The nights of the long sleeps

Whether it has been the sun, the copious amount of food, the walking, or the luxurious king-size bed, the sleeps in Mexico have been long. We've been in bed shortly after 9 pm most nights and leisurely getting up between 7 am and 8 am. The extra rest has been great, and necessary.

Sleeping on the largest size of bed available is like sleeping on a football field, wide and never ending. I could swing my arms out both ways in the middle of the night and not feel a thing. Those extra inches on our modest queen-size unit back home make a world of difference.

As we pack up this morning and prepare to make our way to the Cancun Airport for our 1:50 pm flight, we'll be thinking about what we'll leave behind and what we're heading back to. Like the sea water mixing in with the fresh water at Xel-Ha, it will create an environment abundant in thoughts.

We will be going from temperatures consistently in the 26 to 28 degree range to similar numbers on the negative side of the thermometer. Fort McMurray is experiencing a bitter cold beginning to March, with spring feeling like an unattainable dream. Contrast that with what we've expienced all week and it will be interesting to see how we react.

The sky opened up late yesterday afternoon pelting us with monsoon-like rain for a few brief hours. It was great how the resort staff kicked into action putting down non-slip matts on the marbles floors to make it safer. Heather was shopping downtown on 5th Avenue during the deluge and got to see how the gaggle of small business vendors adapted to the quickly changing conditions.

"Everyone ran for available cover while the vendors tried to cover up," she said. "The bars and restaurants became packed and overflowing-great for business." Some of the spots in low lying areas were still dealing with four or five inches of water by the time I arrived several hours later.

There is a beautiful look of joy in the faces of Mexican people when they scurry about in the rain complete with beaming smiles and eyes bright in gratitude. Agua is precious here as it not only sustains life, it forms the foundation central to the Mexican economy.

The memories we will bring back from our second time in Playa del Carmen will be many and I'm certain they will be slightly different for all of us. Sitting under a blanket of stars on the beach, snorkeling at Xel-Ha, getting sick on the high seas, and laughing uncontrollably at the Les Gladiatiores show will be among mine. I'm sure there will be more as we traverse the Gulf of Mexico, come across the prairies of the Midwest and back into our home and native land, from epic sun to epic winter in just over five hours.

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