Suitcase and World: Tiempo en el Palenque.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Tiempo en el Palenque.

We arrived into the town of Palenque about mid afternoon. Juan Jose pulled off the main road onto a driveway that led to the hotel. A very nice, new hotel. We checked into our rooms which were very comfortable. Our patio doors in our room opened up to the garden and I could see a swimming pool in the distance.

Palenque is in hot, humid Yucatán so we decided to take advantage of the pool. It was also a good time for us to try out my brother's brand, spanking new waterproof camera.....that comes with HD video capability :-) I had convinced him to buy the camera so we could take pictures and video of our underwater adventure aka snorkeling with whalesharks in Cancun.

I think he had pretty much memorized the operating mode instructions for underwater video so we thought we would take the opportunity to practice in the pool so we'll be ready for that big day with the sharks.

Pool! Pool! Pool! I haven't been in a pool since I can't remember when.  The water was warm and I stepped down the ladder and sank into the water.  I have to say, it was very refreshing.  We decided to try out the camera by taking pictures of each other.  Then, we asked Ayşe to take pictures of the both of us. Now, we have this collection of pretty funny looking pictures. Apparently, my brother is so used to wearing goggles underwater than when he doesn't have them on, he can't open his eyes. What's up with that? :-)

That yellow thing is the wrist strap that my brother bought. You attach it to the camera and if for some reason, you drop the camera in the water, it will float to the surface so you don't lose the camera.

Took about 20 pictures before we were convinced that the camera was indeed waterproof and that we knew how to use it.  Next was video.

First, we did above the water video. I snapped these two snippets of my brother.  I shot him coming down the water slide.  Told him that would be a good test of the video.  Actually, I just wanted to see him come down the slide.  Gave me the giggles watching him :-)

Of course, once was not enough so I tortured, I mean asked, him to do it a second time.  *evil sister*
More giggles.....just can't help myself :-)

Then I took a real underwater video.  I held the camera underwater while my brother swam.  Not the best video but I just had to keep it and post it up.....for the memories.

The three of us pretty spent a couple of hours relaxing in and out of the pool.

Cindy! Cindy! Cindy!  Then, it was time to clean up and meet the guys for dinner.  We piled into the van and Juan Jose drove us into town.  Palenque is not a booming metropolis even by Mexican standards. So it was surprise when we hit a traffic jam going into town.  Not just slow crawling traffic but dead in your tracks traffic.  Juan Jose must have been starving because as soon as he saw a policeman in the intersection, he asked what was going on because only the cars on the cross street were moving steadily.  As the cars passed us by, we could hear a lot of hollering and cheering.  WE had no idea what was going on.

Somehow, Juan Jose managed to convince the policeman to let us in and next thing you know, we're in the middle of some sort of caravan of cars.  Turns out, there was a beauty pageant  (Miss Palenque??) going on and we were could in the middle of one of the contingent of fans' cars.  We were in the middle of the "Cindy" fans.   All of the *Cindy cars* were decorated with neon green posters and balloons.  It was the oddest thing in the world, being in the middle of the parade.  A large white van....we were like the thorn sticking out among the roses.  It was too funny.

 Julie! Julie! Julie! As we passed the Cindy contingent, we met up with the *Julie* fans....their cars decorated with black balloons.....not a very attractive color.  Cindy was definitely the most popular contestant, if number of fans is any indication.  She had my vote until Julie threw candy into our car.  That and the fact that she was my namesake, I had to change my vote :-)

Michoacana! Michoacana! Michoacana! Dinner was okay but I was really craving something sweet, something icy sweet.  Let me see....hmmmm.   Oh yes, ice cream or better yet, a paleta!  Francisco knew of a place nearby to get ice cream so we headed there.  A few blocks later and we were standing in front of my favorite Mexican ice cream store - Michoacana!!  There was a guava paleta calling my name.  Never fails to be good!

Tomorrow, we're headed to the Mayan ruins at Palenque so it's going to be an early start and a long day.  Need to get a good night's rest so we called it quits early.

We had some silly fun today but sometimes you need that to remind yourself that sometimes the simple pleasures in life are the ones that give you the most joy and in my case, some wonderful memories!