Friday, June 28, 2013

Puerto Vallarta's Malecon Magic


Puerto Vallarta is small town with lots of charm and beauty, both natural and manufactured. Besides the Sierra Madre Mountains which surround this former fishing village, my favorite spot was the malecon, or boardwalk. You can see the serene vistas of the Atlantic Ocean and the coral-colored cobblestones above but what about those whimsical sculptures?


They may look like characters from a Dr. Seuss book but these metal marvels actually serve a purpose.


They're chairs! They sizzled from the sun beating down on them but it was still fun to lounge on these practical art pieces. Puerto Vallarta's malecon was filled with art so I'll be exploring more of it in coming posts.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Next Stop: Puerto Vallarta


This week, I will be traveling to the Mexican state of Jalisco to explore the traditional culture of Puerto Vallarta. This beautiful coastal city is not only famous for its resorts, but it's also where the mariachi musical tradition started and I'm excited about exploring some of that history. I'm also thrilled about the chance to experience a temazcal ritual. A temazcal, pictured above, is an indigenous steam bath and purification ritual. I'll  be visiting the island of Las Caletas and witnessing a traditional dance and musical performance to top it all off. Stay tuned for posts about my Puerto Vallarta experience as well as a round up of my TBEX highlights!

Friday, June 14, 2013

My Favorite Discovery at TBEX


 The TBEX travel blogger conference always delivers great information and experiences. I always learn a lot but this year, my favorite discovery had nothing to do with blogging ( I'll list those in my next post) but symbolized contemporary Canadian culture. I was enjoying myself at the TBEX Toronto opening party when a blogger friend alerted me to the delicacy pictured above.



What is it? Well it seems, local chefs have taken classic Canadian ingredients and created something unforgettable.


I'm familiar with the tradition of pouring fresh maple syrup onto snow after it's just been tapped from the tree. Canada has a lot of snow and a lot of maple syrup but I've never seen the two come together quite like this. The chef drizzled pure maple syrup on layers of snow.


Then he speared a piece of local cheese (smoked Gouda, cheddar or blue cheese) and twirled the snow covered syrup around the cheese. I know, it sounds bizarre. I chose the Gouda and when I stuffed it into my mouth (the chef insisted it be consumed in one bite) the sensation was a heavenly blend of sweet, smoky and milky that I can only describe as Canadian nirvana. It was seriously the most memorable taste experience that I've had in awhile. I'm certain that the exact taste can never be replicated outside of Canada (besides Canadian maple syrup, you need Canadian snow!) so this quirky treat will always be a part of my TBEX and Toronto memories.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Toronto Art


I love Toronto for many reasons and sometimes it's hard to keep up with all of  those reasons whenever I visit. I  stayed in the entertainment district in downtown Toronto, to be close to TBEX events and every morning, as I rushed to the conference, I was struck by how many art pieces decorated my short journey. Within a block, I met with three striking creations, including the presentation above, called "A Touchstone."  They reminded me of colorful bowling pins but the pieces actually represent the trans Canada highway.



 I was intrigued by the whimsical sculpture sticking out from the Rogers Centre stadium, above.


And I passed this stark red piece  that reminded me of a sideways sailboat. Toronto boasts some great museums and galleries but I forgot that in this diverse city, you only have to step outside to enjoy all aspects of creativity.