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Archive for February, 2010

On the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula, Los Cabos offers tourists numerous options to pass the day. But whether it is a day at Medano Beach with cervezas and jet skis, or a day at sea watching the wonder of the whales that migrate from the Arctic seas, every day becomes night with the sunset. And then it’s time to celebrate.

Just a few weeks ago, enjoying my time at the adults only Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Resort & Spa I decided to catch the sunset from an elevated vantage point. A ‘Buen Vista.’ The butler (all suites come with attentive Butler service) recommended the Sky Pool at the neighboring Pueblo Bonito Sunset. Then, after a five minute shuttle ride, and a few minutes on a golf cart  climb, I found myself at the enterance to the hill top Sky Pool.

the sun sets in Los Cabos

I ordered a Margarita and before I ordered my second, I snapped this photo of the sun setting on a cloudy day in Cabo. No complaints. Happy Sunset Sunday.

Stay Adventurous, Craig

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Green; the color of money (in the US), the color of envy? the color of energy? Maybe all three? Maybe you have none?

But actually ‘green’ also seems to be becoming the color of travel. Words like “sustainability,” “organic” and “eco-tourism” are more and more prevalent each and every day.  We all read them on travel websites and guidebooks targeting the people conscious of their footprint. And now such choices are no longer just for those backpacking through remote jungles in Central America or South East Asia. These choices now exist when selecting a luxury vacation too. A choice tourists, not just travelers make today.

Just in the last year(ish), I stayed at three resorts considered ‘green.’ All three enjoyable. All three luxurious. All three in Mexico.

The coast of Riviera Maya

Last winter in the ancient Mayan sea post of Tulum I stayed at CabanasCopal. I selected an ocean front bungalow that did not include electricity. The time “without” allowed me to experience a deeper connection with nature. With light only from the moon and candles I savored the hours and the chance to pause and ponder a different world.

On a recent trip to the Baja Peninsula in Mexico, I stayed about 45 minutes north of Cabo San Lucas in Pescadero. After the exit, or really just left turn, off highway 1 I traveled a dirt road past countless organic farms on the way to Rancho Pescadero. Each of the three meals, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, prepared with the locally grown and organic ingredients, pleased the palette.

In the Riviera Maya I stayed at Hacienda TresRios, a pioneer in the green space.  The Hacienda earned numerous environmental construction and sustainable awards including the coveted Green Global Certification. Built on land that was once a national park altered by Hurricane, the recently opened luxury resort and spa did not forget its roots. Guest can swim, snorkel, kayak or just learn about the diverse ecosystem on the grounds. For me, it was all about the cenotes.

Yes green, the color of so much, including life, is also becoming the color of travel. And that is why I volunteered (well it’s a contest with a prize) to help promote traffic to one resort. I didn’t say “yes” solely because of the prize, but more importantly said yes to spread the word about choices resorts are making, and choices you have when taking a vacation.

...a suite color

Many resorts are doing more than asking you to reuse your towels. As consumers we can support them with our business. So do your research, ask questions, and make a conscious choice.

But since you must ask for what you want, I am asking my readership to cast a vote for Turquesa (or a ‘like’ since its on FaceBook page.) Thanks.

stay adventurous, Craig

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The magic of a sunset seems to multiply on the water.  And when you climb aboard a sailboat, well that may just be the ultimate.

During my time in the Florida Keys this month I discovered Sunshine Sailing in the upper keys (MM 94.5) and just yesterday Captain Jennifer MacLean, a women of (and) the sea, invited me on board to experience a sunset sail.

After a lovely sail, munching on organic salads, sipping cocktails and listening to stories of adventure we anchored up just outside Tavernier key. Then as the sun began its final descent below the horizon, the Captain said, “let’s take the dingy for a ride.” The goal to capture the moment of the sunset with the Indian Summer II, her sailboat, in the moment. We did. Enjoy.

Sunset anchored at Tavernier Key

Stay adventurous,  Craig

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Canadian Giants

Canada. Majestic landscape, hockey, and as any New Yorker knows, (but doesn’t care to admit) the better side of Niagara Falls. And now as Vancouver plays host to the 2010 Winter Olympics, nightly we all learn more.

As a frequent traveler to the ‘Great White North’ I can offer advice on Canada, but I wonder if anyone shares the same interest as I do in Alberta – Dinosaurs.

As a child, I dreamed of dinosaurs. All through elementary school I knew almost everything about these colossal creatures. I mean everything: names, weights, diets, climates, and time periods. I even knew that the closest major excavation site was located in a place called Alberta. (Although I didn’t know where that was?)

Eventually, I learned the provinces of Canada and as my travels took me places, I decided to fulfill a childhood desire. I booked my flight to Calgary.

the stegosaurus walks ....

I landed in late spring snow flurries.  Still cold in May? Yes. But my friend Mary warmly greeted me at the airport (also saved me from immigration) and determined my childhood curiosity would be our first stop. I agreed.

We drove ninety minutes to Drumheller and arrived in ‘Dinosaur Town.’ Countless dinosaur replicas adorned every street corner. They advertised businesses, restaurants and the museum itself.  The once coal mining town now thrived upon the museum traffic.

At first glance, the Royal Tyrrell Museum didn’t seem “royal” at all. It reminded me of a mid-sized suburban high school, not the grandiose edifice I envisioned. After all, the 120,000 sq. feet museum is internationally recognized as one of the premier paleontology museums in the world.  But no matter, today was not about the sizzle but the steak itself. Plenty was promised inside.

As a visitor you travel through time. You walk the 3.5 billion year geological timeline in celebration of the diverse history of known life. With my interest in a certain few periods, my brisk pace catapulted through the eons.  Each step time changed, but I had not. My thoughts, the same as my childhood, “Where are the dinosaurs?

That quest continued until I reached the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods (65-250 million years ago) and stood before the entrance to the grand hall.  Suddenly all my old elementary school friends greeted me: the flying reptile Pteranodon, the classic archenemies -Tyrannosaurus Rex faced off against Triceratops, the amour plated Stegosaurus, the local discovery Albertosauras, and many more. Close to forty fossils. All here. All amazing. All remembered.

Soaking in all the exhibits, reading each an every word time passed quickly. Closing time approached. But before exiting we decided to walk towards the excavation labs.  Apparently, each scientist on staff periodically works on the display floor to provide a Q&A for those inquisitive types. Yes. (a small fist pump)

still king of the jungle....

For the next twenty minutes I asked away. Excited by my interest he started talking even on Friday close to 5pm. We discussed the many new dinosaur discoveries in mainland China (second field trip?) and my childhood perceptions. But I am most thankful he confirmed that the T-Rex still seemed to be the king of the jungle. (second fist pump)

Then on the way out, I noticed a sign that revealed 1800 man-hours were performed on a small skeleton with another 2200 man-hours left.  Wow, two full man-years, before being displayed?   Seems like forever, but in comparison, I guess hardly a drop of water in the ocean of time.

Stay Adventurous, Craig

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The sunset seduces. Few moments of the day hold such magic. On Valentine’s Day many people will share that magic, that romance, with someone special.

One evening, that special sensation hit me harder than my second glass of Ouzo. Here, on the cliffs overlooking the Ionian Sea, I watched the sun descend from the island of Paxos during a sailing trip.

As a frequent traveler, I can tell you if seek romantic venues few places visit top the Greek Isles and few activities top Sailing. Together, well that just adds to the magic, mystic  and romance of it all.

...the view from atop the isle of Paxos

On this Sunset Sunday, feel free to share your sunset moments.

Stay Romantic,

Craig

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I woke to the cool Baja breeze coupled with the distant sounds of Pacific surf. Poured a fresh cup of java that the amiable staff delivered to my room along with a fresh fruit plate that included my favorite – papaya,  graced my comfortable robe and stepped out on the terrace.  The ocean view refreshed.

my morning view

After the hearty, yet healthy breakfast, I walked down to the ocean’s edge to give the waves a closer look. A beach break ten minutes north. A dozen surfers seemed to be enjoying morning’s gift so I hiked the soft sand to get a closer look.  El Nino delivered an impressive swell.

Surf is what led my here to Rancho Pescadero, the different kind of “dude” ranch. And actually when I think about it, searching for surf spots has led my all over the world.

What began twelve years ago with the purchase of my first long board from Bunger Surf totally blossomed. I surfed the east coast – west coast. Surfed in Asia, Europe, and South America. Surfed Costa Rica and Mexico. Long boards and short boards. Big Waves (big to me) and small waves.  I am still no expert, a novice really, but it is addicting. You gain a sense of balance, a sense of spirituality in the sport. All completely captured at Rancho Pescadero.

In the moment, you connect with the energy of the wave, a force bigger and more powerful than you. And waiting in the water, you connect with your surroundings.  Fish jump over your board, porpoises swim within yards, and a butterfly might flutter by and wink. But the connection goes even deeper and it isn’t just on the water or in the wave.

When I arrived, I decided to watch other surfers. To sit in silence.  I needed just to be exactly there. To be on the sands of  Baja. Perfect.

sitting on the sands of Baja

Stay adventurous,

Craig

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This week ‘Sunset Sunday’ takes us to my days in Mexico. Here I sat on the sands of ‘playa de los muertos,’ south of the river in Puerto Vallarta after a refreshing late afternoon swim. I enjoyed this very view over a bucket of coronitas (7oz Coronas) with the sounds of the local Mariachi band. The golden sun bronzed the water after a sun shower cooled the August heat in 2007. Stay Adventurous, Craig

playa de los muertos...

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