Mexico holds a special place in Richard’s heart because he spent part of his childhood growing up in a very small town outside Pachuca, Hildalgo. We thought it would be great to see where he grew up and meet his family from his dad’s side, so we planned our honeymoon to see some parts of Mexico. For the first leg, we stayed at the Grand Bahia Principe all inclusive resort which was wonderful! Coming from cruises, I think I liked resorts more. That said, I was grateful for the balance of resorts and seeing what the locals see. During our stay at Grand Bahia, we booked a tour of Chitzen Itza (most humid and sweaty I have ever been in my life), swam in the cenotes and explored a colonial town, then SCUBA dove in Dos Ojos cenotes. Though miserably humid and hot, Chitzen Itza was incredible to see. The detail of the stone work was astounding, especially considering how old and how porous the limestone was. Everything was originally painted brilliant colors and you can still even some faint remnants of that even today. The cenotes were stunning and one of my favorites dives I’ve done were the cenote dives. It was completely different from any of the ocean dives I’ve ever done, but cavern diving is amazing. The way the light filtered into the crystal clear caves was prismatic and captivating. I’m regretting not bringing my underwater camera for that- the light and water clarity was incredible, but the stills I pulled from the GoPro we had were less than stellar. Once we got into the cavern, the caves were lit solely from our flashlights and our eyes wandered over the many staglagmites and stalagtites as we carefully made our way through the caverns. For the 2nd leg, we stayed at the small, adorable and wonderful Casa Gonzalez while we explored Mexico City. I’ve never been to such a large city before. When we were decending for landing, the city stretched on for what seemed like hundreds of miles below us with such varied colors of buildings and some rolling hills off in the distance. I get a bit claustrophobic being in downtown Phoenix, but Mexico City brings it to a whole new level. The juxtaposition of old (and VERY old) with new, as well as one block being dramatically different from the next meant it was a very interesting visit. The city felt pretty safe though and at no point was I concerned. The most amazing food besides Richard’s family’s cooking were the street tacos in the city! I still miss those. Arizona tacos, even the best ones, don’t even come close to the ones the street vendors sold. For the last leg, we stayed with Richard’s family in the town he grew up in. His uncle took us to Teotihuacán to see the Pyramid of the Sun and Moon. We climbed each. It is incredible to think of how old those pyramids are and the history they have seen. My favorite though were the packs of dogs that followed us throughout our visit. I missed my dogs so even just seeing some furry friends was nice.
Technical bits: For all of these photos except the underwater photos in the cenotes, I used an Olympus EM1 with the 17 1.8 & 45 1.8 lens. I LOVED not having to lug around a bunch of heavy (expensive) DSLR & lenses, and I didn’t even take my laptop and simply transferred the photos to my phone. These photos were run quickly through Lightroom however, but the JPEGs look GREAT straight out of camera. Underwater photos were shot on a GoPro 3+ and shot by Richard.
I’m anxious to get back to the Cancun region and explore more of Mexico- perhaps I could travel there and photograph some beautiful couples! Contact me if you are interested in purchasing any of these prints!