Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Villas Del Mar: Winding down a Fine Vacation

Joe, Ian and I have been in Puerto Aventuras for nearly 2 months, and tomorrow it's time to head home to Massachusetts. I haven't been paying a lot of attention to the weather, that's Joe's department, but I know its going to involve wearing shoes and coats, and a lot more clothes than we've had on our backs here. I think I wore out my 2 old bathing suits. This was a wonderful place to be with friends and family, laying around the beach, reading and swimming. Add in some work from afar on my laptop to keep things running with my photo club and taking care of the usual adult responsibilities, definitely a wonderful vacation with all in balance!!

Oh, the beach...!

My favorite spot under a palapa in the shade with a good book. Such a luxury!

Mr. Tan Man. Joe somehow got very tan, even keeping his shirt on and in the shade.

Guacamole every day, made by Joe. I think we went through 360 avocados, and they were good!

Ian finding the best warm mango.

Our last evening walk on the beach tonight, pretty place.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Celebrating Another Wonderful Year!!

Another year has sped by, making an occasion for a fun birthday celebrated with dear friends and family in a beautiful, warm place. I'm a very lucky woman!

We were all together last year on my birthday here in Puerto Aventuras, Mexico, except for Ian. One of my best presents has been spending time with him here the last 2 months.

Ahhhh, the beach.... nothing better than reading, swimming and hanging out.

We very much enjoyed Susan and Scott's visit with us here in Mexico, and we celebrated Scott's and my birthdays, many special people are born in February...I can back this up with the Presidents Birthday holidays, no other month has that claim :-)

Susan and Scott brought vegan chocolate from their home in Maine, delicious!!!

 At night we walked to the local watering holes searching for live music so Scott could play his harmonica with the band of the evening. What a fun time that was, dancing and general good spirits, plus I had a willing subject for portraits! 

Karaoke is Monday nights, and worked out well, very entertaining, as long as I didn't sing.

Our first night out it was kinda cool, as the clubs are pretty much outside, but this place was prepared with blankets they gave to everyone for the evening.

Another view of our beach.

We eat most all our meals outside, at home and when we go out to dinner.

Hors d'oeuvres and cocktails.

Birthday lunch...

Where Joe surprised me by arranging these singers to serenade me at our table, quite the pair!!

I help Ian learn how to drive a stick shift, on my birthday... he figured it out quickly, but not much practice on hills here, it's pretty much flat country. He's making a fuss because I wanted to document it with a photo, I got my photo, and it makes me smile!

Thanks Susie, for sending me this oldie for my birthday!! Great memories of birthdays past, this one was when I turned 40, a few years ago, ha ha, great fun we had then, too!!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Playing with my Veggies

Inspired from the beautiful produce we have here in Mexico, I've been playing with making some fine art photos. Add in the glass dinning room table, the wrought iron chair and the nice bare neutral wall...and many hours pass by. Taken with my Canon 6D and processed with textures in Photoshop, lots of fun!!  I have more in the works :-)


Peppers and Avocado

Baby Peppers and Tomato

Monday, February 10, 2014

Ian, Alex, Luke and Maegan in Puerto Aventuras

Earlier in January we had the pleasure of hosting some of our son Ian's friends. Alex, Ian's girlfriend, visited for about 10 days, after a four day delay getting here because of a snow storm in New England. Luke, Ian's long time friend from young birding days, visited with his girlfriend Maegan.  Lovely to have such fun young people around and they were good about me having my camera pointed at them!

Ian, Alex, Maegan and Luke

Perfect photo bomb by Ian

Pointing out a bird....

I really like this one of the two of them...

Portrait for Ian to use for online profiles, Flickr??? Handsome, isn't he?? :-)
Ian is now 22 years old, and just completed his degree in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation at UMass Amherst in December. He'll be working in Alaska this summer for Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences partnering with the US Fish and Wildlife Service on Shorebird Breeding Ecology at the Canning River Delta in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Try saying that really fast....

The 4 of us went to the ruins in Tulum and out to lunch. Photo taken by a nice stranger with Joe's camera.

Enjoying a moment.

Ian and Alex had a good time snorkeling and birding together.

All 4 in the ocean.

Ian and Alex on the beach at sunset.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Village of Puerto Aventuras, Mexico

Puerto Aventuras is a self contained coastal gated community made up of condos, hotels, homes, golf courses, shops, marina and restaurants. The village part is called Centro, or the center of the village, as opposed to the Poblado, the pueblo on the other side of the highway. Or so Joe tells me, he's my go to guy for the facts. I tend to think of it as the village where the tourists and estrangeros live and play and the pueblo where all the support people that make the village run smoothly live and play.

Here's my view of the village where we are spending 2 months, and a fine place it is. Everything you could want is within walking distance of our condo, along with warm sunny swimming weather.

She was so agreeable when I asked if I could take her photo with her dog.
Taken in front of OXXO, the main convenience store in our village.

Our local outdoor maker. Just what you see, it's not like a farmers market, although some people sell homemade goods, sometimes, when they feel like it. Open Wednesday and Saturdays, 8:30 - 4pm. Cash only, bring change, they like that, and your own bags if you have them. they have plenty of fresh veggies and tropical fruits, even some apples and pears from the states. So far we've bought 260 avocados since January 1st, we like avocados!

No comment needed :-)

One of our dinners at home, fajitas with fresh tomato and guacamole. We mainly eat in, the fresh produce is plentiful and Ian is my sous chef, cutting everything up nicely for me.  Joe makes guacamole daily and takes care of all the dishes and they both help with the heavy lifting from the market. A nice table outside and we're all set!

An evening view of the village overlooking the dolphin area.

Drinking beer any time is allowed, anywhere.

People swimming with the dolphins. 

An Italian restaurant.

Gelato anyone? I think there are at least 4 Gelato stores here.

The ubiquitous tourist knick knack store, they have what you need.

Joe, Ian and I having lunch outside at Dos Chiles.  HDR made Ian's head look funny....

Looking for photo ops...

We buy bread, Nutella, beer, ketchup, chips, salsa and other goods at Oxxo, best prices in town. For a real supermarket we walk to Chedraui outside the gates and take a taxi back if we buy heavy groceries.

Having a cappuccino.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Water Everywhere in Puerto Aventuras, Mexico

Water and Bougainvillea are a seductive mix. 

 Our last night in this condo, living on the first floor, steps from the pool is now my new favorite place to be. 

Friendly people, most of them from colder parts of the US, or Canada.

Our neighbors, Bill and Linda from Nashville. Good sports!
I used my iPhone 5S in Slo Mo video

Love the bright colors! 

Porto Bello Condo Pool.

No water, just some interesting stairs....leading to water.

Lots of outdoor places to eat right outside our door. We haven't had a car in 3 weeks, I don't miss it at all. The outdoor market next door on Wednesdays and Saturdays provides all our produce, and the small stores here have beer, Nutella and bread. I walk to the pueblo on the other side of the highway to get fresh tortillas, all set!