Loreto, Mexico is in the Baja California Sur peninsula about 300 miles from Cabo San Lucas. The town faces the Sea of Cortez, an amazing body of water of the color of lapis lazuli where whales come to mate and birth their young between the months of January-March. The town is surrounded by what is known as the Sierra de la Giganta, a mountain range of rugged golden hills in a desert environment of immense beauty and mystery. If you are looking for a road less traveled or a change of scenery, you may want to head out to Loreto. Here’s why?
As 2022 comes to an end, I can’t help thinking about what went well, and what didn’t. I remain stupefied over how quickly this year has left us. Yup, so much that I wanted to accomplish and didn’t quite get there. Yet, grateful to be alive and healthy to try again. In thinking back and reflecting on the events of 2022, we can be both grateful and disappointed at how the world is changing. Let me rephrase that…..how our humanity is changing. In reviewing all that we have seen and heard in 2022, here is my best shot at what made the cut for me….
Our next stop was to Accra, Ghana’s capital, where we stayed the last three remaining days of our 16-day trip. Too short of a time to really experience all that this country offers but enough to walk away with a deeper understanding of West African culture and its connection to America’s African diaspora. Driving through the Ivory Coast, you get to see the contrast between the natural beauty of this country, and its people….
Upon arriving in Dakar, the capital city of Senegal, you are immediately taken in by a uniquely contrasting society. A developing country that became independent from France in 1960, blessed with amazing sites, cuisine, customs and history, yet with its fair share of struggles in building a robust economy for its people. The city of Dakar is home to a beautiful coastline with a historical role in what is known as the African Diaspora…..
The magic of opening a door that could lead to something entirely different never escapes me and is why I am so fascinated by the architectural designs of doors from all over the world. I am drawn by the intricacies of both new and older colonial style doors on homes, churches and buildings. In Mexico, doors represent both protection and pride as well as an invitation to come in. Walking through Merida’s streets photographing so many captivating doors, I could not help wandering about the history and cultural elements that built this unique craftmanship…
Africa, the mother continent of the human race where the first human skulls were discovered. A continent so misunderstood, yet rich in its history and culture as it merged with its many colonizers. Its vast resources, its people and natural beauty are unmistakably one of mystery and exoticism. A place so captivating in furthering our exploration and understanding of our humanity. So fortunate to have visited Morocco, Senegal, and Ghana — three very distinct countries that make up the 54 that represent Africa. Fourteen days later, there are too many experiences and discoveries to share. Here is my best shot at it…
First stop in Morocco is the city of Casa Blanca; this country’s economic and business capital. Upon entering the city of Casa Blanca, all those romantic notions and imagery of an ancient city from watching the movie (Casa Blanca) immediately disappears. This city is a powerhouse, a huge metropolitan center similar to any urban American or European city with its fair share of traffic jams and pedestrians. Much less exotic than some of its sister cities, yet worthy of a visit even if you don’t get to ride a camel. Here’s why….
If you are a lover of architecture, an architect or maybe an urban planner, you will easily fall in love with Merida’s 18th century colonial homes and buildings heavily influenced by both the Moorish and Mediterranean designs of that period. One of Merida’s most pleasing attributes is the preservation and restoration of what remains of a once colonial empire with a dark past. A real estate bonanza for those who seek to retire in a foreign country or invest. It certainly crossed my mind….
Somewhere in the world, the harvesting of grapes is happening. In the USA, just about every state has vineyards that make for a great opportunity to visit with friends and enjoy the tasting of wines, whether it’s Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel or Riesling. I personally lean more toward a robust, dry red. This is my third visit to the Finger Lakes region in Upstate New York to drink wine and enjoy the area’s rustic scenery and it never disappoints. Actually, there is more than just tasting wine that makes this region attractive for a long weekend visit with friends….
If you travel to Merida or through the Yucatan Peninsula, you learn quickly about the role of haciendas and their contributions to the world. The architecture of Mexican haciendas, along with the Mayan culture and Yucatan’s natural resources, is both captivating and wondrous. Their historical past in the early 1900s and restored beauty are unquestionably intriguing and worthy of a visit. Here’s why….
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