Tulum Ruins 
Today we went to the Tulum Ruins. Once we arrived, Dani realized that she had been there as a young teenager with her family during a cruise. She didn't remember much so it was still a good trip. The wind was blowing which definitely helped with the heat but ended up being bad for the sun as Dani and I ended up pretty burnt by the end of the day.

After the ruins we rented a car so we could try to get to at least a couple cenotes. We quickly realized that Joe left his license and credit card at the car rental place and we definitely didn't have enough cash to pay for entry. Fortunately we figured something else out that worked. We decided on Akhumel first, which was Yal-ku Cenote. It felt pretty similar to Casa Cenote but larger. The water wasn't super clear so that was unfortunate. It was still really neat though. Lots of fish. There were also statues randomly near the water such as an iguana and random women statues. We left there right around closing and ended up having trouble finding the key to the car. Dani went back to the desk and they had it. Apparently it fell out of Joe's pocket when he took his wallet out to pay.

That fruit that Dani really wanted to try the previous day? She saw someone selling them on the side of the road so when we stopped to get gas for the rental car she ran over and bought one. I wasn't a huge fan, but Joe and Dani were pretty happy. It tasted like a combination of sweet potato, brown sugar, persimmon and ginger.

It was too late to go to any other cenotes so we got dinner at El Vegetariano. It was still good but different than when we ate there a couple years ago year. Joe wanted to take us down to the beach after dinner so we did and watched some pelicans until it was dark. Our plan was to keep going South a little a farther but then we realized our headlights weren't working. We had to drive with the brights on (with the permission of the police) being jerks.
-Miranda


Dani has Stanley, a stuffed snowman that we decided to bring with on the trip. He came to the ruins with us.

And got his photo taken.

Lots and lots of iguanas sunning around the ruins.

Lots of tour groups and people there.

A Tiger Heron eating a fish at Yal-ku Cenote.

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Cozumel to Tulum  
We had a great breakfast but when we planned on showering after breakfast, it turns out the water main had broken so there was no water. Yay... Our original thought was to go to Isla Mujeres first, but we changed our plan and went to Tulum instead. Once in Tulum we found lunch at a yummy local place across from the ADO station that we ate at quite a bit last time we were here. We then went to the hotel we stayed at last time and got a room. Our first plan was the Gran Cenote. There were quite a few people there but it was very fun. Lots of exploring around the stalactites and watching the swallows and bats fly around. So many turtles also.

When we got back to the hotel, Dani was checking out the fruit on the tree that was in the courtyard. We spent some time looking it up online and she really really wanted to find a ripe one to try. It was a mamey zapote. We went to a local fruit market and found it there. One of the guys went through the entire box of them trying to locate a ripe one for us, but he said none of them were ready. We bought a couple mangos instead. They were different varieties. They were both good but one was definitely superior to the other. Near the fruit market was also a place where they had frozen fruit and cream bars. We each got one to try. We tried walnut, coconut and rice. They were very good. Joe has become pretty obsessed with the coconut ones. Afterwards I left to head back to the room while Joe and Dani found some empanadas from a small Argentinian shop that they said were very good.

-Miranda


So many swallows! They had nests in the rock crevices and were flying around everywhere.

There were a couple areas blocked off that were specifically for turtles, so there were quite a few around.

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Back to the Yucatan 
We decided to head back to Mexico this year. We're taking Danielle with us. Mary was kind enough to take us down to The Cities before our flight. We flew to Cozumel this time instead of Cancun because the flight was cheaper and ended up just making more sense.

Upon arriving we walked to the same hotel that we've stayed in before. Pretty handy. None of us slept well the night before so we were all extremely tired. After dropping our bags off and cooling off a little, we headed out to find food. We mostly spent the day wondering around. There were some pretty cool murals that I don't remember seeing last time we were here. One about the dangers of overfishing.

That evening we found some street food. One thing looked like a tostada but was on a larger square thing. Joe wasn't a huge fan of what it was on, but Dani and I thought it was pretty yummy. We also find some churros, which were awesome.

-Miranda

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Back to Vegas 
This was our last day so we said goodbye to Laura the night before. We wasted some time in the morning then worked our way to San Bernadino where we were going to meet Sarah. She hadn't been to Vegas yet so said she would drive us up.

We ended up getting to San Bernadino pretty early, so we did a lot of sitting around and waiting, which is not too uncommon for us. Once Sarah arrived we headed up to Vegas. We stayed in a better hotel this time. It was closer to the strip, so we went out for a walk. The only thing I wanted to see in Vegas was the fountain show at the Bellagio. We worked our way there, but we had arrived pretty late. We got to the fountain by 12:10am. The last show was at 12... That was pretty obnoxious.

The next morning we still had some time before we had to be dropped off at the airport so we went to the Hoover Dam. It was neat, but we didn't have a ton of time, so we didn't pay the $15 to go into the visitor center. We just walked around the outside and checked out the dam itself. At one point I looked around and could see five helicopters hanging around the area.

Sarah dropped us off at the airport and we had a relatively uneventful flight back home.

-Miranda


Laura's purty kitty.

Laura's adorable kitten.

Vegas

Hoover Dam


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Chinatown 
Laura had to leave at a crazy hour in the morning to go to work on a movie set. Once we got up we headed down to Little Tokyo. We found a little bakery that had a lot of mochi, which was very good. From there we found a plaza area that had a few restaurants, a bakery/ice cream shop and a few shops. We got lunch at a buffet only because we didn't want a ton of food and this way we could pick and choose what we wanted. Not the best food, but still fine.

After lunch, we stopped at the ice cream shop that had ice cream mochi. It was really good and I'm not one that is normally a huge fan of the ice cream mochi.

After Little Tokyo we walked through the oldest street in LA (it's right by Union Station) and walked over to Chinatown. Here there was a large area filled with little separate shops. It was very reminiscent of some places we saw while in Asia. We found Joe's mom a shirt as well as a kimono for myself. All pretty cheap.

Laura got back home at around 7:30pm. We quickly took her out for yummy dinner at a vegan place nearby and then got her to sleep since she had to get up again at 3:30am or some insane hour.

-Miranda

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