Our next vacation in Mexico started with going to the temple, which is the best way to start a trip! It’s always surprising how much we can do on a four day weekend where at home it seems like it's never enough time to do anything.
Our trips in any foreign country all seem to start the same; going from bus station to bus station until we reach our destination. We luckily had our amazing coordinators Sergio and Lulu take us to the bus station in Queretaro where we waited two minutes for a bus to Mexico City.
Now. buses in Mexico are quite different than we expected and so I have to mention a little about them. They are like the luxury of the road! We got in line to get on the bus, and our favorite bus company gave us a snack, sandwich and a drink before we got on. We got mon and find our assigned seats and sit down. The seats are comfortable and have plenty of legroom. They lay back quite a ways making it easy to sleep. There is also TV’s on the back of every seat so we can watch movies. The movies are usually in Spanish but it's ok because it helps our Spanish, or we just sleep.
So that is a nice bus in Mexico, and most other bus companies are very similar with just a few changes with the TV’s or they don't have snacks. To say the least, they are a great way to travel for cheap in Mexico.
When we got to Mexico City we went to get our bus tickets to Veracruz. We reserved them online beforehand and printed off what we thought was a receipt, but selected that we were going to pay for them at the bus station.
We got to the counter and showed our receipt, they smiled and pointed us in the right direction. We were confused and pointed at the price, saying we needed to pay. They looked at the paper and said it was our ticket and it was fully paid. We were so confused. We went and waited for the bus and later went back to double check again with a different worker but they said the same thing. We offered to pay but they said we were ok and it had been paid for.
So somehow we got free tickets and we still don't know why. It saved us $80 though and we were grateful for it. Whenever we save money for some random reason we credit it to the Lord and try and give back somehow by either giving money to the homeless, street performers, giving larger tips at restaurants or just helping people out as best as we can.
The night bus to Veracruz took about seven hours and so we got there around 6:30 in the morning. We got a cheap taxi for 60 pesos and went straight to the temple. At first the taxi driver didn't know where to go, but then I showed him a picture and he knew exactly where to go.
The first session was at 9 but we like getting to temples early. We walked up to the gate and there were some guards there. We showed our temple recommends to them and they smiled and let us in. They tried talking to us but it was hard to understand what they said. In reality this was common to everyone we talked to. We could understand a little bit not much.
We sat for a while and watched the beautiful sunrise. It was a beautiful sunrise that we were so glad we got to see at the temple. It was glowing orange and pink and was throwing rays of light into the sky. We were so glad to be at the temple that morning, the best place to start a vacation! It really felt like we were home as we sat at the temples grounds and enjoyed the sunrise.
The guards let us go into the church building which was in the same vicinity. We changed, got ready and went and took pictures of the temple.
We ate a quick breakfast which we got from the bus company and then we went into the temple. The temple is another cookie cutter one but it's temple grounds were unique and beautiful with all the flowers and palm trees
People were already gathering and going in and everyone we saw said “buenos dias!” to us and were so friendly! That is one reason why we love the Mexican culture.
We were first greeted by the temple president, who was from Utah,welcomed us and helped us get our Temple clothes. They don't rent clothes or have clothing services but every temple has some spares to help out people like us, which is very helpful.
The first room of the session was painted beautifully of thick forests and an ocean in the distance, probably representing Veracruz. There was also a monkey in the painting which was fun to see. The different murals in all the temples are what makes the small temples unique in their own way.
We walked into the Celestial room and enjoyed the beauty and peace inside. They're all so similar but they are always refreshing. We sat and talked for a minute and even cried a little thinking about how lucky and blessed we are in our lives, especially compared to so many other people. We have been to eighty-five temples now and we were so grateful to God for it. We know it was all because of him.
The temple was a ways from the city near the edge but we had all day so we decided to walk to the bus station. The temple was only a block or two from the beach which was neat so we walked there first. We walked along the beach for the rest of the day stopping at different beaches and swimming or relaxing. We found lots of sand dollars and collected a few for fun. I also found a watermelon floating in the ocean and I jumped in off some rocks and rescued it then we ate it.
We walked to the port of Veracruz and then at sunset finally walked back to the bus station where we waited for a few hours for our bus. It was a lot of walking and we were tired but it was all worth it and fun! Veracruz was a fun city with alright beaches but the temple was the best part! It felt like home there and it gave us peace before the rest of our fun trip. That was Veracruz, onto our next stop in Tampico but first a ten hour bus ride!