Tag Archives: Tulum

A Second Wedding

The reason for my trip to Tulum, Mexico last month was for a wedding.

This was the second ceremony I had attended for this lovely couple.  The first was the legal ceremony and they hadn’t had a guest list as it was only to have been a formality.  I had invited myself to that one as it was performed by mutual friends. 
It was incredible and if you don’t remember, you can review: http://www.thelaughyouknow.com/an-indian-wedding/

This one was meant to be the formal celebration to which I was invited (in case you think I am a wedding crasher). As this was a destination wedding, the guest list was limited by the space and amenities. It was attended by 28 or so close family and friends. It was an open-hearted group that was amazing to be around and get to know.

Most of us stayed in the same bungalow style hotel on the beach as the wedding couple.

Hotel viewThe wedding couple had rented a large 15 person passenger van to transport people from the hotel to the wedding site further down the beach road and into town when necessary.

The day of the wedding, it was planned that Jasmine, Rohan and the photographers would go to various locations along the beach to take pre-wedding photos.  I had been asked to drive the van later so I volunteered to start early and drive them around to the locales.  It wasn’t a selfless act.  I was yearning to spend any extra moments with my friends and to get glimpses of what I knew would be incredible photos.

Here are a few that were taken.

ro and jas in town

Jasmine wedding day

jas on rocks

jas and ro in front of muralThen we started the shuttle of folks from the hotel to the restaurant and wedding site.  Shoes were left in the reception area of the restaurant and everyone headed down the few steps to the beach.

jas and ro heading downMaria – Shanty Maya – was the officiator of the beautiful ceremony.  She was the beautiful soul that had also led our all woman’s sweat the night before, so many of us already had keyed into her gentle and loving ways.

officiator Shanty MayaBlankets and pillows were set out in a circle for all the guests to be comfortable upon. The music was a harpist, guitarist and Maria with drum and rattles and their harmonic voices.   The mother of the groom also performed a beautiful song that she had sung at her own wedding thirty some years ago.  The ceremony was very symbolic and holy and included the elements of the surroundings, earth, sky as well as symbols of growth and beauty in the actual planting of sacred crops.


Reminders that heaven and earth are both here to support the union and what is planted in our hearts, minds and souls can be dormant for a time, but with nourishment will grow and sustain through good and hard times

planting seeds 2

Blessings were given by family and friends.

girls giving blessingsAnd then we all took an offering of the flowers and seeds and released  them into the ocean.

offerings into the ocean 2

I’ve been to many weddings where the stress level of trying to manufacture the perfect wedding creates just the opposite effect.  In the time leading up to this event where roadblocks were viewed and even the day of the event where the forecast called for an 80% chance of rain, I witnessed the faith and calm of knowing that we are never really in control and to just be joyful in what is presented.  In the end there was nary a cloud in the sky.

It was a ceremony of blessing that all in attendance were blessed to be at.

I’m so happy to have been a part of it all.

Love, Sally


Chichén Itzá and new Friends

My recent trip to Mexico was broken into two sections.  The first was with Devin on Isla Mujeres. The second was for the wedding ceremony and celebration of Jasmine and Rohan in Tulum, MX.

I had dropped Devin off at the Airport and met up with 10 or so other folks headed down to Tulum to enjoy the beach, the sites, and the wedding couple.

The two hour drive allowed for those of us in that van to share some stories of how we knew the bride or groom and where we were all from.  Turns out that all but a few people in the van had a connection to NE Ohio.  Since both bride and groom grew up there, it shouldn’t be a surprise, but I probably hadn’t been around so many Ohioans since a family reunion.  It was easy conversations and mixed with stories, laughter and the good hearted ribbing you get when you immediately feel comfortable with people.

We met up with the wedding party, family and other folks that had already made their way to Tulum and had a delicious dinner on the jungle side of the beach road where all the food was prepared fresh or in a wood fired oven and grill.

The next day, ten of us had signed up for a guided tour to the ancient Mayan Ruins of Chichén Itzá.  Most were the same group that I had been in the previous day’s van with so back in we went and off to the ruins.

Chichén Itzá is considered one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. The stepped pyramids, temples, columned arcades, and other stone structures of Chichén Itzá were sacred to the Maya and a sophisticated urban center of their empire from A.D. 750 to 1200.

The most recognized structure is El Castillo or the Temple of Kukulkan.  It is build around the mathematics of the days and seasons of the year.  At the equinox the serpents body can be seen writhing down the sides of the structure.  When you stand in front of it and clap your hands the call of the bird is echoed to you (instead of the sound of your clap). Quite amazing.

El Castillo 1

The Ball court is the largest known in the Americas.  During ritual games that settled disputes among regions, players tried to hit a 12lb pound rubber ball through stone scoring hoops set high on the walls.  They used their hips to move the balls and shoot through the hoops.  As the hoops are not large in diameter games could last for days and competition was fierce as the losers were put to death.

ball court scoring hoop Chichen Itza ball court

The observatory is where their astronomers kept charts of the skys.chichen itza observatory

The city also included the temple of 1000 pillars.  The roof over the pillars is long gone, but you can imagine much taking place in the shade and structure of the pillars that go on and on.

1000 pillars temple

Daily, there is a bustle of marketing happening with locals selling their wares. This artisan was carving his wares as he sold finished pieces next to him.

mayan carverAfter the ruins we went to one of the many cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula.


It was gorgeous and the water so inviting that some of us went for a dip.  For me it was magical and the water and surroundings were amazing to be apart of.

swimming in the cenoteThe day could have ended just then and would have been full, but as it was we hurried back to Tulum as some of us gals were to be included in an all woman’s Temazcal Sweat.

Ten of us ladies joined in a sweat of purification and release of negative energies that no longer served each individual person.  It was both similar yet in high contrast to the Lakota Sweat we had participated in the night before the first wedding.  This one was very feminine in nature both because it was all women in attendance, but because of how it was led and presented.  It was personal and beautiful and I was honored to share the space with the others in attendance.

This event was followed by a quick trip back to our rooms to shower and get ready for the welcome dinner that the bride and groom arranged for the entire group.  An entire restaurant was shut down and catered only to our raucous group. More great food  with great toasts from the family was just the perfect topping for a wonderful smorgasbord of a day.

welcome dinner toast

More on the wedding in a day or so.

Love Sally


Missing the Point

I am heading to Mexico this week so last week I contacted my friend BA whom I went to Isla Mujeres with in 2014 and who also works in a bank and can convert some US dollars to Pesos.  I texted her asking what her bank’s rate is as mine was a bit on the low side.  She replied in text that she would check it out and get back with me.

Then next day, I get an email at work from her. (You might remember a previous blog of email exchanges with her where topics are varied).

Her email had the subject line of: Love this Couch so Much!!

and read:

This couch is amazing. Who knew that I could get one whole cushion for only .06133 each? So if I wanted, say, a HUNDRED cushions, it would only cost me $6.14 total. Yowzer. That is a deal. As I recall, the last time I bought a couch, a hundred cushions cost me $12.00 or so. I realize that it costs me a handling fee of $15.00 to order my cushions, but still a pretty great deal. If I had a friend who also needed cushions, we could split the $15 ordering fee, too. Then we would have the best couches ever!!

I love Interior Mark.

Satisfied Customer


I was totally in work mode and thought to myself that she must be really bored today to come up with a story where she randomly prices out her bits of story, but hey, I can play the random email game as good as anyone, so I reply:

You are correct that you did indeed get the best couch ever. Unfortunately it has since been found out that those cushions that we thought were available at that low cost (and let me commend you on getting a friend to split the cost – you are a true friend) were found to be not direct from the manufacturer as we were led to believe as a reputable dealer. They were found to be returns from a donation to an animal shelter that used them in their incontinent ward. With that said, if you don’t mind considering the stains as a decorative pattern, then these are the cushions for you. Let me know as I would be willing to include as a bonus a pillow that has been shredded and threadbare.
We love happy customers and want to keep gems like you.

Best Regards,
Gladys Yormine

Getting into my mode of thought,  she then replies to me after I have left for the day with:

Oh my! Well, boy did you find the right gal! As it would happen, I have actually been living in the incontinent ward of an animal shelter for the past 16 years! This could certainly account for the fact that the cushions not only LOOK fantastic to my eye, but they also smell just like home! I can’t wait to get home and burrow my face in there! Though, time to time, when I doze off my dear Petey comes to mind. He is right there in my dreams, one leg up and a steady stream anchoring his memory to every last porous surface I have ever owned.

I thank you for your honesty, but I’m keeping these cushions! God Bless you, Gladys.

I arrive at my computer the next morning and am cracking up at my friends email and so I reply:

I’m sitting and giggling at my computer and the room of people want to know what the heck is so hilarious.
You make my days.

She then replies:

You make my day!! Hahaha! I can always count on you for fun and giggles. So…I am slightly ever-so-challenged when it comes to exchange rates. But the rate is indeed as shown below. I also checked with Syd – and on the island the exchange rate is right around 16 Pesos to the dollar. It was 12 to 1 when we were last there – or close. So do you know how much you want to get? And when are you leaving?


Then I reply:

Leaving on the 15th. Whoot! Whoot! I am going to miss you and Jen not being there but am ever so grateful that Syd and Lalo will be there for us. I texted Jen on her thoughts if I should go to Chichen Itza from Tulum while I am there. I think I will. Um, I got no rates below in my email, so is it possible you forgot to attach something or copy something? I’m not too worried. I can ask devin to stand at the arrivals from Mexico gates and see who has any pesos left over from their trips.

A while later, I get another response:

So the whole cushion pricing thing was completely lost on you? Are you already drinking tequila straight from the bottle? Here, let me help:
1 Cushion (Peso) costs .06133 each. Or, about 16 pesos to the dollar. (Cushions) Geez. At least now I know that nobody reading the emails on your end will ever suspect cryptic coded messaging.

Oh, and BWAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! Cause you just made me laugh even harder!

At this point, I finally realize I am quite in over my head and can’t believe how ridiculous this has been and completely over my head.  The entire room that I work with is laughing because I am laughing so hard at myself.  They have no idea what has happened, but when someone is clearly cracking up and cant control themselves, then others can’t help but giggle at the laugh vibes.

I write back:

Oh My Goodness, I just laughed so hard that I caused a nosebleed! I also might have an office chair that has some pee on it too if you want one of those. I am such an moron! That was sooooo lost on me. Way way over my head. I was obviously in my snorkel gear (which it took me two hours to find last night – for real)
Why are you not going to be in Mexico with us??

I am such a goober. Your intellect is far too superior for me.

Back to where this started before I just thought you were bored and making up numbers and sending me random emails…..I’m almost thinking of changing $x.00 now and splitting the fee with you if your still offering up that deal.
Let me know your thoughts.

That was the end of our emails on exchanging pesos but not the end of the story.

She came over and I gave her a check for funds to change over for me and on Monday I got a text that her account had been hacked and someone in Austria (or Germany) had hacked her account and used nearly all of the funds.  Good thing the bank covers that kind of loss, but it almost had me crying tears again but not in laughter.

Moral of the story is to be extra careful with your debit cards and check curiously odd emails from friends for hidden messages.

missing the point

I’ll send a few photos from Isla Mujeres and Tulum Mexico.

Love Sally