This may just be our best day yet. We woke to spend time looking out in the window and watching as the boat docked in Cozumel! There was another giant ship parking across from us, so it was crazy looking. Of course, since we were awake, we woke my folks. Having an adjoining door has been great. They joined us in the Versailles for some breakfast. After that we leisurely got off the boat for the day. The crowds have diminished a ton!
On the first day there was a huge line to get off the boat, but today there was nothing. We joined Mom and Dad exploring the mall area right at the dock before meeting Bethany and Stefan and heading to the taxi stand. Unlike other places, the taxi fares here are posted and regulated. No negotiations or scamming. Cool. One vanload taxi to Chankanaab National Park: $22. Perfect. They actually ended up splitting us into 2 cars for only $20. Even better.
Chankanaab National Park is amazing. It seems a bit pricey at first – $21 each adult and $15 for Zoe. But this was money well spent!! Mom and Bethany had booked a Dolphin swim ahead of time, so they didn’t have to pay the entrance fee. After getting into the park, what to do? We started at the snorkeling beach…. we snagged some cabanas and chairs thanks to my mom scouting them out. Avi napped on Bryan, Zoe played in the sand, and the rest of us hopped in the water to snorkel. So, it is a beach, but there is still a rocky shoreline with steps leading down into the water. The park had lifevests, too. They were required, but the hut ran out so Dad, Bryan, and I could swim free. The snorkeling was great….lots of cool fish to see and a bit of coral. I did get stung by some miniscule baby jellys as I swam, but never even saw them. It was like a bug bite sting, though, and dissipated quickly. By the time I was done snorkeling Avi had woken up and was having fun digging in the sand. Bryan snorkeled for a while and then took Zoe in. She brought her goggles and did a great job putting her head in to see the fish right around the stairs.
Our beach time was fun, but we decided to take advantage of the rest of the park. So, we went to see the Sea Lion Show. The show was pretty standard and entertaining – sea lions swimming, jumping, balancing, etc… At the end, though, was a special Mexican treat! Everyone who wanted could go on stage and get a kiss! Bryan took Zoe up. It was too cool. The sea lion tried to kiss Zoe, but his wiskers must’ve been tickly so she cringed back laughing. It laid a big smacker on Bryans cheek. After that we wandered around the grounds a bit – through the botanical gardens area where Avi spotted a huge chamelion. Both the kids had fun leading us through the gardens and exploring all the plants. Bethany and Mom went to their dolphin swim, and Dad joined them to take video and pictures.
Eventually we ended up at the lagoon – this is a small water inlet that has a beach entrance. We spent hours here! Not only was the water warm and the beach nice, but there were rocks with little tidepools…anemones, corals, seastars, and tiny urchins. There were tiny colorful reef fish swimming around. There was cool seaweed to grab. There were rocks perfect sizes for the kids to jump off. It was great. Zoe entertained herself for hours playing, exploring and swimming! Avi was also super into it…he loved picking up rocks and swimming around. So great. Avi and I walked around for a bit to watch Mom and Bethany on the dolphins before they joined us. Such a great day. Once we took the cab back to the boat, the kids were sleeping. Of course. We bought some vanilla and got back on the boat for naptime and some food at the buffet.
Tonight mom and dad babysat the kids while Bryan and I went on a date. We grabbed some coffee, enjoyed some music at Gatsbys, and then went to the Comedy show. We sat up on the balcony and saw my siblings down in the audience. The show was funny! After that we tried a little Salsa under the stars, and even sat in on the country hoe down. It was fun to explore grown up things on the boat…just the two of us. The kids slept over with Nan and Grandpa Joe tonight, too. yippee!