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A Little Slice of Life … Snapshots of Mexico

Mexico surprised me with the hospitality and friends I found when I arrived at the beginning of the year with no real plans and no certain direction for my life. I flew into Puerto Vallarta sure that I would visit with friends who were living near there for a month, and then move onto another region filled with colonial towns. Then I loved the little town of San Pancho and decided to stay put for four months until it was time to seek out those colonial pueblas at a breakneck pace as I made my way to my overland to Mexico City so I could catch a flight to Costa Rica.

I wasn’t sure the pretty colonial towns could get prettier, but Ana was right on when she told me this pink, turreted church in San Miguel de Allende looks like a castle at Disney World.

I arrived in Costa Rica a few days ago, and my dad and Ana arrived last night. So, as I end the Mexico portion of my travels for the next while I thought I’d share some of the highlights from my Instagram feed and camera roll over the past four months. One of the things I love about Instagram is that though the photos tend toward an over-processed aesthetic, they often capture moments, angles, or snapshots in a way I don’t usually share on the blog. The entire medium is intended more as a slice of life type sharing and it appeals to me a lot, even as I go in the exact opposite with my own photography (2013 goal is to fully understanding manual mode and everything my nice camera can do by the end of the year!).

I’ll be offline for a couple of days now as my family and I cross into Panama and go exploring, but I’ll share those adventures via Facebook in the coming days and weeks … and likely in the coming months on the stories since I am a few months (years?) behind on the blog.  :)

Breakfast in Mexico: scrambled egg burrito topped with salsa picante, mashed avocado, and crema. (That offensive olive was an oversight, I picked the others off).

Sunshine, blue skies, and palm trees — my constant companion from day one. I don’t think it rained more than five times the entire time I was there … which is likely why it’s considered high season!

Beach umbrellas lined the beaches during Easter week as the city-dwellers fled to the coast; the town swelled with people and the main upside was the new street food vendors who descended on our town!

Kiddos play in a pool at the water’s edge because the surf on our beach is too strong for them (and me, if I’m being honest). I just love their little sun hats.

A day of fun with friends who also lived in San Pancho — we coated ourselves in therapeutic blue mud at a hidden beach about a an hour or two from our town. :)

Lunch at my favorite taco spot, Baja Takeria, for the tastiest taco in town; their chipotle sauce: so, so good.

What is more Mexican than a roaming Mariachi band making their way through the market?

I mean yes, this puppy *is* the cutest thing ever; I found him on the beach and wanted to puppy-nap him.

Fresh coconuts anytime, only alarming part was the number of machetes laying around town. This was a perk to living in my tiny town; tiny specialized shops serviced every small niche you’d need, and it was all close together and walkable.

Living in a beach town was a new one for me — every day included a trip to the sand and waves!

Sunset and stormy weather; the beautiful ones stacked on themselves and some nights I was just beside myself with how pretty they were. The sunset became a nightly ritual and many people in the town also gather for conversation, drinks, and nightly views like this.

Guacamole, a long-standing favorite snack, and my lunch several times a week since I found the perfect guac recipe through a friend here in town.

My friend Nick saw this guy fall from the ceiling of the community center, he’s on the window sill here recovering (and he did recover).

The delicious vegan café inside San Pancho’s community center.

A vegan paella, steamed artichoke, and lemon grass aguafresca was the surprise lunch on the cafe’s daily changing menu.

Speaking of aguafresca, this shot is from Guadalajara and shows just how many flavors they make on a hot day!

The town of Guanajuato is one of the prettiest places in colonial Mexico, and I loved that hardly a single soul spoke English to me in the five days I visited.

Unlike the beach town I lived in, Guanajuato was buried in the mountains with dry, cool air.

Though I never drink soda, I am always intrigued to see which big corporations won the race … it seems Mexico is a Coke country.

A beautiful mural inside Darjeeling, my favorite bar (and pizza joint). Those eyes get me every time.

Mexico was partly work for me, so here I have a working breakfast with some wifi time along with my chilaquiles, oj, and coffee.

Tequila tasting with friends in San Pancho, tequila comes from that region so they make an art out of the tasting, sipping, clearing the palate, etc.

When friends came into town I was thrilled to go to the fancy hotel for breakfast and try prettily arranged dishes like this vegan chorizo.

The Cathedral of the Assumption of Our Lady in Guadalajara is beautiful and a high point of walking the city’s downtown area.

One night I found a lovely altar to Our Lady of Guadalupe on my solo walk home. The streets were completely silent, all lights out in the houses … and these two votives flickering through the night.

Late afternoon in Sayulita, a small beach town about 20 minutes from San Pancho.

San Pancho had just the prettiest sunsets in the world. I loved living in this gorgeous little beach town. :)

 

Thanks so much for following the Mexican leg of my journey, I started traveling too quickly over the past couple weeks to share more about the tiny towns I visited on my overland travels after San Pancho, so those will come later this summer. I’d love to connect with you on Instagram if you’re there, I think it’s such a fun way to share more “in the moment” pieces of life on the road. What’s your favorite shot?

Cheers,

~S

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  • Love these pictures!

  • food_photo_rtw

    awesome photos! Mexico is on my list for next year and I so much look forward to this trip.

    • ShannonOD

      When you head there let me know if I can help in any way, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed traveling there! :)

      • food_photo_rtw

        I will! Thanks for offering your help! Are you still in Costa Rica? Do you like it? Enjoy your travels!!

        • ShannonOD

          Moved on to Panama a few days ago and am really enjoying it here for sure, it’s been so unexpectedly lovely! :)

  • nnk

    I’ve been hooked on your site ever since you homeschooled your niece in SEA (will your niece take up blogging again on her jr site? She should! It was rad!). Was wondering if you could speak a little about safety in Mexico? I’ve been very taken with Mexico City (and now San Pancho!) and would be down with traveling solo. But friends I’ve told have warned me about safety traveling there. Though most advisories refer to non-touristy areas, there seems to be some caution overall as well. Would love your honest advice.

    • ShannonOD

      Thank you! I showed Ana your comment and started poking her — I hope with these recent travels to get a blog post out of her in the next two weeks so it should happen soon, heh heh. :)

      As far as Mexico City — I was so surprised by how clean and easy that city was. I couchsurfed with friends and they were just off the subway line and helped me with the basics. I enjoyed it and felt safer than I expected. And in San Pancho and the Puerto Vallarta region — really not a big deal, very touristy and lots of expats so it’s really good. You have to be safe of course, but beyond that there are some beautiful areas of Mexico you could visit. I loved the mountain towns of Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende as well! Keep me posted if I can help in any way as you plan!

  • Andi Perullo

    These shots make me want to get on the first plane to Mexico, just gorgeous!!!

  • Naomi Todd

    The more I see blogs about Mexico, the more I want to go so bad! Love the photo of the kids in the paddling pool, so cute!

    • ShannonOD

      I really enjoyed the mix of expats and locals there in the towns I found — it’s really nice to be somewhere where the language is a bit easy to grasp! :)

  • Earl Miller

    Miss you, but love that you are traveling for me! Keep up the pics… I love it!

    • ShannonOD

      Thanks Earl, miss you too! xo :)