October in Mexico, WooHoo! Hot! We stayed at the Grand Mayan on the Mexican Riviera in Quintana Roo Mexico. This is on the Yucatan Peninsula. The resort is a five star resort with swim up bars in the pools. We loved the drink specials, the shaded cabanas, and the pools. The breakfast was outstanding. The rest of the restaurants were fair to good. We did not do the all-inclusive as we don’t each that much. A $252 a day price tag each was more than we could possible eat and drink. We spent $831 total for the entire week for both of us. We saw Chichen Itza. That is why we came. Why we came in October is less clear. Did I mention it was hot, really hot. So the next rule comes in now. We booked a tour to Chichen Itza. We headed out to the front of the hotel to wait for the bus. It never came. There is a tour bus stop on the property and it is not at the front of the hotel. Rule # 3 Know where your tour starts. This happened to us twice. Some tours start there, some you have to hit the front gate. Read your confirmations and know where to meet your ride. Read the question, read the manual and read the directions. This will save you lots of time and confusion.
The Vatican was not on my list of places to visit, but we are in Rome, right? The tour we booked is for early access to the Sistine Chapel.
Arriving at the Vatican and arriving at the entrance to the Vatican is not the same thing. The walls are huge. The city is huge. Walking around to find an entrance, a tourist entrance, can be daunting. We find the wall, but where is the entrance? Rule # 3 Know where your tour starts. Luckily, we find a police car and the officers, although not understanding the words, know the meaning and point us in the right direction.
We arrive at the Vatican entrance at 7:30 and meet our guide. We get a brief history lesson on the chapel. We enter the Vatican. As we walk down this amazing hallway packed full of art, wall hangings, maps and painted ceilings we get more history on the Sistine Chapel and Leonardo da Vinci.
HA! Come on people is wasn’t Leo. He did The Last Super and the Mona Lisa. Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel. I want to see if you are paying attention. I am blown away as we walk the hallway to the chapel. We enter the chapel with 20 people inside. Wow! It is amazing, quiet and impressive. It is hard to describe the awe. One person painted this standing. No pictures are allowed inside the chapel. Google has many photos you can see. Nothing will compare to being here. It is awesome and inspiring. I can look at any one wall or ceiling and be enthralled. Many know about the famous ‘Creation of Adam’, but there are nine ceiling paintings and that is only one. The walls are covered in Renaissance Art. We stay in the chapel for 30 minutes. The tour concludes, but we can stay as long as we want.