As the frosty, lime-tinged rim of my first Modelo cerveza graced my eager lips, I was greeted by a lovely silhouette of gently waving palms just beyond my reach, officially welcoming me to this spectacular seaside retreat. Ominous thunder clouds and distant patches of rain on the Pacific horizon began to yield to the glowing warmth of a persistent sun, now calling it a day. It was instant confirmation of the primary purpose of a passport stamp.
I love it when a destination transports me into a natural painting with a fluid canvas of tropical hues, especially on my very first day of the trip. Puerto Vallarta definitely did not disappoint during my recent visit, and the Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort and Spa provided the perfect ambience and stage for a highly dramatic close of the curtain to day 1.
Kia Orana! I’ve just returned from a week in the incomparable Cook Islands. My mind is still processing the visuals and sensory of it all. Once I can reactivate my island-induced narcotic pulse to a bpm high enough to type for more than a few minutes, you will hear (and see) all about this magical, magical place…
“What ya sayin’ man!” Here we go island lovers, my NEW promo video for the Bahamas is a wrap! 🙂 I had the sensational pleasure to film this video on my last stop on the #FreedomTour a few months back. What a gem of an island! Let’s please keep it a “secret” though, cuz Lenny Kravitz (who lives there part time) told me to help keep it that way. True story. Nice man.
So, relax your mind, unwind and enjoy my virtual tour through the island of Eleuthera. *Please don’t view this video while operating any machinery…or if you are required of a productive day at work. 😉
And that’s a wrap folks! I’m happy to say that my new destination promo video for Eleuthera, Bahamas is complete. What a mentally soothing filming and editing project it was (well, the editing not as soothing. Had to put my feet in a sandbox at my computer station and add a splash of banana rum to my coffee every morning to keep the island vibe alive). Video will be posted soon. Get ready to relax your mind and unwind with a virtual tour through “The Real Bahamas”. 🙂
One of several things you are guaranteed to find on the island of Puerto Rico (besides delightfully potent and colorful rum concoctions, fried pockets of meat-stuffed plantains at every turn and the infectious beat of Caribbean rhythms that can force even the gringoest of gringos to break into a Carmen Miranda-like hip shuffle) is an epic sunset. In order to find the best ones, however, you must leave the tourist-mousetrap of San Juan (which does offer up some rather enticing bait) and head towards the western end of the island where the final footprints of day slowly fade away behind the dreamy Pacific. Sunsets on a tropical island always seem more enjoyable than those viewed from anywhere else. They just do. Several theories here: 1) It could be the consistently dramatic island skies, which are typically filled with swirling and color-bending clouds that hover above the ocean like seagulls in search of surface appetizers, reflecting the lovely golden and pastel hues of the “magic hour”. 2) The calmness and serenity of being on a landmass surrounded by water and fringed with photogenic palms, isolated from the rest of the world and so far away from the monotonies of the “normal” life back home, which forced you to buy that ticket in the first place. 3) Feeling like you are in a privileged place at the perfect moment in time while all of your friends back home are sitting at a desk counting the tic-tocs until they can leave behind the office grind and dive into the not-so-flowing stream of rush hour traffic. 4) You’ve just consumed your fourth Piña Colada or Mai Tai, and everything you witness is “the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen!”. Yeah, fruity drinks injected with alcohol do have that effect on me sometimes. The only downside of that is being able to properly focus your camera or iphone as the Earth beneath you begins to spin double-time. Whatever the reason, there’s no denying that Puerto Rico offers up sunsets that can rival those found anywhere around the world. On a stage that has been set to provide much drama, beauty and inspiration to all those who come out to watch…the sunsets of Puerto Rico have played a praiseworthy role.
I got pretty sick once while I was in Bocas Del Toro, Panama. An “ill”-advised bit of teeth cleaning at the border with some tap water was most likely the culprit. I took one bite of my chicken and rice dish at a local food joint and I had to throw in the towel, as my stomach was the first organ to checkout on whatever schedule I had planned for my weakening body that day. I noticed this little boy who was standing there looking at me with a curious and innocent grin, so I invited him to join me and help me finish my plate (when I say “help me finish”, I really meant “please get this greasy pile of Caribbean grindage away from my face before the waitress is gonna have to call for a mop and some sanitizer at table #12”). Bad shape. This kid eagerly accepted my invitation and kept me great company while I battled fatigue, nausea and frustration with the fact that the only “tropical paradise” I would see for the next 24 hours was a fading logo on his soiled t-shirt. Nonetheless, I made a local friend that day and he got treated to a great meal. That’s all you need sometimes to make your day.
This Foto Friday is for all my peoples in the Midwest and East Coast USA (and most other parts of the Northern Hemisphere) freezing their cracker jacks and hams off right now. Or like the Aussie’s say, “It’s cold enough to freeze the balls off a billiard table!” That’s what I hear anyway. Here in the thick of winter in Southern California it’s been a disgusting-ly perfect 77° and I’ll be tempted to wear socks if it were to dare dip below 72°. (My inbox is open to any hate mail that may be slung in my direction right about now.) Hey, I don’t control the weather…I just happen to live in a place where it doesn’t have much shift in personality. (Though we are currently in a drought, so my “Hollywood showers” may be trimmed down to 30 minutes or less any day now.) Most importantly, please know that I’m thinking of all of you around the globe right now who may be wrapped up like a hypothermic Nicaraguan at the finish line of the Iditarod race. This is a shot from Maui’s east side taken a few months ago. I hope it acts as a mental blanket and helps get you through the day…or at least through the face-numbing walk back to your car after work 🙂 Have a great weekend all! – DJ