Mexico

Anti-Cabo

Posted by on Jun 4, 2015 in Mexico, Travel, Wanderlust | 0 comments

Anti-Cabo

This is a story about going to Baja and bypassing Cabo San Lucas completely.  It all started with a trip to Cabo and a 3 night stay at the super luxurious Las Ventanas .  Las Ventanas was for 3 nights so we decided to combine it with something else in the Baja.  Shortly after we booked our trip, the hurricane blew in devastating the area and destroying Las Ventanas.  So, we changed our reservations to mid-April which is when we were told the hotel would reopen.   April turned into a reopening in July but July is not a good time to go to Baja and since we’d already changed our flights once we decided to look for something to combine with the other destination that we’d booked…Rancho Pescadero in Pescadero, a few miles south of Todos Santos.

After doing some research on I-Escape, which I highly recommend, we came upon a small luxury eco-inn called Villa del Faro, on the Sea of Cortez, the East Cape.  It sounded great.  One hour on a dirt road, watch out for cows and goats, turn left at the basketball court.  Could been fun.  But the piece de resistence at Villa del Faro was something called “The Stone Cottage”.  A thatched roof cottage on the beach that had solar powered electricity, an outdoor shower and bano, fire pit and grill for cooking.  Sounded good and very adventurous, so we booked it.

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Oaxaca…The Markets and everything else!

Posted by on Jan 5, 2014 in Mexico, Travel, Wanderlust | 2 comments

Oaxaca…The Markets and everything else!

If you read my blogs you know we love markets.  They’re the heartbeat of a city.  So we had to go to the Mercado 20 de Noviembre (named for the anniversary of the movement which led to the overthrow of dictator Jose de la Cruz Porfirio Diaz Mori (who was from Oaxaca).  It’s all about food and is the original take on a food court. There’s no Sbarro or Subway here.  Everything is fresh and made to order and it’s almost impossible to get a seat at a counter.  They are arranged by type of food.  You just pick one food stall that looks good and grab a seat.  It’s some of the best food experiences you could have in Oaxaca.  Each one is individually owned and they are called a fonda.  No one speaks English but I use my best high school Spanish to place our order.  Roy orders his breakfast in French.

I had to have a famous Oaxaca breakfast consisting of hot chocolate and pan which is a big sweet roll.  The hot chocolate is hand mixed and poured into a ceramic bowl.  It’s hot and frothy.  It tastes like chocolate and cinnamon and it’s the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had.

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Roy wanted an orange juice so someone from our food stall ran to another food stall that specializes in juices and brought back a hand squeezed tall glass of juice.  Roy had a quesidilla with Oaxaca cheese.  Some other traditional breakfast foods at our counter were bowls of the most delicious looking chicken soup with cheese, avocado, chunks of chicken and rice and it looked so good.

After breakfast we walked around the market.  It was a jumble of vendors from surrounding villages selling their wares, roving musicians and this family playing the marimba.  The young boy was playing with three sticks – 2 in one hand.  They were fantastic.

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Skirt Steak is the meat of choice, along with chorizo; pick your choice of meats and have them barbecued on a hibachi.  Add a little guacamole or pico de gallo.

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One of the favorite snacks in Oaxaca is Chapulines.  Do you know what that is?  Grasshoppers!  There are two kinds.  One comes from corn and one comes from alfalfa.  They are fried with garlic, onion and with chili and are sold everywhere.  You can order them as snacks in the best restaurants.  I had to pass.

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Here are some more market scenes:

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After breakfast we had to do a little shopping.  Some of the best shops are cooperatives selling the crafts from artists of surrounding villages.  We bought this frog and coincidentally the artist was in the courtyard working so we were introduced to him!

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My last purchase.  A handbag with a tapestry handwoven by a craftsperson from the town of Itsmo.  You see variations of this design all over Oaxaca.   But this shop sells only original designs and the handbag has a different design on each side.  There are no others like it.  I couldn’t resist!

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Italian food in Oaxaca?  Yes!  The best actually.  The owner of Mexita is from Napoli! We had an excellent carbonera and veal scaloppine!  After dinner glasses of homemade limoncello and amaretto!  Who’d think??

On our way back to the hotel, this is what was happening on the street.  Street food with cars double parked and people waiting in line for tacos.

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Oaxaca at night:

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Our hotel, because of it’s historical significance and beauty, seems to be the site where every girl having a quineanera has her formal pictures taken.  There were probably 5 or 6 photo shoots while we were at the hotel.  I took a picture of this girl.  She was stunning and so was her dress.  Just one of two that were worn for her photo shoot.  The other dress had a similar design as my handbag!

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Our last day had to be cut short.  Roy came down with a 24 hour bug and that ended our plans.  But we did everything we wanted.  We loved Oaxaca.  Would we go back?  Probably not.  Not because we didn’t love it but because there are so many places to visit.

Where are we going next?  Panama!!

See you at the bar……

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Oaxaca in 3 1/2 days…Christmas Day

Posted by on Jan 3, 2014 in Mexico, Travel, Wanderlust | 1 comment

Oaxaca in 3 1/2 days…Christmas Day

Christmas Eve 2013 – flying into Oaxaca all you can see are the flashes of fireworks.  On the ground it’s a big party.  In the Zocalo, the main square, Midnight Mass, held 10P, is happening.  The church is crowded with parishioners and tourists and the bells are ringing inside and outside the church.  Surrounding the Zocalo and adjoining park are restaurants and they are all open and crowded.  So what’s for dinner on Christmas Eve?  For us it consisted of tacos al pastor, guacamole and a beer.  How good is that?  And that was only an hour after we landed! 

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Final Thoughts on Mexico

Posted by on Mar 25, 2012 in Mexico, Travel, Wanderlust | 2 comments

Final Thoughts on Mexico

Well, we loved Mexico. It’s not like we’ve never been there before.  But we hadn’t been to Mexico City and Zihau.  We were blown away by Mexico City’s beauty, the art everywhere you look, the history, the sophistication of it, the friendliness of the people and the great restaurants!  As I’ve said before we have a history with the country.  We got married there and have a soft spot for it.

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La Barra de Potosi

Posted by on Mar 18, 2012 in Mexico, Travel, Wanderlust | 3 comments

La Barra de Potosi

What’ s the worst sound you want to hear when you’re on vacation in a beach town?  Rain on the roof!  I woke up on our last day in Zihau to pounding rain along with thunder and lightning.  The lights flickered, went out for a few minutes and came back on.  Rain is basically unheard of in Zihua at this time of year but like everywhere else on the planet the weather is weird.  I went out onto the patio; it was heavily overcast and showering with no sign of a sunrise.

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Downtown Zihau

Posted by on Mar 11, 2012 in Food, Mexico, Travel, Wanderlust | 0 comments

Downtown Zihau

There’s nothing like a Mercado (market).  It’s the heartbeat of a city.  In Zihau the market takes up blocks.  Inside the market, stall after stall, packed tight selling anything you can imagine, from flowers to kitchen utensils and everything in between.  People shop and stop to eat at their favorite food stall.  Everyone has their favorite vendors.  Everything is fresh.  There are no chickens in plastic styrofoam cartons.  No shrink wrapped cheese.  You can smell the tomatoes and squeeze the melons.  Outside on the streets surrounding the Mercado there are more vendors selling everything from cheeses to chickens.  

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