Back from the Yucatan Peninsula/ New Jersey/ Washington DC

Yes, we are home, alive, and very well.  We had a vacation that was far better than we could have ever imagined in Mexico.  Right now, I am kind of scripting out our video of the vacation.  We figured it could “capture the moment” we had, without having to post a thousand pictures (that’s about how many we took!) and telling a bunch of stories.  So that is my little project for now…

We got home Thursday evening at about 10:00pm in the evening.  We had a nice American “midnight snack” that night just as we were getting back from Sheetz, a Pennsylvania convenience store chain.  I had a “Dustin Special,” as my wife (or parents) might call it.  Now, please don’t be grossed out by this–its a toasted white bread sub with pepperoni as the main meat; then Buffalo sauce, Parmesan cheese, pickles, salt, pepper, oregano, and lettuce to top it off.  Strange, huh?  At least Andrea and my parents understand me…

I look back at our little goals and am amazed by how many we were able to get accomplished in Tulum:

  • Snorkel in the coral reef ✓

Snorkel we did!  We were out for about an hour 1/4 of a mile out from the shore.  I think we saw a jellyfish too–or at least it looked like one.  We never figured out if it was a plastic grocery bag or jellyfish.  I didn’t really care to find out.

  • Swim in a cenote ✓

This is one of the most fun and interesting things I can remember doing in my life.  The water was SO clear, and it was neat to snorkel and look at all of the stalactites far beneath us.

  • Take more pictures than I can count ✓

To be honest, I can count them–937 to be exact, plus several short videos.

  • Spend a lot of time at the Mayan ruins in Tulum ✓

They were simply amazing to look at.  The backdrop for the ancient ruins is spectacular!

  • Learn more Spanish ✓

I actually learned a lot of new Spanish words, and a few Mayan words too.  About a third of the population of the state of Quintana Roo still speaks Mayan fluently!

  • Learn to like Mexican food more than I do ✓

I have always had a problem with corn tortillas.  I never had a good taste for them.  However, for this trip, I tried to make myself like them more, and believe it or not, I did!  We had tacos from a restaurant on five or so different occasions, and each time I had a corn tortilla and really liked it!  Although the last night or our stay I had something called a gringa, which is a basically a quesadilla with a flour tortilla–one of my favorite foods of the trip!

  • Visit an indigenous Mexican church ✓

Well, we sort of did.  Truthfully there is not even a Baptist church in Tulum, or even anything close.  We saw an LDS temple, the usual Catholic church, and several Pentecostal-type churches.  One evening while we were biking, we came across a literal church built out of sticks (very typical in that part of the country: for houses and buildings to be built out of sticks and a palapa roof).  We gazed in for several minutes into the semi-open air service.  We found out soon that it was a non-denominational church with a Pentecostal flare, unfortunately.  It was interesting to see they are in some sort of church service though.

Until I finish the video within the next several weeks, I thought I might wet the palette a bit with this picture of the Tulum ruins that Andrea took.  It was very hard to take a bad picture here!  We’re actually talking about having this one enlarged to hang on our wall.

You may ask why the title of this post says “Washington DC” in it.  Well, we had a choice of taking a flight to Baltimore (where our car was) or Washington National Airport (about an hour away from our car).  The problem is that I could not fly into Baltimore because that would have put us at home three days later instead of just two.  So, I chose Washington.  The problem was when we got there–the blizzard still had all of the public transportation shut down!  I mean all–no buses, subway, or anything.  So, we had to take a taxi to Baltimore instead.  It was kind of a pain finance wise, but turned out a whole lot better than it could have been.  Someone told us that DC taxis were the cheapest on the East Coast.  Here is what my car looked like when we got to Baltimore:

We dug it out in about 15 minutes, and were home two hours after landing in DC, praise the Lord.  What a memorable adventure just getting home from Mexico!


And I was just making fun of the snow in my last post…

Reality just hit us right away; or rather it did the day before we left Tulum.  I made sure I checked our flights on Monday, and low and behold, our flight from Newark, NJ to Baltimore was canceled due to snow.  In fact, there are no flights leaving from Newark or to Baltimore until Thursday.  Yes, we are now stuck in Newark, New Jersey: eight miles from New York City.  I find all of this mildly funny.  Even though I supposed to be working now, that is somewhat impossible.  Ironically, I think work is closed today as well.  So, I guess we sort of extended our vacation for a couple of days.  My airline had us not flying out until Friday, whereas we were supposed to be home Tuesday night.  I finagled with them some, however, and got us flying into Washington National Airport tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon instead.  My car is in Baltimore, so my airline is shuttling Andrea and I the 50 miles to the Baltimore Airport.  Even with all of this, though, I am rejoicing!

We could be stuck in the airport hanging out.  I praise the Lord that He directed me to check my flight status on Monday so I could reserve a hotel room on Tuesday.  Also, thanks to, I got a 3 star hotel for about the cost to fill up my car’s gas tank.  So, that’s where we are now: Newark, NJ at a hotel.  Yes, I have to stay tonight too, so I used my trusty Priceline Negotiator to get us another hotel across the highway (that has continental breakfast this time…!!!).

Trust me though; I am not staying in a hotel room all day today!  We plan to head over to the new hotel, drop off our luggage, and head into the Big Apple via the subway.  Andrea has never been there before, so I thought, why not!?  Shhhhh…I am going to make this kind of a Valentine’s Day present for her too.  Thankfully I have some room left in the vacation and gift budget.  I believe in making the best out of a crazy situation.  Here we go…

And to my family: there is no need to worry about us…not that you would…Haha! We are actually kind of enjoying all of this!