Friday, December 23, 2011

After the Trip: What to do with all those Photos- Part II

As we previously mentioned, one of the best ways to put together your trip memories are through photobooks. There are a whole bunch of online retailers that provide this service. And while I could review them for you, somebody else has already done the dirty work:

The Great Photo Book Round-Up
and if you're lazy and want to see the conclusion, click here.

I can say from personal experience, we have a Kodak book which we love for its cover, and several Shutterfly book that we love for the inside and ease of use of making them. And all have some pretty great trip memories!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tiyulon Featured in Fodor's!

We are super excited to share that one of our tips regarding Delhi will be featured in the brand new Fodor's Essential India!

Check out the rest of our Indian adventures HERE and our India tips HERE!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Bel Air Collection Nuevo Vallarta- Review


We enjoyed staying at the Bel Air Collection Vallarta.
Highlights: the staff and comfy pool furniture.
Lowpoints: the food and non-balcony room.

You can read our full review on Tripadvisor: Solid beach hotel

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hasta Luego Vallarta

Our final day in Nuevo Vallarta, we managed to squeeze in one more walk and a few more hours at the pool in lounging style. It was a good break, and we were sad to have it end. On the ride back, we managed to make only one long stop in which we happened upon some amazing banana bread. [Take note "locals": it's on the cuota leaving Compostela at the Pemex station].

outside our non-balcony (next to the riu palace...nostalgia)



why doesn't he sleep like this at home???


banana bread not to be missed

Monday, December 12, 2011

More Lounging Fun

Our third day began with the traditional early morning walk on the beach. We continued with some more lounging, a lot more swimming in the pool and finally some sand exploration with Little N. He was interested enough to eat it (surprise, surprise), and loved talking to the palapa. Overall, we couldn't be happier with how well he took naps by the pool, and spoke to the palm trees, and it was a wonderful and relaxing day!

morning walk

pool time



checking out the ocean

and the sand


talking to the palapa

it was a good day!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Lounging in Nuevo Vallarta

Our second day was spent almost exclusively at the hotel pool. Little N got his first little dip, and while at first he seemed confused, it definitely seemed to grow on him. As the post title suggests, most of the day we were a-lounging.

family nap time

the view

more lounging

master lounger

in the pool

sunset on the beach

sunset at the pool

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Flamingos Vallarta

Just before the main tourist season begins, we managed to sneak in one more beach vacation. This one was courtesy of a Groupon we bought to the Belair Collection just outside of Puerto Vallarta, on Flamingo beach. Apparently Little N loves vacation as much as we do, because he did not fuss for a single moment the whole time we were there.

We began our first day with the 4 hour drive to Vallarta. We managed to only make two stops, and made it in under 5 hours (stops included). The first day we did a little exploration of the resort, a walk on the beach, and clocked some poolside relaxation. It was the perfect start to our vacation.

ready for the ride

flamingos beach


evening walk

pool at sunset

the lobby

Friday, December 2, 2011

Jalisco Cultural Festival

On another random day, we hit up the Centro, only to find yet another festival: the Jalisco Cultural Festival. To be honest, it was a bunch of amateur music and dance groups from around the state, and wasn't too exciting, but still impressive that a whole festival was set up for it. This time, we surpassed the main tourist attractions, to hit up Mariachi Square (where you can hire mariachis), and Mercado Libertad (San Juan de Dios). We strolled some of the pedestrian streets, and enjoyed the warm November sun.

(monument to Pablo Neruda)

Mariachi Square:




(totally random: adorable play ironing boards)


Cultural Festival nuggets:




And a few more Centro pictures:




Friday, November 25, 2011

Functional Souveniers

We LOVE functional souvenirs almost as much as we hate chotchkies. Basically all those little figurines become clutter and junk as soon as they enter the home. But we still occasionally like a way to remember a place besides our pictures. So for your next trip, here are some ideas of functional souvenirs:

Clothes- rather than a T-shirt with the place name sprawled all over, go for something you will actually want to wear and then you're good to go. Some of our best purchases: a fleece jacket and wool hats from Nepal. And our custom-made T-shirts commemorating our China trip.

shirts commemorating our Nepal trek (we still wear them, though not at the same time)

Jewelry- this is one of the best! If you buy something you like, you'll actually use it. D has a dozen earring from various trips that get used frequently. Plus they carry that extra little memory of the place they came from. Classic: Indian bangles worn at our wedding!

photo credit: Noah Shahar

- nowadays this may be obsolete with iTunes and all, but we still love getting our hands on a local CD. Recordings from the Indian Bahai, the Sikhs in Amristar, and Tibetans of McLeod Ganj still get played on our iPods. There's nothing like a little Churi Churi to get your mood uplifted after a long day.

Homegoods- things for the home that you actually use are great! They serve a subtle reminder of the trip and make great conversation starters. Likewise they are not just takeing up storage space. Our faves: a tie-die tablecloth from Southern China, and candlestick holders from Rajasthan, and curtains from Mumbai.

Yangshuo tablecloth

The little stuff- it's only functional if you actually use it. But a nice keychain is a fun reminder of vacation days. A shot glass, if you actually drink shots. A pen, if you don't lose it. A notebook if it doesn't go unused.

So next time you're traveling, skip the figurine/ snow globe/ randomly shaped gadget, and go for something you can use! Your memories will stay with you and your souvenirs will have a purpose that doesn't involve paying for overweight luggage.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Dia de los Muertos: Panamerican Style

Just like in previous years, the Guadalajara Centro Historico was adorned in skeleton statues for Dia de los Muertos. This year they were sports themed to celebrate the Panamerican games. The beautiful November weather meant the downtown was full of people admiring the statues. Here are some of the best statues, with a few gratuitous Centro picture thrown in the mix: