Quick drawing and Water coloring. Zazilkin beach.
Take out Ceviche on the beach from El Camello ( the best in town)
Twinkle moment with Gael and Sun.
The Kitchen at Mateo’s.
Pollo con Cille y Paprica verde in Horno at La Onda.
New Year’s Eve, Tulum Style.
Feliz Ano Nuevo!
Yal-Ku Lagoon, Akumal, Mexico
It’s a hidden gem. We realized not that many people know about this spot. The spot maybe the one of the most beautiful one on the Riviera Maya. We’ve traveled around quite a bit of Tahiti, Hawaii and Virgin Islands but Yal-Ku feels quite special from anywhere else. The perfect intimate size that does not feel too small to feel it crowded. The shallow water is silky and warm from the sun. There are ton of beautiful fish that you would not expect to see in such a shallow water. It is absolutely crystal clear with softest white sand and pockets of chunks of limestone to attract all the fish you want to see. There is even a small piece of beach. Yal-ku is where clear salty water of Caribbean Ocean and the sweet fresh water of Yucatan peninsula meets. It’s perfect. I’ll call it a little paradise!
It feels like you are invited to a small private snorkeling party here. It’s a perfect spot to go with your kids, nieces and nephews or hang with your best friends. You can explore the water or park yourself somewhere and just read and sunbath. It’s quiet and lovely. Everyone behaves here. Maybe because the Lagoon guides you to do so…
Gael really had well learnt swimming and snorkeling. I couldn’t swim until the 4th grade. What a wimp I was! I missed out so much fun thinking back. I mean look at him he does so much!!! We have met a wonderful family Bork this trip. The owner of Posada Yum Kin where we like to stay often in Tulum village. Owner Dan and BV’s 2 amazing kids, Sam and Andrew were down in Tulum , so Gael had the blast with them! The 3 little gangs below snorkeling together. 3 of them can rock the world!
Sam, Gael and Andrew looking for a Barracuda! ha-ha!!
This pic is only taken by me standing outside of the water. The Yal-ku lagoon is sort of a natural aquarium.
The mangrove island.
Peaceful Yal-Ku end of the day. So gorgeous , isn’t it…? Perfect natural pool with ton of beautiful fish in nice shallow water…. Wooo. I want it!!
Yalk -Ku is raw and well kept it that way. No sunblock is allowed and a tee shirt is encouraged! It opens everyday 8:00-5:30. Adult $9.00. Kid $6.00. 25Km from Tulum. Go have fun, relax, sun bath and don’t forget to respect what the nature offers us!
We thought of so many other places for our last minute decision to leave the town for Christmas and New year’s. Nicaragua..? Brazil, Chiapas, Guatemala, somewhere warm and a place we haven’t visited. Honestly the last minute tickets were impressively expensive and we decided to turn to Tulum again where it feels like home and now we even have local friends we keep in touch. But we will be adding a nice twist to this trip! Such adventurers as we are even including Gael, the normal Tulum visit is never the same for us by exploring different parts of Tulum and the surrounding towns and nature, but this time we would like to do something also very much cultural by visiting Merida ( 300km from Tulum toward the west) , the capital of Yucatan peninsula where Tulum is resting. Also I am patiently anticipating to experience some sort of event as religious or traditional performance specially designed for Christmas time in Merida and we are also super excite to stay in one of colonial homes of the town and also to do ” Hacienda Hopping” in and out of area of Merida. ( There are countless numbers of traditional Haciendas in this area and we are about go visit a few prominent ones that will take our breath away! I would be sure a Christmas gift for us!)
On Tuesday, arrived at Min’s ( A friend and a owner of Villas H2O Living and Pro diving in Village of Tulum) and it’s lovely to see her and the business partner and the pro diver Marco again. We chatted over a bottle of chilled prosecco as soon as we arrived at their nice and modern bed and breakfast. The next evening, we go for a easy dinner in town and Edgar ( at Coldwell bankers) pops out from a Boulangerie in village spotting us in the car to say hi. I see him hurt his hands and it concerns me and also it’s so nice to see him again. It is so lovely to see people here in Tulum again. The nice guy at El Tabano ( our favorite restaurant) says ” Hi ” to us. He literally recognise us by reading our blogs. Ha! It’s a great feeling and it feels home being in Tulum again.
The small bodegas, the cloud, the quiet ocean and clear breeze, beautiful palms, hippies on the beach, bicycle riders, cabanas, the sugared doughnuts at the Tulum supermarket, the supermarket helpers, the sun and Casarosas back here again…. It’s all great familiar faces and it all feels like home again!
Some travel moments here…
Early morning Tulum Beach in February this year.
Emiliano and Gael just got tickets to Italy for 6 weeks over July and August, and the end of July, myself will be in Asia visiting Seoul, HK and Tokyo then back to NY for 2 days and off to join the boys and family in Italy for about 2 weeks. It would be super fantastic to see my mother, dad and cousin and bit excited to explore my new favorite city, Seoul again. Asia gets Always hectic since I’m usually there for the work first, but I’ll try to squeeze in some personal time for the weekend with family. I was watching the “Bizarre Food” on the Travel channel the other day. Andrew Zimmern shares all the bizarre food and crazy fun traveling the world. And on boy its was Tokyo this time talking about pig’s guts and heart that new hip generation enjoys eating! I thought it was quite interesting. I like to stroll through also different areas of Tokyo this time. Should I try On Sen? The theme restaurant like ” Alcatraz” looks quite crazy! It would be nice to re visit a temple at Asakusa in Tokyo.
Heyri Art Valley, South Korea.
Check out one of blog about Sam chung dong , Seoul http://www.lacasapark.com/la/2009/12/a-beauty-samchung-dong-1-seoul-korea/
Yearly trip to Italy has always good balance of knowing what’s coming and not knowing what else is coming. The family, feast, the ocean and friends are what I know then there are always other possibilities that we may stumble into spontaneously! A dance party at a Castle or quick visit to other city in Europe? All is good surprise and recharging time for us and a chance to oil our ( Gael and Me) Italian to be more current and be fine tuned.
Last year Art Biennale Venezia, Italy
A local wine shop. Bring your empty bottle, they will fill it up! Italy
Typical early morning scene in Livorno. They read Newspapers and chat with friends for couple hours in early morning feet in the fresh ocean water.
Typical light filled Tuscan scene.
Last year in Paris for our 10 year anniversary.
Visit to Berlin with Kelly early this year.
Anyway,, Some flash back photos here but the point is it;s that time again!! There is this work I like to explore that only down side is that no time travel ALL the time. Brazil, Spain, Iceland, Sydney, back to Berlin and eveywhere else…
If I could just travel and take photos, now That would be my ideal life!
All hand made and embossed, these leather bags from Chiapas are amazing. You can find them easily in Tulum now, but imagine in Chiapas? Hmmm ,I think it is the time to plan our next trip to Chiapas as much as we anticipate to be there and heard so many good things about the place. I may have to bring a container to fill up with all these beautiful textile and objects.
I especially dig the easy slip through hand carved wooden pin closure. They come in million shapes and sizes with all different embossed motifs. These are perfect little rustic flair that you should mix in with something more modern. Throw a curve ball to your Spring outfits!
Edgar is our main contact for our interest in real estate in Tulum. The more we travel the more interesting people we meet. We meet we talk we share. From Mexico city to Tulum changing his life yet growing bigger dream to build a top notch artist, sound and photo studio in the middle of jungle of Tulum. Meet our new friend, Edgar and his Sound Design for Hasta Los Huesos!
Edgar says, “Well, Hasta los Huesos is a 9 minute short film that took 2 years and a half to finish it, you know, everything was sponsored, materials, film, and everybody’s work. About 80% of the sound design was made specifically for this short and the other 20% was from sound libraries. It took me almost 4 months to do the 9 minutes, and mix it in THX.
I remember playing 64 tracks at the same time, it was awesome! The music was done by the best Mexican rock band called Cafe Tacuba. The animation is in stop motion which is frame by frame, and the director is Rene Castillo from Guadalajara.”
Long chatting and long night over the bottles of wine with Edgar and Jorje at Edgar’s home. Great place and great time!
Edgar, Thank you for having us. Gracias por la tua Hospitalidad!! Keep building your sound and dream!
On a way to Valladolid, we stopped by at a couple of Mayan souvenir shops on the road. You know how usual Souvenir shops are… but one really stood out from others and quite inviting. Airy, looking more interesting somehow.
Yeah! Pretty much I felt like I hit the Jack Pot! Beautiful rustic traditional terracotta potteries, home made Pinata in work hanging from the ceiling, beautiful rich garden and the most graceful Mayan owners of the place. ( by the way this place does not have a name…)
Hand made,12 hour baked then decorated Mexican traditional terracotta potteries. We got one of this mega size ones for the holidays and dinners with friends: you can do so called ” Cazuela” , the one big pot dish baked or simmered with broth in the oven. They come in all different sizes and shapes. They also come in as small plates and bowls. You can cook food in these terracotta pots on the stove top or inside oven. The secret to use it for the first time is to rub the bottom where the flame will hit with Garlic, which suppose to help not to penetrate the odor or the flavor of the flame through the pottery.
Then, while I was taking pics of these poterries, I couldn’t ignore interesting looking outdoor kitchen behind through the camera lense: a man cooking something on the wood chip fire pit. He was cleaning chilli peppers and checking on something time to time…
I walked up to him and said with my broken Spanish that I really loved his Kitchen. Then That was it! I met Don Diego. The owner of the shop and a proud man of the family with beautiful wife and life he built where he is now with his gorgeous crib and a lush jungle like garden!
Wow , Check this out. His Paella! and black beans getting socked for his home made tortillas. This man knows how to cook! He told me he was waiting for his companies to arrive to have lunch together. In my head… “Don Diego , Can you please invite us to join you? I’m dying to taste them!”
Serrano chilli. Don Diego’s hand holding it.
Then he wanted to give all of us a tour of his beautiful lush garden and the house he built. And they are gorgeous!
Below are the Pinatas in progress: drying up hanging from the ceiling.. I must say I much prefer this newspapered simple sphere ones. They are somewhat Modern and cool. They look almost like an Art installation.
Don Diego greeting his just arrived guests. (mmm Yum!!)
Don Diego, Thank you for the wonderful tour and your graceful authority and pride you shared with us. For your land, for your family and as a man yourself. You just made our trip that much more special!
I had written up a small blog about Coqui Coqui, Tulum from our last trip in December ( You can “search” our blog page on the left top corner). I do think most of you already know about this place. At least many New Yorkers would since many of us come down to Tulum. Emi has been telling me we should check out Coqui Coqui in Valladolid this time, so we did. Boy! What a place they have!! An exquisite perfumery carrying through their passion and love for the life with style and 1 drop dead gorgeous room with a balcony up for your swanky stay.
Here, feed your eyes with beauty of Coqui Coqui at Valladolid.
From the top: the entrance, reception area with Perfumery ( by the way this place well reminded me of Merci in Paris and Darr and Butter in Brooklyn), connecting entrance from the perfumery to the clothing and jewelery shop, the shop carries well edited local textile, hats and others, the view to the perfumery from the garden, the 1 and only room for rent; ahhhh I love it!, the terrace, the view to the street from the terrace, a little cafe and the lush garden with a pool.
Beautifully painted in rich Spanish colonial flavor, Valladolid is a Must Visit to taste a Maya city culture in modern day and the first signs of the Mexican revolution of 1910. Located at about a half way from Tulum to Merida’ ( the capital of Yucatan), Valladolid offers lots of laid back charms as colonial era cathedral,Cathedral of San Gervasio in the heart of square, a hustle and bustle local market filled with colorful fruits and flowers and amazing food that represents the town’s history. And also new additional perfumery of Coqui Coqui ( amazing Taste!!) just add more reason to pay a visit to the town!
Cathedral of San Gervasio. Cathedral of San Gervasio is 1 of 7 churches in Valladolid along Convent of San Bernadino. I just love simple yet beautiful charm of this church. The 2 palms are placed just perfectly. I find the color of the fence around the church changes time to time whenever we visit here. A typical elder lady in Valladolid with a signature scarf on. I think only the elders wear this. All hand made in silk.
A house of culture in square: beautiful ceiling and tiled passage way and the typical court yard. The house offers various claases for cultural dances, music and more.
On a way to the market. You will see many old school Beatles and more old mobiles around the town.
Near the market, awesome barber shop.
The vibrant market! These are hand made bee wax candles. It smells delicious! 10 pesos each ( about $0.85). We got 5 of them. Below from the top; Jicama, Banana leaves and 10 pesos a bag mixed fruit. yum!
How amazing is this Barber/tailor/fruit shop!! My favorite is #4.
Fried Yuca balls with home made honey. Again 10 pesos for the whole bag. They are delicious! And the big brown things with holes are caramelized squash.
Now it’s our lunch time! This 17 century Spanish colonial hotel, El Manson del Marques on the square is absolutely gorgeous with amazing court yard and a beautiful and exquisite restaurant Hosteria del Marques, which serves regional specialties. Love!
Planton de La Casa: Plate of the House which gives you a chance to taste variety of regional food. Mexican chorizo, pork, turkey and egg. It was more like a enlightened experience of Mexican cuisine. It’s far way more than rice and beans. Well balanced seasoning with great texture and layers of flavor. Amazing.
Another amazing dish and the specialty of Hosteria del Marques: Stuffed cheese stew with capers, olives, pork and chicken, almond, raisins and secret spices. A powerful bursting flavor in your mouth with just a spoonful first sip. It killed me.
Yes. We loved it and We cleared it! It was ammmaaaazing! Mmmm, Happy….!
I put 40 photos in this blog but I still have 150 more. It’s a quick trip so well worth to do. You will have a great time. Be inspired. Valladolid.