Tag Archives: vacation

Paradise, Found

16 Mar

There are some places in the world were words can not convey their beauty and the magic of being there. Tulum is one of those places.  I could write forever about the million shades of blue in the water, the perfect white sand that stretches for miles in either direction, the palm trees blowing in the wind, the gorgeous boutique hotels and cabanas that line the beach…. but what I really want to do is just show you how amazing this place is.

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Getting away from it all…

4 Oct

Belize Keys 011

Imagine sailing across the ocean, with nothing as far as the eyes can see except blue horizon and the endless sea.  After hours of cutting through the waves, tiny dots finally pop up in the distance, and slowly take the shape of palm tree covered islands, ringed with white sand and surrounded by water so blue it hurts.

You are miles from anything, there is no electricity, no cell phone service, and you are lucky to find running water.  Welcome to the Sapodilla Cayes Marine Park of Belize, a protected area comprising a few scruffy islands and miles of untouched coral reefs teaming with life below the surface.

Belize Keys 021

The first day we went snorkeling, and I jumped into the water and found myself, quite literally, on top of a Sting Ray.  We glided along together for a few minutes, and I was mesmerized by his fluttering, graceful slide through the water.  Before I came to my senses and realized how dangerous he could potentially be, he had already swum off into the murky depths and I resumed my leisurely paddling.

The next morning, we were supposed to go see a ship wreck that I had been dreaming about for a week.  Yet I awoke in a feverish haze, felt sick to my stomach, and promptly fell asleep under a palm tree.  The group left me to rest it out, and I woke up in a sweaty delirium realizing, to my great delight, that I was the only person on the entire island.   Even though my fever and body aches made for a miserable day, I can’t help but think that, truth be told, I was really quite lucky.  How often do you get to have your very own island for the day and not pay a dime?

Belize Keys 050

So long paradise, I’ll be back soon.  That ship wreck and I have a date and I plan to keep it, denguesque fever be damned.

Cuernavaca: Weekend Playground for the rich DFeños

10 Nov

This weekend I had the pleasure of going to Cuernavaca with a friend who is updating a guidebook for Mexico.  Cuernavaca, the city of eternal spring, is the destination for wealthy DFeños who want to escape from the madness for a few days.  About two hours south of Mexico City and at a much lower elevation, it has been a popular weekend hotspot since the days of Cortez and Maximiliano, who both built their pleasure palaces here.  We probably saw more DF license plates then we did Morelos.  Because this guidebook is directed towards travelers who can afford to stay at luxury hotels (unlike the backpacker guidebook I tend to use, The Lonely Planet), we happened to visit most of the nicest places around town.

the grounds at Las Mañanitas

the grounds at Las Mañanitas

The thing about Cuernavaca is that from the outside, it looks just like any other gritty mid-sized city in Mexico.  Yet once you step behind the walls (and past the security guards), you enter into another world.  At one place, Las Mañanitas, we found ourselves surrounded by gente bien sipping cocktails on an elaborate lawn, with exotic birds like toucans and peacocks roaming about.  I could almost picture Elizabeth Taylor stepping out from behind the fountain holding a martini.

And yet, on the other side of the wall, we had just watched an old women crawling on her hands and knees begging for spare change.  As I always say, only in Mexico.