Merry Christmas to you and yours! Here in Sweden we had our celebration yesterday. Good food was eaten, toys were opened, and the merriness was abundant.
Here in Sweden Thanksgiving is not a national holiday. Which means I was in class. Despite the numerous e-mails arguing to the contrary, my professors saw it imperative to hold our seminars as scheduled. Though they failed to provide me with a better explanation for it than “this is Sweden”.
A what I’m getting to is the fact that we had Thanksgiving dinner last night. It was a gleeful event, where family and friends joined us at our place for food and fun. Everyone said they enjoyed the American style food, so we’re just going to have to take them on their word.We fit 14 people around our table(s), which is just about maximum capacity.
Hope y’all had a great Thanksgiving, whenever it was celebrated. There’s so much to be thankful for.
It’s vacation time!
It’s vacation time!
We had a song like that which we sang in the 1st grade. I don’t expect you to know it, but if you do, extra points. Today marks the day I begin my vacation! It’s easy to say I was more than a little jealous during the past four to five weeks as one after another of my colleagues went on their vacations. I sent them off on their days of relaxation and sun with genuine smiles, but a very tiny bit of bitterness as well. I’d still be at work as they were enjoying their sunshine filled days of no responsibility. Or at least that’s how I pictured it.
In reality, I didn’t have much to complain about. I could equally enjoy the sunshine and relaxation that comes with summer. It was just a matter of bringing the children along for the ride. Which I think they also appreciated.
But what I’m really trying to get at (my stubborn bitterness isn’t actually the topic here) is that I will be taking a leave of absence from Enjoy Not Knowing. Don’t worry, it won’t be long. I’ll be back.
While I’m gone, please feel free to explore my seven most read blog posts! Now, I wouldn’t claim that these are my personal favorites; however, they are the most visited posts on my blog. The people want what the people want.
- book of december: james potter
- 5 years
- book of november: the shortest way home
- what have i done?!
- spreadsheets and triple contractions – with a side of running
- new job – can you guess it?
- paella is good, but tinto is better
I also don’t want to leave you without some idea of what’s to come down the road. A little teaser to keep your interests piqued, so here’s a list of seven upcoming posts, soon to be available on a screen near you.
- gardening explorations
- my attempt to diy: a pintrest love story
- a first forray into party planning
- the land of ice
- planes, trains and automobiles: but mostly just trains, actually
- a yoga-cation
I had a master evil plan. It was glorious. It involved my escape, with Evelina of course, to the warm, sandy beaches of Greece. In my fantastical plan I would spend my 25th birthday sipping adult beverages in the sunshine.
Sadly, this will not be the reality. I still have good chances of sipping adult beverages in the sunshine, however I will not be in Greece. My dream vacation is still only a dream. Turns out my fantasies have deeper pockets than I do. Greece will have to wait. I hope it isn’t going anywhere.
The resolve has not lessened.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Yes I’m still living off this photo. The card is just so cute and makes me happy. Speaking of happy, I would like to express how thankful I am for all of the people, moments, and pieces of my life that make me happy. I am lucky to admit that they are many.
Last year I belatedly told you about Thanksgiving like it was yesterday. This year Evelina and I will be eating Thanksgiving dinner the Sunday after Thanksgiving with her family. I am truly looking forward to it. I hope your Thanksgiving is full of good happiness and good food.
Because of the HUGE response I got from my Mexico post…
Side bar: there was no response. At all.
ANYWAY! Because of the huge response I got from my Mexico post, I’m here to tell you more about the Chichen Itza experience.
Very interesting history. By the way, I’m glad the Mayans were wrong about the end of the world. (I’m thinking they just got bored with writing the calendar…) That’s neither here nor there.
As mentioned, it is quite possible our guide at Chichen Itza was making up 80% of the things he told us. I’m choosing to believe it was 100% fact. Here are some of the fun facts we got to learn about Chichen Itza and the ancient Mayans (only 20% guaranteed to be true):
- The carvings on many ancient structures depict pumas, jaguars and birds. These animals are carved in a sitting position, as they then represent warriors.
- The Mayans built pyramids over pyramids. That is to say Chichen Itza has a tiny baby pyramid inside it. Only the baby pyramid will never be born…and is older than the one on the outside. I’m thinking the baby metaphor was a terrible one…
- The Mayans constructed all of their architecture without the wheel or metal.
- In searching to explain why hundreds of thousands of Mayans would perform the back-breaking work of constructing these structures (again, without the wheel or metal), archeologists think one possibility is the high priests performed cranial deformation from a young age, as well as teeth deformation. They were looked upon as demigods, and therefore were obeyed. (Google “cranial deformation“, I dare you.)
- The Mayans had many gods. My favorite is the rain god, Chaac. Because of his huge nose. I am that superficial. (They also had a corn god. Since there is no longer any wild corn, does that mean the Mayan corn god is dead? Or does she now oversee all the scientific improvements in corn in the last 3000 years?)
- Behind the Chichen Itza pyramid is a field of columns. Engraved on these columns are warriors. You can see they are warriors by their feathered headdress and by the fact that the engraving is wearing a jaguar skin and holding a weapon. There are 700 columns in all, however they are called “the 1000 columns” after a story about a boy who was asked by a priest to count them. He spent the day playing instead, and at the end of the day reported that there were 1000.
- There is an arena standing near Chichen Itza where three different styles of games were played. This court is the biggest in all of Mexico at 167 meters high.
- There is also a platform engraved with skulls. It was on top of this platform that sacrifices were performed. As reiterated by our guide, human sacrifice was rare and it was a high honor to be offered as a sacrifice, the sacrifices were willing.
I hope you had as much fun learning these 8 fun facts as I did. They were the ones I didn’t distinctly remember learning in school. Which adds to the theory that they may only be 20% true. Or my memory isn’t perfect. Either or.
This adventure was certainly worth it, and for those of you out there interested in a little history on your vacation I say this is a good way to go.
Also, don’t belive the guys out front selling hats. There is shade inside the walls surrounding the pyramid, and you will not melt in the sun.
For once I’m actually prompt about writing about my activities. Yes, this is prompt in comparison to my usual style. (Don’t worry, all the other stuff I have done will make an appearance here soon.) But let’s focus on Mexico. Let’s focus on Mexico, because now I’m in Sweden, and while we were gone Sweden got cold. Cold and dark.
That’s neither here nor there, because as mentioned I was in Mexico last month. Evelina and I travelled there to celebrate our friends’ wedding. The details of their beautiful wedding will come in a future post, because now I want to tell you about the adventures!
Evelina and I spent 6 days in Mexico. Six sunny, warm days in Mexico.
On Monday we arrived after a relatively successful flight down from Boston via JFK. The first thing we did was receive more information in an hour than anyone can possibly remember when it comes in that quantity. The second thing we did (After gallivanting around our room and taking ridiculous pictures. No those pictures will not appear here.) was go down to the beach. Of course we jumped in the water, all be it quickly. It really sunk in that we were on vacation, being able to walk from our room down to the beach in a matter of minutes and enjoy the Caribbean view. That evening we ate with our friends, and new acquaintances, who would be attending the wedding. After which we returned to the hotel room and enjoyed the amenities there. We were sure to get to bed early because we had two days coming up full of adventure.
We woke up early Tuesday for room service and a great view of the sunrise from our balcony. We had a big day ahead of us, so we had to fuel up. Tuesday we had planned to join a day trip to Chichen Itza and Wednesday we had planned to go snorkelling. Clearly we had big plans. And let me tell you, it was worth it. The adventure out to Chitchen Itza was both highly informational and fun. Even though it was entirely possible that our guide was making things up as he went, about 80% of it I remembered from 5th grade when we learned about the ancient Mayans, Incas and Aztecs.
The trip out to Chitchen Itza was an entire day trip, with a side stop at a grotto. We got to go swimming in an ancient hole in the ground. It was only recommended that you stay in the water for 30 minutes. Because of the bacteria. Maybe it shouldn’t be recommended at all that one swim in it. Of course I jumped in. It was worth it. At the grotto there was also a tequila factory, where we got to learn, in very fast, broken English, how tequila was made. Then we got to taste test it. Peanut butter was the best. I tell no lie. In retrospect, maybe you’re supposed to taste the tequila and then go swimming. A little tequila goes a long way, and by the time you’ve tasted all 9 flavors a little bacteria doesn’t scare you!!
Snorkeling was a real blast. I highly recommend it. Who knew that off the coast of the Yucatan peninsula lies the worlds second largest reef? Bobbing up and down in the ocean waves, catching a glimpse of some tropical fish, trying not to get roasted by the sun, and sipping beer on a boat was a top-notch way to spend the day. My favorite moment included our guide showing us a barracuda. Promptly followed by the bride to be swim-chasing it through the ocean, as the guide frantically points to the fish, to his mouth, and makes a biting motion with his hands. Yes, barracuda bite. No, you should not chase them.
Thursday was wedding day, and what better way to start the day than with some early morning Pilates on the beach. Or at least it would have been a great way to start the day if our instructor wasn’t ab crazy. That man had us do more ab work in an hour than I’ve done in my entire life combined. After that exhausting workout we had earned some pool time. (Plus our glistening abs looked great in the sun.) The wedding that evening was ridiculously beautiful. But as I said, more on that later.
Our first day of full relaxation was on Friday. So we spent it by the pool and on the beach.
Don’t worry relaxing for us includes an intense made up game, where the rules essentially were that you get points by knocking over cups with various amounts of pool water in them with a rubbery ball that is bounced across the water in the pool. Relaxing also includes an hour of volleyball, so don’t worry, we didn’t go overboard.
Saturday was travel day, but we luckily had a good chunk of sun time before we had to pack up and say our goodbyes. We met a group of great people, as well as got to spend about a week with great friends. What could be better? Mexico had a ton to offer. It was a fabulous, sunny, adventure-full week.
I suppose one might say that it was actually refreshing to return home from Mexico to the crisp, cold, rainy fall weather. One might say that. I would not.
Take me back to Mexico.