Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Latin Journeys

A year ago September Jennifer said, I think we should do a blog about our move to Cozumel. "I don't know," I replied, "how do we do that?" She showed me how to do that.

After 44 posts, we now have three blog sites and are launching two more within the month. I'm getting carpal tunnel.

So, now we have a new blog site for travel, eating well and enjoying Mexico. We think the WordPress platform allows for a more professional, easy to use (and comment on) blog.

Say goodbye to Nuestra Vida Deliciosa and say hello to: 


We hope you visit and comment often.

This site will self destruct on September 1.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Cozumel 4th of July

For enterprising photographers, the weather last night was not a problem. It was an opportunity.

I love the light at dusk and it is one of my favorite times to work. When you add lots of water to the pavement or the streets, opportunities for highlights and reflections are numerous.

The island's government hosted a nice evening for the expat and local community. It was great to see everyone out and about.

I hope to have dates for a short series of local workshops listed soon. Contact me to be on an email list. I'll give you advance notice of the one-day workshop. There will only be spaces for 10 participants.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Kayak Photo tips

Sunday morning, calm winds, and cochinita tacos in our tummies from a weekend-only taco spot. If you want the location, you'll have to go on a tour with Emily from Cozumel Chef. We have been sworn to secrecy.

A perfect time to visit the north lagoon with a SOT (sit on top) kayak. I was hoping to chase a couple of crocs, but we didn't see any.

For solitude and easier paddling, we think it's a good idea to go early. The beach on the west side of Isla de Pasion is usually deserted until around noon, when it becomes popular with island families who own boats. Plus, paddling across open water will be lots easier before a stiff breeze comes up.

For photographers, there a few things to remember:

1) Keep the camera in a drybag or Pelican case if it isn't waterproof. With a SOT kayak, drips and splashes are unavoidable. Secure the bag or case to the boat in case of a rollover. Have a small towel to dry your hands before pulling the camera out.

2) Watch your horizon lines when shooting from a boat. Avoid putting the horizon in the middle and try to keep it level. You can always fix it later, but try to compose with the sky or the clouds in thirds.

3) Camera shake in a kayak requires a faster shutter speed. Try to use 1/500th of a second or higher.

4) Including a person in your beach and landscape photos will give a sense of scale to your images.

Just because it is called Sit On Top doesn't mean you can't Stand on Top.



We are going to start posting photo tips, in addition to our travel reviews. Check back often.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Ana y Jose Charming Hotel

Among the many comfortable, well-done resorts on the beach in Tulum, one of our favorites is Ana y Jose Charming Hotel & Spa.

The rooms and suites are comfortable, the pool is relaxed and the beach is just about perfect. Some of the rooms and suites come with their own private pool. All rooms and bungalows have balconies or patios.

Palapas with comfortable lounges dot the beach.

We have shot a wedding here, and have stayed here to relax. Both times, the hotel provides top-level service in the rooms, pool and restaurant.

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Basico and Deseo

You're heading to Playa del Carmen for a couple days at the beach and some serious partying at night. You're not looking for a chill casita away from it all, you want great cocktails, beautiful people, hip accommodations and a bar that pumps up the volume all night long.

You are headed for either Deseo, very hip and chic, or Basico, which utilizes recycled materials for one of the more unusual, industrial hotel designs in Mexico. Both are on Quinta, right in the middle of the PdC action.

Deseo doesn't have a restaurant, but Basico makes up for that with terrific breakfasts, fresh fruits, great rellenos.

The rooftop pool at Deseo is next to the terrace bar, which is full of beach beds. Old movies play after dark on the side of a large wall.

Basico's terrace is a bit higher above Quinta and the pools are made from old oil drums. Very recycled. The rooms also have an cool, industrial feel. But, the beds at both places are sooooo comfortable.

Just don't plan on going to sleep before midnight. Or 2:00 am?

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If this video does not play smoothly or is not large enough, click on this link.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Argentina Wine Country

Although the headlines have barely changed since I first visited Argentina in 2005, Argentina is hot!

Great food!

Lunch at Postales Argentina
Great wine!

Malbec at Finca Adalgisa

Amazing scenery!     Wine Country!

Vineyards around Estancia Colomé

Here are a few ideas for visiting the wine country. It's not just Mendoza, which gets most of the press. There is also Cafayate in the north, which is where a lot of Argentina's popular white wine grape, Torrontes, is grown.

It is also near the home of one of the more amazing wineries and hotels you might ever visit, Bodega and Estancia Colomé. Way off the beaten track and equally off the grid, Colomé is owned by the Hess Group which also owns Hess Collection in Napa and Peter Lehman in Australia. It is a sustainable resort, vineyard and winery, that produces its own power and food and is at the forefront of biodynamic agriculture. The vegetables, rabbit and the pork on the menu are grown on the property or by locals in the small community.

It seems that there are as many places to stay in the Mendoza area as in Buenos Aires. One of our favorites is Finca Adalgisa. A small boutique hotel with a small boutique winery that was started by Italian immigrants.

Finca Adalgisa

Another wonderful place, set in the vineyards with the Andes looming to the west is Postales Argentina. I realize that we have put up two pool shots, but it was 104 degrees F when we were there. Hope you understand.

Postales Argentina

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Going to Argentina?

I realize that most of us in the Northern Hemisphere plan a trip to South America during our winter and their summer. But, for those of you who like to avoid the crowds, or who are planning to ski the Andes, we wanted to throw a couple of hotel choices your way.

Maybe winter would be a good time to visit Buenos Aires for those tango lessons you promised yourself?

In this amazing city, you have so many places in all budget ranges. Then, you have to make the hard choice of neighborhoods: San Telmo, Puerto Madero, Recoleta, Palermo, Palermo Hollywood, Palermo Viejo, Palermo . . . . . . OK, that's enough of the hip Palermo sub-neighborhood choices.

But, one of our favorites was in Palermo Hollywood. You'll truly feel at home at The Home Hotel. A little bit hip, a little bit retro, but all class.

The rooms are stylish, to be sure, and you can have basic, or you can go waaaaaaayyyyy upscale. Like a two-floor suite, with your own private sundeck for tanning your naughty bits and a private pool that is one roll and a bounce away from your bed.

There are great restaurants in the neighborhood, but you'll be happy with the included breakfast and might find it hard to leave at all, since the restaurant and bar do everything well.

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