Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Micheal & I arrived in Puerto Vallarta at noon yesterday and immediately ventured out to explore our neighborhood and some local comida. We had a great lunch at a little outdoor restaurant called Tacos & Beer with amazing tacos al pastor and ice-cold cervezas.

Then, we retreated to Nikki Beach, a global hotspot spawned from Miami Beach where chill electronica such as Dzihan & Kamien pulsated from speakers perched on palm trees. We lounged on large white platform beds filled with pillows and cabana boys brought us mojitos. A mid-20s group of gorgeous young things from the UK lounged nearby and three older gents sought refuge under the thatched roof pavilion bar in captain's chairs. Wooden trays perched on the sofas held our cocktails and in the evening, hurricane lamps were placed on the trays for ambience.

For dinner, we went to De Santos, a trendy lounge bar/restaurant with Mediterranean cuisine, Sade-inspired jazz and romantic candlelit lighting. Micheal had mahi mahi with mint and lime and I had lobster ravioli. For a nightcap, we had the most deliciously prepared Cafe Mexicano - a large cup of coffee with a small snifter-full of Jose Cuervo Tradicional (Anejo) tequila ignited and poured, topped with a dollop of vanilla ice cream. Smooth and sweet...and the tequila warmed our bellies quite nicely.

I feel so at home whenever I am in Mexico and we are talking seriously about buying a vacation home here in a few years and making this an annual retreat. We also decided to spend Judah's third birthday here. He would absolutely love it.

We will board our ship in a couple hours, so I may not be able to post for a few days. We truly wish we could stay in PV. The tranquil pace, music and food are the siren's call for our adventurous souls.

Mojitos on Nikki Beach Posted by Hello

Lounging platforms @ Nikki Beach Posted by Hello

Tacos & Beer @ Tacos & Beer Posted by Hello

View From Our Balcony in Puerto Vallarta Posted by Hello

Monday, April 25, 2005

I have just returned from Panama. I went with a colleague to do a site inspection at a resort where we plan to have our summer retreat. It was a whirlwind trip. I arrived midday on Thursday and flew home Friday night. However, we managed to tour the resort, eat two sumptuous meals, tour the Miraflores Locks, Old Panama, and see a bit of the city before I came back home.

This is the second time I have been to Panama, but the first time I have ventured outside the city.

With barely time to unpack, I am already packing once more as Micheal & I are leaving for a four day cruise tomorrow on Holland America Line's Oosterdam from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico to San Diego. We met Micheal's mom early this morning midway between home and the ranch where Judah will spend the week. He got to feed cows today (one of his favorite activities). I miss him like crazy and couldn't really focus the rest of the day, but I know he's having a blast with his Gran & Papa and we will enjoy ourselves.

I just added an Audioblogger feature, so if I am able to dial in, we may post an audio greeting here during our journey. I figure if Gavin Bates can post from Mount Everest, I should be able to get something in via the Pacific Ocean, right?

Thursday, April 14, 2005

I am in Phoenix for the next two days. I flew out tonight and as soon as I settled myself into my seat, buckled up and pulled out my knitting, I started praying the standard passenger prayer...maybe the seat to the left of me might remain vacant. It was not to be. A Birkie-clad guy in his early 20s scooched in beside me two minutes before boarding ended. Drat.

Not five seconds after his buns began warming his seat, "Hey, there...whatcha makin'?"

Jeez. Let me first lay out my general friendly disposition on airplanes:

-Fact #1: I have traveled to 14 countries...some multiple times. If you tell me a story, I've probably already been subjected to it before by that other guy on the way to Chile.
-Fact #2: I have a two-year old. I need "me time".
-Fact #3: I have been knitting this damn blanket for 6 months and would like to finish it.
-Fact #4: I once carried a Bible onto an airplane so people wouldn't talk to me.

Unfortunately, despite all of the above, I have SUCKER invisibly tattooed on my forehead and before I know it, I have a new PLANE FRIEND.

Plane Friend (plAn-frend), n: A person who will tell you their whole life story, including any childhood diseases between take-off and landing, though you never find out their name.

This guy was really nice, thankfully. He was a med student who talked to me about new frontiers in medicine (of which I know enough to keep up) and I realized that sometimes plane friends aren't a bad thing (unlike the plane friend I made en route to Honduras who began a narrative about the plane graveyard down below while we positioned for landing. Apparently, [according to him], only two pilots are licensed in the Western Hemisphere to land the plane I was on in Tegucigalpa due to the fact that it has to wedge its wings between two mountains to make the landing strip. Thanks, bad - but super-informative - plane friend!)

I am staying here for the next two nights. It's PRETTY. It has great Frank Lloyd Wright architecture, a warm Arizona breeze, and cute little Adirondack chairs for tots. There was a lovely couple approximately my grandparents' age - who were cuddled up in front of a firepit on Adirondacks near my hotel room tonight.

I had dinner and wine with two friends and now I'm going to stretch out, relax and enjoy the breeze coming through my open patio door.

Friday, April 08, 2005

My little man Judah turned two years old today. I knew he was no longer my little baby when I received my weekly e-mailed informational newsletter from and the subject was "Your Preschooler: 2 Year Old" (up to now, it's been "Your Toddler: 23 Month, 2 Week"). But preschooler? Sigh.

Birthday Boy Driving Tractor Posted by Hello

We spent his birthday at the ranch where he rode a horse, a four-wheeler, a couple of tractors and fed the cows. He is so blissfully happy whenever we go there and I think it is primarily because he has no boundaries and can muck about the land having fun adventures. Being with family for his special day meant a lot to us. His grandma "Ebie" came from NC to spend the week with us. He and his cousin Larson, who is 8 months older, are starting to play well together. There is the occasional sharing dispute, but by and large, they are more curious about each other and will probably grow to be chums as they get past their toddler years.

Two years of our lives as parents have sped by and all I can say is they are the most blessed days. There really is nothing quite like having a child.

Happy Birthday, Judah Bear. I love you more and more each day.