emiliano@lacasapark.com  917 406 2854
jaehee@lacasapark.com  917 373 1548
Take the C train to Clinton Washington | Map

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!

IMG_8900Cathedral 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.






IMG_8953Near the market, awesome barber shop.




IMG_8975The 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.


IMG_9017Now 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!







IMG_9048Planton 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.

IMG_9049Another 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.

IMG_9054Yes. 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.

The Maya site may have been formerly also known by the name Zama, meaning city of Dawn. Tulúm is also the Yucatec Mayan word for “Fence of wall” (or trench), and the walls surrounding the site allowed the Tulum fort to serve as a defense against invasion. From the numerous depictions in murals and other works around the site, Tulum appears to have been an important site for the worship of the Diving or Descending god. There’s is no such tall pyramid in Tulum ruin site, but the location of this ruin is very important. Right on the Ocean: great benefit of stiff cliff that protected the whole site and also the trading of  Salt and Textile then.

The ruins at the north side tip of Tulum beach, from  the top: the entrance to the “Fenced Wall’, temples with usual 2-3 windows and narrow columns, Gael and me looking over the look out of the beach at ruins…




Wow!! The Dos Ojos Cenote is unbelievably beautiful. We have been to a couple of other cenotes including a small water hole by the beach, but this one is the best so far. Somehow it reminds me of Puglia, Italy.

10 minute car ride up north of Tulum, Dos Ojos awaits you to come and experience what nature is all about. Wow…!  Now. all I want to do is taking serious lessons to be the professional scuba diver and do Cenote hopping!  In ancient Mayan, the word Cenote meant ” Sacred well”. This clear fresh water holes erupted all along the Yucatan Peninsula are exclusive gem to here and only a few island of Caribbean ocean in the world, so it’s quite unique and proud natural source of Mexico.

Now come with me to do a tour of Dos Ojos!!
IMG_8505IMG_8547IMG_8519Emi getting ready!  Yes he does have a licence to dive and Emi’s brother, Andrea is a well known professional diver who works with world archaeologists. Including Gael, we did get to see beautiful under water of Dos Ojos with Emi’s guide. I am so bugging Andrea this summer to have him teach me!  It really didn’t strike me until this time to have the urge of learning how to do scuba diving.


IMG_8553Denny, Emi and Gael. It’s Gael’s turn now to get to see what’s under the water. I mean it was AMAZING to look up to see the cave and the bats! and also under the water…!




IMG_8508IMG_8509IMG_8511IMG_8518IMG_8595Nice mask mark Jaehee! and Mowgoli the jungle boy, you did great job today! Mommy’s so proud of you!



It was healing then. Now it’s all about having fun! I love you Emi, Gael, Denny and you, Tulum

From the top: the bridge of Boca Paila, Casarosas on the beach, Gael chasing mommy, the men of the family; the fisherman, 3 men breaking down the coco!, a smarty Pelican waiting for some fish bit from the human, Emi looking out to Biosphere near Boca Paila, Jaehee enjoying the beautiful light and sunset over the Biosphere…. And Repeat.


A few friends have had bit cold days in Tulum recently, so I was bit nervous when we woke up but we had great hot sunny day all day. Nice breakfast in Copal terrace overlooking the ocean and we even bragged about how hot the sun was and Gael even asked me to tie his hair in a pony tail.





IMG_8099Stretching and scratching, just ordered breakfast and just like 2 big cats under the sun. haha!

IMG_8116Hey, 3 boys. It makes me feel so happy to see Gael, Emi and Denny are all together. Like Daniel said, the Blood is thicker than the Water. The Love. The Bond. The Generation. Brother, are you here with us…?


IMG_8120OK, That was Heavy but Good!

Now we are going for a walking tour of where we are staying at, Copal.


IMG_8126I need to ask about what this is. I do think people go in there? Right in the middle of it, there seems a fire pit. Below is the Yoga house of the Copal.








Over so many years of visiting Tulum, we’ve done most of historical Mayan ruins except Coba. Coba is a large ruined city of the Pre-Columbian Maya civilization, located in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. It is located about 90 km east of the Maya site of Chichen Itza, about 40 km west of the Caribbean Sea, and 44 km northwest of the site of Tulum.

My favorite ruin is so far is Chichen Itza because of it’s better condition of Pyramids and the most intrigued workmanship of it even though I prefer the natural surrounding of Coba and the beautiful ocean view site of the one in Tulum. The fun thing about visiting the Coba is that they rent out bicycles to go around the site.  All the ruins are connected with charming lush trails with tons of trees and birds.



IMG_6752This is called an Air plant. You see the roots are out in the air. They grow quite big at the end. Actually we have one in our Brooklyn home from Tania!!



8 years ago, when we climbed up to the Chichen Itza ( now climbing up to the Chichen Itza is banned.) , we had the same method: your own risk, a massive rope attached to the center of the pyramid, crawling and climbing.




IMG_6720Gael, mom loves you , you brave boy!  You are the best Gael! We made up to the top together!


IMG_6738Dripping sweat. But big joy that we all did it together as a family.



After visiting Coba, we turned our car to Punta Laguna where there’s a quite and beautiful lagoon and lush jungle with Spider monkeys are.  Only 10 kms away from Coba, this beautiful and humble Lagoon offers you exotic plants, toucans, many different gorgeous mariposas (butterflies!), thousands of water lilies and even crocodiles!!!

IMG_6786Walking into the jungle!. It was  such a spontaneous trip to Punta Laguna, we were not prepared with proper attire. We wished had long pants and long sleeved tops on to reduce mosquito bites. But once we were stopped by scene of spider monkeys flying all around us, we couldn’t care less about bug bites!


The spider monkey is considered a primitive new world monkey. They are called spider monkeys because they look like spiders when they are suspended by their tails. Spider monkeys are usually all black, but some have flesh coloured rings around their eyes and white chin whiskers.  Hair generally coarse and stringy. Lacks underfur. These monkeys depend highly on their keen binocular vision. They have slender bodies and limbs with long narrow hands.






We only had tasted what it would be like to be in the middle of the jungle this time. But I’m determined to go back and really explore. Gael could not take his eyes and ears off from the monkeys and all those sounds the nature makes. How wonderful it is to have a chance to be the little part of the nature!  Now that’s priceless.

Clogged pores, hazy lungs, tired soul and beat up spirit.

Stinky worries. Useless thoughts. I don’t need them. They can go.

I feel healing.

I’m not anxious to meet new and wonderful people.

I reconnect with myself first. I bond deeply with Emi and Gael.

I inhale and exhale.

I drink it up again and again.

The Sun. The wind. The powerful energy.


Park Sian kaan.  The south strip of Tulum houses the most beautiful and untouched natural reserve that stretches all the way down to Punta Allen, a small fishing village. A small ecotourism and education center, it serves as a model for sustainable development in sensitive tropical ecosystems. The revenue generated through tours, fishing, beautiful accommodations, and various on-site activities is used to fund conservation and education programs within the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve. Read more about it at http://www.cesiak.org/

God bless. I’m thankful.




And there, there is one restaurant with a deck you can lo0k over both the ocean and also the biosphere. And also they serve excellent seafood ( I think it is maybe one of the best/freshest seafood in Tulum) and drinks along friendly service.

The seafood platter for 2! : Broiled lobster over fresh bed of mixed green salad, grilled octopus, fillet of sole, grilled shrimps and delicious calamaris. It’s actually enough for 3. Now wash it down with chilled margarita!



Haha. It was a hottest day since we got here. We hit the beach nice and early. Calm ocean. It was a beautiful day. We had a wonderful day. Lovely long lunch at El Tabano. Kite flying. New friends for Gael on the beach. Lots of reading for Emi. Body boarding. Sand, Salt, Wind, Laugh, Emi, Gael and Me.

Sun ray was falling. It was a white Christmas for us.













« go backkeep looking »