Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Internet Provider I found and really like

Hey Guys!
Just a quick post to inform you of an internet provider I just found. I'm always looking for reliable, affordable hosting and domain companies and this company is great. Not only is it extremely affordable, they're customer service is EXCELLENT.

Click below for more info!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Guanajuato Cervantino Festival

Cervantino Festival: A Taste of Authentic Mexico

If you were looking for heaven and found Guanajuato you wouldn’t be far off. Matter of fact, you might like it so much your journey could end right there.

Guanajuato has a colonial pueblaesque feel. It has strong traditional ties and is an important cultural center of Mexico. The Centro is built upon antique tunnels and adorned with traditional houses every color of the rainbow. Walking through the downtown is likely to make you feel as if you are in an elaborate movie set or some sort of Disney facade. Mountains surround you and everywhere you look there is an alley accompanied by crooked stairs leading to a web of balconies.
Since 1972 this cultural gem has hosted the Cervantino International Festival which is touted to be Mexico’s number one cultural affair. Named for the famous Spanish writer, Cervantes (Don Quiote) this festival is a vivid artistic experience. Approximately 2000 artists from 25 countries converge from around the world to present dance, music, theatre, visual art, and more in the Teatro Juárez, the Cervantes Theatre and other venues.
Feast on art of every genre from music to modern sculpture, jewelry, traditional ceramics and blown glass. All countries are represented and there are abundant museums and exhibits. Musicians line the streets and fill the restaurants. You will hear folklore, traditional mariachi, and acoustic within minutes of one another. Dance cumbia in the street or throb to the electronic beat in any of the abundant discos. Street performers abound, and the city hosts several theatrical and musical performances for the public.
The festival is a unique living art variety show of sorts. Art ceases to be something for spectacle and is opened to streets inviting you in. Writers recite poems, the local university gives musical guided tours of the winding alleys, rock bands play at different outdoor theatres, dancers spin in traditional dresses, dulcerias abound with candies that easily rival Willy Wanka, and the centre is filled with people from the entire world.

Typically the festival is starts the second week of October and continues to the end of the month. However, check the official website for a complete list of opening dates and a full program of events. (
Getting to the festival is quite easy. It is located in the middle of Mexico approximately and easily reachable from multiple destinations. The international airport at Leon is approximately 17 miles away. You can fly in from major US cities as well as from cities around Mexico and Europe. Driving from Mexico City will take you approximately 4 ½- 5 hours non-stop. The bus system of Mexico City is extensive with buses of all classes frequently going between cities.
Although activities need not be planned ahead, do book a hotel accordingly. This is a very popular festival and most hotels will be reserved in advance. There are many local places to stay and a simple Google search will provide abundant accommodations.

There are few events in the world that hold the cultural charm of the Guanajuato
Cervantino International Festival. Stroll through fairy tale alleys eating traditional
candies, kiss your loved from across a balcony, and be serenaded by a medieval lute all while enjoying one of the most culturally significant events of the world.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mi Mexico, la poema

Mí México

México is huevos ranchers at once en la mañana, and tacos al pastor at once en la noche
It is being serenaded over comida and sold chicle en el metro
México is attempting to sleep through a lovesick borracho calling for his “Lupe” and mariachis celebrating an engagement
It is churches built on top of ancient pyramids; and a grand city over a lake
México is brown -leathered hands on young boys working in the streets and the wide white smile of the flower peddler
México is dancing en el centro at midnight with strangers and laughing with friends you only just met
It is a father tenderly touching his son and a mother walking hand in hand with her daughter
México is horchata, agua de jamica, guava y rico mango con chile, sal y limón
It is walking past pig heads and sheets of chicharrón hanging from windows, and old men gossiping over café de olla.
México is laughter on the street and listening to el nino canta while waiting for the metrobus
It is thinking I hear a three piece band, only to find it is a trompeta, tambor y armónica all played by the same man
México is “Buenas días every morning on my way to work, buenas tardes all day, and buenas noches as I return home
Es decir, "Mi Casa es tu Casa"
México is buying my chicken from the old man Pedro, my eggs from Luis, and vegetables from Rosaria
It is walking through the maze of colors and smells at el Mercado.
México is having your heart stolen over a guanabana popsicle in Coyoacán; y después de haberlo roto por ricos ojos marrones
Se trata de niños vestidos de payasos performing at street corners while others try to wash car windows
México es familia
It is feeling all alone and afraid and looking up to see the angel glistening in gold flying over her city, smiling down and protecting her gente hermoso
México es bailar
It is the Guadalupe smiling at you from street corners and metro stops, doors and alleys…
México is wishing and hoping for a brighter future, and celebrating a rich past
It is music that truly moves your soul
México is my dream; it is a home for me. I’ve lost myself in the largest city of the world and someone found myself among millions.
Mi corazón está aquí.
I’ve dreamed, and I’ve loved, and México es mi México;
México es Magico.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Puebla: Mexico's Colonial Heritage Comes Alive

Another article I recently wrote for!

A trip to central Mexico would not be complete with a trek to Puebla. It is a refreshing change from the hustle of Mexico City and offers the colonial tradition so many of us associate with Mexico. Originally founded in 1531 by Spanish settlers as “Ciudad de los Ángeles” it has grown into Mexico’s fifth largest city.

The highway from Mexico City to Puebla is beautiful. Almost immediately you escape the smog and cement of D.F. and are greeted by tall trees on grass filled hills. The air is clean and as you wind up and down the highway you will see incredible vistas. You climb down from Mexico City to a valley of sorts, and then ascend once more to Puebla. Farms and agricultural communities line the way. Sheep graze freely along the road and donkeys are tethered to strategically “mow the grass.” Approximately three-quarters the way there, if you pay attention, you will spot a tiny blue shrine to the Guadalupe that looks like a doll’s castle nestle in a rock on the roadside.

It lies 125 km (78 miles) southeast of Mexico City and is easily accessible by bus. You have several options but most prices are in the $104 range. Tickets and information can be purchased via Ticket bus ( downtown D.F. It is a two-hour trip, but if you leave during rush hour or on a Friday afternoon expect major traffic delays in both Mexico City and Puebla. If you chose to drive yourself be advised there are several tollbooths. At the final toll entering Puebla you may be enticed into buying traditional candy from the region, either compote (sweet potato) mixed with sugar and different fruit flavors, or the sickening sweet borrachos (drunk man) gummy type candies.

Don’t be dismayed when you first approach Puebla. At first glance it appears to simply be another large city. The real charm lies in the downtown district. Make your way to the zócolo and spend your time here. The square is quite impressive. The cathedral itself hosts the highest towers in Mexico and is nothing less than grand. It takes the entire block south of the zócalo and appears on Mexico’s 500 pesos bill. The interior is awesome. A huge gold gilded organ dominates the center and elaborately decorated side chapels and frescoes add to the impressiveness. A local told me it is believed that the plans for this chapel were accidently switched with the cathedral in Mexico City; and thus Puebla ended up with the cathedral originally intended for D.F.

Directly oposite the cathedral lies the municipal governmental building and several restaurants and coffee shops. Statues and a modern art piece complete the square. Puebla’s industry was originally pottery, glass, and textile. The influx of Chinese imports has changed this and now tourism (and the Volkswagen plant which is said to employee 60% of the city) is the main industry. The government keeps the downtown area quite clean and it is extremely tourist friendly. Many of the signs are bilingual and there are directions on every corner to local museums and sights.

There are many museums and I visited a few by simply following signs. The best is said to be Museo Amparo (, which is housed in a colonial building of the 16-17the century and stocked with pre-Hispanic artifacts. Puebla also hosts an orchestra. If you happen to be there on a Sunday after noon ask any local where you can find the “orquesta local”. They usually play around 6pm for the public and are often in a converted hospital right off the zócalo.

Lodging is very easy to find. You can simply walk around the square and ask to see rooms and price lists. Ask about breakfast or “desayuno” as several hotels offer a wonderful complimentary morning meal.

You cannot mention that you will be going to Puebla without being told about the food. It is known for specialty regional dishes and deserts. Be sure to try the mole and Chilies en Nogada. A wonderful restaurant featuring traditional Puebla cuisine is Fonda de Santa Clara ( I had the Chiles en Nogada, which is ground beef stuffed in chili and topped with a walnut cream sauce and pomegranate seeds. It is a delicious mixture of sweet and spice and the crunch of pomegranate adds refreshing burst of flavor. My companion went for the mole, sampling the green, red, and chocolate varies. Be warned that mole is often too heavy to be eaten as an evening meal and often upsets the consumer’s stomach. It can be extremely rich and as my companion can attest, you may want to opt for it at lunch. Another common Puebla food is crickets, or “chapulines”, with chili, salt, and lime. You may see these critters a top a salad or sauce, and they can be readily purchased from street side vendors. They are said to be very high in protein and a perfect snack. I found them to be crunchy and slightly earthy, but in my opinion, just about anything is edible with chili and lime.

Once a city of its own, but now practically Puebla itself, Cholula is the home to the widest pyramid ever built, the Pirámide Tepanapa. It is completely covered by grass and if you did not know it was a pyramid you would think it just a large hill. Actually, legend has it that the Spanish did not realize what it was and built their church right on top. According to local lore it is debatable whether the Spanish knew what they were doing or not, it is thought that building a church on the site of a such a ceremonial ground was the Spanish way to stop indigenous practice and enforce Catholicism. Whatever the case it is definitely worth a trip. The church is constructed of beautiful bright orange domes and white accents like icing dripping down the sides. Masses are still routinely held and you can look out onto the entire city of Cholula while listening to the sermon being sung in Latin.

You can purchase handmade chocolate, crickets, nuts, and trinkets on the ascent and descent and a small market has been established at the hill’s base. Directly across from the textile and jewelry vendors is a food market. If you happen to find the bright orange tent with several like colored barrels underneath labeled “helado” stop in and try some of this delicious ice cream. My personal favorite is from the fruit of guanábana. A family of four women also has their business under this tent, making quesadillas, huaraches, and sopes. They are delicious and the women are quite friendly. I recommend the “flor de casaba” which is the flower of pumpkin and chicharrón. If you’re feeling especially brave you can sample the corn fungus, or huitlachoce quesadillas.

Although it is still a large city, the tile and colonial architecture of downtown Puebla takes you back; it is such a historical village. It’s well worth a visit and remember you really must try the postries.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The No Diet Diet


I'm having an amazing time in D.F., full of daily adventures of course. This week I was pick-pocketed, had my twenty minute metro commute take 2 1/2 hours (there was a fire), and enjoyed a lively Friday night in the Zòcalo.

In my constant quest for optimal health and correct nutritional information I have continued my studies. My most recent reads have been by Geneen Roth(Breaking Free from Emotional Eating) and she has changed my perspective on dieting. She actually has gotten me to see that dieting implies that I'm not trustworthy with my own instincts and should over-ride my body's signals with programs and protocols. Instead of listening to myself and discovering when I'm hungry and how much I should eat I have relied on charts and graphs, "correct" portion sizes, and calorie allotments.

I'm changing all this and taking the journey back to feeling myself and listening to my body.

That being said, I do need to monitor my blood sugar levels and have a gluten intolerance so I am adapting her advice (eat whatever you want, whenever you are truly hungry and only until satisfied) to my situation. Right now I'm working on monitoring my blood sugars daily to see which food and in what amounts are helpful for my body. I'm using Dr. Bernstein's methods, which I highly recommend.

I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want but I love myself and want to push myself towards optimal health on a daily basis, not harm or hinder my health in anyway. My natural diet is lower carb (as this handles my bs levels nicely) with limited sugar and lots of exercise, fun, and relaxation. I do want to release some weight relatively quickly as this is a remedy for high bs as well and will probably use homeopathic hGc. I've used this in the past with success and have not regained the weight I lost with it. It aligns with what I eat already and is a definitely temporary protocol.

It's a bit scary, relying on only myself to make all the decisions as to what is truly best for me; but then again if I'm going to break the dieting cycle, this may be best bet.


An article I wrote on my beloved Mexico City!

It’s hard to imagine a more culturally packed, higher intensity place than Ciudad de México. Currently rivaling Tokyo and Seoul for the most highly populated city in the world, Mexico City sits squarely on the pulse of Central America.

Mexico is a beautiful dichotomy; a sprawling modern metropolis inhabited by some of the worlds’ best, but maintaining a strong Mexican tradition and culture. You may be able to find Starbucks in every colony, but don’t be surprised if you also spot an indigenous couple walking barefoot down a main highway.

Mexico City is an easy travel destination. It is not a holiday destination and thus there are hotels at every price point constantly available. Airlines are rarely over-booked from Europe and the Americas, and many direct flights are available into one of the two airports.

Plenty of ATMs are scattered about. You can always find an open Internet café, and the city hosts the largest metro in the world, making transportation a breeze.

Mexico City has a tangled history of vast kingdoms, brutal conquests, and industrialization. It rests on what was once a lake, a woof and warp- like structure of canals and farmland. The maize has long since been replaced with endless asphalt and buildings, but even amongst this modern world you can happen across the ancient Temple Major in downtown, centuries old cathedrals, and the reverend Guadalupe. There are few cities in the world that provide such an exciting mixture of tradition and modern existence.

There is no right time to visit Mexico City. The climate is temperate year round. If you do not enjoy frequent showers, you will want to avoid the summer months from June to September; and if higher temperatures are not your cup of tea, consider visiting in April. When the entire city is green and alive with beautiful purple jacaranda trees. Whenever you plan on coming, rest assured the city will be alive with activity (the two exceptions are Holy Week, the week before Easter Sunday and the couple of days after it and Christmas to New Years when the city slows down considerably as locals vacation; if you are looking to do business in the city you definitely want to avoid these times.) One climatic characteristic to be aware of is the altitude. The city stands at almost a mile and a half above sea level (7,200 feet). This, combined with the fact that it is a valley flanked by mountains and two volcanoes, which promotes heavy smog, makes everyday activities exhausting for travelers. Being aware of this can make all the difference. Don’t be surprised if after a day or so of running on adrenaline you suddenly crash. Take it slow, drink plenty of water, rest as needed and you should still enjoy a delightful Mexico City experience.

Being such a large city, there are truly endless excursions to go on, and sights to be seen. Historic Center offers a rich cultural experience and gives one a quick glimpse of DF’s history. For a bohemian feel you can easily head to Roma; to Condessa if you desire a beautiful residential area full of hip cafes and a buzzing nightlife; or the affluent Polanco for up-scale hotels and cutting edge chefs.

One really should spend a day in the neighborhood Centro Histórico (Historic Center) and surrounding areas. This historical downtown area of Mexico City has a wide plaza known as El Zòcalo. Full of museums, restaurants and cafes, street merchants, markets, art, music, Aztec dancers, and hotels this is a wonderful place to start. The Palacio National (the presidential palace and home to exquisite Diego Rivera murals), cathedral, and excavated site of Temple Mayor (the main Aztec Tenochtitlan temple) are just a few of the sights which could keep you occupied for hours.

Directly west of the Zócalo lies the breathtaking Palacio de Bellas Artes. Slightly further and you will find Mexico City’s famous street, Paseo de la Reforma, adorned with the “Monumento a La Independicia, El Ángel.” This beautifully gilded angel stands as the symbol of Independence and rises above the city to watch over her people. Daily tours are available and upon summit you will be treated to a bird’s eye view of the city. Several other monuments mark this grand boulevard and you can easily follow it down to Zona Rosa and enjoy any of the many restaurants, on your way to Bosque de Chapultepec. This park is a trip within itself with lakes, gardens, and abundant trees. It also holds several museums, including the world famous Museo Nacional de Antrologia and the Museo Nacional de Historia.

Transportation is a breeze throughout the city. The Metro is extremely economical ($3 pesos and you can ride to any destination one way, no matter how many stops or transfers) and criss-crosses the city very efficiently. Taxis are also extremely abundant and affordable. Avoid all “Libre” taxis, which are denoted by an “L” before the vehicle’s registration number and license plate. Instead look for a “Sitio”taxi, traditionally denoted by a “S”. Because new regulations (changes in license plates) have made it almost impossible to differentiate between Libre and Sitio taxis. The smartest course of action is to always call a 24-hour Sitio taxi service, which is available at 5516-6020 to 34, 5571-9344, and 5571-3600. Your hotel or restaurant will gladly call one for you.

You are never far from some of the world’s most delicious cuisine in the city. Any type of global delight can be found, although some of the most delicious food to be found is in the markets and taquerias. Keep in mind the rule of thumb to not eat unless you can sit at the establishment (hopefully this will exclude you from any run-ins with less than sanitary establishments). Perhaps the most tantalizing way to find good eats is stop locals and ask them what they recommend. Make sure you try the “T Diet” while you are in town consisting of tortas, tamales, and tacos. Some of the best al pastor and bistek tacos are to be found in the city, and any good Samaritan can direct you. Eating is generally quite inexpensive and one of the true joys of Mexico City. Due to Mexico City’s dichotic character, you can enjoy tamales on the street for breakfast, and an exquisite world-class dinner in Polanco later that day.

Mexico City does have a reputation for being one of the more dangerous cities in the world. Precautions should be taken to not draw attention to one; do not wear expensive jewelry or watches, carry or show large amounts of cash, advertise your nationality, and or generally advertise yourself as a foreigner. That being said, you will immediately notice how friendly the city is. In general the Mexican people are proud of their country and happy to assist in anyway they can. As in any large city, take the proper precautions to not put yourself in dangerous situations (such as calling a taxi from the street).

Mexico City is a fast-paced, colorful, textured, rich urban hot spot. It is chock full of amazing museums, art, music, delectable food, traditional dances and events, soccer stadiums and fans, breathtaking architecture, and stunning colonies. The choices of things to see and do are endless, and with a little planning you will be enthralled by what you find in this cultural hybrid. Perhaps you will be lucky enough to encounter across a woman selling her homemade quesadillas while shuffling out of the metro…

The official article can be found at: Besos!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Great Mexican Experiment $500 Pesos and Counting.....

Buenas Noches Amigos!

I apologize for the lack of posts, but I am now back in Mexico City and ready to proceed.

The rain has hit; my friends here were not exaggerating when they said June and July construct the "Rainy Season." It's definitely different than Texas. I have a hard time wrapping my mind around the concept of it raining daily in the middle of summer. Back home people are tucked away inside air conditioned buildings, only appearing before 10am or after 6pm. Mexico City is so high that you can enjoy any time of day. Well, that is if you have an umbrella, rain boots, and a jacket!

I've discovered a new food here in Mexico. I have seen these many times in the States, and have even par taken in their consumption a few times, always to my disappointment. My Mexican friends talk of them fondly, and I am officially a convert. The Flauta. A wildly delicious crispy taco wrapping chicken or beef, drenched in cream, topped with salsa verde, guacamole, onion, and lettuce. Made right, these are pure divinity, and this is coming from a girl who usually dislikes anything fried. Unlike their American counter-parts they are light and airy. Although fried, they don't sit in your stomach like a brick and are really, really delicious. The flautas I've become fond of are located in the back of a neighborhood market. You wind your way down the dark aisles (I frequent there Sunday mornings as the vendors start their day, beating the crowds), turn a sharp left at the fruit husband and wife team, and walk right past the quesadilla stand- and there, beyond, the best flautas in the city. It's become a Sunday morning tradition, chicken flautas and a jugo de naranja or sandia from the fruit stand. It's 30 or so minutes of bliss, and as I finish I'm already looking forward to the next encounter. I'm the only foreigner I've seen in this place; I always love to find "locals only" joints.

I'm conducting an highly scientific experiment; due to some un-forseceen circumstances I'm flat. That's Mexican for, "I'm broke- really, really broke". I have $500 pesos to my name, approximately $45.00, 1 can of chicken, 2 cans of tuna, some tea, salt, and protein powder. The adventure begins my friends- how long can I make this $500 stretch? I'll live off the tuna and chicken as long as I can, pick up some eggs, and frequent tacorias and local markets. I'll take part in the corrida comidas as much as possible, use the metro, and make these pesos stretch like no other. It's actually a little fun, in a high-pressure, living on the edge kind of way.

Okay amigos, it is late and tengo hambre. First stop, tacos. I will get a bistek alambre, grande for $70 pesos and a Coca Dieta for $10. I will eat half of the alambre hoy and save the rest for manama. So, $420.00 to go! It's time to face the rain which comprises this very, very wet rainy season.