Christmas in Cozumel

December 28, 2015

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! My Christmas was muy excellente – I spent the week with my entire family in Mexico. It was a fun-filled, busy, active week… although there was still plenty of hammock time.

david-hammock-cozumel-mexico

We all met up in Cozumel, an island near Cancun. There were 13 of us, and we Read the rest of this entry »


Happy Birthday, America! From St. Joseph, Michigan

July 5, 2015

After a fantastic weekend at the Fitbloggin’ conference in Denver, I continued east, ending up in St. Joseph, Michigan, a town on Lake Michigan with gorgeous, sandy beaches. My mom grew up in this area, and it’s the perfect place for our family to meet up for a relaxing week.

David-Slide

Oh, by the way, I’m writing this from  Terminal 3 at O’Hare, where my flight home has been delayed over two hours. It’s a faint smudge on an excellent week, and, in all honesty, if my flight was on time I wouldn’t have gotten this post up for another day… so my flight delay is your gain! You’re welcome! Read the rest of this entry »


A Few Days in St. Joseph, Michigan

July 8, 2014

Part two of my Michigan vacation recap! After a great few days on Mackinac Island, my family and I began the five-hour drive down the western side of the state, heading for the twin towns of St. Joseph and Benton Harbor, on the shores of Lake Michigan in the southwestern corner of the state. This is where my mother grew up, and where we visited my grandparents multiple times a year all throughout my childhood.

My mom inherited my grandmother’s place, and that’s where all nine of us were headed when we heard that a terrible storm had swept through the day before, leaving 80,000 homes without power. Ours was one of them. We also heard that it might take 3 days to get power restored. Yikes. Not a great thing to hear when you’re just a few hours away from arriving! My sister and I jumped Read the rest of this entry »


A Few Days on Mackinac Island

July 7, 2014

I’m baaaaack! Hope you all had a great Fourth of July week. Mine was wonderful – I spent it hanging out with family in Michigan, where I grew up, visiting places we used to go to all the time when I was a kid.

First stop: Mackinac Island. Located in the very northern part of Lake Huron, Mackinac Island is known for a few things: its history, its ban on motor vehicles (which means bikes and horses are the main means of transportation), and its many fudge shops. As many brochures and websites point out, visiting Mackinac Island is like stepping back in time – specifically, to the late 1800s, when many of the island’s buildings were constructed.

The island is only accessible by ferry, and my in-law Anne took this great picture of me as we pulled away from the mainland.

David-Ferry

We used to go to Mackinac Island every Read the rest of this entry »


“Quieres Blow?”

December 30, 2010

I’ve been in Playa del Carmen 3 days and so far I’ve been asked twice, on the street, by the same guy, if I wanted any cocaine.  Um, no thanks, I’m good.

The three days have been wonderful.  I’ve been able to take a much-needed break from the mountains of stress caused by being unemployed in Los Angeles (sarcasm) and this is a nice change of pace from the snow and cold of Michigan (not sarcasm).  All I keep hearing and reading about is how there’s rain, rain, rain, rain in Los Angeles, so it sounds like I’m not missing tons, except the friends and family I have there.

My eating in Mexico has been pretty good.  I’m proud of myself.  It hasn’t been easy, especially since I’m dependent on restaurants for pretty much all my food.  But we’ve bought apples and bananas to keep in our hotel room, and our hotel has a continental breakfast (included with our room rate) that has fresh fruit, so I’ve taken advantage of that every morning.  At the restaurants, I’ve been pretty good at scoping out the healthier options, and balanced them with trying things I want to try.  I haven’t been carrying my phone with me, as I don’t get service here, so I haven’t taken photos of most of the food, but last night I brought my camera along to the restaurant we went to, so I snapped photos of everything I ate.  It turned out to be the best meal we’ve had so far.

Here’s the restaurant.  According to their website, it’s pronounced “Jag-Shey,” although I’m pretty sure the locals were pronouncing it more like “Yock-Shey”:

It was a Mayan restaurant, and the menu had icons noting the items that didn’t stray from the traditional old Mayan recipes.  I thought “when in Rome,” and ordered a couple of those.  But before they arrived, I tried a few other things.

The first thing out was a roll, with three dipping sauces – the black was the hottest:

I tried all three individually, but kinda liked it best when all three were mixed together.  It seemed like the green and black ones were salsa-esque, and the white one was sour cream-ish.

My sisters ordered a couple appetizer combo platters to share, and so I tried 5 bites of 5 different appetizers.  I have no idea what any of them are, but they were delicious:

The one at 5 o’clock was similar to a quesadilla, and the one at 3 o’clock was a pork-stuffed pepper that was terrific.  There are marinated onions on top.

For a starter (or, my next starter, I should say), I ordered Shecc (pronounced, I presume, “Sheck”):  It was pieces of pineapple, mango, jicama, and cucumber, marinated in lemon juice, paprika, and salt:

It was light and tasty – the salt and paprika added flavor but wasn’t overbearing.  The menu noted that this dish was “very refreshing!” and I have to agree.

For my main course, I ordered Tikin Xic (pronounced, um, I’ll get back to you on that).  It was fish marinated in sour orange and axiote, wrapped with onions in banana leaves, and grilled.  When it arrived, it was still bundled up in the banana leaves:

And here it is unbundled:

I just looked up what axiote is, and it’s a spice blend, in paste form, that’s very popular in the region, that’s built around annato seeds, which come from a local flowering shrub.  There was also a small piece of corn on the cob, and about a half-cup of rice served in a boat fashioned from a corn husk.  When the plate was set down in front of me, I thought the stuff at 4 o’clock was fruit, but it was actually steamed (or roasted?) vegetables – mostly zucchini, carrots, and onions.  All of it was tasty.  It was delicate, and the fish was flaky and perfectly cooked (I don’t know what kind of fish it was), and I ate all of it.

There was 8 of us at the table, and some of the others ordered desserts.  I tried a bite of their pumpkin ice cream, which was good and tasted like pumpkin, but wasn’t spectacular.

OH!  I promised you gym pictures in my last post!  I have two to share.  Here’s the gym from the street:

It’s called “The Gym” and it’s about 5 or 6 blocks from our hotel.  Here’s their website.  They offer lots of classes (none of which I’ve taken so far), have a nice assortment of cardio machines, and a lot of weight training equipment, which I also haven’t used yet (mostly because I’m trying not to aggravate my healing shoulder).  Here’s the main room – cardio in the back of the photo, weight stuff towards the front:

It’s a gym, as you can plainly see.  It’s been nice to start my days here with a great workout.  Yesterday, I did 55 minutes on the bike, and today, 45 minutes on the Arc Trainer elliptical.

Keep it up, David!

PS – If I don’t blog again in the next two days (and I don’t know yet if I will or not) – than Happy New Year, and I wish you health and happiness in the new year!  KEEP IT UP!


Massage in Mexico

December 28, 2010

Bienvenido a México!

Yesterday I arrived in Playa Del Carmen, México.  Today is my sister’s birthday (Feliz Cumpleaños, Laura!), and she invited family and friends – 9 of us in total, I think – south of the border to celebrate.  It’s a fantastic idea, because with a birthday three days after Christmas (Navidad), she kinda gets the birthday shaft every year – Christmas/birthday combination presents, friends out of town because they’re with family, that sort of stuff.   This year we’re all together, and we’re together to be with her.  We’ve been here 1 day, and so far, so good!

It’s beautiful (hermosa) down here.  Here’s the view from our hotel room:

It wasn’t a great beach day, because it was cloudy (nublado) and a little chilly, but I love the beach here because there’s a little cliff between the sandy part where people lounge and the water’s edge.  I walked along it at high tide:

Besides being my sister’s birthday, today was also notable because I got my first ever massage.  There’s no good reason why I’ve never gotten a massage before – I just haven’t.  But I’ve been wanting to get one for the better part of this year (año), after hearing multiple friends rave about them, and you can’t throw a stone (piedra) here without hitting a massage parlor – or a sunglass store, or a T-shirt shop selling really hilarious t-shirts that say things like “I Heart To Fart” – classy!  So, earlier today, Sarah, my other sister, and I scouted out a couple massage parlors and picked the one that looked the nicest to us.  They offered 2 massages for $50 USD, which we bought.  We then explained that we weren’t a couple, because we wanted to be “separado.”

The massage parlor was tucked away a cute courtyard lined with shops, and we were led through a building into a second, lush, private courtyard with individual massage rooms with curtain walls and canopy roofs.  It was very peaceful and quiet.  The massage itself was really relaxing.  I was kinda thinking before it started that I wouldn’t be able to fully relax because I’m ticklish (cosquilloso), and I tense up when I get tickled.  Yes, I know the masseuse wasn’t going to tickle me intentionally, but the feeling might be similar, especially to a first-timer.  And that did happen a little bit, twice – when she was working on my neck and when she was working on my knees (mis rodillas).  I haven’t experienced other massages, so I don’t have a point of comparison, but she seemed thorough and it felt good.

Oh – another noteworthy part of the day:  A bunch of us joined a gym that’s only a few blocks from the hotel.  I bought a 5-day pass (the total number of days I’m here) for $30 USD.  It’s a nice gym, appropriately named The Gym At Playa.  I’m going back tomorrow, so I’ll take a few photos (fotografías) for the blog.  Don’t know if or when I’ll blog again from Mexico, but at some point I’ll post them!

And my workout today was 50 minutes on the Arc Trainer – I burned over 800 calories!

Keep it up, David!