Hola Mexico!

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We just went on a super awesome Mexico trip, driving down the Yucatan Peninsula to explore the side/route not taken- the Caribbean side! It was great 🙂

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We landed in Playa del Carmen, which I didn’t really like…It felt like Las Vegas to be honest! Big loud bars, party scene, touristas everywhere and just very overwhelming. If we were there for longer, I know we’d see the ‘real’ Playa del Carmen, and not just the touristy veneer, but for first impressions it was nuts~ Plus we went to a restaurant, the food was quite good but they screwed up our order, when we called them on it, they straight up lied…And we could tell. Bad move, people.

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A diff restaurant, much more humble.

But at least the order we did get tasted good? Ha. Regardless, we were eating what they brought, not what we wanted.

Then we rented our car and were off to Mahuahual. I can’t even say the name right to this day….Much less spell it correctly. It’s a wayyyys off, basically 3.5 hours from Playa Del Carmen. It feels eerily like you’re in the middle of nowhere, haha. And then boom! You are at the ocean, and it’s a really cute little town. Very touristy and has a cruise ship port- but it was very quiet when we were there. It can be a bit of a party town too, down at the far end.

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The condo at Mahuahual.

We had a condo rented via air bnb and it was AWESOME! Cool, breezy, large, good internet, clean and had a fantastic blender that I made GREAT use of. Thumbs up! We did a fair amount of snorkeling and walking around in Mahuahual. We saw about 5 rays, I found a very large snail, almost as big as a conch! I also saw a lionfish.

We got pretty sunburned, but that was okay because soon we were on our way to the jungle! We then spent 1 day at a jungle lodge in Calakmul and it was scorching hot. Holy jeezus, it was stifling when we got there and our cabin sure didn’t have A/C….But they did have a pool! We spent a lot of time in it. Dinnertime and we saw some agoutis scampering around the forest!

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We spent a lot of time at the pool…it was scorching hot! 

The next morning there was much confusion as the state we were in was in a different time zone…Ha. We got up (too early as it turned out) to have breakfast and then head to see the Mayan ruins at Calakmul (the reason we went there in the first place). The ruins are located deep in the biosphere, on a 60-km long journey on a seriously pot-holed and pitted road. It was a long and arduous drive. We did see what may have been a tapir?? several toucans, and a wild turkey attacked our car too, which was frightening.

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Toucan friend

We made it to the ruins and I bolted out of the car and ran straight to the washrooms (another story entirely….bees and or flies. YIKES). There are no services there other than washrooms, so you have to be careful with water and food- you must bring everything with you, and there is nowhere to buy those items at the jungle lodge, so you have to come prepared early.

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We then walked what felt like forever to see the ruins, hidden among the jungle. They were VERY impressive…looming out of the trees. Tons of them too! And we were practically the only people there, only a handful of others. It was screamingly hot too.

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We explored/climbed until we ran out of water and had to go back to the car, having exhausted most of the ruins- at least the neat ones. Back on the bumpy pothole road we went, this time straight to Bacalar, home of the second-largest freshwater lake/lagoon of the famed ‘seven colours’ water.

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It was not disappointing. It was gorgeous! Windy as fuck as we soon learned…But gorgeous! We spent some times swimming in the lagoon, renting space at a fancy and well-maintained beachside resort-type setup in town.

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We then went to explore the centoes (big water caves with freshwater) that was famous in the area- Centoes Azul. It was very cool but the idea of basically this giant pit of bottomless water that goes straight down is kind of frightening when you’re used to seeing and walking on the bottom of the ocean/lagoon floor…. Also I got attacked by a fish that was trying to bite my legs. Reminded me of piranhas!! I screamed and shrieked and swam for the ladders to get out.

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Cenote Azul

We wrapped up our time in Bacalar enjoying some truly fantastic food- I had a very reasonably priced whole roasted octopus, we ordered some GREAT ice cream- Ian had queso flavoured! I had ‘mamey’ flavour (kind of like a cakey vanilla?? It’s red?) And our last night we had what can only be described as a cauldron of meat. Hahahah. Yum though!

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Cenote Azul

Our journey home was arduous, stressful and had me going from 0-100 in like ten beats. UGHH. What we learned from that was- the less moving parts, the better. Next time just get a car from the airport and remove the extreme stress of returning the rental, buying bus tickets, getting on a bus, getting stuck in gridlock traffic, getting into a major huge lineup at the airport (ok maybe that part is inevitable…) but yeah. Freaking stressful.

Anyways, I can recommend our journey. It was amazing!!

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I can’t tell what the time is telling me

Yes, back again from a busy-ish weekend…My husband ran in the Finlayson Arm 28k on Sunday (crazy!!) and I rode, did some mild running, and had my ‘take the horses to the beach’ trip cancelled due to constant rain… 😦 boo

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Canoeing with Gidget on the long weekend.

Oh well we are going to try again for this weekend. Fingers crossed it actually happens!

And I had my jump lesson on Thursday and it wasn’t…great. I am now noticing that Oats gets quite sticky and stiff off the ground later in the summer (Aug-Sept) and it does greatly impact his desire to jump outdoors. He just isn’t forward and is quite reluctant to leave the ground!

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This is something I will need to start addressing- either with Previcoxx or hind shoes or both. I want him to feel great jumping again so I will focus on his maintenance going into the spring.

I did have a good ride indoors on Saturday (rain) and he was QUITE frisky on Sunday- outdoors was soft and still wet so I think he quite enjoyed the footing!

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I watched the LIEC dressage show after riding on Sunday too and it made me feel still kind of anxious about going up a level in dressage with Oats- what am I doing? Do I even know? Yikes…

Monday I was volunteering at a work event and was not allowed to have my phone or computer with me all day= busy busy busy. Back to the grind this week though…

The girls went to school at High Point yesterday and I was beyond jealous. Mannnnn.

Second chance summer

What a great weekend. It was so lovely, I wish I could bottle it, so I could release those ‘feel good’ endorphins for months to come…

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Photo courtesy of my friend- blurry but it captures all the fun we had!

It was the kind of weekend where things just work out. The weather was fantastic, I had some great times with my girls, drank wine, ran, rode my pony, floated at Thetis lake and just had a fabulous time all around in the hot sun.

Saturday we went garage sale-ing in a community that usually has great garage sales, and this year it sucked! What gives??? I still bought a pair of shorts and workout pants (and they do look great) but in the past we’ve had way better luck. Oh well, that’s just how garage sales go I guess…

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Holding hands so we don’t drift apart! The two Sarahs.

Then I zipped out to the barn and rode Oats in the outdoor arena and he was really great out there! It was so hot too, I couldn’t believe it. Like a big frying pan. I had a super fun ride, hung out at the barn for a bit cleaning & conditioning my tack, and then drove home and prepared to…go on a really long run. In the heat. Wow! It was really rough, not gonna lie. More of an eternal shuffle-jog, but I did it!!

I then had the luxury of a great bbq dinner courtesy of my husband with a beer to share and a bottle of wine. Ahh….

Sunday I didn’t have to get up too early, but my super-husband made crepes! Whooo! And then we both set out for the day- I rode Oats and then my barn friends and I went and floated at Thetis Lake (a great idea of theirs and the BEST day to do it). I just had this feeling like, I wanted this day to last forever….

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Oats has also been enjoying the summer! Photo courtesy of Sarah C.

Husband went climbing for the whole day, so I wrapped up at the lake and then put my gym clothes on and stopped off and ran some hills (again in the heat, yeowch it was tough) before heading home to take Gidget out. I had to walk some, I was dying!! Oh well, my legs too quite the beating this weekend.

Home again, with an ice cream McFlurry to finish off an amazing weekend. I just wish I had so many more of these! 🙂

Hang on tight!

Mom's hat on the left, mine on the right.

Mom’s hat on the left, mine on the right.

Back from holidays and wow, we did a TON!

  • Spruce Meadows
  • Calgary Stampede (rodeo)
  • Drumheller, including the Royal Tyrell Museum and the Hoodoos!
  • Ghost Lake
  • Canmore, hiking up to Grassi Lake
  • Downtown Calgary
  • Calgary Zoo

So…We did pretty much everything you CAN do in Calgary! The weather was a mixed bag- rain and thunderstorms the first night, cold the second day at Spruce (seriously- I was wearing a sweater, jeans and a jacket! I didn’t even bring cold-weather clothes with me, so had to borrow them!), and then warmed up by Wednesday to about 30 deg for the rest of the week.

Staying with family is always a bit of a challenge- it’s nice to stay with company, but you also run the risk of irritating them, not giving them enough space, or they feel like you don’t want to hang out with them when you want to *give* them that extra space…It saves $ but adds frustration. Always a bit of a tightrope, a balancing act.

View from the top of the Stampede

View from the top of the Stampede

I particularly enjoyed the rodeo this year, and I even had some amazing fair food- peanut butter and jelly sandwiches deep-fried on a skewer interspersed with deep-fried Reese’s peanut butter cups! OMG so good.

We also tried the Jurassic Pork pulled pork mac’n’ cheese. Also a winner! Not a winner- the Crazy Cones- too much cone, too little lousy ice cream. Blah.

Spruce was classic as always- Ian bought me a pair of gloves there, they had free hot dogs too! I ate three- which was pretty much two too many…My stomach…

I remember being here celebrating 25 years!

I remember being here celebrating 25 years!

Canmore was really nice actually. We did a short hike up to Grassi Lake, and climbed around a bit. I saw a pictograph! Very cool. We finished it off with a lunch in Canmore.

Allosaurus!

Allosaurus!

Drumheller was cool, a lot cooler than I thought it might be. The town itself is a big nothing…No neat shops, just small, dusty and hot. The Royal Tyrrell Museum was fantastic! Love the dino info, and so informative.

Hoodoos

Hoodoos

Then the Hoodoos were so cool, and it felt very hardcore to be hiking around in the heat. We also visited Wayne, pop. 33…And the Last Chance Saloon, where we got a beer, and then hiked up to the grassy plains area. Nice and hot.

A hot day in the badlands

A hot day in the badlands

The Calgary Zoo was also really neat, the animals were SO active! You know how rare that is? So rare! The bears were acting silly, the tigers were prowling, the female lions were nuzzling and grooming each other, and the butterflies were even friendly, with one hitch-hiking on my (very attractive to it) orange purse.

A friendly hitchhiker

A friendly hitchhiker

The night we flew home, we watched bad weather come rolling in. We spent the day boating at Ghost Lake- a very cold lake outside of Cochrane (cute town), as my sister’s boyfriend owns a fast speedboat. The clouds came in, and by the time we made it to the airport, thunder and lightning started up. We sat on the plane, which was stifling hot and muggy, for about an hour before they cleared us for take-off. Lucky thing we left then, as the storm kept going and they closed the airport until 11am the next day! Jesus!

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Got home around 9pm, and was so tired. It was like the whole week caught up with me!

Saddling up to the bar at the Last Chance Saloon in Wayne, AB

Saddling up to the bar at the Last Chance Saloon in Wayne, AB

Rode Oats the next day and he was soooo nutty. Freaked out about the stuff moving around the outdoor arena, spooky and snorty. We got through it ok, but man…After a week away, rough riding and spooking wasn’t really what I was looking forward to! He did look cute playing with a feedbucket after the ride though, so can’t stay mad…

This week- I’m riding tonight and dressage lesson tomorrow, may ride Wed and resume reg. jumping lessons on Thursday. No rest for the wicked though- going camping on the coast this weekend for my b-day!