A Mayan Morning

We just returned from a nice long trip to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Getting away from a Chicago winter – if only for a little while – gave us the strength to make it to spring! We were fortunate enough to visit Chichen Itza, a true wonder of the world, where we introduced little Evelyn to ancient Mayan culture. And, no trip to Mexico would be complete without plenty of sunshine on the beach, so we explored the tiny and friendly Isla Mujeres for a week.
We also spent some time at Genesis Retreat, an eco-conscious lodge nestled in a tiny Mayan village near the rarely visited ruins of Ek Balam. Lee, the owner, is a Canadian who decided to exchange big city life for a slower pace. She strives to provide her guests with a quiet and peaceful oasis in the Mexican jungle. The accommodations are simple yet adequate; no locks on the doors and no screens on the windows. We really felt like we were sleeping in the open air. There are a few dogs and cats padding around a compound, and plenty of wild birds flying above. Evie was in heaven with so many animals to keep her company!

After a night spent in near total darkness with windows and doors wide open, we woke up very early in the morning thanks to the various jungle and village sounds. I felt really blessed to be a part of this little corner of the globe just as the world was waking up. Here is some video from our porch at dawn:

While at Genesis, we enjoyed organic meals with our fellow travelers from around the world in an open and airy communal area. My breakfast of yogurt-topped crepes filled with a papaya/pineapple/mango salsa was beyond tasty and delicious. And an earthy and rustic roasted pumpkin seed dip served before dinner was the perfect way to start a meal. Here’s the recipe, courtesy of Lee:

Toasted, ground squash seeds
Roasted tomatoes
Onion, optional
Garlic, optional
sour orange or lime juice
salt, pepper

Combine in a food processor until it reaches your desired consistency.

If you’d like to take a trip to visit Lee, her kind staff and the noisy roosters, check out the website at http://www.genesisretreat.com/

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