Our Backyard Makeover: Before and After

So waaaay back in August I told ya’ll that we were going to redo the backyard, which we did! I hadn’t gotten around to taking pictures of it until this weekend, mainly because I am stuck in the office during daylight hours. But now I finally have the “After” shots!

Here’s the “before”:

And here are the “afters”…

Unfortunately, the grass was damaged by the recent “Backyard Pool” incident. Then again, it wasn’t growing in well to begin with! If anyone has advice on growing grass, I’m all ears.

We’d also like to paint the walls white, and eventually remove the potted tree and potted bush. We’re still thinking that one over, though… we really hate that tree, but it does provide good shade. We’d replace the tree with my new orchid tree. After my last post on it, a reader (Thanks, Pauline!) identified it as an orchid tree, not a plant, which is very exciting! No shade from that baby for a few more years, though. 🙁

The total cost for this makeover, including palm plants, grass, dirt and patio, was somewhere around $300 US. Not bad, eh?

Honeymoon in Rio de Janeiro: Botanical Garden

Moving on with the Rio de Janeiro posts (it’s been awhile)…

On the third morning of our trip, Jorge and I spent about an hour trying to figure out which was the correct bus to get to the Botanical Garden. After getting several different answers from several different people while trying to find out which one-way street was correct, we were finally on our way!

We passed through Ipanema and the uber-fabulous neighborhood of Leblon. I knew we’d arrived at the Botanical Garden when I saw several lines of the tallest palm trees I’ve ever seen just off to my left. (Palm trees don’t get that tall here in Cancun, aka Hurrican Territory!)

Here are the pictures! It only cost a few dollars per person, and it was a great way to spend a few hours:

San Crisanto

We wanted to do something special to celebrate our civil wedding, so we decided to take a bunch of our Cancun friends to one of our favorite places … Chabihau. Set on the coast of the state of Yucatan (about 40 minutes north of Merida), this fishing village is where Jorge’s mom grew up and where a lot of his family still lives.

Here are some links to my previous posts on Chabihau:

Yucatan Seafood on New Years

Yucatan Seafood: Ceviche de Chivitas

Chabihau Beach at Sunset

Flamingo Photo Hunt

This time around we did more touristy stuff, with a cenote tour and some exploring. I’ve already posted about Chabihau tons of times here, so today I’ll focus on our trips to the neighboring village of San Crisanto.

San Crisanto has been focusing on tourism for the past few years. They have some interesting tours, beautiful salinas (salt lagoons) that change color with the season, dramatic beaches, addictive coconut pudding, and friendly locals.

This weekend the salina was bright orange

On Sunday we did a cenote tour in San Crisanto, but since that merits its own post, I’ll wait until later this week.

Playa Norte on Isla Mujeres

Jorge went to Merida this weekend for his mom’s surgery, which went very well! He came back Sunday evening, and since I had Monday off for a Mexican holiday, we decided to go to Isla Mujeres to celebrate our 4 year dating anniversary. (Can we still celebrate that even if we’re married? Well, we did.)

One of my favorite things about going to Isla Mujeres is the ferry ride. Here are some shots…

That's Cancun's hotel zone skyline on the horizon

Isla Mujeres on the horizon

 

We arrived at the Isla Mujeres port and headed straight for my favorite spot in the entire world… Playa Norte (North Beach).

 

My view

 

My favorite part of Playa Norte is the water. There are no waves (I hate waves), and the water is only chest-deep for as far as the eye can see. The sand is powdery, and there are no plants or rocks underfoot. It’s like swimming in a pool, but it’s the ocean!

After a few hours we saw some storm clouds rolling in, and we decided to head back to the ferry.

On the ferry ride back home, we could also see some intense storm clouds headed for Cancun on the horizon. It made for some cool shots.

We were lucky to get back home before the rain started! Today I’m back at the office (no fun) and it’s still raining!