Because we have! (Explanation later...)
Brian and Kelly proudly present: Travel Diary #2 - Taxco, El Rollo, and Puebla
This picture captures the feeling of Taxco perfectly. All of the taxis are vintage beetles and the town has ups and downs that make San Francisco look like weak sauce.
Taxco feels a lot more like Spain than Mexico. That is ... until you interact with a human. Then it feels very much like "not Spain".
We took this picture from the giant statue of Christ that you can see at the top right of the previous picture. Personally, I think Taxco kinda looks like a giant bra. Any other ideas?
Could it really claim to be a true Mexican town without having a Cathedral?
This is where our trip took a turn from amazing to one of the coolest things any of us will ever do. When they found out we were going to Taxco, Kira's host family suggested that we stay at the Betania Monastery instead of a hotel. We were all a little confused and curious about how it would work but it turned out great. It was about thirty seconds after arrival that one of us starting humming "How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?" It was about four days later that we all finally stopped...
Have any of you ever been on a first date and wondered what the best way to say goodbye is?
"Should I hug him/her?"
"Should we kiss?"
"Should I just akwardly pat his/her arm?" (Maybe that one was just me...)
Now imagine that you were on that date with a group of nuns! I was seriously bewildered as to how I should say goodbye to them. Here in Mexico, you kiss women on the cheek when you leave their house. But, what about when leaving some Nuns at a monastery? I've just never had occasion to Google "proper Nun farewell protocol". Finally, I just had to ask.
Bizarre Life Bingo Card: Kiss a Nun. Check!
They had some pretty sweet digs at the monastery. It was out in the middle of the forest and made for a really chill couple of nights.
Basically, it works like this: The monastery has tons of extra rooms. They let people come stay and eat for free. At the end of your stay, you give a donation of however much you feel is appropriate. They also sell candles, honey, granola, cookies, and drinks that they make themselves. (The picture at the top of the blog is us with the Mother Superior and the Sister in charge of the candle workshop.)
All in all, it was an experience like Nun other! (Nun puns are the best!)
The Lord's cookies.
We took this picture just so we could caption it with "Would you like to join me in my quarters later for some toast?" (And, Yes, that is pre-toasted bread straight from a bag. It's actually really delicious!)
Awkward Brian Moment #343
"So Nuns, can I maybe like share this room with Kelly? I mean... we're married. I promise. Oh, where's my ring? It fell off when I was cliff-jumping a few weeks ago..."
Coolest bathroom of all time!
To get to and from the monastery we had to take a "combi". Just imagine a hollowed-out Volkswagen van with some benches in it. Now imagine that same van with everyone you know inside of it! On this particular morning, we shared our sweet ride with 17 people!
I have been trying to imagine a wound severe enough to merit stopping at this "Doctor's office" instead of finding anywhere else to go. We found it while winding our way through a local market in Taxco. I think it was right in between the booth selling fish heads and the old woman selling straw placemats. On the plus side, your entire visit would only cost 30 pesos (about $2.50). Still, I can't help but think your $2.50 might be better spent asking the cashier at your local Wendy's to check you out...
During our second day the monastery, we decided to go check out Las Grutas de Cacahuamilpa. They are about 2 kilometers long and really really impressive. It was really hard to get pictures to turn out so I stole this one from the official Grutas website.
This is about as good a picture as we could get. They actually make you hold the entrance up while the previous group goes on the tour.
The next two pictures kinda sum up our group dynamic here in Mexico. Here we have a fun crazy group of girls.
Here we have me with all the other guys in the group.
Next time you are thinking "Man. My job sucks!" Just remember, you are not these ladies. They get the enormous privilege of handing out toilet paper inside of a cave all day.
You know how normal people put pictures up of their family smiling together wearing matching shirts? Not in our house! I think that this picture should hold a prominent place above our sofa. It really captures the essence of our relationship: I'm on edge because Kelly is always looking for a chance to scare me.
On Day 3, we decided to go to El Rollo. It is touted as the best water-park in Latin America and it did not disappoint. The highlight of the whole day was the "rio con olas" which literally means "river with waves". A better translation would be "really lazy river". About once every minute, a wave shoots through the river and pushes you forward at the speed of light. I think Jim Gaffigan must have been involved in the design process because El Rollo found the only way to make a lazy river even less work than it already was.
We ended our trip in Puebla where I found a sweet gift for Kelly.
And the biggest orange-strawberry juice we had ever seen!
We also found the coolest hand-knit sweaters on the entire planet!
And Brittan found the man of her dreams!
Finally! We were able to find a church and actually get there in time for Sacrament Meeting! Way to go Puebla!
The moral of the story is: you could up as happy as these people or us if you choose to stay with Nuns on your next vacation.