Mexico beaches

SamErica Creative Retreat in Tulum


It's been about a while (way to long!) since our trip to Tulum and I figured it's about time I did a blog post. Thank you to Erica from SamErica Studios for putting this super fun trip together! Also a big thanks to Kayla (October and Rum) and Melissa (Epoch Designs) , for being such amazing travel buddies and willing models.  And of course big thanks to the husbands who agreed to be dragged around and model too. :)

Day 1

We arrived super early morning on a Monday and after picking up our crew and the rental car, we drove down the coast from Cancun. When we got into town our first goals were to find our house, pick a room and turn on the AC, and then get a drink down by the shore. I think the restaurant and bar at Mi Amor was one of my favorite spots we went to. With an amazing infinity pool and open air to the stunning beach view it was the perfect way to shake off the airport grim. I mean how does life get better than a margarita and an ocean breeze. We got some dinner down the street and made a plan to check out some Cenotes (fresh water limestone caves) the next morning. 

Day 2

We woke up early, made breakfast in our central living room/kitchen, and then sun-screened up. Our first Cenote was probably my favorite of the trip, The Grand Cenote which is just outside of town. Crystal clear water, tons of fish to check out while snorkeling, and lots of secluded spots to take pictures. After swimming around in the cool waters, getting all of us a chance to brave the cave of bird/bats, and doing a little photoshoot, we were all ready to explore the little downtown of Tulum.

It was mid day, and pretty warm to go shopping. But once we grabbed an ice cream, we were ready to shop for all kinds of goodies. I really wanted to buy one of their stunning hammocks, but then I remembered I had a pretty full suitcase. :) After shopping we grabbed the boys and headed down to the beach to find a spot for dinner. The stunning beach front restaurant at Nomade had us all feeling super inspired.

Day 3

We started our first real beach day at CoCo Tulum, which if you have the chance, you must check out. The stunning cabanas, white swings, and Beach front conch shell shower make this spot a must must. Plus the staff was super kind and allowed us to take all kinds of pictures while we were there. A lot of the resorts in Tulum have weird rules about professional cameras so be aware if you ever head down there expecting to be able to take pictures where ever you want. In fact, my photos in this blog are a mix of iPhone and my big camera (can you tell the difference? I can, but I'd love to know!)

After swinging the morning away we decided to take a walk down the main strip by the beach, where there are lots of great shops and restaurants. I think my biggest piece of advice when visiting Tulum is to have transportation figured out. Rent a car, rent bikes, rent scooters. Walking is not super easy with no sidewalks and a lot of things are spread out and in the heat, walking was just not our friend.

One of my favorite spots we stopped to grab a snack at was Raw Love, which had amazing Acai bowls. The heat was definitely getting to me at this point in the day, and that creamy ice cold bowl hit the spot. Also as we were walking/driving around town we noticed all these amazing street signs. Instead of regular signs (like stop, speed bumps, etc.) they were all motivational mantras. It was fun getting to spot all the new signs as we went through town. 

Day 4

Another stunning day! We decided in the morning to go and check out the ruins of the Mayan City of Tulum. We started our tour by seeing a crazy amount of wildlife, including Coati mundi , which are relatives of our raccoon (but I think they're cuter), AND giant huge enormous iguanas. The city is stunning and I can only imagine what kind of thriving coastal trade city it must have been. Our guide was amazing, and taught us so much about the mayan culture and their day to day life. We got really lucky and got to see Danza de los Voladores (Dance of the flyers) while we were there, and I was shocked that those guys could swing in circles, tied to a rope, and play music the whole way hanging upside down.

After our morning at the Ruins, we were hot and ready to cool down so we decided to check out a few more Cenotes. The Cenotes water temperature can be in the mid-high 70's, and the temperature outside was in the 90's. So it was like jumping into a giant liquid Air conditioner. After drinking and swimming the afternoon away, we were all ready to grab some food and crash. Well at least I was ready to crash. Some of the crew decided to go out and dance the night away. The sun, the booze, the heat did me in and I slept like a rock!

Day 5

Probably my favorite beach day, by far! We went to Casa Malca, which was once Pablo Escobars Tulum home.  The staff were super warm and friendly, and took care of us like we were family. We got a little tour when we first arrived, and checked out all the stunning art, enormous art installation swings, and hidden underground pool. This part of the beach was also super clean (there was a a lot of seaweed while we were in town) so this is the only beach I ended up getting into the water at. 

This was also the day that the creative team decided we would work on collecting images for our portfolio and use later. We had and assignment and held each other accountable to hitting our goals. After swinging the day away on a giant swing, and swimming in the bright blue ocean, we decided to explore a bit more of the strip. We had to make a stop at a local favorite, Matcha Mama, and again I got an ice cold bowl. With all the fresh fruit how do you not just gorge yourself on it all?

This day was also my favorite dinner, cause we got like 10 street tacos for 5 dollars. I mean how do you go wrong?! If you stay in town in Tulum you have to try Antojitos La Chiapaneca, it's crazy delicious and crazy inexpensive.

This all feels like just a quick synopsis of what our trip was, but really what I came away with, is what I think travel does to everyone. A greater appreciation for the beauty in the world, a thankfulness for what I have, and a mind reset on my life and business. It's hard to hold on to all of that when you get home, but that's why you have pictures and friends. They're there to remind you and keep you on course. 

My weekend in La Salina and Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California

So I meant to blog about our trip right after it happened, but then things came up ( I ended up needing surgery a few days ago). And then I was afraid to blog about it weeks after it happened. But I decided what the heck, I'll share anyways since it was such a beautiful weekend.

A few weeks ago, we drove down to mexico with our sweet friends (Matt and Cara) just for a quick trip away to Mexico. This is such a family friendly quick trip from San Diego and I can't stop recommending this to all my friends with families. This spot is right between Ensenada and Rosarito, off the La Salina Exit.  It's my favorite thing about going to the Baja Coast, is the empty open beaches. The beautiful dunes were in full bloom and there were wildflowers everywhere. There are neighborhoods you can rent homes in, with their own private sandy beaches. We were lucky enough to stay in a home that belonged to Matt's friends family, named Casa Gallardo. We arrived on Friday and headed straight to the beach for an afternoon of lounging in the sun.

We went inland for the day on Saturday and headed into Valle de Guadalupe wine country, and went to a couple amazing wineries. April is the perfect time to head to Valle de Guadalupe, it's green and lush and really pretty quiet. And the vines are just turning green and starting to grow. On the way in we stopped at a roadside wine tasting spot, that I don't remember the name off but I do remember chasing Waylon (the 3 year old around) and helping kiss boo boos.

 Tres Mujeres was the first real winery we went to, and they were so accommodating (we arrived before 10 minutes before their opening time and let us come in early). They have this awesome little wine cave, and have an established reputation, having been in business for over 12 years. And the wine, amazing!!! For $5 we got 3 tastings. 

After that, we stopped over at Xecue Winery, which was also amazing but definitely a very different type of winery. It's larger and had way more wine tasting options. I don't remember the exact cost but we had something like 6 tastings for I think closer to $15-20.  It is such a lovely spot, it would be perfect for a wedding or event, with a great beautiful open center space.  We got lucky and got to hang for an hour chatting with the owner all about the life of a winery owner.

After all that wine we headed home and Eddie and I went out and got everyone tacos, while everyone took a nap.  We went to this tasty little road side taco stand, that made the most delicious tacos and burritos.  We ate with everyone, enjoyed our last sunset and headed out Saturday evening since I had a shoot early sunday morning. 

If you have any questions about where we went or need recommendations of what to do, just let me know!