Monday, November 24, 2014

Sayulita Transportation

Check out below the modes of transportation in Sayulita.  It's kind of an anything goes beach town.

 The typical resort town golf cart is very popular in Sayulita.  There are rental places and some of the hotels rent their own as well as the resident owned golf carts.  There are fancy decked out 4 seaters, 2 seater wagon-looking carts and stripped down "at least I have a cart" versions.

 The four wheeler and motor bike are the most aggressively driven vehicles in town.  They zoom around everywhere.  Watch out.  The drivers will get close to you; however, I was never run down.  When you consider the town roads (cobblestone) and the side roads (shown below), four wheelers make perfect sense.  The dirt road I had to traverse from hostel to town is pot-hole heaven, getting worse with every rainfall.  It is a wonder cars did not break their axles.  Luckily, drivers are cautious when driving down that road.  They go slow and seriously attempt to not splash you.  There is also a consideration given to right of way.  I'm not sure who has the actual right of way but people are generous in waiting.
This picture shows a mild version of this road after it had started to dry up a little. Then we got another rainfall and that puddle went from side to side.  You had to walk on the rock wall or around the other side of that big dirt pile.  The day I was leaving town, workers were filling in the holes with that pile.  Rain season was "officially" over.  I wish I had taken more photos of this crazy road.

See the corner with the tangle of pickup trucks.  It seemed to be the place to park however you felt like.  Every day there was a different configuration of trucks and cars.  Pickups were another popular mode of transportation.  And of course, boats.  Fresh fish and boat tours are commodities in this town as I'm sure they are in every oceanside town.  Thank goodness, the boats were delegated to one end of the main beach.

My choice of transportation:  walking.  Sayulita is a very walkable town.  You can get to everything by walking.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Color of Beach Town Mexico

As a newcomer to foreign travel, there are so many things to first notice when you arrive in Mexico.  I'm going to start with my favorite thing - the beautiful color.  In my world, Mexico has long been known for it's colorful clothes, blankets and decorations.  To see it firsthand and the extent to which color is displayed is amazing.  I fell in love and had to stop myself from photographing everything.

Color is not restricted to just formal artwork.  It covers buildings, textiles, walkways, piers, furniture, you name it.

Puerto Vallarta

 Puerto Vallarta artwork is fantastic.  Restraint stopped me from buying multiple paintings from the street artists.  How would I take it home?  They offered several ways; however, I don't have a permanent home to display which would be sad.


 Punta de Mita

A group of us took a day trip to Punta de Mita, a small beach town north of Puerto Vallarta. This mural is huge and jazzes up a crappy looking parking lot.  I wish now that I had gotten more and better photos.


Sayulita is a small beach town about an hour's drive north of Puerto Vallarta.  It is a beautiful sleepy town with a punch.  It has a little bit of everything but with a slowness expected from a beach vacation spot.  I spent 9 days lounging on it's beaches and enjoying every minute of it. 

I was amazed at the elaborate cemetery. I don't think there was one grave that did not have colorful decorations and flowers.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Time for a New Place

It has been forever since I wrote on this blog.  Much to my shame as I like writing.  I have so many posts to write: stuff about Portland, Minneapolis, Milwaukee and many many things about Chicago and Alaska.

But for now, I'm heading off on my next adventure.  From this gorgeous place:

To this gorgeous place:

Hola Mexico!  I will be spending the next 2 weeks at the sunny beach town of Sayulita and the city of Puerto Vallarta.  I can't wait.  I've never had a burning desire to go to Mexico until a coworker recommended the town she's been going to for years.  I've held the stereotypical belief of "unsafe Mexico" in my head.  She's convinced me she feels completely safe there.  Plus numerous blogs I read love Mexico too (Globetrotter Girls, Hecktic Travels, Married with Luggage etc.)  Bad things happen everywhere. first foreign solo trip in about to start.  November 3.  Mexico, here I come, after a brief stop in Barrow, Alaska.  I have got to try and fulfill my Bucket List item of seeing polar bears in the wild.  Going to Barrow is what drove me to Alaska.  More on that later.

P.S  I've been trying the language method invented by Benny at Fluent in 3 Months with some added advice from Mish at Making It Anywhere in order to learn some Spanish.  I think its working.  I've only been at it for three days.  Already I understood some of the words on Jane the Virgin tv show and in the novel I'm reading.  I'm also thinking in Spanish.  When I look at something or say something that I know the word for in Spanish, my brain repeats it in Spanish.  Woohoo.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Anchorage and a Hostel

View of some gorgeous mountains as I flew towards Anchorage.  I don't think I will ever get sick of seeing beautiful snow covered mountains.

First picture is a view from the Anchorage airport.  Second one is walking down the street by my hostel.  I'm sure I looked like a weirdo to the locals.  I would walk, stop, stare, repeat.
Saturday, I walked around downtown Anchorage.  Its a beautiful clean area.  I lucked out with a bright sunny warm day. The photo below is the side of the mall.  I love the whale mural.  I decided to head to a grocery store to check out the availability and cost.  I was surprised by the cost.  Grocery prices are very similar to Chicago prices only without the sales tax.  I expected much higher prices.
This area of Anchorage had several touristy shops, probably not what you would consider local town stuff.  Skateboarders are very prevalent on the streets and parks.  A gang of them skated down the middle of Main Street.  While sitting on a park bench enjoying the view and reading, a Native Alaskan drunk guy decided he needed to talk to me.  Eventually he wandered off to bother others.  One thing I noticed is bike riders bike on the sidewalks, not on the road.  I don't understand why because the roads are wide, pothole free and almost car free.

I want a shelf full of Alaskan mugs.  Check out the fancy way to drink wine outside bugfree.  I want one.
Alaskan Backpackers Inn
Anchorage, AK

After cabbing my way from the airport, I arrived at the hostel.  This is my first stay in a hostel.  I was excited and nervous.  I've read enough online about hostels but wasn't completely sure what to expect.  It was unique, that's for sure.  Honestly, the Inn was exactly what I expected.  Funky.  I loved the hallways and stairwells with the random murals and sayings from former guests.
The front desk staff was helpful.  The kitchen appeared to be stocked with useful appliances and kitchenware.  Rooms were clean.  My only complaint: different sheets on the lower bunk in my room.  The upper bunk had great sheets but the bottom bed had rough prickly sheets.  I wish I could have taken the blackout curtains to my room in Denali.  The hostel was in walking distance to a grocery store and downtown.

Upstairs lounge with library
My room.  A private single but this one was outfitted for a family.
Upstairs hallway
View from my room