The Blues (The Good Kind)

Dominican Republic, July 2018


As the temperature continues to lower day by day, my layering skills continue to increase with a stylish flare. So instead of letting my spirits dwindle, I can keep them alive by continuing to reminisce about all the bountiful blue, tropical islands I’ve dipped my toes into.

It’s the Dominican Republic that is warming my mind with pleasant thoughts and visions of BLUE. Sometimes, as an extra bonus, the song by Eiffel 65 pops right in there and soundtracks my thoughts; “I’m blue da ba dee da ba daa…” That may or may not be stuck in your head for hours to come, Opps! Just think of it as your theme to breathtaking blue hues.

This year, like any other year, as I was planning my birthday getaway I knew it had to involve beautiful blues, bikinis, adventure and cocktails. There is something about staring into the Caribbean waters that puts me right into my freedom, my harmony, my nameste.

I’ve visited the DR on a short cruise stop one of the first times I traveled, and filed it in my travel plans as a country to revisit. In this case, the Dominican Republic did not disappoint, in fact, it exceeded my expectations! From looking into the crystal clear waters, swimming in and among tropical fish, hopping island to island while dancing to reggae beats on a catamaran, I felt like I was right at home. Or just back in Abu Dhabi, which is just as grand!

Enjoy the blues! Let it take you away to your happiness, your tranquility, your solitude, your nameste. And remember, as I have to tell myself each and every day, winter is only temporary. 🙂

 

The Romance of Hangzhou, China

‘Heaven on Earth’

January 2018–Hangzhou, China


Some call it ‘Heaven on Earth,’ some say ‘City of Romance,’ and others refer to it as ‘Honeymoon City.’ No matter which title you choose, each of them will accurately describe the city of Hangzhou. I mean, even Marco Polo fell in love with Hangzhou, so it must be true!

This ancient Chinese capital city is a scenic beauty in the Eastern corner of China. Life here is a bit more relaxed and easy, compared to most cities in China.  With a population of just nine million people, Hangzhou is considered a small city.  I know what you’re thinking…nine million, SMALL?!? Well, if you compare it to the one hundred and twenty Chinese cities with a population of over ten million people, yes, Hangzhou is small.

It’s a city filled with natural blossoms and gardens, tea fields, silk, mountain views, authentic cuisine, and the ever so famous, West Lake.  If you have only one day to discover this dreamy city, much like I did, spend it taking in the romantic views of West Lake. It is by far the top attraction in Hangzhou, as a World Heritage Sight and ‘symbol’ of the city.  So hop on a bullet train from Shanghai and forty five minutes later, you can enjoy some of the Chinese countryside.

Have a look and enjoy some of the beauty that is Hangzhou, China.

IMG_2493
Sunset Through The Trees
IMG_2496
West Lake Bridge
IMG_2490
Mountain Sunset
IMG_2461
Pink Blooms
IMG_2476
A Garden In A Garden
IMG_2468
Flowering Kale
IMG_2485
Sunset Over West Lake
IMG_2475
Garden View
IMG_2478
Gardens
IMG_2460
Flowers
IMG_2458
My Peaceful Place
IMG_2466
Ornamental Cabbages
IMG_2455
Chinese Writing
IMG_2450
Capturing West Lake
IMG_2449
West Lake Beauty

 

Sunshine and Rainbow Dreaming

November 2017–Cancun, Mexico


I do not do cold weather. It’s actually comical to everyone the amount of layers I pack on anytime I have to go into temperatures anything less than 60F. If you’ve see ‘The Christmas Story’ (not sure we can be friends if you haven’t), Ralphie’s little brother Randy and I have a lot in common. You would think after spending half of my life in Wisconsin I’d have thicker skin. Nope.

So as we ease into the cold weather of winter, I can’t help but to want to get back to the perfect skies, temperature, and sunshine I embraced while in Cancun early November. After spending a few days in Mexico City for Dia de los Muertos, I flew over to Cancun for a quick three nights for a stop at Chichen Itza and a little bit of R&R. I even convinced a friend I met along the way to jet over to Cancun, instead of heading home. Poor guy was deadly ill the whole time, but still sucked it up like a champ and managed to leave the room a few times to watch me eat. Let me tell you…the food in Cancun was top notch! From little dive corner restaurants, to Michilan star cuisine, we tried a bit of everything. Fish tacos, shrimp ceviche, fish ceviche, pesto shrimp pizza, lobster bisque, seafood soup, fresh tuna, I could go on and on! Everything was fresh and delicious!

The skies were the most incredible shade of blue, mixed with marshmallow clouds and sun bursts. Pure paradise, and perfect temperatures. I managed to snap a few photos on a day out to a few different beaches for some sunshine. Enjoy!

Into the artistic side of Mexico City

November 2, 2017–Mexico City, Mexico


A walk into the streets of Mexico City, Mexico filled with artistic creations.

Enter into Mexico City’s fascinating street art culture, from vibrant paintings filing building walls, to Dia de los Muertos skull displays along the strip, Mexico city did NOT disappoint!  Flooded with art deco, I was lost in the in the streets of the city; my eyes enjoying the liveliness that is Mexico City!

 

First, a walk into the art that is graffiti; colorful, spray-painted street art.  We walked for blocks along the city streets taking in the beauty and dynamic colors each building held.

On a Uber ride home thru Paseo de la Reforma, we began passing large skull, after colorful skull.  It wasn’t even a second thought to get out of the car and view the beauty in the streets!  Not only did we peruse the decorated skulls, there were also ‘creatures’ created and designed for Dia de los Muertos made from paper mache.