Monthly Archives: February 2016

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:

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


Island Art

Isla boat sign

Isla Mujeres is a small island off the coast of Cancun that has the feel of an older style of Mexico.  It has some posh places but is more for the people who want the experience of small shops and mom and pop eateries.

Just after my visit in 2014, a group of artists came onto the island and created murals on buildings and walls. Isla Mural 3

They were all over the island.

Isla mural 1Where there had been plain concrete walls when I was here last, now there was visual interest everywhere.

Isla Mural 2

The friend that we were visiting on the island is an artist there as well that has done signs on nearly every street we would walk down.

She is currently also doing pet portraits for people and donating half of her fees to the local pet shelter.

Here is one of her Chiquita that went on the island tour with us when Devin drove us around on the golf cart.


She also does custom shoes.

sydney swag shoes

sydney swag hightop shoeYou can catch more of her works at:

You will get to see the water color she painted for me to take to the wedding when I get around to writing about that part of the trip.

Thanks Syd,

Love Sally