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June 2009

Yelapa Full of Color + 30 Days in 1 Spot


The colors of Yelapa (and Mexico as a whole) always blow my mind.  Every ramshackle hole-in-the-wall is brightened up by techno colors, all bright and beautiful even on a rainy day.  A rainy week.  The whole rainy season.  Which it was definitely doing when I was there a week ago.  The buggies were out in full force too (ever heard of flying termites), but we just laughed about the mud, the bugs, the rain, the humidity, the insanity of it all. 

Yelapa is still a magical little village even after 5 years.  Pretty much identical to what it always was.  I'm thinking its cause there are no cars.  You have to take the water ferry (45 minutes from PV) to get there, but once you're there...super chill.  Def. go in the non-rainy season, though.  If you've been a Toothie for long, you might remember that my very 1st post ever was about Yelapa.  Way back in the day...seems like a trillion years ago I was like, "Hmmm....maybe I will start a little travel/food/adventure blog." 

We tramped through the village trying not to squash the thousands of baby crabs that had just been hatched and were everywhere, drank primo ojo rojos all day, ate the BEST food (still) at Hotel Lagunita, swam in the rainwater pool (in the rain, of course), saw dolphins flippin' all around the cove, and watched chubby fireflies all night long. 

Not sure when I will be back there, I'm in desperate need of some new faraway trips..but that said, I'm challenging myself to stay in one place for 30 days.  I don't know if I can do it.  I'm already panicking about it.  But, if I can pull it off, then maybe I can get some life stuff done, finally.  Slow'er down....

Today is Day 1.  Agggghhhhhhhh!











The Best Food in Puerto Vallarta


One of the best meals across the board that I've ever had was brilliantly enjoyed at a tiny tapas joint up high on a hill in Puerto Vallarta.  It was made all the better cause my funny pals, Lis and J9, were with me, slippin' down sangria and micheladas for a few hours. I felt like an adult while drinking chilled sangria.  Been a long time since I've felt all grown up.  Not cause we were dressed up, or cause the prices were high ($60 all in, tip included for all 3 of us), but just cause it was a perfect room, full of perfect food.  Made me happy beyond belief.

J9 had happened across Esquina de los Caprichos during a long walk while we were in Puerto Vallarta (look for the whale painted across the front of the building).  She was off shooting loads of photos and exploring whilst I was paying someone to literally brush my hair and Lis was swindling dinero for looking at a timeshare (that $100 bones paid for dinner).  We'd just been down in Yelapa for a few days (during rainy season) and the naps that I left that village with were legendary.  I couldn't stomach the idea of showering or washing my hair (sick, I know), so I took the the pool for a bath and a neighborhood hairdresser to tug a brush through my hair (even she was stunned).  A few days worth of massages were my moisturizer.  :)

We made our way back to the restaurant for dinner and between the shrimp fideo, the pitcher of tangy sangria, the loads of simple/delicious small plates, the hysterical laughing at who could make the ugliest/saddest/happiest face contest, and the double chocolate cake for dessert, was life in a perfect moment.  It's the exact kind of place in the exact kind of 'hood that I would want to own.  LOVED it.














Mexico is in my Blood...


I love Mexico.  Folks just cruising around with baggies full of lobster.  Rainstorms spring up outta nowhere that make ya love Mother Nature.  Weddings poppin' up around every corner.  Bright colors.  Lovely beaches.  Loads of smiles.  Amazing food (including the best tapas I've had outside of Spain). 

Was just down in Puerto Vallara and Yelapa and forget what everyone is telling you about swine flu.  I came back fine and dandy as can be.  In fact, now is the time to go - no crowds, off-season prices, cheap flights, incredible sunsets.  Be brave. 

I fell in love with PV this time around.  Old town and the area behind the church is just awesome.  I think they call it Gringo Gulch.  I can see why.  I'd buy a place there (with a sweeping terrace facing the ocean) no problem. 

It's good to be home though.  I plan on doing nothing but nesting all summer long.  Obsessing about my plants (one was attacked by small bugs while I was gone and I'm now on a recon mission to kill all varmins within a 1/2 mile radius), fixing up my boat, reading all sorts of adventure books, cooking at home, fleshing out some 4th World Love missions, maybe a trip or so to Baja and/or San Miguel de Allende to check on my trailer-- but beyond that, nada.  Holla.








Las Islas Marias - Chicago / Momofuku - NYC


Back in the day, all I used to write about/to obsess about was food.  Food is and always has been this magnetic essence that's been dear to my heart, but sometimes I stray away from it on this blog.  Not sure why.  Maybe cause I forget my camera sometimes and no way am I posting/jabbering about something otherworldly without some poppin' photos to bring up the rear. 

While in Chi this past weekend, I ate like a king.  Lebanese takeout, Cuban tamales and cortados, Vietnamese spring rolls, and a new place.  Las Islas Marias, a fish house on N. Clark.  After stuffing myself with all my old favorites within a 24-hour time frame, I ended up aching for ceviche and Dos Equis, so me n Lis popped on over to finally give this joint a go.

I loved it.  They troll out with a little plate of fish ceviche, crackers, salsa, tostadas and limes the minute you plop down and the beer is icy cold.  We ordered shrimp cocktail, guacamole,  and shrimp ceviche and I wasn't disappointed.  I've been on an oyster trail as of late, a massive mission in my eyes.  Been trying to find something that compares to the plump freshies in Veracruz.  I've been let down each and every time, but I will say that I slammed a 3-pack at Momofuku in NYC last night (seems like a decade ago) and they were delish.  Small, but delish. 

Anyway, the ceviche was solid.  Not Veracruz by any means, but still something to daydream about. My vote for the best is still Casa O's on Isla Mujeres.  Care not what you say, I know ceviche.  Seems, I know oysters too. 








Mom's in Utah and Baby Whale in Marina...Equal Parts Happiness


Who do you know that drives across country alone and manages to chow down at close to every all-you-can-eat buffet that they come across?  Ummm, me.   So tragic.  What's literally astounding is that I made the trip from Chi to LA in 2 days on all that food.  Legend.

I did get lucky and trip upon a country place called Mom's Cafe somewhere in Utah.  Blueberry sour cream pie, homemade french fries, simple salad bar with the best ranch ever, and these fluffy doozies called scones but were more like funnel cakes doused in soft liquid honey butter.  Reason enough to do a long haul, if you ask me.

Meanwhile, I came back to a WHALE chillin' in the marina channel.  So cool, saw it up close and personal -- and made me so happy you could not smack the smile off my face. She was on her way to Alaska and somehow got sidetracked and now could just be hangin' tight here for the summer.  Has to be one of the neatest things I've ever had show up in my back yard.  How I'm not is as big as that whale is a mystery to me, too.  Bless Mom n Dad, I guess...







Summer Full of B's


Folks have been asking to see the inside of my boat for a while now -- wanting more photos, so here they are.  Now, keep in mind, this vessel has yet to be Mistified...which means I have added none of my personal touches to it - crazy lollipop accents, flat-screen, down blankets, all that jazz.  That will happen over the course of the summer, but for now, still just a beauty.  I can't believe she's finally in her slip.  Home. 

Summer =  Baja.  Boat.  Beer.  BBQ.  Belly laughs.  Books.  Brightwork (ever hear of brightwork, son?).  Maybe even Bali.  All B's, all the time.

Enjoy the photos and will post more after I've had a chance to do a little flip out on her.  Got some mad travel happening - TN, Chi, NYC, Mex--all in the next few weeks.  

My tummy still reels when I look at this dang boat.







Enola Goes in the Water +


When I woke up yesterday, I had a knot the size of Russia under my right shoulder.  Why?  I'm sure it's cause the boat was finally going in the water!  Well, it did and here she is, still in progress.  Still gotta get more rigging done today at the yard, but here is what we know -- she didn't sink.  Always a fear.  Though when we put her in the first round, there was a tiny leak in the head which Fernando promptly fixed.  Now, she's sturdy as can be.

Of course, I leave town tomorrow, but that's cool. I'll be back soon to attack her some more...this time in the safety of her slip.  More photos coming...