Hola Mexico!

We are posting this blog late, we had technical difficulties and weren’t able to blog each day of the trip.

We were in Cancun, Mexico May 6-12, 2018.

We had an early flight that morning. We were up around 2:30 AM and headed to SeaTac airport. This was my first trip to Mexico, Alex’s second.

Our first stop was Houston, TX. We had just enough time there to grab a quick beer and hop on our next flight to Cancun.

Once we arrived in Mexico we found our shuttle driver who quickly gave us a cold towel to clean up and cool off with and also a Corona for the half hour drive to our hotel.

We stayed at the Hyatt Ziva, at the very tip of the Mexico peninsula.

Our resort was incredible. Our room had a view of the Caribbean Sea. The clearest water I’ve ever seen.

We settled in quickly and found some drinks and grub. We tried grilled cactus for the first time. It’s was great!

Our first night we sat on the beach and watched the sunset, a beautiful sight to see from that part of the world.

At that moment, watching the sunset I never wanted to leave.

The next morning we woke up refreshed and had breakfast and headed to discover the resort grounds. The pools were gorgeous. Lawn chairs were everywhere. The resort was pretty mellow which seemed odd but was nice. There weren’t too many loud party folks around to ruin the peacefulness.

The birds were chirping and the sky was blue what else can you ask for? What I was not expecting was the wind, it was quite windy.

So, what do you do when you’re at an all inclusive resort and it’s still really early in the day?

DRINK in the pool of course!

And swim in the Caribbean Sea!!

On Wednesday May 9th we went to Chichen Itza. This is one of the seven wonders of the world. It’s absolutely incredible to see up close.

The bus ride was 3 hours each way from our hotel. A long hot day to be on a bus but a very unique experience to be had.

One of our last nights in Cancun Alex’s work threw a spectacular party on the beach. There was a magnificent catered dinner. ( I had 3 lobster tails!! ) And one of the best dance parties I’ve ever seen. ( Only compared to Bennewerk in Bruges )

I think for me the best part of the trip besides drinking all day everyday was swimming in the bluest clearest waters of the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico.

The water was very warm, there were no worries of sharks. Just a few small fishies to be seen.

These hammocks were nice to lounge in for a bit. There were tiny barracudas swimming around beneath us.

I’d highly recommend the Hyatt Ziva resort, very friendly staff and beautiful water views from all sides of the hotel.

Bella is the name of the Toucan Alex is holding.

Travel Gear

I’d like to share my recommendations for travel gear and accessories.

Luggage – I never thought I could get away with one backpack full of clothes and toiletries for a 2-3 week trip until our first European adventure in Italy.

The convertible carry on from Rick Steves travel shop is the perfect bag/backpack for light packing.


We purchased our bags in 2010 and they are still in great shape 8 years later. The cost is about $100 but well worth the price. We’ve never been hassled when walking onto an airplane with our bags on our backs, they fit perfectly into the overhead bins.

For my smaller personal item I love my Lowepro Passport Sling DSLR camera bag. This bag holds my camera, 250 mm zoom lens and my mini tripod. Also my passport and a water bottle a few pens and a book.

You can find this on Amazon for about $46.

My camera is a few years old now but still takes great shots.

I have a Canon T3i with additional 250 mm zoom lens.

The iPhone X also has a fantastic camera. Instead of a laptop, we travel with our iPhones for blogging and GPS navigation.


My new favorite camera accessory is the lens ball. It takes obscure photos “upside down” but as an end result gives a unique image. These come in two sizes, 60 mm and 80 mm. I chose the smaller size for an easy to pack travel accessory. I ordered mine on amazon for around $30.

I feel it’s easier to take a good photo with the DSLR camera but you can also use this lens ball with an iPhone.

Of course no trip would be complete without a lightweight travel tripod. I’ve had mine since 2012, it fits in my lowepro camera bag perfectly.

I’m sure there are better options out there now but here’s a look at the one I’ve been carrying around. It extends to about 4 feet tall and has a swivel head. It’s great for night photography.

Now lets talk shoes!

I probably own 25 pairs of Keens. They are my favorite shoes, flip flops, water sandals. You name it, I’ve got it.

I learned my lesson on my last trip to Europe, make sure your shoes have thick soles. Otherwise you will feel every cobblestone you walk on. Don’t bring running shoes, your feet will be mad at you for weeks.

I like these simple brown keen shoes, they go with everything and have thick soles. They cost about $110 but they are worth it. Occasionally you can find these on sale at Amazon for $50-60.

A few other must haves are a money belt, stretchy clothes line, laundry bag, travel towel, packing cubes and a neck pillow for the long airplane/train rides.

Photo above, I like to take two kinds of money belts with me. One for the waste and one that attaches to my bra strap. Sometimes carrying a money belt around my waste is uncomfortable but attaching a small one with a few credit cards and cash to my bra strap works perfectly.

A stretchy clothes line can be stretched across a room to allow for faster drying times. A laundry bag is also great to keep dirty clothes separate.

Photo above, a travel towel is a great option if you plan to swim or don’t trust the cleanliness of the room towels. These pack very flat are very absorbent and dry quick as they are made of microfiber.

Photo above, packing cubes. These are a must. They keep clothes organized and makes packing and unpacking a breeze. We got ours at Rick Steves travel shop but amazon also sells them.

Photo above, travel neck pillow packs pretty flat or can be velcrowed to a back pack for easy access. This one is called the trtl pillow, I got mine on amazon for about $25.

2018 – Portland, OR

May 26-28, 2018

We headed out of town for Memorial Day weekend to explore the Rose City.

We love Portland for the extensive beer culture there. Everywhere you turn there’s a brewery, bar, ale house whatever you want to call it, there’s one on every corner.

We stop in to breweries and grab a quick flight then move onto the next.

In between beer tasting we like to discover new places. This time we visited the Rose gardens.

Many of the Roses hadn’t bloomed yet but we were able to grab a few photos of the ones that were out.

We visited the Chinese gardens as well which was another new experience for us.

We found a new brewery and pizza place we liked. Old Town Brewery. This place is supposedly haunted by a girl who fell down an elevator shaft.

On the way home from Portland we stopped at Multnomah Falls, neither of us had seen it before. It was very pretty. The trails were closed because of the wildfires last year but it’s a quick walk to the falls.

Multnomah Falls, OR