If I said I was excited to be back, I’d be lying…
As always, one week went by way, WAY too fast. Especially since heavy rain and winds had to come and put a serious damper on two of my precious vacation days. Pfft. I could’ve VERY well done without that, thank you very much. But hey, at least, I still got to swim in the ocean and bask in the
sun shade pretty much every day, so all in all, I’m a happy camper!
Since this was my third time at this very same resort, I didn’t take so many pictures this time. And to be honest, most of the pictures I took, I snapped with my cell phone. Yeah, I know.
Not very pro of me, is it?
Still, at least I have a few shots to share with you.
This is the first thing that you see when you get to the hotel.
I love love love this lobby.
Sometimes, when it’s not too nice out, or in the evening while waiting for the nightly entertainment to begin, I love to sit myself down in one of those giant chairs and read for a while.
As you exit the lobby and make your way to the “back yard”…
This view, it just never gets old for me. I could just stand there and stare for hours…
I was extremely pleased with my room this year. My unit was on the second floor and had a nice balcony, from which I could catch a glimpse of the ocean.
So every morning, as I woke up and stepped out for a bit of fresh air, this is what I got to see…
I wish I could also include an audio clip. There is nothing quite like the sound of the ocean to start the day right!
Speaking of the ocean… This has been my playground for the first three days.
Can you say peace and quiet?
That’s what I love most about that place. You get the beach pretty much to yourself. And look at the color of that water. I’ve never seen anything quite so clear and vibrant and turquoise in my life. This sea, she’s like a giant jewel. Even when your feet no longer make contact with the ocean floor, you can still clearly see your toes.
I can never get enough of this…
Looks like some people had fun building little rock statues on the beach!
These guys were the only souls keeping me company while I spent hours completely lost and submerged in the immensity of the big blue.
Oops! Er… yes, this is exactly what you think it is. This bikini, I was wearing mere seconds before I took the picture.
Seeing as how I was completely alone this year, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and give the “nudist” experience a little try.
I can’t say I hated it! Something definitely has to be said for being submerged in water without any clothing to distract you whatsoever!
And there’s an item I can cross off my list of things to do before I die! 😉
Alas, after a couple or rainy days, my precious beach got pretty much completely eaten up by the sea.
And that sea, she got pretty feisty, too! She started giving us swimmers a serious ride for our money. She would pull and push us in all sorts of directions. She liked to play rough, let me tell you…
I can’t say I hated that, either! I even chose to make her my official workout partner, one morning. For a full half hour, I fought the waves, planting my feet deep in the sand and trying not to budge under her vicious attacks. HA! It might sound easy, but trust me, she gave me a real hard time!
Thank goodness, this battle took place under the watchful eye of 2 local Cubans, which made me feel safer. Regardless, the sea she eventually got the best of me and I had no other choice but to capitulate.
See, that’s the side of the beach that I really like to spend my time on. Unfortunately, I was only able to access it for the first 3 days.
After that, the path was completely blocked: the sea swallowed it whole. That, I have to admit, made me a little sad…
I had to visit that other side of beach, instead. It was a little too busy for my taste, so I would actually walk aaaall the way to the end…
I can’t say I really minded the walk! The view was rather pleasant, I must admit (especially since I had to walk through the “official nudist area” to get there)…
This is the spot in which I sat to read every single afternoon after my daily workout.
I would sit there for a few hours, have lunch and one or two Piña Coladas. Let me tell you, Daniel makes the best Piña Coladas ever!
Sometimes, I found it kind of hard to concentrate on my book, though. The view was just too distracting…
Later in the afternoon, when it got really, really hot, I would move to this other “reading” location.
At least here, I could jump in the water every once in a while to cool myself down a little bit…
Then I’d get right back to my chair and lay in the shade, then lose myself in my book for a while longer.
Again, notice how crowded the place is!
I wish I had THIS very swimming pool in my own back yard.
No wait… scratch that. I wish this WERE my very own back yard…
There is a Turtle Farm in Cayo Largo (La Granja de las Tortugas) that works very hard at saving the turtles: they regularly go and collect turtle eggs, bring them back to the farm until they hatch and then they bring the little hatchlings back to release them to the sea.
Sadly, for the 3rd year in a row, I missed the release again but at least this time, I got to witness the collecting of the eggs!
That was quite a fascinating experience. I never thought that turtles would actually dig so deep and lay so many eggs! We actually collected 99 total, that day. And that was on the low side!
Kudos to these guys for doing what they do.
Oh, and for the record, I have no idea who the lady in the picture is. She just happened to be part of the group and I thought she made an excellent model for this picture! See how deep that nest is? Unbelievable!
Before I left, I made this nut mix to take with me so I’d have something to munch on while waiting for the plane (and while actually ON the plane…)
This was my first time making “flavored” nuts at home so I wasn’t convinced that they would turn out so great, but wow, did they ever! Now I can’t wait to make all kinds of other flavors and mixes.
Of course, if you choose to make this, you don’t have to use the exact same nuts I did. You could use any combination of nuts you like. So long as you keep the ratio fairly similar, you should be just fine. Just make sure your nuts are COMPLETELY dry before you put them away, else they might eventually develop some mold and trust me, you don’t want such a disastrous thing happening to your delicious nut mix!
The combination of chai spice and maple is absolutely splendid and somehow reminds me of Christmas. Which got me to thinking that this would make a great Holiday present!
Wouldn’t you agree?
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1 cup Brazil nuts
- 1 cup raw hazelnuts
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup (grade B or medium)
- 1 tbsp chai spice (from recipe below)
- ½ + ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsp ground cardamom
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp ground five spice
- 1 large nutmeg, grated
- 1 tsp ground clove
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp vanilla powder
- Place nuts, except for cashews, in a large bowl. Add ½ tsp of salt, cover with water, mix well add and place in the refrigerator to soak overnight or at least 6 hours.
- Add the cashews and soak for an additional 3 hours.
- Rinse nuts 2-3 times, drain well and spread evenly in a single layer on a cookie sheed. Place in a 200F oven to dry for 2 hours.
- Mix maple syrup, chai spice and ¼ ts of salt together in a small bowl.
- Remove nuts from the oven and place them in mixing bowl. Pour spice and maple syrup mix in and toss until the nuts are evenly coated.
- Line the baking sheet with parchment paper and again, spread the nuts evenly in a single layer. Place back in the oven and dry for an additional additional hour.
- Remove once again from oven, stir in coconut and dry for yet another hour, or until the coconut starts to turn slightly golden.
- Shut the oven down, crack the door open and let the nuts cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container.