For BELLA: Marvellous Mexico

I can’t believe that I forgot to post this! Such a great trip with Jose Cuervo. I definitely did not get my fill of street tacos though, or enough time at the Anthropology museum.

Here is my piece for BELLA.

ELENA:)

Baja Birthday: Part 2

P1030296 P1030299 IMG_9219 P1030298 P1030302 IMG_9207-2 IMG_9225 IMG_9197

After a late night, we woke up bright and early (7am!) to go on a hike and explore the area around the Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto. It was quiet and serene as we caught a birds eye view of the resort and the peaceful blue Danzante Bay waters below.

Upon descent from the hike, we passed by a cute jack rabbit, not at the least bit startled by our paparazzi shots. We walked along the beach and joined some other early risers at a sun salutation with the on site shaman. The ancient sound of the seashell and the sweet smell of copal smoke, aided our thanksgiving prayer and ask for new blessings from father Sun.

Working up an appetite, breakfast was in the grand penthouse suite.  We were then treated to a massage at the Sabila Spa.  It was tranquil; I could have relaxed there all day soaking in the aloe bath.

Instead, I retired to a hammock that called my name and managed to get a tan within the hour! There comes a time when you must soak up the sun and this was definitely one of those times. Late lunch was yummy fish tacos (of course!) as I had to get my fill before I left.

And then we learned about tequila. Here are 3 facts that were new to me:

  • It takes 7-10 years to make tequila.
  • Tequila is made from the agave plant.
  • Do not have a lime after you drink tequila it as it mixes the sugars. Hangover mystery solved.

Over a celebration of Mexican culture, our last meal ended off on a sweet note – warm and tasty churros right from the fryer. Yummy! Thank you Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto for the amazing stay at your beautiful property. I can’t wait to return.

PS: Want to stay at the Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto at a discounted rate and check it out for yourself? You can book now and travel until April 30, 2016.

Deluxe Studio suite: $146 USD per night, plus taxes and gratuities

One Bedroom Suite: $228 USD per night, plus taxes and gratuities

Two Bedroom Suite: $370 USD per night, plus taxes and gratuities

Reference the code FAMJAN16 when you book a reservation through reservaciones.vdpl@vgloreto.com

Terms and conditions apply, blackout dates apply.

ELENA:)

 

 

Baja Birthday: Part 1

 

IMG_9113 IMG_9115 IMG_9117 IMG_9132 IMG_9133 IMG_9135 IMG_9136 IMG_9123 IMG_9150 P1030289 IMG_9159IMG_9160IMG_9112

I always find that Jan/Feb is always a great time to go away. Besides the fact that it’s usually cheaper, the end of the month marks the lovely day when I was born (Jan 29 to be exact).

This year, I spent it at the lovely million star resort in Loreto, Baja California Sur called Villa del Palmar at the islands of Loreto.

Two hours away from Los Angeles, the secluded beachfront getaway lies on the Sea of Cortez. While waters are rough on the Pacific Coast, the calm waters of the UNESCO protected sea lend itself well to water sports (kayaking, snorkeling, whale/dolphin watching).

At first walk around, the massive property seems vacant. But in fact, it’s just the nature of the resort. Peaceful. No people harassing you to buy a time share. No vendors on the beach wanting to sell you overpriced goods. Not only is the resort peaceful, it’s flexible depending upon if you want an all inclusive get away or something less structured.

Bear in mind, I do not frequent resorts often. I prefer the navigation of a crowded city, where some of the best eats are found on the side of the road. Yet, I found myself enjoying quiet serenity of the resort and waking up to hearing the birds chirping delightfully.

On arrival, I walked into the palatial one bedroom suite with full sized jucuzzi, full kitchen, 2 bathrooms and a washer and dryer. A whole family could comfortably stay for their entire length of their vacation.

The first day we were treated to a lunch where we first got a sampling of the wonderful fish tacos and yummy guacamole. I was hooked. Later for dinner we feasted on BBQ and watched a fun variety show.

The next day, I turned 35! At breakfast, I was greeted by staff who sang happy birthday en espanol and English. Very sweet.

After a quick tour of the resort we headed out on the water. The plan was to go whale watching – except we ended up playing with a pod of over 100 dolphins instead. We also saw sea lions and two lucky people saw the back of a humpback whale. Being on the boat built up an appetite for some, and more chips and guacamole did just the trick.

When we arrived back at the hotel, I devoured my cake from the morning which was thankfully, saved in my fridge. Little did I know there would be another piece of cake and another round of Happy Birthday’s sung to me at dinner!

Needing to work off the rich meal, we headed for a club in the hills to dance it off. And just when I thought the celebration was over – the turn down service had delightfully decorated my room.

PS: Want to stay at the Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto at a discounted rate and check it out for yourself? You can book now and travel until April 30, 2016.

Deluxe Studio suite: $146 USD per night, plus taxes and gratuities

One Bedroom Suite: $228 USD per night, plus taxes and gratuities

Two Bedroom Suite: $370 USD per night, plus taxes and gratuities

Reference the code FAMJAN16 when you book a reservation through reservaciones.vdpl@vgloreto.com

Terms and conditions apply, blackout dates apply.

ELENA:)

Orox Leather Co. Review

When I finished grad school, I vowed to
upgrade certain well-utilized belongings that screamed undergrad/high school
student. My laptop sleeve was one of these items. Months passed as I searched
for something that was C-suite worthy and combined both fashion and function.
Alas, I could not find anything that I loved without breaking the bank (Chanel
came out with a great notepad holder which I thought could serve dual purpose –
but the price tag made me feel queasy).

 

As an avid traveller, I find myself appreciating
the dual function of items; like a laptop sleeve that could also serve as a
clutch. If you’re a shopper like myself, you know that having extra room in
your luggage for new purchases is key. In the case of my Paris trip – this
meant my new jacket, shoes, sunglasses and gifts for colleagues/friends could
easily fit in my luggage and I did not have to say a small prayer when my
luggage was placed on the scale at Charles de Gaulle.

 

Orox Leather Co., owned and operated
by the Martinez family in Portland, Oregon handcrafts beautiful leather goods. The
name Orox, is derived from the fusion of the Martinez family’s origin from
Oaxaca, Mexico to Oregon. I had the opportunity to take an Orox laptop sleeve
and a couple cord minders on my recent trip to test out the quality
craftsmanship first hand.

 

When the products arrived at
my house pre trip, I was blown away at the oil tanned tan leather. To say it is
beautiful is definitely an understatement and like most things, I expect it to
get better with age.  There is something
to be said when your flight neighbour in 14C asks you, “Where did you get
that?!?”

 

Classic and elegant, the
style of the laptop sleeve is so timeless and clean – I couldn’t help but to
double it as my clutch as I roamed the streets of Montmartre. It served well,
both protecting my laptop throughout the trip and giving my shoulders a rest
from my cross body bag. I was so impressed that when I got home, I immediately
checked out the belts and other fabulous accessories.

 

Speaking of accessories, the
cord minders proved to have multiple uses as well.  A solution for those unruly computer/phone
chargers; the cord minders are so strong you can even secure a dress or pants
to hanger (using the clothing straps) after a steam. Brilliant.

 

It’s safe to say the Orox
Leather Co
. offers something rare in the mass production of leather goods –
quality products perfected with rich traditional techniques, which will, just
like the Martinez family last for generations to come.

 

Be sure to follow Orox Leather Co. on Instagram/Twitter/Tumblr: oroxleatherco and ‘Like’ them on Facebook.

ELENA:)