Persona is the nature of our character that is shown to or perceived by others. My present cast of characters ranges from mother, grandmother, friend, to professor emerita, medical doctor,  writer, reviewer, dancer, coach, mentor and entrepreneur. But at YVR as my daughter (Alo) and I meet up with her friend (NG) with her bubbly preschooler (EP), a new persona is added to my cast... I am instantly dubbed “Aunty Mandy's mom”. And as I explore the environs of our Mexican vacation spot over the next seven days, my “Aunty Mandy's mom” persona will provide a great counterbalance to the luxury traveller/gourmet perspective with  which I usually approach my travel writing.

Xcaret (which means small inlet in Mayan) was once an important port for the Yucatan Peninsula and also served as a Mayan ceremonial centre. Today it has been developed into an aquatic recreational park where you can float down underground rivers, swim and snorkel in pools and lagoons, and see turtles, dolphins and even sharks up close and personal. While one can drive to the park and just pay the admission fee, from the hotels it makes sense to sign up for one of the tours which gets you ground transportation in an air conditioned bus and admission to the park.  For US$110 we took the XCaret Plus package which also includes a buffet lunch at one of the many restaurants, a locker, snorkeling gear and a towel.

Dire warnings from Environment Canada greeted me when I woke up the morning before I was to catch a plane to Toronto and then later to Cancun. “Snowfall overnight, expect delays on your morning commute.” Hmmmm, I thought. With an early morning flight I did not want to find me and my taxi in a ditch while my plane took off into the clouds. The scene adjacent shows my destination - you can see why I did not want to be delayed getting there!