Documenting Our Trip: One Photo A Day
Day 136 - Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico
It is time to say goodbye to Mexico. We spend our last day just enjoying the beach before we make our way to Belize. It has been a wonderful experience to travel through only 10 of the 32 states of Mexico and watch as the food, music, colors and people change as we went from state to state. They are aware of the bad reputation they get from foreign press and go out of their way to ensure you have a lovely stay in their cities. Everyone is always boasting how their city is better than the other, how you won't spend as nice a time "there" than you will "here". I enjoyed the friendly competition and decided on my own favorites. I will miss you Mexico lindo y querido.
Day 135 - Ruins of Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico
A mayor Mayan port city built in the late 13th century trading mainly in turquoise and jade, it stands on a cliff facing east towards the Caribbean sea. It is the only city built right by the sea where you can walk down by the beach after a visit and take in the sun.
Day 134 - Akumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Akumal in Yucatecan Maya language means land of the turtles. A large conservation effort is present here to ensure more generations can enjoy swimming with these magnificent creatures. We snorkeled there as well as in Playa Pescadores where, in my opinion, you get an even more intimate and rewarding encounter. Just remember the golden oceanic rule: leave everything as you found it and take your trash with you!
Day 133 - Tulum, Mexico
We dive The Pit Cenote, our first deep dive in Tulum and mamma mia! The most beautiful thing I have ever seen. When you reach the cenote, you can jump 6 meters into the water or walk down the stairs with your gear. Once you start your descent, the light effects are absolutely spectacular. You look up to see light piercing through the water then you look down into the vastness of the sink hole. Sun rays penetrate to 30 meters crashing with a hydrogen sulfate cloud, a meeting of salt water and fresh water. Stalactites and oxygen bubbles trapped in the surface of the cave are just of the few other things to admire as you dive in the Pit.
Day 132 - Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico
After several days in the jungle, we reach our final Mexican destination with great excitement and a bit of sadness at the same time. The turquoise waters and calm bohemian beach town of Tulum is the perfect place to finish our Mexican adventure and ready to enjoy some beach time!
Day 131 - Lacandon Jungle, Chiapas, Mexico
We spent a night with a Lacandonian family and enjoyed a short walk into the jungle. Our guide, Gabriel, carries a machete for protection and was rarely needed even when we encountered a venomous snake. His knowledge of the jungle and its inhabitants allow him to react swiftly and calmly, even at fifteen. His faithful dog follows him where he goes, no leash needed. She knows the jungle so well she can come and go on her own but prefers to follow him closely.
Day 130 - Bonampak, Chiapas, Mexico
There isn't much of the city left in Bonampak but what it lacks in structures it pays in original paintings. Here is a magnificent side of one of three quarters with it's original frescos dating back to 790 CE.
Day 129 - Palenque, Chiapas, Mexico
Our final destination of the day was the great ruins of Palenque, our second Mayan city. I love seeing how all the great ruins morph as we travel south. Only a tenth of the city has been explored while the rest is still being claimed by the jungle and howler monkeys which you can hear as you visit the site.
Day 129 - Agua Azul and Misol-Ha Waterfalls, Chiapas, Mexico
On our way to Palenque we stop at Agua Azul and Misol-Ha for chapuzón, or quick dip.
Misol-Ha was where Predator emerges from the waterfall.
Day 128 - Cañón del Sumidero, Chiapas, MexicoJune 1, 2015
Another tour takes us to this amazing narrow and deep canyon surrounded by a national park just outside of Chiapa de Corzo. This canyon is about as old as the Grand Canyon in Arizona, USA where at the end of it is the dam that creates almost half of Mexico's electricity and a third of Guatemala's.
Day 127 - San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico
We take a day off from tours and walk around the cobbled streets of San Cristobal to take it all in. It happened to rain so the usual hustle of the streets was missing. Here, a lady waits for the rain to stop at the steps of a church so she can go back to selling her crafts.
Day 126 - Chiflón Waterfall and Lagunas de Montebello, Chiapas, Mexico
Chiapas is one of the most jam-packed states in Mexico. We start our first adventure day visiting see the clear blue waters of El Chiflon and hike up to see the waterfall called "Bride's Veil" and what better way to head back down than ziplining? Next we go to see 5 of the dozen lakes in Montebello and raft in the largest one on a small wooden raft that is surprisingly pretty sturdy. Just don't start dancing on it!
Day 125 - Zinacantán, Chiapas, Mexico
An indigenous community near San Cristobal where we were invited for a delicious lunch made in a traditional kitchen inside an adobe house. It was the perfect temperature inside despite the heat from the stove or outside. The women of the house all helped with making chile relleno, chicken soup and fresh tortillas for us. All from fresh ingredients grown in the area -- including the chicken!
Day 124 - San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico
A beautiful colonial town where old and new still lives on. A great majority of Tzotzils, a Mayan group, live in the town and surrounding communities. Chiapas is also home of the controversial Zapatistas who fought against the government for social equality for the indigenous people. Much of the people or architecture remind you of the fight for existence from the indigenous people. You will find numerous different traditional attires on women which hint you what community they are from. Men have long left their traditional clothes for special occasions to avoid discrimination and churches often have Mayan iconography that show how the Spaniards tried and failed to evangelize them. Despite all these tensions and contradictions, this town is full of life, delicious food and friendly people.
Day 123 - Hacienda La Luz, Tabasco, Mexico
Cocoa beans are being sun dried before they get roasted and turned into xocolatl. We learned of the amazing process starting from the micro-ecosystem the trees grow in, to tasting the sweet gooey pulp inside the pods, roasting the beans and finally to tasting the final product -- Mexican grown and produced xocolatl with no sugar or milk needed.
Day 122 - Villahermosa, Tabasco, Mexico
Altar 5 from La Venta Park-Museum. The inert were-jaguar baby held by the central figure is seen by some as an indication of child sacrifice. In contrast, its sides show bas-reliefs of humans holding quite lively were-jaguar babies.
Day 121 - La Venta, Tabasco, Mexico
We finally made it to the main Olmec site of La Venta. Any other site is really very hard to get to if it still exists at all smile emoticon Lesson learned. The Olmecs are thought to be the first civilization to flourish in America dating as far back as 1200 BCE. The famous heads are thought to be in the likeness of the mighty rules. Three very different heads are displayed where they were originally found and a fourth modern one photobombs my picture.
Day 120 - Comacalco, Tabasco, Mexico
We skip over to our first Mayan site in Tabasco after a complete failure to see the Olmecs. Though we are still hopeful with La Venta, we focused on this unique site that was built with baked bricks instead of limestone blocks and used oyster-base mortar for binding the bricks.
Not only is this the only Mayan city with brick structures, but many bricks were found to have mason symbols almost identical to the Romans revealing a possible Roman Christian presence in the Americas a thousand years before the arrival of Columbus, or so the theory says.
Day 119 - San Lorenzo de Tenochtitlan, Veracruz, Mexico
We find ourselves in the middle of nowhere after traveling to what we thought were remnants of an Olmec city. After ignoring the puzzled looks of our hosts in Catemaco and then the taxi driver who had to drive us an hour each way, we arrive at a tiny museum and just mostly under developed land. The most interesting thing we found were the cows staring at us like a Mona Lisa painting where only their eyes followed our every move.
Day 118 - San Andres Tuxtla, Veracruz, Mexico
Freshly hand made tortillas being made for my quesadillas. I wasn't even hungry but seeing how these tortillas fluff up in the wooden stove gave me a hint they would be delicious with the panela cheese filling. All for 10 pesos... Needles to say they were delicious.
Day 117 - Benito Juarez, Veracruz, Mexico
Across the lake from Catemaco is the small village of Benito Juarez where we were invited by our guide to have breakfast at his home before our big day started. An amazing family willing to put in all their time, effort and even lives in possible danger to defend their nature reserve. We arrive to his village using the local transportation, a chicken bus, and after being warmly received by his wife and daughter, we start our trek to the jungle. We were educated on the flora and fauna of the area and even a snake made its appearance. He explained to us that many want to destroy this are area for their selfish reasons and he and few others take turns in patrolling the area. This means being in the jungle for a week, carrying with them several gallons of water and food to last them the week so that we can enjoy this beautiful reserve for generations to come. Our trek in the jungle ended with a beautiful waterfall and fresh water pond for us to swim in.
Day 116 - Catemaco Lake, Veracruz, Mexico
Our lake tour included a trip to Monkey Island where I had a very close encounter with a baby stump-tailed macaque. So curious he was that he would jump back and forth between branches and getting very close to my camera.
Day 115 - Catemaco, Veracruz, Mexico
Day 114 - Catemaco, Veracruz, Mexico
Day 113 - Veracruz, Veracruz, Mexico
We visited The Cathedral coral reef in Isla Verde for our third and final dive. You can admire the beautiful colors and formations as far as the eye can see gliding through the calm waters and with great visibility. We would need a few more underwater gadgets to really give these reefs' beauty justice.
Day 112 - Veracruz, Veracruz, Mexico
We found a place to finish what we started 2 years ago and get our PADI Open Water scuba certification. The reefs here are beautiful and a perfect place to learn. We are hooked on yet another expensive past time on a backpacker's budget...
Day 111 - Quiahuiztlan, Veracruz, Mexico
A Totonec city atop a mountain after the fall of Tajin that was later invaded by the Toltecs and the Aztecs thereafter. It overlooks the town Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz (rich town of the true cross) and became the first settlement in the Americas, founded by Cortez when he arrived here in 1519 in his pursuit to conquer Mexico.
Day 110 - Papantla, Veracruz, Mexico
Day 109 - El Tajin, Veracruz
Next to Papantla is the Totonec city of thunder, El Tajin, and true to it's name we arrive on a cloudy and thunderous day. The famous Templo de los Nichos has 365 niches representing a complete solar year. The temple is situated next to the ball court created for the elites where Vincent pretends to play poc ta poc. Behind it you see a hill covered with trees where another structure lays underneath.
Day 108 - Somewhere in Veracruz
We cross our fingers hoping for the best and drive to Papantla to continue our journey. On our drive, a huge fog descended on us and followed this car on the highway at a slightly faster speed, eventually engulfing it in its fog.
Day 107 - Mexico City, Mexico
What do you do when you are bummed out and camera-less? Go play with some puppies! I have a new love for Shih Tzus and Vincent for Shiba Inus. For just $30,000 MXP each we could have taken them with us!
Day 106 - Mexico City, Mexico
Back in Mexico City for an emergency stop at Canon. Why? Because our fun at the beach was too much and I got my camera splashed by a wave. It was a very upsetting day to say the least...
Day 105 - Anton Lizardo, Verarcruz
Evening fishermen getting their nets ready to catch the fish that come up to the edge of the shore to eat the small mollusks and seashells. As the tide comes up, the more fish they can catch. The fishermen walk several kilometers and then back to their car every night to catch as many fish as they can.
Day 104 - Anton Lizardo, Verarcruz
An amazing sunset after several cloudy and humid days that hid the sun well before it set. A great sight to behold.
Day 103 - Anton Lizardo, Verarcruz
Large tree trunks washed ashore after a large hurricane hit the area in 2010. Some have turned into a quaint part of the new landscape creating perfect benches for a peaceful moment at the beach. It almost felt like a deserted island if it weren't for the evening fishermen.
Day 102 - Anton Lizardo, Verarcruz
We arrived at a small cabana near the beach to enjoy some down time. Three labradors owned by the owner who lives on site would follow us to the beach to play and roll around the sand after splashing around with the waves.
Day 101 - Puebla, Puebla, Mexico
Cinco de Mayo means several things depending who you ask. For Americans it is mostly known as the day you celebrate Mexican things like tequila, margaritas, and enjoy a fun night with friends starting with an early happy hour. In Puebla, it is a month-long celebration in remembrance of the victory when the outnumbered and untrained citizens of Puebla took arms and defeated the great Napoleon army. The celebration starts with a great parade displaying Mexico's military and followed by amazing floats, music and traditional costumes of Puebla. An international variety of music, art, and live concerts continue for the full month of May. Puebla is the place to be in May!
Day 100 - Cholula, Puebla, Mexico
As Cortez made his way to Tenochtitlan during his conquest, he stopped in the very important trading city of Cholula where it's main pyramid was destroyed and a church was erected in it's place. Its remains still stand and only a portion of it has been excavated. It is the largest pyramid by volume in the Americas, so large that tunnels have been found underneath.
Day 99 - Puebla, Puebla, Mexico
A Talavera shop showcasing their many plates and designs.
Day 98 - Puebla, Puebla, Mexico
A beautiful evening in the historic center of Puebla where you can admire the tile-work used on the buildings unique to Puebla complimented by its a bright evening blue sky.
Day 97 - Puebla, Puebla, MexicoMay 1, 2015
A special presentation was projected on Puebla's main cathedral displaying Puebla's history, Talavera and other festive images to prepare for the upcoming Cinco de Mayo celebrations that will continue for the whole month of May.
Day 96 - San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico
Catching the sunset as we walk up the hill for a better view. The weather is cool, not hot or cold, and the light shines on the cobblestone streets where almost every corner has beautiful architecture to appreciate. Sometimes these seemingly modest houses with simple but beautiful architecture hides a much larger oasis inside. Just visit the Mask Museum which is also a lovely Bed and Breakfast with splendid rooftop views.
Day 95 - San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico
After being sick for 2 days and sleeping for most of it, we decided to go to a thermal pool outside the city, specially on a cold and cloudy day. They have outdoor pools decorated with warm blue waters and rock walls and indoor domed pools with passageways to other small pools. It seemed like we had the place all to ourselves making it a perfect lazy day.
Day 94 - San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico
Found these ceremonial masks in the Mercado de Artesanias which tested my will of the pocket book. Amazing works sold by the artists themselves, you will find anything from masks to handmade textiles to fine home decor. Bring an extra large suitcase! As for us, it's sadly a downfall of backpacking to not bring home all of these beautiful things. A picture is our souvenir.
Day 93 - San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico
Mexico is mostly visited by it's beautiful beaches and central cities like these are often overlooked so perhaps I shouldn't write about it to preserve its somewhat anonymity. Labeled a UNESCO site for its history, playing a big part in the Mexican Independence, and for its colonial buildings that date back to 1542, San Miguel is a gem of central Mexico. You will find great international restaurants as well as delicious Mexican food, beautiful art galleries, markets and will get lost walking the streets. A very tranquil town with beauty in every corner.
Day 92 - Guanajuato, Guanajuato, Mexico
The Mummies of Guanajuato were people interred in the cemetery who were naturally mummified by the lack of oxygen going into their coffins and dry conditions of the area. The museum is set up in a way where you get the history and explanations of the mummies but displayed in an eerie way. Broken mirrors are placed to add a drama. Pretty creepy!
Day 91 - Guanajuato, Guanajuato, Mexico
Every night young musicians called Cervantinos dress up in 17th century costume take guests through the cobblestone streets and narrow alleyways of Guanajuato to a walking serenade or Callejoneada while playing music, singing popular folk songs, telling jokes and stories and reciting local legends. We ended up in el Callejon del Beso again finishing the night with a romantic kiss. After, we climbed stairs for 15 minutes up to our apartment for a well deserved drink.
Day 90 - Guanajuato, Guanajuato, Mexico
A star-crossed lovers tale is told here at the Alley of the Kiss or Callejon del Beso. This alley is so narrow that one might accidentally kiss another when passing through but that's not how it got it's name... Doña Carmen and Don Luis were deeply in love but her father was a violent and jealous man. Unable to see Doña Carmen, he purchased the house across hers so they can use the balconies to steal a few kisses. Sadly, the tale ends tragically when they are found out by her father who kills his only daughter out of rage. Since we are legally wed, I hope this stolen kiss is approved by my father :)
Day 89 - Guanajuato, Guanajuato, MexicoColorful houses adorn this valley. The home of the first battle of Independence, the Cervantino festival, Don Quixote, the silver mines and mummies but more than touring the city for it's history, what brings it to life is the people. With a university that attracts nationals and foreigners alike, there is never a quiet moment but it's quiet that you want, sit back in your balcony to look at the beautiful view and listen to the distant music coming from inside the valley.
Day 88 - Mexico City, MexicoInside the National Palace is a mural depicting the Mexican history by Diego Rivera. Much like Orozco, his style focuses on the struggle the Mexican people, mainly indigenous and mestizo, that have endured during the times of Conquest and Revolution. It was his opportunity to provide an alternative view of history in favor of the Pueblo and a chance to vilify the Spanish as a means of rectifying a historical imbalance. The palace itself was built on the ruins and materials of the original Aztec palace.
Day 87 - Mexico City, Mexico
The complex is created similar to that of Aztec structures with a main patio and 24 exhibit rooms surrounding it. The concrete ceiling covering the patio is supported by a single metal column which depicts the two races who merged, the Indigenous and the Spanish, to create a new Mexican nation. It is a magnificent museum where displays exhibits from origins of man, to the history of evolution and civilizations in Mesoamerica, and houses a room for each region of current indigenous people living in Mexico today. The architecture and murals of the museum, surrounded by lush gardens, is a beauty of its own. A must visit for history and architecture lovers.
Day 86 - Teotihuacan, Mexico
Already abandoned by the time the Aztecs came, the city became known as the Birthplace of the Gods by the Aztecs. At it's height in 750AD, the city had a population of about 200,000 making it the 6th largest city in the world at that time with a multicultural population. I'd like to think if it like the New York of Mesoamerica. Sitting on the Pyramid of the Sun overlooking the Pyramid of the Moon.
Day 85 - Xochimilco, Mexico
The Venice of Mexico. Trajineras move around what is left of Lake Texoco where Tenochitlan and modern day Mexico City resides. You can purchase food, beer, pulque, mariachi music, flowers and pretty much anything you can think of for a good party or romantic afternoon.
Day 84 - Mexico City, Mexico
We made a quick stop at the Central Library at UNAM also known as University City because of the sheer size of the campus. It truly is like it's own town with it's own transportation and taxis to take you where you need to go. It is one of the largest and most artistically detailed universities in Latin America attracting the best architects and even having it labeled as a UNESCO. Each wall contains a mural painted by Juan O'Gorman depicting a part of Mexico's culture.
Day 83 - Mexico City, Mexico
Getting cultured at the Museum of Modern Art or MAM :)
Day 82 - Mexico City, Mexico
Clowns in Mexico are neither scary or just for children. They are usually found in the city squares or parks entertaining the crowds with both physical and stand-up comedy. Teasing the crowds are also not below them where I have already been singled out and called a paparazzi for taking out the camera. You find them with a variety of outfits from the very elaborate to more toned down but they will ALWAYS have the red nose and rosy cheeks.
Day 81 - Mexico City, Mexico
Located at the entrance of Chapultepec Park is the Monument of the Defenders of the Motherland where six teenage cadets known as the Niños Heroes refused to retreat from US invading forces and died protecting Mexico in 1847 in the Mexican-American War. It is said that Juan Escutia, age 15, was the last cadet to remain, who, rather than having the national flag fall into enemy hands, wrapped it around his body and jumped to his death from the top of the castle. California and most of today's Southwest was ceded to the US at the end of this war.
Day 80 - Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
Enjoying the terrace one last time before we get on a bus to Mexico City.
Day 79 - Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
Our last Sunday in Guadalajara ends with these super talented guys who were flipping and bouncing off this tightrope making it seem effortless. Via Recreativa definitely stands up to its name where each Sunday we can watch all kinds of sports and activities. I wouldn't be surprised if one of these guys ended up in Cirque du Solei in the future.
Day 78 - Teuchitlán, Jalisco, Mexico
Guachimontones, a pre-hispanic archeological site, where it's name comes from a combination of Nahuatl and Spanish meaning many mounds. Ceremonies similar to the Voladores de Papantla were held here. Its steps form a perfect 52-year calendar with 13 steps and 4 additional ones representing the 4 elements. The Tequila volcano can be seen in the background.
Day 77 - Corralejo-Hidalgo, Guanajuato, Mexico
We drove 3 hours to this small town where the beautiful Hacienda Corralejo resides and the home of my favorite tequila. This is the cava for the 99,000 Hours Añejo barrels where, as the name describes, it takes 99,000 hours to make from cultivation to bottling.
Day 76 - Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
We celebrated our 5-year anniversary at El Gato Negro, a historic house turned coffee shop. Spanish for Le Chat Noir, it was very fitting for a Frenchman to take his Mexican wife to. We ate fancy molletes which is the Mexican version of a tartine. Who knew the French and Mexicans had so much in common?
Day 73 - Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
Carriage ride in the Centro Historico.
Day 74 - Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico
A super cute town sitting by the largest lake in Mexico, Lake Chapala. You can see the light blue colored mountains in the distance on other side of the lake. The weather is great year round and now know why so many people like to retire here.
Day 72 - Tequila, Jalisco, MX
The blue agave fields that make my favorite drink. Think of wine tasting in Napa Valley, Tequila version! Get a tour guide to take you to some of the finest and oldest Tequilerias like Jose Cuervo, Sauza and 3 Mujeres in the town where this drink got it's name. Don't forget to have a big breakfast before you start!
Day 71 - Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
The Tatachines of the 1st Battallion from Tlaquepaque display a dance showing the Moor and Spanish and more specifically the Christian influence in Mexico.
Day 70 - Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
Man texting while walking in front of the Templo de Santa María de Gracia.
Day 69 - Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
Good Friday, or Viernes Santo, is taken a lot more seriously here. We were relaxing in our balcony when we heard a procession pass by our place on the way to the church. People followed a car holding an image of Jesus where the women wore veils and every once in a while everyone had to kneel down on the street, bringing pieces of cardboard for protection for their knees. We didn't see any bunnies or chocolate eggs :)
Day 68 - Tlaquepaque, Jalisco, Mexico
Next to Guadalajara is Tlaquepaque known for its art, pottery and glass. Adorable stores are everywhere so shoppers beware, you will leave needing a second suitcase to take back home.
Day 67 - Zapopan, Jalisco, MexicoApril 1, 2015
Japanese Garden at Colomos Park. It was a beautiful place to rest after some horseback riding in the same park.
Day 66 - Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
Lucha Libre! The atmosphere the audience and wrestlers create together is extremely fun to watch. The people chant and cheer at each other of different sides of the auditorium and with the wrestlers who often respond back. Unfortunately cameras aren't allowed so we could only take a photo of the mural inside.
Day 65 - Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
A mural by famed artist Jose Clemente Orozco showing Miguel Idalgo, the father of the Mexican Independence, brandishing a fiery torch at shadowy figures representing oppression and slavery. Painted in 1937 inside the Goernor's Palace or Palacio del Govierno, at the main staircase.
Day 64 - Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
A series of shots following a skater during Sunday's Via Recreativa, where every Sunday some streets close to allow pedestrians, skaters and bikers enjoy a recreational day safely in the streets. This kid was so focused on getting his jump right that he ignored me when I tried to show him the shot until he got it perfectly after 2 more tries! Now that's dedication!
Day 63 - Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
Folklore dancing is presented at the Plaza de los Mariachis with the Temple of San Juan de Dios adorning the background. I'm always in awe of the beautiful dresses and the grace the dancers displayed in such a hot afternoon.
Day 62 - Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
One of the many beautiful murals found in Guadalajara. From Alegria del Prado.
Day 61 - Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico
A trendy street performer joins us on the bus in Zapopan, a city in the Guadalajara metro area.
Day 60 - Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
The Cathedral of Guadalajara, built in 1568. In front of it is a plaza which gets filled with people every night with people of all ages and social classes. You can find street performers, street vendors selling from freshly cut pineapple with chili or sans chili, and toys for the kids to play with as the parents sit nearby.
Day 59 - Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico
Our last day at the beach. We rented a kayak to go the small island nearby for the afternoon (see background on Day 56). It was a short 20 minute kayak each way and enjoyed the sunset on the water as we returned to shore. Cocos locos, two cute dogs and some hammocks greeted us at the island.
Day 58 - Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico
Went on a tour to a small island for some better beach, sun, and all-you-can-drink bar. As we traveled on a cruise boat to our destination, we saw a few kids looking like they were having more fun than us on a speedboat pulling another friend who was boogie boarding. I almost jumped off the cruise to go join them!
Follow up. Kid on boogie board being pulled by his friends on a speed boat. I asked him if it hurt and he assured me it did not!
Day 57 - Mazatlan, Sinaloa, MexicoA small section at the beach was blocked off to set up fireworks for a wedding. A huge fireball rose to the sky as it was lit.
Day 56 - Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico
We arrived at the beach on a Friday which ensured a lively weekend. We decided to head to the beach for sunset where we saw this cute young couple who were visiting from Culiacán, Sinaloa celebrating their 2 year anniversary.
Day 54 - Cócorit, Sonora, Mexico
A friend drove us back to Cócorit, to the main plaza, to show us a tree which was carved by hand with the deer dancer's image. The work was done pro bono from of a local artist, Francisco, just for the pleasure of having something nice in their town. In the image, you can see details like the wolves in the background that represent the hunters and the butterfly cocoons that are worn on the dancer's feet.
Day 53 - Cócorit, Sonora, Mexico
During our visit to the Yaqui Museum, we found a newly inaugurated exhibit on the Yaqui ceremonial dances including the official dance of Sonora, the Deer Dance, or Danza del Venado. Each life-sized figure, made of papier-mâché, took approximately one month to complete and the faces of each figure is an replica of the current dancers of the tribe. The dance pays homage to the natural world and white tail deer where the deer dancer wears a dear head atop his own and covers his eyes to in order to focus on the sound and become one with the deer. The reed flute, percussion, rasps, rattles, and chanting accompanies the dance.
Day 55 - Obregon, Sonora, Mexico
Pulpo! Living close to the sea has many benefits specially if you love seafood. My dad took us to Arbolitos de Cajeme where I ordered grilled octopus with grilled onion and green chile filled with cheese. A small tentacle is missing as I couldnt wait to try it before taking a photo!
Day 52 - Obregon, Sonora, Mexico
Cocos!!! Best cocos in Mexico are in Obregon! You pick the coco of your choice - soft, medium or hard pulp - where they cut it open and you enjoy the cocount juice. Some make them a coco loco where tequila is added. Once you finish your drink, they will prepare the pulp to your liking. This one had a medium coconut pulp with cucumber, Japanese peanuts, rielito, clamato juice and lime.
Day 51 - Empalme, Sonora, Mexico
I had the great opportunity to visit my aunt and uncle in their hometown of Empalme on our way to our Obregon. My uncle Nacho, short for Ignacio, worked for a railroad company as a lathe worker or tornero for 20 years when the railroad transportation was booming. Today, he still proudly works making smaller pieces of machinery well into his golden years keeping him busy.
Day 50 - Tucson, AZ
Shatzie. Found wondering in my mom's neighborhood about 5 years ago, he is an energetic Yorkie who loves to be cradled like a real baby. He will ask you to put your hand on his chest as he wraps his two front legs around it.
Day 49 - Tucson, AZ
We took April and Shatzie out for a walk and found it a bit challenging. If Shatzie wants to go left then April will often go right. He is also often following her steps to make sure he's the last one to mark the spot!
Day 48 - Tucson, AZ
April. My mom's first Yorkie who is now 9 years old. She is getting older and slower and I think she's constantly annoyed at Shatzie's attention seeking energy.
Day 47 - Tucson, AZ
Got a new haircut to start our adventure into Mexico. Went short for the first time in years!
Day 46 - Downtown Tucson, AZ
We were invited to go see the Female Storytellers tell stories about the Wild. Each month they get together and pick a theme to tell a story about which often turns out funny and unpredictably entertaining. With their performances, they raise funds for local communities. You can find more information about them at www.fstorytellers.com.
Day 45 - Downtown Tucson, AZ
Locks of love on 4th ave. A cute addition to Downtown Tucson.
Day 44 - Tucson, AZ
More Tucson street art. Love this wall!
Day 43 - Tucson, AZ
Enjoying Tucson street art.
Day 42 - Tucson, AZ
I went to visit my aunt where we spent the day pampering ourselves and had the perfect opportunity to photograph her. A beautiful and hard working woman who doesn't let life's challenges bring her spirit down.
Day 41 - Tucson, AZ
Downtown Tucson has really grown and I have grown to love it! I was introduced to the Tough Luck Club by some friends where the drinks are a work of art and delicious. Try the Knock Twice and you will surely be coming back for more.
Day 40 - Saguaro National Park
As the sun sets, it highlights the side of this ancient saguaro which, according to it's height and arms, should be over 100 years old.
Day 39 - Saguaro National Park
A full moon came out from behind the mountain. A reminder that sometimes you should look behind you while you direct the camera to the most obvious choice. My dad, who joined us on this trip, seemed to notice what I had yet to discover.
Day 38 - Saguaro National Park
A view from the mountain as you descend down the valley making us seem so small. Hiking is best done early in the early morning before the sun forces you to buy a new shade of foundation :)
Day 37 - Saguaro National Park
We went on a short hike to see the sacred saguaros for sunset. Vincent found a perfect spot to take in the view and meditate as we waited for the golden hour. A beautiful and peaceful place that should not be missed when coming to southern Arizona.
Day 36 - Tucson, AZ March 1, 2015
Marking the 1st of a new month. We received a Chinese fortune, or more like a proverb, at the end of our meal that seemed very fitting to our current lifestyle. None of our experiences would have been possible without money but no quantity of it would compare to the memories we are creating.
Day 35 - Tucson, AZ
The Tucson Rodeo! Also known as Fiesta de los Vaqueros. It was everyone's first time actually seeing the events. It's exciting to see how the cowboys handle themselves on the bronc horses and a very honorable mention to the women who rode the race horses with extreme precision.
Day 34 - Tucson, AZ
My dad finishes up the storage with a new door. The final touch to our 4 days of cleaning and organizing.
Day 33 - Tucson, AZ
Like the sword in the stone, Vincent was the only shining knight to be able to pull this gigantic root from the ground. Somehow it makes me think of ginger root and want to cook with it.
Day 32 - Tucson, AZ
We did some yard work at my dad's including picking the ripe oranges from his tree. A nice fresh orange juice awaited us when we finished.
Day 31 - Tucson, AZ
It's been too long since we last had a Sonoran hot dog! Voted best hot dog by Vincent's stomach until we cross the border.
Day 30 - Tucson, AZ
Going through my old storage with all my pre-D.C. memories. Found this portrait of my siblings and I when I was probably around one year old. What a cute bunch we were!
Day 29 - Tucson, AZ
Back in my old hood! It looks like a lot has grown since I last came 2 years ago. Loving the warm sun and blue skies. Can't wait to visit the parents and do a bit of RnR.
Day 28 - Tucson, AZ
The day finally arrived to watch my good friend Julie get married! I met Julie when I still lived in Tucson about 10 years ago and I am blessed to have her in my life as a friend. Best wishes to the newlyweds in their future together. Salud!
Day 27 - Tucson, AZ
We arrive in Tucson in time for the festivities and join Julie and Luke for their pre-wedding celebration. After a rehearsal and dinner, we head to a nearby bar in Downtown Tucson have a shot of Corralejo and let the dancing begin!
Day 26 - Las Vegas, NV
Viva Las Vegas! Sin City didn't disappoint. We watched Cirque du Soleil's Ka which left us breathless, lost some money on Craps and went window shopping. A typical day in Las Vegas! :)
Day 25 - Williams, AZ
A short stop from Grand Canyon to Las Vegas, this was the cutest town since leaving DC. Considering that I now always have my camera for a quick draw and shoot, I pretended to be the big Canon sheriff in town :P
Day 24 - Grand Canyon National Park
Woke up for an early 7 mile hike to Dripping Springs. The first 2 miles were easy going downhill but the next mile was hell for Vincent as he’s a bit afraid of heights. It didn’t help that the Dripping Springs trail was about as wide as our bodies and then goes straight down to your possible death.
Day 23 - Grand Canyon National Park
One of the 7 natural wonders of the world. It was another long drive from Zion to the Grand Canyon, and we made it just in time for a spectacular sunset. You can even see a slither of the colorado river Barely any visitors and those who were there left before the real sunset colors emerged. Next is hiking the canyon!
Day 22 - Zion National Park
We arrived a bit late so ended up hiking the closest trail. It was a 3 mile roundrip hike which we welcomed dearly after the 4-hour drive in the car. The juniper trees that grow here are beautiful to look at. This one grows at the edge of a cliff reminding us of the deep canyon as we continue to hike up.
Day 21 - VDay at Studhorse Point
Found an interesting spot near Page to chill after 4 intense days. We tried to catch the sunrise but got lost in the dirt roads in the dark where our car should probably not go. We missed sunrise but were determined to find it and come back for sunset. Though we did find it, we arrived too late and played with silhouettes instead.
Day 20 - Antelope Canyon
Hard to describe the beauty of this place with ever changing colors and shapes as the light moves. You find yourself not wanting to move for what seems like hours only to see a few yards beyond looking just as beautiful. It's like moving through clouds finding shapes as you move around. I found an angel, a heart and a lion. This is an artist's dream.
Day 19 - Monument Valley
Felt like The Lone Ranger in the boots of John Wayne. An ultimate experience to horseback ride for almost 4 hours and take in the view from inside the valley. We enjoyed talking to our guides about the land and the Navajo traditions. Riding since they were 3 and 9 years old, they know the valley and their horses like the back of their hands. Respect and preservation of the land is one of the Navajo values that we hope inspires more people that visit.
Day 18 - Santa Fe, NM
Woke up to gray skies on our only day in Santa Fe. Taos Pueblo was closed for the winter too so we decided to walk around town and just enjoy the architecture and small shops. Such a quaint town and a drastic change from everywhere we had been so far. Real cowboys walk these parts!
Day 17 - Amarillo, TXWe couldn't pass up a chance to stop by Cadillac Ranch on our way to Santa Fe, NM. Here you will find literally old Cadillacs buried into the ground where you are encouraged to express yourself. Don't mind if we do!
Day 14 - Dallas, TX
After trying to give him a haircut, Vincent goes to a nearby barbershop to fix it up with a professional! I gotta say my work wasn't all that bad... just gotta work on the blending :) #barbershop #Dallas #worldinfocus www.carolinavincent.com
Day 15 - Dallas, TX
Had a picnic at White Rock Lake with the family and played soccer and Pictionary with my niece after she fell on the lake of course! This is a great area to get away and see the sunset with lots going around the park.
Day 16 - Dallas, TX
We extended our stay for one more day. Vincent didn't skip a beat and found a vintage shop with hats from all eras, shapes and sizes. Needless to stay, we stayed in this store for quite a while.
Day 13 - Austin TX
Took a portrait of my good friend Sandra. A beautiful woman inside and out. I will miss her. Until we meet again!
Day 12 - Austin TXHope Outdoor Gallery
Nice place to chill and people watch. A place where the walls are constantly changing with different artwork and messages. This one was my favorite. Makes me wonder if someone proposed here recently...
Day 11 - Driving somewhere in Texas
Drove 9 hrs from NOLA to Austin today. Happy to contribute keeping Austin weird and visit my high school friend Sandra.
Day 10 - New Orleans Bourbon St
Delicious beignets... as advertised these were amazing. After a long day checking out cemeteries and swamps, we return to the French Quarter for some jambalaya and beignets. Dessert with some live Jazz has got to be the best ending to our visit to New Orleans.
Day 9 - Evergreen Plantation
The majestic walk through the centuries old oak trees was like a walk to the past. This is one of the plantations used for Django Unchained where Django and Schultz track down the criminal Brittle Brothers as well as one of the largest remaining active sugarcane plantations still in existence in the South.
Day 8 - New Orleans!!!February 1, 2015
Starting a new month New month, new state! I've always wanted to come here and was not disappointed. The architecture, the food, the masks...
Day 7 - Selma, AL
Edmund Pettus Bridge We end our first week of our yearlong journey in Selma, AL. After traveling the south and watching the movie last night, it made walking on the bridge this morning much more symbolic.
Day 6 - Montgomery, AL
State Capitol where MLK Jr. finished the march from #Selma after Bloody Sunday. We came a month too early as they will have the 50 year anniversary march reenacting the 4-day journey from Selma to #Montgomery. We finished the day by watching the movie which I highly recommend you watch.
Day 5 - Savannah, GA
A mash up of an old painted sign on a brick wall and a photo of Vincent at the #Savannah Historic Waterfront. Super cute place with great musicians, food and dessert at the Candy Factory. Yum!
Day 2 - Charleston, SC, USA
This gentleman approached us when he noticed me taking his photo from across the street. He offered to sing for us and belted out Al Green's Let's Stay Together, our wedding song. We started dancing a little bit on the street and join in on the spontaneity.
Day 4 - Savannah, GA
We drove down to Savannah from Charleston in the morning and went straight to the Telfair Museum of Art for an appointment with the manager of visitor services and membership. We got a tour of this amazing museum and by the time we left and ate, it was already close to sunset and we hadn't seen much of the city. We drove around the city looking for a spot to photograph going back and forth on the bridge when a beautiful winged "H" appeared. I thought this was my shot for the day...
Day 3 - Magnolia Plantation, SC
We visited our first Plantation where we were greeted by these majestic birds. There were at least 9 males and 2 females walking around like they owned the place. At sundown, they slowly made their way to a large live oak tree and flew to the tallest branches to nest for the night but not before they surrounded me for a few minutes thinking I had food to give. Truly a great experience.
Day 1 - Somewhere in North Carolina, USA
January 25, 2015
This necklace was gifted to me by my sister in 2010 and as a clumsy and forgetful person that I can be, I decided to store it so not to lose it. As we packed for our trip and went through my jewelry, and went through the rollercoaster of emotions, I found this. A perfect sign to look forward to this coming year.