Tuesday, July 5, 2011

San Diego - July 2-5

July 2 - Country Fair in San Diego - Walked around and tried lots of food as this fair is famous for its food.

July 3rd.  Went to Jimbos Natural food store and tried a bunch of items from their very large bulk dried foods section. 

July 4 - went surfing at mission beach. Tons of surf schools and surfboard rental places along mission beach and an area dedicated for just surfers made it great for beginners as well as consistent small waves.  Lifeguards on jetskis are also patrolling the area to enforce the no swimming and surfing only zones.  On July 4 they ban surf lessons but surfboards are still available for rental. Went to watch the fireworks!

Baja Mexico June 25- July 2

Cabo Pulmo - wonderful town that is completely solar powered (with some help from small generators).
The diving was not great as the hurricane stirred up the waters and the visibility was only 15 feet.   Its a very quiet area and would be a nice escape for someone looking for a quiet retreat with not much around (which is much different from the resort areas nearby)

Baja is known for their fish tacos.  A good place will make fried fish tacos. And bring the fixings for the tacos out on a platter.  

Fried fish on a tortilla

add toppings. Yum!

Canon La Zorra - stopped here to take the short hike out to the waterfalls and swim in the lagoon. Its called Sol De Mayo Biosphere at Sierra La Laguna.  The water levels were low because there had not been much rain so diving was not allowed and there is an entrance fee of $6. 

La Paz - diving here was also disappointing and also had only 15ft visibility.  But the city and waterfront malecon was nice to walk around.  This is not a resort town so while there are many tourists here there are local who work in areas other than tourism here.  We stayed at this wonderful hotel.  While more expensive than a hostel, if you are looking for a nice bed and breakfast place with friendly staff and a free bottle of water everyday and airconditionig I highly recommend this place for travelers with a little higher budget. Hotel Mediterrane (http://www.hotelmed.com/) Rancho Viejo had decent food and right on the malecon for a nice location.  bismarkcito also on the waterfront was highly recommended but the food was not very good.  We did get to try the famous chocolate clams there.

Lunch at the loncheria outside of the mercardo was very good and a reasonable price.  I got fried fish that was very tasty. 

Todos los Santos - nice town to walk around.  Went to the turtle nesting beach and walked around town. Lunch at El Zaguan, cute restaurant and supposedly all organic but the food was only OK at best.  They do have a nice sidewalk seating area.

Visited the earthship outside of Todos Los Santos. If you are interested in environmental building they gave a wonderful tour and are very inspiring young people hard at work and I highly recommend visiting them or attending a future workshop they are holding.  Their website www.sentidocontrario.org has more information.  They have solar power and put together this place using mostly trash (tires, cans, and bottles) as well as bamboo. No AC is needed in this desert home as a type of convection cooling system is used by orienting the house properly to keep it cool.

The roof.  You can walk on the roof for a wonderful view of the water and the solar panels.

 The bathroom which recycles the grey water through the toilets.
 The hallway which uses glass bottles to make designs and lots of natural light.

Cabo San Lucas -  This is a large resort area with not much authentic Mexican Culture or cuisine. The diving here was also disappointing having only 15ft visibility again.
We splurged and stayed at Bahia Beach Club Cabo  (http://www.cabovillas.com/properties.asp?PID=62) which was decent though I think one of the smaller hostel type places would have been better value.  The rooms were nice and did have a kitchenette which was nice and had a pool but not fitness center.

Note - that I think renting a car might be the best way to get around as buses here are not as good as they are in mainland Mexico.

Disney World June 12-19

Disney World.  What an enormous place.  It was so hot in June that I would go on rides just to get out of the heat. I got a two day park hopper but only used the hopper part one day. 

I walked around Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Magical Kingdom.  I think my two favorite rides were the Startours at Hollywood studios which was a 3D ride featuring Starwars and the Living with the land ride in the Land Pavillion in Epcot (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Living_with_the_Land) which was a boat tour through the greenhouse and aquaculture area which was very informative and actually provides some of the food for the restaurants. 

There was lots of food to eat. 
We had a disappointing dinner at Mccormick and Schmicks.  I have had much better meals at this restaurant at other locations the upside was that we were the only people in the restaurant. 
We had a wonderful dinner at Olivia's Cafe (http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/olivias-cafe/) We had desert at the Coral Reef Restaurant and went to the fireworks in the rain. We went to eat at Wolfgang Pucks (http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/wolfgang-puck-cafe/) in Downtown Disney which was decent.

We had brunch at Kouzzina (http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/kouzzina/) which was probably fantastic but the waitress decided to change my order without telling me until after she brought it so I didnt get at all what I wanted and she only gave me a side for my meal so I was starving after.

We had a good meat at Black Angus Steak house. (http://blackangusorlando.com/)

The wedding I attended was amazing and started at the Wedding Pavillion and the reception was at the Grand Floridian. The food was great and was from the Victoria and Alberts menu.  The bride did a wonderful job with the wedding. 

Do you know what hidden Mickeys are? This was on the back of the bridesmaids flowers. : )

Chihuly Jun 8, 2008 Boston MFA

 The glass boat.  My favorite piece in the exhibit.

Glass ceiling