Leaving Los Barriles and our Traveling Tribe

We crossed the border recently~ a 3-hour soul-crushing grind before arriving back in the good old USA in what was our longest, and yet least invasive border crossing in over two years. Los Barrile’s winter entered the history books. As always, it was incredibly bittersweet.

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Wine and Waterfalls

Last week raced by in a blur of activity. Dave & Anne, two of our VERY favorite peeps and our most frequent visitors arrived in Baja. Although they visit the fancy resorts of Cabo often, this was their first trip to Los Barriles and the week was packed with a variety of activities highlighted by wine and waterfalls.

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A Perfect Day

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 3

As I listened to Natalie describe today’s challenge, I felt a surge of excitement. I, too, have often spent time focusing on my perfect day. Even more exciting is the fact that, in large part, these last nine months have been pretty darn close to perfect!

It’s no new news to any of our consistent readers to hear my perfect day always begins by waking up seeing Jim’s smiling face, and Aspen’s even bigger smile, as she anticipates the day ahead. While my sweet husband is by no means a morning person, my enthusiastic labrador is, and I have often remarked that we should all face each day with her level of joy.

Next up, a long walk, coffee travelers in hand. My coffee has a touch of kahlua and cream or baileys. Jim sticks to mere sugar. Aspen, in no need of any stimulant, has had to do with mere kibble and rice or veggies for breakfast. This perfect morning walk is always near water. The beach is my number one spot, although a walk along a serene lake or pristine stream will do in a pinch.

We meander along, Aspen sniffing and marking, Jim and I discussing the day ahead, and simply enjoying the birds chirping as the day comes alive around us.

What else could be next but yoga? Although I have dabbled in the practice off and on for years, only in the last five months have I become a full-on convert. I am thrilled that Jim has joined me these last two months, gaining strength and flexibility. Regardless of the mood, a morning dose of yoga puts me in the right frame of mind to face any challenges the day may bring.

Breakfast. Essential for the day. My perfect breakfast is a fantasy, the dream that I could, every day, be transported to La Palapa restaurant on the beach in Puerto Vallarta. There I would indulge in their daily rotation of smoothies, their  freshly baked pastries, their stunning eggs benedict or jaw droppingly good chilaquiles verde. When not indulging in this fantasy land, breakfast is, in reality, most likely yogurt and fruit or an occasional bacon sandwich. My tastebuds are in overdrive, and my mouth is watering just typing out these delightful options.

Properly primed, it’s time for work. Three to four hours of good, concentrated work. This may entail a writing assignment, pitching new editors, or even documenting our days on our travel blog. Perhaps working with Jim on a new campaign for our Amazon products, or a new opt-in offer. The creative juices flow as we discuss our brand; what is going right, what can be improved upon, but all focused towards our business goals for a life nomadic.

By this time, Aspen is needing attention. A bit of fetch is HER perfect day, and then an alfresco lunch is enjoyed by all. Generally easy; a bit of leftovers or a simple sandwich, this break is a necessary spoke in the wheel, giving me the energy to face the afternoon with gusto.

After a nice long break, the afternoon can vary. Some days, more work is on the agenda. However, the afternoon might involve a long hike in the mountains, other days a foot massage on the beach while enjoying a bucket of beer. Maybe climbing some ancient ruins. These choices are, in itself, exactly the point. The entire freedom plan is about creating days that may be extremely diverse from the last, and yet all perfect in their own way.

Late afternoon reverts back to a norm. Another long walk with Aspen, a sundowner- these days most often a gin & tonic, and dinner discussion. Yes, it is widely apparent that food is a driving force in my perfect day!

Evenings are most often our time. I am not big on parties, late nights, or loud music. One perfect evening is cards by lamplight, while drinking rum. Or an evening spent cuddling on the camper sofa, Aspen snoring softly beside me, as we drink wine and watch a movie. Perhaps time spent simply sitting under the stars and standing in awe of mother nature and the night skies.

A bit of reading, a bit more rum. perhaps some chocolate thrown in. My perfect day is obvious. It involves my husband, my labrador, and time spent in the outdoors. It is about good food and good drink and good times with friends and family around a campfire.

Day 3 of this freedom plan challenge is about the ability to visualize the life you WANT. I sit here, feeling incredibly blessed, to be well on my way to having that visualization be the life I already LIVE.

Passing Time in Patzcuaro

I listened to the rain pattering on the roof, and took another sip of wine. We had planned to stay a couple of days. But, Patzcuaro proved to be pure magic. Yes, the town is literally one of Mexico’s pueblo magicos, but more importantly, the vibe is right. That couple of days turned into four and then six and then eight. The plan to see the town, buy some coffee, maybe take a boat ride to the island in the lake, morphed into simply enjoying the simple pleasures.


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Eating Puerto Vallarta on a Budget

Eating well has never been a problem for us in Mexico. The indescribable combination of flavors has drawn us to her shores for decades. That said, one reason we chose to drive the PanAmerican highway is so we would have access to our own kitchen, which has done well by us over the last six months, party to save money and partly because I simply love to cook. However, eating inexpensively in Mexico does not mean never eating out. In fact, eating well in PV runs the gamut of prices.


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Puerto Vallarta in Review

Puerto Vallarta is a magical place for us and over the last twenty years we’ve eaten our way all over the city, from food carts and street stands to five star restaurants like Cafe des Amis. Having just returned from yet another vacation in paradise I thought I’d give a rundown of the good, the bad, and the ugly.

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Rajastan III – Land of Maharaja’s and Pilgrams

Udaipur, most famous for it’s Lake Palace, was the next stop on our route. It does, of course, also have an impressive fort! Built in 1559, and fort is massive with many overlapping courtyards, terraces, and gardens and set overlooking the lake and the Maharaja’s current residence on the far side.

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