Q is for Quick Life Update...

_MG_1022

Q is for Quick Life Update

For the love, how time flies.  I was on the A to Z roll and then out of nowhere, Malibu RV Park drove me mad and I had to bolt to Baja for Xmas.  To the wonderful delight of Minka.  She popped a 4 day weekend down in wine valley (oh ps - not a soul checked her doggie papers either way across the TECATE border) with a 6 pack of farm dogs.  You have never, ever seen such joy.  Meanwhile, I once again had some next level food in the Valle.  GD - it's just surreal what folks can do with a sprout, a leaf and a swish of some pork paste. 

But, before even that - another Mexico adventure.  It was TIME 2 at Casa de Mita.  I was once again convinced that Mexico is in my blood and that Casa de Mita is literally one of the best places on the planet.  Lalo and Memo (and all the staff at the Casa) make my heart swim.  See the pic above?  Let's just call it my own private mansion for the week.  It was nothing but daily body boarding in the mighty Pacific (almost lost my life a few times - damn those waves :); billions of perfect margaritas; awesome yoga classes with Tomas (ever tried the 5 Tibetan Rites anyone - amazing....); fresh ceviche; awesomely fulfilled requests for pozole and paella; brilliant games of late night scrabble and let me just call it a thriller a day (as in spy, CIA, espionage books).  Dude - this place is truly one of a kind.

Then, back to Malibu.  Which don't get me wrong.  I love it there - the fresh seafood market at the bottom of the hiking trail.  Letting Minka run leashless round the hills.  The amazing sunsets nightly.  But, all it did was remind me up close that the FLO was not done.  If I'm gonna be on vaca - welp, I need to be on VACAYYYY....

So - now - Borrego Springs.   Right now, the 'stream is popped up in a perfect spot in what is prob the best RV resort in the world. Mouse is chewin' on a chunk of sugar cane from the simple-but-delightful farmers market here in town and I've got a pot of spicy beans on the oven.  Sun is shining.  Wine is flowing.  I actually worked out this AM (hello Tibetan Rites) and I got a new thriller from the library today.

More and more soon.  I must finish this damn alphabet I started and get onto a whole new tooth journey. 

Meantime - a few pix from Casa de Mita to satiate your desires to ditch all and high tail it to Mexico.  I know it's in the back of my mind right now - but for the moment - Marley and wine and fresh margs will suffice :)

_MG_0939

_MG_1049

_MG_1046

 

_MG_0944


P is for Perfect Meal (@Sandzibar in La Cruz, Mexico)

_MG_0921
At least for me, this is the perfect meal.
Thing is, I'm a straight up nut when it comes to finding the perfect meal.  I walk in.  I walk out.  I sit down.  I get up and leave.  I sniff about.  I make up a reason to bolt.  All if the vibe don't suit me.  If the food on other peeps plates looks suspicious, later.  If the wait staff blows, holla.  If there is lit no good vibe, I'm out.  I can't deal and I'd rather spend the dinero elsewhere.  
It's been known to drive my pals MAD. I just want good, good food all the time. I do the research.  I put in my time.  I read the mags.  Peruse the blogs. Talk to the locals.  Scan the horizon for a sign that my belly will be satisfied - and it's usually not coming from the super hot spot.  Or the most expensive. Or the raved about.
 
It's just coming cause it's damn good food.  
Fresh. Natural. Organic. Special.  
Which is why I was really stunned that the meal I had at beachside Sandzibar (just a stones throw from Punta de Mita) a few weeks ago down in Mexico was so freaky delish.  This place is the kind of spot that I usually avoid.  But, I was on the hunt for fresh seafood, hadn't eaten since breakfast, had just tore down from the mountains and was shakin' for a cold, cold margarita.  Don't get me wrong, the vibe is pretty chill there.  The view is lovely.  The staff is friendly.  It's more about the customers.  All seem rich.  All seem like they'd literally curl up and DIE before eating at a nana's place down the dirt road. They would turn over their first born before tasting the juicy chicken off the roadside grill in San Pancho (another entry is needed for that one).  So, therefore, I'm usually keen to head on.  But, we stopped.  
Immediately, I slurped down a PERFECT margarita.  Then another.  We ordered up a greek salad and seared octopus over hummus.  Simple enough.  Well, freakin' kudos to these chefs (and chefs they are - no backhand cooking up in here).  
From the greens, to the cheese, to the dressing, to that AMAZING hummus, to the bread and sauces, to the charred octopus, to the limey/tangy/perfect 'rita - I was just taken aback.  Like skidding to a stop every few seconds to let my mouth regroup.  Reset.  
Which brings me to why this was a perfect meal.  It's cause it was CLEAN. Super clean and super fresh.  It's literally the way I need to eat every single meal of every single day.  Small portions.  Immediate ingredients.  Well paced and thoughtfully presented. Just right.  Right with the bellys and the minds and the eaters of the world.   
That said, I aim to have the perfect meal every day from here on out.   At least...my version of it.  You never, ever have to diet if this is the daily way.  God, it all seems so simple.
_MG_0912
_MG_0924
_MG_0926
_MG_0934



G is for Going Underground

IMG_1172

G is for Going Underground.

Holy moly, now that the Airstream is on the move...it's time to get down and dirty on the road.  This little silver nugget feels straight up luxe.  No projects to complete, no tile to buy, to decisions to be made.  Just one huge shopping trip at Camping World and a farmers market run this weekend and we are sorted.  The headroom alone just blows my mind - should have done this months ago (granted, who knew the Flo would take so long...and I do so love living on the run).

That said, Mexico is right around the corner...literally on the horizon of the new year.  All my old haunts are 'this' much closer to being right out my front door.  Primo sushi and sunsets at Carlitos Place; perfect surf after a couple margs at Cerritos; kite surfing attempts in Las Ventanas; crazy fresh yellow tail at Rancho Pescadero; random snapshots of movement up and down the Baja; stars by the gazillion; whale birthing season in Magdelena Bay; Minka Mouse chasing birds on deserted beaches; a possible land purchase down near Loreto; a couple of cold beers here and there, but mostly frosty margaritas; researching the TV show I'm gonna craft in the nowhere sand dunes (think conspiracy/espionage/traitors/esoteric vibes); cooking up a storm - meaning finally mastering cooking a whole fish; homemade ceviche from just caught fish; slowly kayaking the Sea of Cortez; finally diving again (Indo seems so long ago); searching out a new 4th World Love CDC (for those who can't make it to Indo); remote spots that only solar can reach; and buckets of all the goodness that makes up Mexico. 

It will be real, real, real tough to come back across that border, I can tell ya that much.  Going underground HAWDDDDDDDDD.

I will just be devastated if the Mayans called it.

IMG_0228

IMG_0246

IMG_0617

IMG_0626

IMG_0746

IMG_0774

IMG_0759

IMG_0827

IMG_0978

IMG_0979

IMG_0985

IMG_1070

IMG_1115

IMG_1294

IMG_1433

IMG_0248


Casa de Mita in Punta de Mita - Who would EVER do The Four Seasons?

La foto

I guess I just don't feel like I've said enough about Casa de Mita. 

And, I say that because I think about it every day.  I just linger over memories of the lighting at night, the peachy sunsets, the chile oil that I devoured with everything (but which was especially good with buttered bread and smothering the just made ceviche). 

I keep thinking about my AM yoga classes with Tomas (who was #2 in massages only to Ayu in Candidasa, Bali)...and my daily lightily-buzzed strolls along the beach. 

The house pup was so happy sprinting along beside me and the staff there (one of whom was a budding photographer and took the above photo of the main casa) was just literally, the best staff ever.  So kind, funny, always on hand with a fresh drink...but knew when to disappear cause all you wanted to do was read deeply and watch the waves crash. 

This joint is for real my go to relaxation spot now and forever.  It's just got 6 or 8 rooms and when you're the only one there (was I was for a few days), it's like your own private mansion with a staff of 24 all focused on one thing - YOU.  I think I've mentioned the 500 thread counts (which is what really sold me on the place via the web), but man...I just can't get it out of my mind.  And, so easy to get to.   The trip of all relaxation trips. 

And, somehow through my daily walks in the marina, I'm still semi-sportin' the mega tan I got down that way.  Nice.

IMG_8540

IMG_8660

 


Street Food vs The Real Deal

IMG_8631

I dream of food....

Look, I think we can all agree on one thing.  I'm a freaky-deaky foodie through and through.  It's so funny, just today, I was thinking - what in the world am I dedicating my life to?  Is there anything really out there that my soul is latched onto and wont let go of?  Of course, it all comes back to food.

I'm into the street, the rural, the ancient recipes, the grease, and the bubbling stew pots just as much as I'm into the homegrown, the fresh caught, the bio-dynamic, the organic, the heirloom, the farmers markets, the sprout fed eggs, and the herbs from the source. I love it all - but what I can say...is that the REAL GOOD SHIT makes my tummy feel better.  Those first bites of street tacos are dead on delish, but the line caught tuna that just popped off the boat that morning - well, that's a horse of a different color.  Street = slam down.  Slow food = luxurious enjoyment.

I was at Casa de Mita and lounging around sucking down what was probably my 3rd margarita of the day (oh, morning) when the scent of fish frying up on the beach wafted up and nearly attacked me.  Immediate salivation.  I started snapping pix and finally the barefoot chef popped over with a plate of fish and crispy tortillas he'd just pulled out of the fryer and sweetly handed it up to my poolside perch.  What a man!  I took a few bites, but since I knew dinner was on the way, I handed off to my pals who work the bar and stood by for the sun to set a bit and my luxe meal to begin.

Cause, you see - at Casa de Mita, they don't play around with food.  It's some pretty next level cooking going on down in that tiny kitchen.  All these amazing pureed soups, delish chopped salads, the thinnest of sashimi, knobs of goat cheese, chunky salsas, fiery chile oils with fresh baked bread, whole fish that was just drug in that morning.  Bottles of chilled champagne, glass after glass of vino.  I mean, it's like a 3 hour gorging ordeal on a daily basis for dinner.  My fave in the world. 

After I sampled a few bites of the beach fish....thank god I waited...check out my main course - this slab of pepper crusted tuna.  I mean - WTF?  Just a sight to behold. 

GOD I LOVE THAT PLACE...

IMG_8687




I Live on TOP of the Ocean, but do I Really SEE the Ocean?

IMG_8790

 God Bless Water....

Every day, I head to work or come home from work and am confronted by the majesty of the ocean. I live on top of it, for the love.

But, not until I gaze at a picture like this (shot from the deck of Casa de Mita in Mexico) do I realize what I'm missing in the ocean. I don't have to peer and poke about. Nor do I have to monitor high and low tide. Who am I looking for, or better yet - who the hell am I avoiding?

I just know that water connects us. Connects me. Brings all the people I love closer to my being - because guess what, they wanna be near water as well. See it, touch it, listen to it, watch it rise and lower.

At Casa de Mita, though - I just became the ocean. The waves crashing lulled me to sleep and also awoke me from my death-grip slumber. It soothed me. It was my company at night when I dined alone with a bottle of champagne. It kept me locked down late night into a spy thriller and also made me feel alive when the sun rose and the fish started frying up at the small palapas down the way.

The ocean can take over ones soul. Like the drop of a hat. Done and done....


I Think What We All Need Right Now is a Top Shelf Margarita

IMG_8649

Lined with some kickin' chile salt...

And, if I had my way, it would be slurped down on the deck of Casa de Mita - while watching the waves crash and the sun slowly sink into the Pacific.  This tiny boutique hotel just north of Puerto Vallarta (down a long dirt road in Punta de Mita to be exact) stole my heart when I went down there a few weeks ago.  So much so, that I'm gonna need to dedicate my next few posts to it. 

Let's travel together the rest of this week and escape for a minute.  I know I need it.  Til manana...

IMG_8736

 


San Miguel de Allende - Will I Ever Be Back?

Photo

Vintage trailer makes its way across the USA border!

Who knew life would take such a drastic spin when I left my little solar trailer in SMA a few years ago.  I was simply jamming back to LA to do a quickie job on the TV show Last Comic Standing....just to make a bit of cash...and then...

Somehow, 2 1/2 years later I am still working and haven't had a real break to get back to get my trailer (which was stored safely in the middle of town at the San Miguel Tennis Courts Trailer lot -- who by the way I love).  My gal was just waiting on me to get back God kows when, and, then came along super-sonic Caty.  She was a Toothie reader and had emailed me inquiring about where I'd found my trailer.  She was doing loads of her own research on vintage trailers and couldn't find one like mine, bud wanted one badly (I had the same prob til I found mine).  The minute I got her email, and purely on a MST whim,  I said - "Why not buy mine?"  She was elated, the cashola was transfered and now she owned my trailer.   She's so much like me, jsut trusting whatever way the wind blows.

Thing is, we had to get it from Mexico to the USA since she was nervous to travel all thru Mexico with a trailer titled in my name on her own.  Cut to - months of dead chaos and drama trying to get it to the border or somewhere in TX for her to grab it from.  First I enlisted the help of Carlos, my surfing bud in Baja but something came up and he couldn't do it.  Next up, my pal Deb down in SMA (who was in the middle of an international move herself) stepped in to help out and after weeks and weeks of insanity, she finally managed to get it delivered to Caty in San Antonio!  Now the only thing left is for Caty to unpack my world from her new trailer, ship me my goods and to head out on her own wily adventures.  Freaking nuts. 

This is why I love this blog, travelling, adventure and all the mishaps that come along with living a funky ass life.  You just never know what the heck is coming down the way.  You don't know what path people are out there desperately hunting for.  You just really don't even know your own road and where it will take you.   If you remember, 2.5 years ago, I was in San Miguel de Allende, studying Spanish in dark bars, eating my way thru the town and slowly making my way to the Darien Gap in Panama, volunteering the whole way down Central America. 

Now I'm working on two TV shows in Jersey and wondering if I will ever return to SMA.  But, at the same time, I'm conspiring on how to flip my beast of a floating home in LA, revamping my sailboat for what I know will be an upcoming Southern Pacific crossing, wondering if I should just ditch my condo in Chicago, regrouping about buying an Airstream (with a toilet on this one!), and eating my way through a ton of good food in NYC.   Among other things of course...but it's good to know that adventures keep getting lived and sojurns keep getting traipsed.

This is to Caty - I hope you love that little trailer as much as I did and it takes you as far RTW as you want to go...enjoy el camino, and I bet I see you some day out there, just when we both least expect it!  (PS - That's Caty with the trailer...sure, she's dusty, but give her one good cleaning...and she's OUT!).

Photo-8



Why Can't the Whole World Be As Lush As Mexico?

IMG_0201

A different side of Mexico...

This last sojurn to Mexico, I tried somewhere new.  A tiny slice of heaven you should all get to know called Costa Careyes.  It's a funky mish-mash of a boutique hotel, a Mediterranean village with amazing condo-style rooms, and super-high end villas for rent by the night/week/month.  Incredibly exclusive, but very affordable.  Yes!  Just up my alley. 

I opted for the village area - where I was done up with my own private plunge pool.  Just insane stuff.  All open-aired and somehow I scored a full on 2 bedroom/3 bath 2-story beast of a room.  The silence was golden.  The air was always flowing through the open windows.  The view was sick. The hammock on the front deck was swaying.  The flowers were flush around the entire property.  The private beach was quiet.  The fish were out in full force for snorkeling.  The passion fruit drink was killer.

See that giant rock out there - we kayaked around that thing and then just around the bend was the shack of a beachfront palapa with fresh ceviche and cold beer.  How in the world could this be topped?

Basically - you fly into Puerto Vallarta, rent a car and jam 3.5 hours all the way south down the coast til you come upon the most incredibly lush stretch of Mexico out there.  It hast to be.  I will be back.

IMG_0202

IMG_0203

IMG_0210

IMG_0212

IMG_0213

IMG_0215

 


Mexico - Where Every Pic Says 1000 Words

  IMG_0248

No trip to Mexico is complete without some lip-smacking ceviche gone down hard. 

Fish, shrimp, octopus, scallop, you name it...it's all damn good when cured up with a ton of lime and washed down with frosty cold beer. 

That said, it's just plain nuts how little I've been able to pop one out on The Tooth.   But, now...after 6 long months away - I'm back in LA for a reality check and I'm gonna be on here way more.  I never realized what a valuable sanity keeper this little blog is.  I can vent, dream, research, create, scheme, pour out, ditch, sass, share, expose and listen all at once.  Brill.

Now - let me get back to Mexico.  Planning my next trip that is.  Which will be just after JL pickups in December.  I'm FINALLY gonna haul back to San Miguel de Allende and grab my little trailer I left there a few years ago.  Cannot believe it's been so long.  Time to bring her out West and sell her.  OR use her.  OR store her and plot for the bigger purchase sometime in the next couple few - the Airstream 23' International.  Now, that is a beast to live out of on the beach in Mex.  Preach.

IMG_0247

  IMG_0221

IMG_0222

IMG_0223

  IMG_0228

IMG_0235

IMG_0252

IMG_0255

IMG_0260