our next stop was guadalajara, mexico’s second biggest city with over four million people. we could tell it was big because we got a bit lost finding our hotel, but once we did we were so happy! the place is called la villa del ensueno and it was super cute. lots of tile and nice colours, which was nice because the weather was all rainy and grey.

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the hotel was about a ten minute walk to an area called tlaquepaque (t-la-ke-pa-ke, seriously).


we saw this dude on the corner along the way. brenda captured the moment in another of her gorgeous iphone snaps. some of these scenes remind me of paintings.


mexicans definitely know a thing or to about colour, especially when it comes to painting your house. these were all shot against someone’s concrete fence. they were somewhere along this road…


tlaquepaque is famous for its furniture and artisan stores which are made super accessible by a big wide pedestrian street. the area was a good mix of genuine artsyness and trendy design. we had a lot of fun just wandering in and out of shops and horsing around.

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brenda got a new hat. nayou got to wear it 😉


all the stores had really interesting things for sale. i saw some amazing low wooden coffee tables that i’m still kind of lusting after, but forgot to take any photos…



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there was a sergio bustamante gallery which was fun to visit.

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i love this one bodie took. peep the doll peeking out from inside the newspaper:


we ate some grasshoppers at a funky restaurant with an amazing mural:

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even the school buses are beautiful:


on saturday night we ate at a hipster shabby-chic restaurant. i wore my raggedy old t-shirt with holes all over it and no-one bat an eye. at least i was wearing close toe shoes.

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we took turns taking photos of each other in tlaquepaque plaza:

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the weather wasn’t so good, we were all kind of under the weather, but we had so much fun! it was exciting to be back in a big city again. visiting guadalajara was definitely the highlight of the trip for me.



so i think i’ve mentioned a couple of times that nayou is currently obsessed with fishing. he’s going to continue his love of the sport in vancouver, but brenda and i really wanted to give him a chance to go out on a proper fishing trip in sayulita before we left.

unfortunately the fishing boats charge an arm and a leg. fortunately our friend jorge is possibly just as obsessed with fishing as nayou. brenda called jorge yesterday and organised an outing on his kayak to go find some fish. nayou was sooo excited, its all he talked about all afternoon. he got his “fish pack” ready with all of his gear and sprung out of bed like a wild man at 7.30 this morning. the two men ventured out into rough-ish seas and came back with this:


wow! apparently nayou got sea sick and threw up on the ocean, but even that didn’t phase him in the face of such an awesome catch. we’re having a farewell party at a restaurant tonight so guess whats on the menu??

after our great road trip kick off in san blas, it was time to turn away from the ocean and head into the mountains. our destination was amatlan de cañas, a small town situated in a valley about 100km inland. the highways got wider and better maintained, and i actually enjoyed driving on the mexican autobahns for a change. i love the colours in this photo, even though its an ad for a craptastic company.



just before amatlan there is a small pueblo called el rosario which we stopped at to buy some fruit. we arrived late in the afternoon and it seemed like everyone was taking their siesta or something because it was very very quiet.


we couldn’t find a fruteria, but we did stop at the plaza and had a nice chat with two older dudes who sat down for a yarn.

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we eventually made our way to amatlan and grabbed some food there before checking into our room at los pavos reales.




the grounds of the resort are huge and immaculately maintained. there is a huge lawn with a swimming pool in the middle and some rooms on the side. peacocks and dwarf chickens run around and keep you company. which was a good thing because we had the whole place to ourselves! one of the perks of travelling on low season i suppose.




the main reason why we decided to come to amatlan was to visit el manto. brenda, bodie and i were all super keen to check out the gorgeous waterfalls, but unfortunately our plan was foiled. they were doing some big construction up at the falls and you could only go and see them, not swim in them. it was a bit of a bummer, but luckily for us amatlan happens to have some hot springs right in town! so we hoofed it over to the hot spring place, stopping at a big pink wall to take some photos. i love the whole series… each one is a classic!

20130914_26 20130914_27 20130914_28 20130914_29 20130914_30the hot springs were very mexican – lots of concrete and things that would make litigious lawyers salivate. like a mostly empty pool with no fence with scalding hot water pouring into it.


makes for a good photo op though!


we soaked ourselves in the mineral rich water and felt much better. the weather in amatlan was waaaay colder than what we were used to in sayulita. in fact, this was around the time when everyone except brenda started to feel a little run down. so we kept it low key and played cards, ate lots and took walks. bodie also introduced nayou to netflix, which has now launched a whole new level of cartoon watching. um, thanks, bodie. i guess.


us hippies attracted a lot of stares as we wended our way through the streets.


and what beautiful streets they were. these smaller towns have so much character to them.

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nothing like a good photobomb to ruin an otherwise nice photo.

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love this one of nayou picking up some treasure or other.

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even though we didn’t get to go to el manto, the trip to amatlan was definitely worth it. we got to laze around in some hot springs, take leisurely strolls and hang out in a nice place. not bad at all really. thanks, amatlan! we hope to visit you again!


while uncle bodie was visiting we finally got off our lazy bums and went on a road trip. sayulita has this way of sucking us in and keeping us content in its warm, occasionally scorching embrace, but we managed to break out of orbit and see some more of this amazing country.

our first stop was to san blas. we’ve visited san blas before, and we had so much fun it was worth a return visit. our main goal was to go and do the tour through the mangrove forest, which was a real highlight of our previous stay in mexico.

we fanged it up north in about three hours and parked ourselves back at stoner’s surf camp, at exactly the same table we were three years ago. it felt a bit like we swapped sayulita’s beach for san blas’, but you can never have a bad time watching the waves go by!

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our friend risa hooked us up with a big comfy room at casa roxanna bungalows, so we had a good night’s sleep before heading out to the mangroves in the morning. on the way we saw a cute dog with some amazing teeth.


i have a soft spot in my heart for canines with underbites, and that doggie had one for the guinness book of wold records!

the tour of the mangrove area was fun. we basically sat in a boat while our guide motored us through this beautiful ecosystem. a tough way to spend an hour. we saw lots of birds, a handful of crocodiles and some turtles.


the tour ends at this freshwater lagoon where you can swim around with a bunch of fish. its fenced off from the crocs of course!


after the tour was done, it was time to hop back into our trusty nissan tiida and head inland for amatlan de cañas. which will be the subject of another post because its getting late and i need to get to bed!



people, we are moving to vancouver. i got an offer to work at sony pictures imageworks, and we’re packing up our bags and heading north in about a week! its going to be a shock trading this bohemian lifestyle in mexico for the bustle of a big city (and a full time job), but all three of us are excited.

the gig is for two years, so for the first time in a while we will be parking ourselves somewhere for a decent amount of time. after speaking with the people at imageworks, i am excited to be working there – it sounds like they have a great team and are developing some very cool technology. vancouver also sounds like a fun place to be, so its a win-win situation all around.

i really am so grateful to be able to live in so many different countries and cultures. being able to experience different modes of living has truly made me appreciate the good and bad in all walks of life.

here are some things we are looking forward to in vancouver:

  • a functioning postal service.
  • a huge variety of foods, both for cooking at home and eating out. i’m ready to put a hurting on some pad thai right about now. brenda is jonesing for sushi, and nayou will inhale whatever we put in front of him.
  • biking everywhere. this is the perfect time for nayou to learn how to ride a bike!
  • access to museums, galleries and other cultural things that aren’t as easily available in sayulita.
  • easy access to the mountains (and snow!).

and some things we’re going to miss about sayulita:

  • spending lots of time together as a family. this is hands down the best thing about being here. i calculated the other day that out of nayou’s five and half years of existence on this planet, i’ve been around full-time for just about three of them.
  • not having to wear very many clothes, and shoes (really just flip flops) being completely optional. when it rains though, nayou likes to create makeshift ponchos out of two plastic bags. so cute!
  • eating as many mangoes, watermelons, pineapples and other tropical fruits as we like, for almost no money.
  • the three minute walk to the beach.
  • surfing. at least when there are waves. haven’t been that impressed with the swells this time around. still, a wave is a wave, and when you’re on one its just sublime. i feel like i really stepped up my surfing skills this year, and its going to be a shame to be on a hiatus from it.
  • doing two hour yoga practices if i feel like it. and at any time of the day.
  • just the general lazy pace of life. case in point – here is a quickie video of one of our lazy breakfasts in our front patio. definitely going to miss these!
  • rock lover and saphira:
    IMG_0373i‘m trying to resist turning into another blog with loads of cat photos, but its oh so hard to resist. i never understood why people obsess over their cats so much, but now i know. i catch myself talking to them all the time these days.

now that our departure has been confirmed, i’m determined to enjoy the lazy pace of life here while it lasts. there were days when i felt a bit trapped and claustrophobic here, especially during the sometimes frustrating job search, but really that was just the stress talking. all thats left to do now is to kick back and smile (and pack up the house, find temporary accommodation, settle up all the bills about a gazillion other things). as they say in mexico, animooooo!


so we are back from our amazing road trip. it was a week of fun, laughter and happy times. i’ll be posting a proper update very soon with all the gory details.

one exciting thing that happened – nayou got another visit from the tooth fairy! i was brushing his teeth during our first night on the road, and it just fell out.


following our all day splash in los arroyos verdes, nayou and i came down with something weird. nayou had a pretty high fever, and i had a weird feeling deep in my sinuses. the water in the pool wasn’t that clean and both of us spent a lot of time in it so i suspect there was something in there that our bodies did not like very much. poor nayou was wrapped up in blankets on the couch and kept on dozing off. you know something is wrong with the poor guy when he falls asleep spontaneously!

20130828_02 20130828_03luckily we recovered just in time for our dear friend bodie to come down for a visit. he’s here for a whole two weeks, which is amazing! we are planning all kinds of adventures, including a week long road trip starting next monday 🙂

20130828_05bodie was a gracious mule, and hauled over a kilo of chocolate (thanks aunty aya!), an unexpectedly large ergonomic keyboard, a star wars lunchbox and a toy lightsaber (thanks again aunty aya!). we are all in seventh heaven right now with our new toys. nayou has packed all of his fishing gear into the lunchbox, which he refers to as his “fish pack”. he is one happy (and healthy) camper indeed!


its birthday season here in sayulita. there are an awful lot of people born in late august, including yours truly who will be turning the ripe old age of 35 in a week. yesterday nayou’s friends maximo and costa both celebrated their 5th birthday with a party at los arroyos verdes. los arroyos verdes is a super chill area with a pool and cabins where you can set yourself up for the day, or even spend the night. its been on our radar for a while now but we never made it down there until now.

the party was pirate themed, which made it the perfect chance to use up our leftover tattoos from christmas and get crafty with some eye patches and bandannas. arrrr!


for presents, we made the birthday boys some “sea anemones” filled with treasure (marbles, coins, shells and coral), along with a story about how we came into their possession. we thought it was a cool gift although i think maxxi and costa were more excited about the lego sets that kept on streaming in.


the party itself was really fun. of course it wouldn’t have been complete without a pinata, which nayou took down with a couple of blows!


we spent lots of time in the water, ate too much cake, and came home tired and content… except for nayou, whose stomach felt a bit queasy after all that sugar!


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