By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support local journalism.
Family Man 3-29
Going on a cruise and finding rocks
Placeholder Image

So there I am, standing in the shadow of one of the seven modern wonders of the world at Chichen Itza in the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico – the cradle of Mayan civilization – enjoying the history and awesome scenery of the ancient temples when my son tugs on my shirt.
“Look,” he says holding up a normal looking rock. “I found another rock.”
Seemingly oblivious to the large stone temples that surrounded us on every side, my 10-year-old plunges the rock into his bright pink bag and goes about looking for more samples like a prospector looking for gold during the California gold rush.
“Henry, look at all of this,” I say, pointing to the temples all around. “Isn’t this awesome.”
He bats his eyes at me for a moment, perhaps contemplating the beauty and historical significance of the site.
“It’s OK,” he responds as he turns and walks back toward the main temple. “I’m going to find some more rocks.”
It amazes me what kids like. You buy them an expensive toy and they want to play with the box it came in. Here we were on a once-in-a-lifetime trip (I’m not going back since it’s a two-hour bus ride both ways to Chichen Itza from the cruise ship) and all Henry can think about is increasing his rock collection. I think he would have had just as much fun watching SpongeBob in his room back on the ship but I had to try to impart at least a little history on him during our trip.
“But, the ruins,” I flourish, pointing toward the main temple like Vanna White pointing to the big puzzle on "Wheel of Fortune." “It’s the spring solstice. It’s like very important to the Mayans.”
“Who are the Mayans,” he asked as he bent to pick up another rock.
“Eh. Maybe he’ll grow up to be a geologist,” I mumbled under my breath, realizing every rock he picked up was going to make my baggage even heavier when we disembarked.
When we got back to the ship, my mom asked me what Henry thought about the ruins. She wasn’t able to go due to all the walking involved so she stayed on the ship and enjoyed the food.
I held up the bag of rocks. “Well, he added to his rock collection.”
Looking over her shoulder, making sure he wasn’t listening, my mother gave me a serious look.
“I don’t think he’s cruise material,” she declared.
Her assessment couldn’t be further from the truth. Henry spent most of his days and nights in the pools and hot tubs of the ship, befriending just about everyone on the Carnival Triumph. Had there been a vote for most popular passenger, Henry certainly would have won.
Now, as for being a lover of historic ruins, he could care less. Although, I have to admit, I’m yet to dig through his bag of rocks from Mexico. Who knows, maybe he found something of historical significance. Maybe instead of looking at the temples rising into the sky I should have been looking at the ground.
Standard reporter Duane Sherrill can be reached at 473-2191.