Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Place Value Picnic *Freebie!


One of the first units I always do in math is place value. If kids don't have a good foundation in place value, all operations are pretty much impossible! So this year I put a lot of work into developing some fun activities, games, and stations for students to practice place value in fun ways. I was able to use my adorable KPM Doodles clipart to make it so undeniably adorable. (I love her.)





It's fifty pages of cuter than cute picnic-themed place value stuff, through the hundred thousands place. Students build, write, name, find the values, and compare numbers. Pick it up at TPT or Teacher's Notebook!

AND there's a super sale running now at my TPT store, through tomorrow! 

I'm going to run this product as a giveaway from August 8 - August 10 on Teacher's Notebook for their Back to School Bonanza! Check it out and be sure to enter on August 8th! Then check out my store until August 13 for a Back to School Sale!


And grab this two-page freebie at Teachers Pay Teachers, too! 







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Sunday, July 29, 2012

TPT?


I am having the hardest time getting anything to upload to TPT! I have the cutest place value pack that I'd like to put up, but I've tried for three days, and nothing seems to work. Boo.

Despite this, I was able to set up a sale for today through August 1st! Check it out for 10% off all products in my TPT store!



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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Help! What do you give your male boss?


I know this is a double post today, but it's kind of not, because my guest post at Busy as a Honey Bee has been up since last night, so let's all just move on.

Speaking of moving on...

I've worked for a terrific boss for nine years. Now I'm leaving, and I want to get him a little gift. I'd love to get him a big gift, but you know how budgets work. The problem is, I know I want to get him something for his office, but I have no idea what that would be.

Male principals are tough.

So anyway, if you have any good ideas for man gifts, please let me know. I know there's the old standby: the tie, but I'd rather avoid that if possible. Cause right now, that's all I've got.

Help!

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I'm buzzing in a different hive today.

I'm not home today. I'm guest blogging for Simone at Busy as a Honey Bee! Which is nice, because she hearts bees too. 

busyasahoneybee.blogspot.com


Click over to read all about our Summer Reading Camp for third graders moving to fourth grade! Lots of tools and even a freebie to help you work with your own kids!

I guess you'll have to buzz on over there to find out. Grab the freebie there, too.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

First Day Jitters!

I have spent the last several weeks on the seesaw of guilt. That's what Fernie calls it. One minute I'm perfectly happy and excited about next year, and the next, I swing into the different direction. I'm guilty and terrified.

Why?

I'm leaving my school. My beloved school. I wouldn't do this for just any job. I was offered a literacy lead position, working for an excellent administrator (just about the only one I would work for, aside from the one I'm already working for!) and doing exactly what I love to do: working with struggling kids, and working with grade 3-5 teachers in reading and writing.

It's a dream job in a struggling school. I had to take it, right? I'm incredibly excited to provide training and planning support to teachers in a new campus and to learn a new position.

But I still feel guilty. These are the the things I feel guilty about:
1. I had to leave my kids. My babies were a lot of work and I had some kids who really struggled in school and hadn't had the best school experiences. I was supposed to loop up with them, but now I can't. I feel absolutely terrible about this, even though I know they are in good hands with my colleagues.

2. I have to leave my colleagues. I love these people. I've worked with them for a long time and we know each other well enough to help each other through difficult times. We are not only colleagues; we are friends outside of work as well. 

3. I have to leave my administrator. I have been blessed to work for someone who trusts me to make the decisions I need to make and supports me in everything I do. Those are rare.
As you can see, all my guilt stems from being the abandon-er in this situation.

So, to help me deal with my guilt and anxiety, I decided to link up with the blog hop at Fierce in Fourth (which is what I would have been next year if I stayed at my school.) for their First Day Jitters bBog Hop.



So Fierce in Fourth has asked us to write about three worries- three things we are jittery about. That should be easy. I may actually have to cut the list down.

1. I'm going to be out of the classroom. I've been a classroom teacher for nine years, and I love my job. 
I'm nervous because I'll be occupying my time very differently and I hope I'm prepared for that. I think I'm really going to miss having kids.  I'm also afraid about not having kids because I won't have a class of my own to try things out. I'm worried that I'm going to be out of practice with kids. It seems very common that people out of the classroom lose a sense of what's reasonable for kids at different levels. I hope that doesn't happen. I'm also not going to be teaching math or science anymore. I don't think I'll miss science much, but I do enjoy teaching math. 


2. I'll be at a new school. I won't know anyone. I'll eat lunch all by myself. I'm certain that I'll never make any friends. I know I sound like a child now, but I don't care. lol.

3. I've never done this job before. I've worked with teachers and trained in reading and writing, but I've never been a campus lead before. That's terrifying.

So basically, I'm nuts. I know it will be all right in the long run, but anything can set off the seesaw of guilt and send me shooting up into the guilty stratosphere.  Just know that I'm going to be running things by you, lovely anonymous readers, before I run them by my teachers so I can get the blog stamp of approval!




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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Fontin' it up


I'm becoming addicted to linky parties. They're nice because they tell me what to do. "Write about books you like." "Share your favorite fonts." "Explain what you've gotten done this summer."

Little thinking required. Just like I like it.

When I first started blogging, or more accurately, stalking and thinking about blogging, I can remember seeing these posts about "linky parties."

Whatever that meant.
I mean, do I have to go somewhere? Is their some sort of chain involved? Is it free? How many people can attend? Do you have to be invited? 

Eventually, I figured it out, and now I've entered the dark world of parties. 

Anyway, my latest party (woohoo!) is a font party from Run! Miss Nelson's Got the Camera!


Who doesn't love a good font party? It's a good way to get yourself hooked on fonts that you didn't even know about that everyone else apparently loves. And the best is that they're mostly free fonts! 
Here are mine:

Most of my fonts come from Kevin & Amanda, but I recently found these at Hello, Literacy! I didn't even know she had fonts! 

Check them out. They're adorable and free.



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Monday, July 23, 2012

More about me?!



Is it even possible for you to know more about me? I'm not exactly a closed book. I tend to overshare. With a capital O. 

But when I say Mrs. Lemons was having a Tell Me More linky party, I had to link up. I never turn down a chance to share more tales out of school.




1. I have a weird thing for copies of this book.



I don't know why. I stole the first one. It was an accident. Or actually, not, but sort of. Let me explain: I had to read this book in the 8th grade for English class. My teacher's name was Mrs. Elliot. Except everyone called her Mad Dog Elliot because she was pretty ferocious. She even called herself Mad Dog Elliot. Scary.

I read part of the book, and then I ran out of time. My mother, in her wisdom, told me to read the first paragraph of each remaining chapter. Nope. Not good advice.

I bombed the test (not like me at all) and then I kept the book because I was too ashamed to return it to her. So I still have it. Sorry, Mrs. Elliot. If it makes you feel better, I inadvertently 'donate' dozens of books to my kids' personal libraries at home when they don't return them either. Plus that copy was falling apart.


2. I've gotten migraines since I was in the seventh grade, but I think I grew out of them! It's been a while since I had one, so I'm going to hope I'm done with them. yay.

3. I have three rotten brothers: John, Ben, and Mat. They call me second-string mom because when my mom's unavailable, they call me. That was a lot of work growing up. I attended practices, parent-teacher conferences, participated in fund raisers, and made lots of dinners. It was good training and it made us very close.


My dad, my mom, John, sis-in-law Stephanie, me, Ben, and Matt.

4. I want kids. But I'm 31. And we're not married yet.

The countdown has begun and I want some little smushy baby boos of my own. In order to accomplish this, I am doing the only thing I know how. Nagging. It sounds like this.

"Hunny, you know that after 35, you're considered a high-risk pregnancy, no matter what."
"Hunny, don't you want your own little baby bun?"
"Hunny, I love you so much. I want a little Fernie just like you."
"Hunny, I WANT A BABY NOW!"

But we have to get married first. And although I was present for a lovely proposal on the cruise ship, I was not the one being proposed to. So I'm waiting for a ring, and then for a wedding, and then I'll share pictures of my cute little mini me. Or mini Fernie. Or whatever it ends up being.

5. I get seasick, carsick, and sometimes, if my eyes move too fast, I make myself nauseous.

6. I have some weird quirk where if I see a bright light out of the corner of my right eye, I have to turn my head to see it on the other side too. Which makes me look a little like some sort of bird sometimes.

7. I'm a sucker for four-legged buddies. I've inherited all of my animals - not one of them did I go looking for. And now I have two cats and...wait for it... THREE dogs! I know! My newest little buddy is Steve, and he's a hand-me-down from my mom. Her dogs were not being nice to him, and my dogs are very nice, so he's happier here. And he's such a sweet, scruffy little guy.


I gave him a bath and I brushed him, and still he looks like a ragamuffin I found on the street. He's pretty cute.

8. I attended my A.C.T.S. retreat last year in April. It moved me and helped me share with others in a way that I never have before. It was a beautiful experience and grew my soul tremendously. On rough days, I imagine myself back in the meeting room, quiet and cool and very content. It helped me be thankful for what I have and to appreciate people in a whole new way. 



I am Catholic, but the retreat is non-denominational. It includes a few Catholic components, but the retreat was attended by many people who weren't Catholic and they were accommodated. I recommend it to everyone who would like to grow their soul.


8. I am leaving my school of nine years to be a literacy lead at another school and it's so hard and sad and exciting at the same time. I am going to miss the people there more than I can say, especially my buddy who I've taught with for nine years.


I met some of my closest friends at my school.


Lisa and I in Atlanta at Aunt Pittypat's Porch for an IRA convention several years ago. 

But I have to have faith that I am going where I'm supposed to go, and that God will provide me with the tools I need to help. 


So that's me. In case you wondered. Go link up yourself and overshare!

Don't forget:


Super 200 follower giveaway at Carried Away in Kindergarten! Check it out for a chance to win great prizes from some super bloggers (including me!)



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Must Have Picture Books Linky Party!


That sounds like something I would shout as I walk into Barnes & Noble.
"Must have picture books!"

I tend to stick with some of my tried and true picture books, so I'll share those today. These are books I have used in my classroom to teach reading strategies, responses to text, writing strategies, careful language, and integrating with science and social studies content.

To find some new, fun and adorable books, you should definitely check out the linky party at The Teacher Wife!

The Teacher Wife

Top Five:

5. 14 Cows for America by Carmen Agra Deedy

This book brings me to tears every time. It's an absolutely gorgeous story about an African tribe's reaction to September 11th. It's incredibly moving and beautiful, and the illustrations are full of color and life. 


4. The Art Lesson by Tomie DePaola

I talk about Tomie DePaola all the time. I blogged about how I use him in my classroom here and here. Grab some freebies, too.

He's one of my favorite authors, and has been since I was a kid. He inspires my students' personal narratives in third grade with his lovely stories about family.


3. My Rotten Red-Headed Older Brother by Patricia Polacco

Patricia Polacco is another one of my favorites. She's such a prolific writer full of stories about her family and struggling to grow up. Most of her books are hard for me to get through without crying like a nut. 

2. One Tiny Turtle by Nicola Davies

Nicola Davies does a tremendous job of presenting information in a fictional text. One Tiny Turtle is a story of the life cycle of a loggerhead turtle. The language is so interesting! I've used it as a model for my students to write about the life cycles of their own animals they've researched. She's also the author of Bat Loves the Night.


1. In November by Cynthia Rylant

I heart Cynthia Rylant, too. Her writing is so descriptive, her word choice so careful, and kids can't help but visualize as they read her gorgeous words. So I tend to use her books a lot for kids to respond to and use as models for writing. I wrote about how I used it this year in third grade here and grab some freebies, too.




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Sunday, July 22, 2012

What's Buzzing in Ms. B's




I got pretty excited this week and worked on a printable version of my Back to School display! Every year (I know, it's a bit predictable, but I love it.) I do this display: What's Buzzing in the Fourth Grade?

I have the kids color and decorate a little bee carrying a banner. They write their name on it and I laminate them. I put them up on the Busy Bee wall.


These are my Busy Bees. 



Once a week, a student is named the "Busy Bee of the Week" and I they get to sit in the Busy Bee corner for independent reading. It's a cozy little area in the nonfiction section of my library. I put a little toychest in there (from my own childhood!) with a pillow on it so they can curl up and be special. 


This is the Busy Bee corner!


This is my new pack at TPT and Teacher's Notebook. Muy affordable and a fun way to start the beginning of the year!




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Saturday, July 21, 2012

A Magical Day: Movie Review

Yesterday I joined my friends for a special, magical day. A time of bonding. Of sharing what it means to be a woman. Of drooling over Channing Tatum dressed in various inappropriate costumes.

Yes, we went to see Magic Mike.



If you're a regular reader, you may recall that I am not much of a swoon-er. I'm not big on celebrities. They're not real people. They don't know about me or care about me or make me tacos for dinner. So who cares about them?

But Channing Tatum is different. I learned this when I went to see 21 Jump Street and wrote about it here. It's a short post. All it really says is, "Wow. Channing Tatum is pretty."

So when my friends requested that we all go see Magic Mike, even though I knew it wouldn't have much of a plot and the writing couldn't possibly be superior to some of the stuff my fourth graders churn out (or watch on shows like the Suite Life of Zach and Cody), I decided it was something I should participate in. Because Channing Tatum is hot stuff.

So my girlfriends and I got together to have our minds blown by the literary masterpiece that was sure to be Magic Mike. I mean come one -there's alliteration in the title! What else could you ask for?

Lisa, Missy, Denise, and I (Chrissy - thus completing the list of very stripper-ish names) met at the theater. These girls make up about half our our book club. This book club isn't what book clubs are meant to be. The last book we 'read' was this one.

I read it. Laura read it. Judy read it.
I think that's it.
Lisa started it and then gave up, saying, "I can tell something awful is gonna happen, so I'm going to pretend that I read it."

Denise had read it before. She reread it and said, "I forgot how sad it was. Why did we choose this book?"
She's the one who chose it.

Missy my have forgotten we were reading a book at all.

So we're not exactly dealing with exacting tastes here.

We walked into the theater and found seats immediately. Lisa said, "Lots of empty spaces. Look," she gestured toward the only pair of young ladies already seated. "More Bad Girls. Like us. Here to drool over hot men."

Let's get real, here. That's the only reason to go. Slowly, the theater filled up about halfway with bad girls. Lisa began to sing, "Bad girls. Talking bout the sad girls. Toot - toot. Yeah."
I chimed in. "Beep beep!"

We were bad girls. As bad as you can be while munching on butter drenched popcorn, sitting in a public place.

The movie started. Channing Tatum ran around doing hot things. He started dancing in ways that I have never seen men dance. I leaned over to Lisa and said, "Wow. He's a really good dancer."I sat back and drooled.
Minutes later, Lisa leaned over to me and said, "Close your mouth," as she took her hand and raised my lower jaw from where it had dropped several minutes before.




Don't judge. It was pretty impressive. He's like a pretty angel dancing man with a sense of humor.

And then he put on glasses. Oh, my goodness. Glasses? Are they trying to kill me?! So now he's a pretty angel dancing man with a sense of humor and he reads? Because that's the inference I make from glasses. He reads.

At one point, I heard Missy giggle, "I just want to brush his hair."

From what I remember very foggily, Magic Mike consisted of two types of scenes.

1. Scenes where Channing Tatum retains his pants.

These seemed to include things like a beach party, a girl, and lots of money. I don't really remember a lot of these scenes. They were great, though, because they were spread throughout the movie, and provided frequent bathroom breaks. 

2. Scenes where Channing Tatum removes his pants.

These included things like gyrating, thrusting, and what Matthew McConaughey called "sticking it". Fortunately, these made up most of the movie (I think) and were highly enjoyable. We giggled through them all because it's not possible to take such sexy sexiness seriously. None of us knows any men like that.

Once a scene started out as #1, and I thought maybe it had the chance to become #2, but it didn't. Boo.

Guess which kind of scene this was.

In case you won't see this movie because 
1. you feel guilty, 
2. your hunny won't let you, or 
3. you don't have bad girl friends to go with and make you feel less ashamed about it, 

I will summarize it for you.

Channing Tatum is hot. Then he meets some girls who notice how hot he is. Then he goes and dances in a raincoat and then he dances out of a raincoat. When he's done, some other guys dance in and out of raincoats. After that, some boring stuff happens involving non-strippers, and then Channing Tatum dances in a hip-hop outfit. Then some non-stripping events happened and then Channing Tatum danced in an army uniform. Then he danced out of it, and after that he cried a little and then he stopped. 

I could probably edit this film down to 22 minutes of awesomeness if we just took out all of the waste-of-time non-stripper stuff.

I only had one complaint. The movie ends suddenly (I thought). You still think you have another opportunity to see Channing take his clothes off or at least dance around like he might take his clothes off. But you don't. So I suggest running a ticker across the bottom of the screen during the last stripping scene. It should read, "THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE. HE WILL NOT DO THIS AGAIN. DON'T BLINK."

Also in the news: a super 200 follower giveaway at Carried Away in Kindergarten! Check it out for a chance to win great prizes from some super bloggers (including me!)



Another great giveaway to enter is Teaching Maddeness' 500 follower giveaway! Check it out for an Amazon giftcard!





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Friday, July 20, 2012

What's the Buzz? 3-6 Free Resources Linky Party!



So, I apparently completely missed the boat on the classroom theme linky party at 3-6 Free Resources.




 I didn't even know it was happening- too busy floating on the ocean drinking pina coladas, I guess. But if there's one thing that I L.O.V.E., it's a good classroom theme. Nothing makes me happier than going to the Target dollar spot and finding something that matches my theme - or my buddy's. 
Guess what mine is.

Oh, come on. Just try. I'm sure you know.

Duh. It's bees.

I'm the kind of person who needs a theme. When I didn't have one, when I first started teaching, my classroom purchases were nuts. Nothing matched, I could never choose colors or graphics, and everything looked adorable enough to buy. 

When I finally decided to go the bee route, all this changed. Now it's almost impossible to find anything cute enough that matches my theme. I stick to yellows, blues, and greens, and anything with a bee on it. I hunt and hunt and end up saving a lot of money. These are some pictures I've taken of my classroom the last few years that will show my little bees. 


 
Our writing display in the hallway. Bee-utiful Writers!


Busy Bees: each kid colors a bee and I glue on a picture of his or her face on it, the first week of school!


My desk. Gotta have somewhere to make a mess so my guided reading table stays tidy!

Revising Strategy posters

Book Responses!

Library Wall

Library, carpet & word wall (fiction section)

Reading nook in the nonfiction library. See my little bee pinata? From TalkingPinatas! :)

Poetry Station & supply area

Writer's Wall: Bee a Writer!

Reader's Wall: Bee a Reader! I didn't have bee borders for this wall because I am slowly adding to my collection. I can only spend so much at Eraser Dust at a time.

Guided Reading table. Notice how dark it is outside? And I was still at work. Awww.


Cute gift from one of my kids this year!

Now you should go link up with 3-6 Free Resources to get some great ideas for your theme!

And, check out my Bee Themed Classroom set at TPT or Teacher's Notebook
Bee Themed Library Labels at TPT

Bee Themed Revising Strategy Posters at TPT

Bee Themed Point of View Freebies at TPT

and my Bee Themed Daily Five Freebie Pack at TPT!



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Monday, July 16, 2012

Land, ho!

We stopped in three ports. The amount of fun I had in these ports can be represents on a graph in a bit of a parabola shape, if I remember what a parabola looks like. It's a U, right?

............................................................................................................................................................



Yes, I googled it and it is a U. Yay for my high school calculus teacher. Thank you, Mr. Allison. You were right. Calculus is useful in daily life.

This means: 
Jamaica: FUN!
Cayman Islands: Ok
Cozumel: FUN!

Jamaica was a neat place. We docked in Montego Bay and it was clear it was a struggling city. I completely enjoyed myself, though. My recollections of Jamaica are probably very stereotypical of people who visit Jamaica.

We piled in the bus, after being directed by a fairly annoyed Jamaican. He waved the bus driver on as you would wave to your younger brother who was antagonizing you. "Hurry up, already," his hands said. 



So we did. We scooted along the road. The driver told us, "Don't worry if we get to close. If someone gets too close to us, just say, "No problem, mon!" Some of the passengers on the bus embraced this practice. I did not. If someone got to close to us, I looked the other way and pretended we were abiding by safety regulations in the US. The rest of the bus chorused, "No problem, mon!" 

We finally arrived at a gorgeous beach. I rarely use the word 'gorgeous'. I used it a lot in Jamaica. The sand was a light beige, and if you stepped into the water, you could see slightly larger pieces of sand that were clearly shells broken down. It was like watching the weathering process. The water was various colors of blue and green and your feet were completely visible at the bottom because it was completely clear. It was pretty amazing.







We established ourselves on two lounge chairs with a large umbrella and I hastily sprayed myself with spray-on sunscreen while Fernie changed in the changing rooms. Big mistake. A smart girl would have waited until her hunny came out of the room and made him lather on the tube of sunscreen she had purchased. But I didn't. Spray-spray-spray-good enough- into the water. Five hours and one absolutely terrible sunburn later, I regretted my actions. 

Aside from the sunburn, everything was great. 

There was a cool guy playing steel drums and they served jerk pork for lunch. They also served barbecue chicken which is was I had because I saw bristles, as in bristles from the pig or hog or whatever, on some of the jerk pork, and I do not eat foods that still have bristles on them. Or feathers, in case you wondered. They also had an array of fruits that I don't know what they were but they were super tasty. 

There was another cool guy who directed all the entertainment. By this, I mean he simultaneously announced the open bar and encouraged people to visit it, explained about other fun things to do in Jamaica, and played volleyball with the teams he put together himself, while shouting "No pressure, no problem, mon!" and wearing a rasta hat.

A big piece of me couldn't really stomach this. I kept thinking about what would happen if someone came to visit El Paso. Would I have to wear a sombrero and shout, "Arriba! Arriba! Andale, andale!" so people would give me tips? I would like to believe that the Jamaica guy was a cool guy with a sincere accent (I actually believe this part is true) and a love of stereotypical phrases. But I can't help but think that I wouldn't like to spend the day shouting, "Yeehah! Everything's bigger in Texas!" and waving my dueling pistols while sporting a ten-gallon hat and boots.


The Cayman Islands were not as fun. Mostly because they were a Jamiaca repeat. And I was burned pretty badly. Not only that, I had this horrible pain where my chubby little thighs had rubbed together in Jamaica, so I couldn't wear my swimsuit. I sat on a lounge chair under a giant umbrella. I then realized I had two coupons for a free drink. Why two? Cause we each got one, and my hunny isn't much of a drinker. I immediately marched myself over to the bar and ordered a rum punch for each hand. I finished half of one walking back to my chair and drank the rest as if they were Hawaiian Punch. 

Then I realized that two rum punches have a lot of rum in them. I giggled through my hamburger lunch and did unreasonable things that I thought were completely reasonable, such as balancing my head on my fork with my teeth. It was easier than holding it up myself. I am sharing his incredibly embarrassing video with you to demonstrate just how nuts I was after 2 rum punches. 






See my stupid grin? I'm sloshed.


 After lunch, we hitched a ride on a bus going back nearish the ship and fell asleep for hours.

The last port, Cozumel, was amazing. We didn't actually spend the day in Cozumel; we took a barfy boat to the mainland. Fernie called is the SS Barfalot. And it was. No one actually did, but lots of us wanted to. I leaned my head forward against the seat in front of me and put pressure on my forehead. Finally, we arrived at the Playa del Carmen port and took a bus to Tulum. All the way there, we were informed and educated and prepared by our tour guide, Carlos, who sounded exactly like King Julian from Madagascar. 

He was fond of saying things like, "You don't have to look very far." He managed to use this in a variety of situations. 

"You don't have to look very far to find the ancestors of the Mayans. They're here. They're the people who live in the Yucatan."

"You don't have to look very far to see that the Yucatan is always hot."

"You don't have to look very far to find the bathroom. It's in the back of the bus."

At the end of the bus ride, King Julian explained that we would be given a small snack after our tour through the ruins. This was received with great expectation by many of the starving orphans perfectly healthy individuals on the bus.

King Julian tour guide took us on a very sweaty and drippy walk up some stairs and through lush vegetation. It was at this point that a very Mort-like child made his appearance. He peppered our walk with all the things we were thinking, but couldn't say as adults, all spoken in a delightfully squeaky voice with an Indian accent. Things like, "Will this long walk be worth it when we get there?" and "Why are we still going up stairs?" and "I am very sweaty." Me too, kid. Me too.

We finally reached the end of our march and reached a narrow tunnel. Walking through the tunnel and out into the sun, we were met by the most gorgeous ruins I've ever seen. Tulum was beautiful, and my words will be pathetic, so I'll share pictures.






I know we look like we shouldn't be let out without supervision in this picture.
It was really hot.
We look better in this one.

Then I saw a BOA! Not in a cage, either. It was just sitting there, curled up next to a rock wall and wrapped around a big iguana that he was crushing to death. How cool, right?! I got as close as I dared - I figured he was busy, and took some pictures. It was just too neat to pass up.



The tour guide who was channeling King Julian explained to us about the history of the Mayans and Tulum, and then said we would have some time to explore ourselves. After this, we would meet him back at the bus. He would be waiting under a nice umbrella. At this point, a loud American in a purple shirt (I am so embarrassed by my people sometimes) declared in a large voice, "We're not gonna let this guy leave without that snack he promised us, are we?"

I'm sorry, sir, but are you referring to the moon pie? Really? This is what you're worried about? A moon pie? How sugar deprived are you? The cruise ship is full of tasty delights. You'll be fine.

Never fear, dear reader. On our return to the bus, we were greeted with an ice-cold towel (heaven) and an ice-cold water bottle, and an ice-cold moon pie, with a large picture of a mammoth on the front. It was called "Mamut." I can only imagine that our purple-shirted friend was satisfied.

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