November 2019: Mexico and Moab

Travel was the focal point of the month, which suited me just fine. They were two big trips, but I’m keeping this post brief!

The Yucatan Peninsula

It feels like I was just writing about planning our trip to Mexico, and now it’s a speck in the rearview mirror. We had a fantastic week in the Yucatan. Our car rental experience went smoothly, and within an hour of landing we hit the road in a little red Chevy Beat.

We went from Cancun to Valladolid, on to Chichen Itza and Merida, then back to Cancun for the final night. The highlight for me was swinging off ropes into cenotes, over and over again.

We’d initially intended for this to be a vacation, but it was more reminiscent of our backpacking trips. That’s not a bad thing, though next time we go to Mexico I’d like to stay in one place the whole time.

Winter Hikes

We chose Colorado for a number of reasons, but the year-round sunshine was a strong factor. Even with snow on the ground we were able to hit the hiking trails in November. The outdoors never seemed so accessible during the Indiana winters of my childhood.

We went up to Brainard Lake Recreation Area (entry included with a national parks pass!), hoping to see a moose but to no avail. The above photo is from the Jean Lunning Trail, which took us through snowy forests and ended at a frozen waterfall. Magic!


Heading to Moab for Thanksgiving was an inspired move. Despite a very heavy snowstorm the day before we left, the roads were clear enough to make the six-hour drive safely. We broke it into two chunks, stopping overnight at Glenwood Springs in Colorado.

On the way to Moab we made a detour to the Colorado National Monument, a gorgeous series of canyons. I couldn’t believe we nearly passed it by—it was just as good as a national park, only slightly smaller. Bonus: our National Parks pass got us into this too!

We had two full days in Moab, and went to the most popular spots for first-timers: the Island in the Sky section of Canyonlands and Arches National Park. We actually went to Arches twice, to squeeze in a hike we’d missed to Landscape Arch. This corner of Utah is spectacular, and I’m sure we’ll be going back.

The drive back wasn’t quite as smooth, thanks to Thanksgiving weekend + ski resort traffic on I-70, but I’d still do it again if I had the chance.

I’m working on more detailed posts on Mexico & Moab; if you have any questions, let me know and I’ll answer them in an upcoming post!

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