Somewhere between diving into the frigid waters of the cave, eating extremely fresh chicken for lunch (seriously its whole family was squawking around the little hut we were eating in) and driving through a world drastically different than our own, this man became a friend.

Timehop is a memory app that flashes exactly what you posted about on social media the same day in years past. And it always seems to nudge me at the worst times.

“Pssst…I know you’re cleaning the toilet right now, but two years ago at this very moment you were on a beach in Mexico. I just thought you might like to know.”

Gee, thanks.

So, I took off my gloves, sanitized my hands, and grabbed my phone where pictures of my favorite day ever flooded the screen. I mean, getting married and giving birth to my children were some big days, but our snorkeling excursion in the Riviera Maya — no pun intended — blew it all out of the water.

We snorkeled in an ocean inlet where freshwater and salt water meet, a cave in the middle of the rainforest where the water was so perfectly clear it was hard to point at where reached on my skin, and a cenote (a limestone sinkhole) so beautiful that I felt as if I were exploring the aquarium in my doctor’s office.

Truthfully, though, it was the people with us who made that trip — especially our tour guide.

“You look like a troublemaker,” he said to Logan when we approached a white van I probably would not have let my children get into on a normal day.

He stuck his hand out to Logan who crossed his arms in defiance of a handshake.

“My name’s Jesse. I’m a troublemaker too.”

Mutual respect seemed to fill the space between this bald and stocky, middle aged Mexican man with an angry shark tattoo showing through an unbuttoned shirt, and Logan — my freckled faced, strawberry blond, backwards-hat wearing, American six year old.

As seats started filling with groups from neighboring resorts, each new passenger was personally introduced to Logan.

“This here is Troublemaker,” Jesse said with one hand on the steering wheel and the other pointing to Logan who attempted to live up to his name by grunting to the crowd. “Don’t mess with him because he’s strong.”

A winding road in the small village of Akumal (we braked for crabs) took us to our first of three snorkeling sites, and as we turned off to park under a green, rainforest, canopy, Jesse whipped out his phone and showed us a video of an extremely large snake eating a less extremely large snake.

“I took this video here a few days ago. So, be careful when you go to the bathroom.”

I don’t want to say I peed in that beautiful, blue, lagoon water, but I will say no one on that trip ever got out and waded through the trees to find privacy.

And through the whole trip as we dove deep into the waters and pointed at fish that looked like Nemo and even a few Dorys — I regularly heard Jesse’s deep, gravely, voice drifting across the way.

“Troublemaker? You OK back there?”

Somewhere between diving into the frigid waters of the cave, eating extremely fresh chicken for lunch (seriously its whole family was squawking around the little hut we were eating in) and driving through a world drastically different than our own, this man became a friend.

And you know, maybe it was just another day at work for him — but I suspect something deeper was at play. After all the other families were dropped off and it was just us, Jesse talked about his son and daughter. His voice cracked when he spoke of his wife who died of cancer the year before.

“You know, Troublemaker, you remind of my son when he was little,” he said, ruffling Logan’s hair.

And Logan, now almost nine, remembers Jesse, too. His first ever front seat experience was as Jesse’s co-pilot (which I assume is legal in Mexico) through a small village about an hour from our resort.

Our family was introduced to an abundance of beauty during our Caribbean stay. Crystal beaches, colorful wildlife, and sunsets surely painted by God’s hand right before our eyes. But the greatest of all creation shined through the raw in an aged, tropical shirt clad, Mexican man who our family fell in love with.

Jesse the tour guide — thanks for the memory, Timehop. Now leave me alone with the toilet, please.