Sunday, 30 December 2012

Been There, Done That: Get Me Outta Here!

Sundogs around the sun...and yes, it is as cold as it looks!  
     Ok, so I tried to see the beauty in winter...I tried to appreciate the 'subtle beauty of the prairies'...I tried to 'enjoy the season'.  This has been one cold month and now all I want to do it get out of Dodge and be hit upside the head with some obvious, in-your-face, take-your-breath-away, sun-drenched, green and flowering vegetation, surf-rolling-in beauty!!!  
     You know how I usually say something like 'I can't wait to see what is out there'?  Well, I have never meant it more this time because what has been out there this month has been cold, cloudy and dark.  Bring it on, I say!!

Hoarfrost and blue skies

Winter sunset

Frozen cattails

Take me home, country roads

All these pictures were taken in and around my hometown this month.
In order to get this kind of hoarfrost, it has to be really cold!

Running in December at home is always challenging, but not impossible!  This day it was -34 degrees Celcius but with 5 layers on the bottom half, 4 layers on the top half, 2 pair of socks, 2 pair of gloves, toque, scarf and neck warmer I was good to go!!
     And so it goes without saying that I am anxious to get to leave all this "winter beauty" behind and head to warmer climes.  I can't think of a better way to start 2013 than with a return to the surf, sand and sun in San Diego for nearly two months.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Mexican Memories

   Last night, I flew home from three fantastic weeks in Puerto Vallarta.  Today, I am wondering why I returned!  I could get very used to endless days of sun, sand, surf and cervesa....particularly in the month of November.  So far, this year I have had incredible luck in the experiences I have had, but I think this one may have been my greatest coup to date!  There is nothing like hearing/knowing about the return of winter at home while you are sitting by the pool, reading a book, with the ocean at your feet.

     I was lucky enough to rent a condo from friends of mine in Nuevo Vallarta.


     The place was fantastic-so open and clean and scenic and private.  While I found the location to be a bit far from things at first, I soon came to really appreciate that because it was so quiet most of the time.
     The humidity was incredibly high the first two weeks I was there, but for the last week it was nearly perfect.  I enjoyed finding my way around either by foot, bike, bus or cab and I found it very easy to get around after a few days.
     But the best part of the whole trip was being able to share it with my sister and her husband who joined me for my last week.  We had such a great time.  Time went way too fast, so I guess we'll just have to return to enjoy it again!

Welcome to Puerto Vallarta...getting around just like a local

Loved the public transportation

Street market in Bucerias

Loved the fish tacos
It was so hot, steam came off this bottle of beer when I touched it.

Took a cooking class

Spent an evening making Mexican appetizers

Greatest seafood lunch, right on the beach!

Lunch is served at our very own swim-up bar!

Love this picture of my sister,Wendy and I

Happy and most welcome visitors

A great evening at "Rhythms of the Night"

buckling up..

securing the lines...

lift off...

and take off...

coming in for...

a perfect landing!!
A perfect ending to another perfect day!

"Day of the Dead" displays along the malecon
in Puerto Vallarta

Strolling along the malecon

Looking for some cold, delicious coconut juice with apples and pecans.
I loved that stuff!
Living sand sculptures along the malecon

Jungle walk into Bucerias
Duty free??

     And so once again, another month has brought with it more fantastic experiences.  I loved being somewhere new and being able to discover all the things this great place had to offer.  The people were so friendly and helpful, the weather was terrific (albeit humid-but I'm sure not complaining!!), the food, views and company were all outstanding.  I am so glad that I had the chance to experience this part of Mexico in this way.
     While I could have easily stayed for much longer just to be in that great weather, I feel like it was a great way to get a feel for life there.  And now, I must readjust to being back in the cold, but hopefully it won't be for too long.  And since I am going to be in it for awhile, I am going to try and embrace the winter and make the best of it.  (However, I can tell you right now that making plans to escape it won't be far from my mind either!)  
     And so, once again, I look forward to seeing what is out there this month.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

The Best 91 Cents I Ever Spent!!!!!

     Yesterday, I ripped myself away from the comfort of the condo, spent 12 pesos (91 cents) on a ticket for the bus and travelled 31 km north to the surfing town of Sayulita. 

Lime-salted watermelon spears, cold coconut milk
and the beautiful Pacific Ocean on Sayulita beach!!

     And what a trip it was!  The ride was indeed as rough as I had heard it was going to be, but the experience was very interesting.  Once we got out of the city, the drive turned into a great half hour ride through the jungle.  It was as green out  the window as the blues over the ocean in San Diego were.  A cool sight for a prairie boy!

      Once I got there, I bought a smoothie on the street, got a shrimp burrito for lunch and walked around the town in the heat and humidity.  Eventually, I made my way to the beach and found surfers, sunbathers, vendors, massage tents, fishing boats, locals and visitors alike. 
Lunch time!  Can't get enough shrimp!!
Sayulita beach

Such beautiful scenery

Even the dead fish on the beach were interesting looking!

Best thirst quencher to date:
watermelon spears served with lime salt
(I passed on the offer to add hot sauce as well!!!)

cold coconuts on the beach!

Jungle in the Sierra Madre mountains

Downtown Sayulita

      What an interesting day!  I enjoyed getting out and seeing a more typical Mexican town than where I am staying in Nuevo Vallarta.  And as "they" say, 'getting there was, indeed, half the fun'!!