Oregon. Our friends were gracious enough to let us stay with them for the entire week! We tried out skiing for the first time under the shadow of Mount Hood and it actually started snowing! It was the definition of majestic. The trees were just piled high with snow and everything was so bright and blinding. I fell so many times but the ski lift operator said one of my wipeouts was the second worst he had seen in over 9 years! Go hard or go home I suppose. After literally busting ass on the slopes I had to get a piping hot bowl of ramen to warm me back up.
Pro tip: never ski in jeans, kids!
Wearing: Forever 21 top,One Teaspoon shorts, Fossil watch, Ray Bans, Converse
For the last day in Mexico we decided to head North of Tulum (where we were staying) to Chichen Itza, one of the most well known Mayan ruins sites in the Yucatan. El Castillo is the enormous pyramid that sits at the center of an open courtyard and if you stand in front of the structure and clap your hands the sound will echo back at you in such a way that it sounds like a bird chirping, it is really extraordinary! There are so many massive ruins at Chichen Itza and I was blown away by the amount of detail carved into the stone. It is amazing how well preserved the entire site is so once again I can see why it impresses and continues to draw the masses.
On the same day we also went to Ik Kil, a cenote with an open roof with roots dangling down into it that was very different from Tankach Ha, which was more like a cave. The only way I can possibly describe it is like stepping into a magical fairy land hidden in the ground, like a sunken pool with crystal clear water and thick flora. I would definitely love to come here again in the early morning and have the place all to myself, it was just so damn beautiful!
This concludes our trip to Mexico. Wooo! It was so thrilling to immerse myself in the culture and enjoy all the beauty the Yucatan has to offer. There are still a dozen more places that I didn’t have the chance to visit, but all the more reason to go back, right? 😉 If you think of any really awesome places I may have missed out on in this area, just leave me a comment!
Wearing: H&M top, One Teaspoon shorts, Fossil watch, Ray Bans, Franco Sarto sandals
We took a bus to Coba, a city just north of Tulum, to explore the Mayan ruins there. The Nohoch Mul Pyramid is the tallest structure in the Coba ruins at 137 feet and you can actually climb up the 120 steps to the top where the view overlooks an endless jungle! It was really nice walking around under the cover of trees and stumbling upon all sorts ruins scattered throughout the area. After we left Coba, we took a taxi to a nearby cenote called Tankach Ha that was recommended to us by some locals who said it was their favorite cenote. There are a variety of types of cenotes in this area, but the Tankach Ha was very much like an underground cave with stalactites hanging from above enclosing a pit of groundwater, similar to a spring (in that the water was as cold as a spring!). There is a built-in spiral staircase that takes you down underground and suddenly opens up to this cave that you would never have known was there. It really is amazing, I can see why it was a local favorite! The staircase also has two separate “diving” platforms that you can jump off of into the water. We stayed for a while as I tried to coax myself into the cold water to go swimming, but I am so happy I did! By the time we left the cenote, all the taxis had left for the day so we had to walk back to the bus stop where we also found that all the buses had left for the night. Fortunately, everyone we asked was extremely helpful in giving us directions to a town close by that had taxis that would take us back to Tulum. So the takeaway lesson here is always make sure you have a way to get back!
Wearing: Forever 21 dress (similar here and here), Ray Bans, Madewell sandals
We spent the better part of an afternoon walking along Tulum’s gorgeous beach at sunset after filling our bellies with tacos (veggie for me). The food at the resorts bordering the beaches is a little pricier than in town but oh so delicious! The beaches were never as crowded as I anticipated, but that probably has something to do with the aforementioned resorts blocking public access. That is not to say you cannot go out there unless you are staying at one of these places because you totally can by just cutting through, which is what we did many times! It was well worth it, I mean just look at that stunning view!!