Posts have been few and far between for a number of different reasons, but quietly in the background, a trip to Paris has been planned! It’s getting very close to lift off, and I hope to have many pictures to share in the weeks to come.
Everyone I’ve talked to about Paris seems to have a strong opinion. It’s beautiful! The food was amazing! Wine is cheap! Paris in the Spring! You’ll love it! People are rude! Dog poop is everywhere! I would never go back! I’ve tried to take those opinions with a grain of salt because travel is very personal, What one person thinks is an amazing destination, is on another person’s “I would never go there!” list. (Jamaica is on that list for me.) My only travel advice is if you want to go somewhere, just go!
I thought it would be fun to pick just one photo from each of the last few trips to capture what I liked the most about each one.
All of these pictures make me realize I’m very lucky to be able to travel and to see and experience many different places.
Still have some Puerto Vallarta pics to share which is a good thing! Between being busy at work and figuring out how I’m going to handle my workload, and being uninspired by the April landscapes this year, I haven’t picked up a camera in awhile. The prospect of May flowers, though, will change that soon!
If you’re interested in traveling and experiencing different places, I really encourage you to think differently about your accommodations and look beyond hotels and resorts. Renting a house was not without frustrations – there were a few pool issues to be sorted out which meant contacting the owner in Texas and then dealing with the property manager who lived across the street and was extremely busy running a fishing boat charter company, and a language barrier with the pool guy. Also, because the house was for sale, there were a few showings, but we knew that a possibility before renting, and received a discount for the inconvenience. Some people have asked if there were any worries about renting a place online because what if the place doesn’t look like the pictures and you’ve spent all that money and it ends up being in a bad neighbourhood? You do need to do some research. I looked on AirBnB and Home Away. Read the reviews, then try to read between the lines of those reviews. I only look at places that have more than 5 reviews, preferably more (because it’s pretty easy to get three of your friends to give you a good review!). If there’s an address look it up on Google Maps street view. Establish a rapport with the owner either by phone or email – do they respond to your inquiries quickly and answer your questions? This all sounds like it takes some effort, but I enjoy it! Keep in mind, this was for a two week stay, and a good portion of the travel budget was going towards accommodations. I wouldn’t put this much effort into a three day stay, for example. Ultimately, the house in Puerto Vallarta was chosen for its million dollar views and my bucket list rooftop, private pool! All the research paid off! All the pics were taken from the rooftop.
The neighbourhood…5 de Diciembre
And the iguana who liked to sun himself on the ledge of the house’s second level.
Puerto Vallarta is a wonderful city. It also made me mad, sometimes! (Mad, might be too strong a word). But, the great thing about travel is it makes you adapt. You can’t think things are going to be like they are at home. That’s the point of travel – to see and experience different things. Case in point, in Puerto Vallarta, the pedestrian never has the right away and drivers never use their signal lights. You learn this fast. You never know if you should actually step off the curb to cross the street, because the person who may actually appear to be going through the intersection, is actually going to turn right. So, you wait, or run (more like that nervous traveler fast walk across the street, clutching bag to hip). Everyone drives and talks on their phone (even the bus drivers barreling down the cobblestone streets). Once you get about two or three blocks off the main tourist streets, the sidewalks are extremely uneven. For someone like me, who likes to gawk at things and take pictures, and is also a little clumsy, this is a precarious situation. But, you learn to adapt. And it actually becomes part of the charm.
Here are some pictures from a walk through one of my favourite neighbourhoods in Puerto Vallarta:
The number of sleeps until Maui is now in the single digits! I’ve planned sight-seeing/photography activities for six of the ten days, leaving room to read by the pool, go to the beach, and just generally laze about if that’s what the day feels like. The only activity I’ve booked in advance is a sunset sail from Lahaina. I love being on the water!
This is a picture I took on a sunset sail in Puerta Vallarta in March 2012 – on that sail dolphins swam along with the boat and there is a pretty good chance we’ll see whales on this sail.