The restaurant Alux is in Playa del Carmen, MX. It’s actually a 10,000 year old cave/cenote and from the outside it looks like a normal restaurant. Prices were a little high, the food was ok, but the experience was worth it.
Today we went to the outskirts of Saltillo in an area people have cabins big and small. There are actually free roaming buffalo there. We were lucky enough to see them. Clearly, they are used to being around humans and it was pretty amazing.
Day 1 Ka’anapali. This is the view from my hotel room looking at Molokai. We stayed at Castle Paki Maui Condos. The condo was reasonably priced, good location, clean, with friendly staff. The cons were the beach next door was not the greatest and no A/C. The Fish Market is across the street serving tacos, ceviche, poke, etc. Loved this place.
Day 2 Lahaina. The main tourist town in Maui. Kimos Restaurant is a must and Uluani Shaved Ice lived up to it’s reputation.
Day 3 Wailea Beach & lunch at the Ritz. I liked this beach. There was plenty of room for everybody (mostly tourists), and the water was calm enough for paddle boarders and snorkelers. The Ritz has one restaurant for the public.
Day 4 Kapalua Beach (my favorite). A small beautiful beach with calm waters. And the bonus: umbrellas and chairs you can rent.
Day 5 Road to Hana & lunch at Mamas Fish House. Honestly, I feel the Road to Hana is a little overrated. It is definitely beautiful scenery, but really difficult to find places to park to see the sights along the way. As for Mamas Fish House, every visitor to Maui needs to eat here. Delicious food with beautiful beach/views.
Day 6 Hangin at the hotel day.
Day 7 Makawao. A one street “cowboy” town of a few restaurants and posh stores. A perfect town to visit since we had a few hours to kill before our flight.
This past weekend a few of us gals decided to have a weekend in Sutter Creek, in the Sierra Foothill wine country. This area is known for it’s Barbera wines and needless to say it is now a current fave of mine.
We arrived and found a charming one street town with shops, restaurants, and tasting rooms.
We stayed at The Hanford House in one of their bungalows. The bungalow was a two bedroom/two bath cute cottage with a front and back patio. I would definitely recommend this reasonably priced place.
My favorite wine tasting was at Le Mulet Rouge for both the friendly and knowledgeable staff, and delicious wine.
A ‘must go to’ if you are in Sutter Creek is The Sutter Creek Cheese Shoppe with over 80 cheeses available. The store is shared with Miller Wine Works and they offer wine tasting/cheese pairings. Amazing!
Having visited Sutter Creek now, I would advise:
I have started a new blog dedicated to my current home of Monterrey Mexico and my other travel adventures. Check it out!
I just returned from 5 days in Chiapas and it was as beautiful as I imagined. Here is my recap, as well as my tips for traveling to this region. Our itinerary was 2 full days in Tuxtla and 3 full days in San Cristobal.
Let me start by saying Tuxtla is not a tourist town. There is really nothing to do there. However, it is a good base to visit Cañon del Sumidero and Chiapa de Corzo. Cañon del Sumidero is beautiful. We took a tour of the canyon from above and a 2 hour boat trip through the canyon. Definitely a sight to see, including the crocodiles!
The next day we went to Chiapa del Corzo. This is a small puebla of Indians and Mexicans with a tourist area of restaurants and Mexican goods. My advice is that if you are also visiting San Cristobal, visiting Chiapa del Corzo is not necessary.
The next tour we took was of a village of the Chamula Indians near to San Cristobal. The Chamula Indians do not appreciate photographs, so I have no pictures. I found these indigenous people fascinating. The tour was basically of their church. The church is catholic and they pray to Mary and the catholic saints, but with their own rites and rituals. Though it was brief, this visit was worth it.
The next village we visited on this tour is of the Zinacantán. These Indians are major producers of fruits, vegetables, and flowers. In fact, many of their flowers are shipped to Canada and the USA. It’s a beautiful area because we are now in the highlands. I am not sure, but I believe we are around 6000 ft above sea level. Men, women, and children all work.
Again, this was a brief tour simply to a textile shop to purchase handmade goods. I would have liked to have spent more time here and walked around a bit.
Now, on to San Cristobal. This is a pueblo mágico meaning the façade of the buildings cannot be reconstructed to maintain their historic values. It is definitely a tourist area with a lot of restaurants and shopping, but I still felt a strong sense of the city itself. I saw very few Americans here. I had the sense more of the tourists come from Europe and South America.
In the center is the Diocesis de San Cristobal.
Walking up the 400 steps for San Cristobal views.
The last tour was of Lagos de Montebello. Gorgeous blue lakes and waterfalls.
The best meal I had was in Lum Restaurant. I highly recommend this place. The food was excellent.
My Chiapas recommendation recap:
In less than a month, I will be visiting Chiapas Mexico for a wedding. We are taking 5 days to see this beautiful part of Mexico bordering Guatemala. Everyone has told me the beauty there is unsurpassed. I cannot wait to see it for myself!
When buying travel souvenirs for myself, I stay away from the souvenir trinket stores. Inevitably, the sombrero from Mexico ends up in the garage sale, the metal Eiffel tower disappears and I couldn’t care less, or the sarongs bought from a beach vacation go into a drawer….forever.
I usually do some research. What the country/area is known for. I will often have one or two things that I want to buy for sure. But mostly, what I buy just happens. You’re walking down the street and see an artist painting a pic that captures the moment. Or you stroll into a shop and see something that you love. My advice is when this happens, to buy. I find I rarely go back when I say I will. And then I’m back at home regretting the non purchase.
Here are some things I’ve bought from my travels that I love.
The best part of buying a souvenir is when I’m at home and I walk by the painting, or wear the piece of jewelry I bought from another part of the world, there is a memory flash of my time there.
Fresno California in the Central Valley gets a bad wrap. Sure it doesn’t come compare to Southern California or the Bay Area, but it has some good qualities. And it’s my home town!
The Central Valley is an agriculture epicenter. You cannot beat the farmers markets Fresno offers.
Madera Wine Trail
No need to travel to get to wineries, they’re right around the corner.
The Tower District is an area of theater, breweries, tattoo parlors and vintage stores.
Old Town Clovis
Old Town maintains a western atmosphere with restaurants, bars, and a great place to go if you like shopping for antiques.
Lakes & Mountains
And if you like outdoor recreation and beauty, it’s less than an hour away.
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite is an easy day trip!
Fresno is not a vacation destination by any means. However, if you find yourself in the area there’s no need for dread. It’s not as bad as you think.