Dream

Before coming to Mexico for a month to my favorite little town, Lo de Marcos, I checked to see if Amigos de Lo de Marcos http://amigosdelodemarcos.org/ were holding the silent auction again this year and they were. So I decided to do a special canvas just for the auction. I wanted something light and airy and a reminder of the beach that I dream about when I return home.

Dreaming of the beautiful beach of Lo de Marcos

Dreaming of the beautiful beach of Lo de Marcos

The picture is not the greatest as I forgot to take a proper picture before I left home, so took it while it was being displayed on the auction table.

I started out by applying some collage papers in the middle and then added venetian plaster in various places, to add more texture to the plaster I pressed a stamp into it. I then used the plaster to create the starfish, shell and heart. Next I used oil pastels to rub in some colour in various spots, I do love this technique as it gives a very aged look. I used a gold oil pastel around the edges to give it more texture. I was very pleased with how it turned out.

I donated it along with a small canvas print of a watercolour I had done last year while I was here.

Find your happy place

Find you happy place

Both of my canvases went in the auction and added to their fundraising which benefits the town in many different ways.

Off to the beach…..

Until next time find ways to be creative
Michelle

Advertisements

Artist in Lo de Marcos

Beach Sculpture

Beach Sculpture

Only a few more days of my extended stay in Mexico left and I have to say that I have met some very talented artists while here.  There are many musicians that come together and form bands for the duration of their winter stay or have jam sessions where we can go and listen and enjoy some really great music.  Besides musicians there are painters of all mediums and I am inspired by their many talents.  A week ago a few of us got together to paint on the patio facing the beach

The artista table

The artista table

and it was wonderful to see all their different techniques and learn some new ones myself.  Being a self-taught mixed-media artist I am always watching for new techniques to help improve my skills especially in water-colour and acrylics.

Where we held the day of art was at Villa del Ray which is owned by an extremely talented artist Lonny Ford,

3 Amigos

3 Amigos

he has decorated his rental suites with his art

Donkey planter

Donkey planter

and the property and it is fun just walking around and seeing all his different sculptures – every time I went there I discovered another piece that was amazing.

Pelican Pilots

Pelican Pilots

Interesting enough, he does not sell his art, it is strictly for his own enjoyment and those that stay at his house and suites.

I have included e few pictures of his amazing and often humorous art work.

 

Until next time

Michelle

Life in Lo de Marcos Mexico

Giant waves in San Pancho, Mexico

Giant waves in San Pancho, Mexico

I have been in Mexico for 3 weeks now and I have not gotten around to doing any posts – time just seems to slip by and I haven’t given much thought to writing.  Life in Lo de Marcos which is about an hour north of Puerto Vallarta is really wonderful, stress free and easy-going.  Fresh veggies and fruit everyday…half a block to the beach where the waves can be massive great for boogie board enthusiasts for sure.  Just a very contented life which I could slip into very quickly.  Still have another 3 weeks to enjoy.

There are lots of talented artists and musicians that winter here which is so inspiring. I have been doing a little bit of art and experimenting with using some of the palm bark to paint and collage on as it has a very interesting texture.  My good friends are getting married here next Wednesday and are going to have a golf cart decorated to transport the wedding party so I made a quick little sign for them to hang on it  ‘Justo Casada’ (Just Married).  The picture I am posting is not the best but at least it gives an idea of what I am talking about.

Til next time

Michelle

Justo Casada

Justo Casada

 

 

 

 

The Markets of La Penita and Rincon de Guayabitos – Mexico

While on vacation in Mexico in Lo de Marcos which is about an hour and 20 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta airport we did some day trips to some of the local markets that are held during the week.  The first one we went to is held on Mondays in Rincon de Guayabitos which is a short taxi ride from Lo de Marcos, mabe 15-20 minutes – the cost for four of us was 20 pesos each . I was surprised that Rincon de Guayabitos is actually quite a large city with lots of traffic and quite a large tourist population.  The market is very large with everything from handcrafted items to fruits, veggies and lots of nummy baked goods.  We only made it around the stalls at the front of the market and that took us a couple of hours and by this time we were ready to get some lunch.  The vendors were not aggressive like I have experienced in Puerto Vallarta and Cancun markets which made for a very enjoyable time. Something to note is that there is a time change travelling just that short distance north, it was an hour earlier.

After the market we walked down to the beach, and what a surprise to see how busy it was, lots of vendors, children playing and families enjoying a day at the beach but still not as busy as the beaches in Puerto Vallarta  and Sayulita.  My friends had been to Rincon a number of  times so they knew of this great little restaurant, which I don’t remember the name of, that had a delicious tortilla soup – they were so right it was delicious and very filling.  After lunch we browsed the streets and some of the shops – if you need kitchen items there are lots of stores  there that carry a huge variety.

On Thursdays there is a market in La Penita which is a short distance past Rincon.  La Penita appears to be the next largest city after Puerto Vallarta with lots of traffic and it has the closest bank to Lo de Marcos. The market is huge, I think even bigger than Rincon’s but with a lot of different handcrafted items and if you venture deeper into the market you will come across places where you can buy fresh seafood, meat, veggies and more.  My friend even got a great back massage there – a full 30 minutes by a registered massage therapist for $15.  She said she was in heaven when it was done and so relaxed and her back felt so much better.  We never made it to the beach in La Penita but I would expect that it is a pretty busy place taking into consideration the number of hotels and tourists that were around.

Between the two cities I preferred Rincon de Guayabitos only because it wasn’t as big and busy and had much less traffic.

This post wraps up my recent Mexico vacation.  If you are thinking about visiting the Pacific side of Mexico really think about venturing a little further north of Puerto Vallarta, which is an easy distance to go to find pristine beaches, less crowds and reasonably priced accommodations and food.  It is relatively easy to even catch a local bus from the airport to any of the cities I have mentioned in my posts for as little as 40 pesos compared to taking a shuttle or cab which can cost you $40+ person or more. We took the bus back to the airport and it only took an hour and 25 minutes and it was 40 pesos and dropped us right off at the airport and it was just a few steps and we were inside the terminal.  If you are looking for more information on the area there is a new website for Lo de Marcos by our new friend Ara Acosta who resides in town, she was a wonderful help to us when we were there and she will even pick you up at the airport for a charge of $80 per trip, up to 6 people and stop at the Mega Mart if you need groceries, etc.  She is very knowledgeable of the area and what is for rent, etc.  Her phone number is 011-52-1- 322-155-1462, Ara speaks excellent English and the website is http://www.lodemarcoslife.com/ .

I have to share this photo even though it has nothing to do with the markets – it is just a photo of this horse standing patiently on a street in Lo de Marcos so funny!

Hasta luego

Michelle

Big growth for the little town of Sayulita

I think it was about 6 years ago that I last visited Sayulita, Mexico, when it was still a quiet little town about 40 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta.  When we were there it was just a few dirt streets, very few shops and the restaurants were all along the beach where it was mainly surfers enjoying the lovely waves that Sayulita is known for.  I remember the city bus that commutes between Puerto Vallarta and Sayulita dropping us off at the top of the hill and walking down the dirt road to the main part of town, very few cars or tourists.  Fast forward to my visit in February 2012 –  we caught the bus from Lo de Marcos to Sayulita for a mere 25 pesos and it took about 25 minutes to get there.  We were dropped off on the side of the highway and told that there would be a bus in about 20 minutes, so we decided that we would just start walking in towards Sayulita rather than standing around waiting for bus that could arrive who knows when.  It took about 15 minutes to walk into town and was I surprised when I saw how much it had changed since my last visit, there were lots of cars and so many stores and restaurants.  We were warned that Sayulita was undergoing lots of road work and it was difficult at times to manuever around piles of dirt and rubble….they were not kidding, I don’t think there was a road that was not being torn up and re-done with lovely cement brick work and new sidewalks it should look really pretty when it is completed.  Needless to say that the noise level was very high with all this construction, though a lot of it is still done by hand, such as carrying buckets of cement to be spread out by another worker. 

We were wanting a drink of some sort and my friend was really wanting a coffee so we stopped at this lovely little coffee place right at the town centre, I can’t remember what the name was I think something like Loco Choco.  I had a delicious fruit smoothie and my friend Jenny thoroughly enjoyed her coffee which is roasted and ground right on location.

In the town square where there were lots of vendors working on creating there wares and lots of children playing.  We weren’t meeting our friends for a little while so we wandered about and checked out some of the shops on the main street – discovering that Sayulita has a very large artist population and the art comes with a big price tag as well.

One of the main streets that goes down to the beach was really torn up and it was like hiking over piles of rocks and sand, but we managed and then found ourselves in the midst of the local vendors who were very persistent about trying to make a sale.  The beach was crowded with umbrellas, chairs, vendors and of course surfers.  We had now hooked up with our friends and us girls decided we wanted to get some lunch, so we left the guys to do their thing and we found this great sandwich shop, Reubens on the same street that goes to the beach.  The shop was very small but had some prime seats that faced  out onto the road so you could do some serious people watching while enjoying your delicious sandwich – if you visit Sayulita be sure to stop as it is well worth it and the service was very good.

After lunch we all met up at the beach and spent the afternoon sipping cold beers and fending off the countless vendors that stroll the beach non-stop.  The waves were not exceptionally big this visit so the surfers were mostly just hanging out waiting for even the smallest wave that they could ride in.

Overall the visit to Sayulita was great but I have to say I was happy to be back to sleepy little Lo de Marcos and being able to walk down the beach without a soul in view and just enjoy the sounds of the waves and best of all no traffic.  I thought about staying in Sayulita prior to this visit but now I would not even consider it, it has grown so fast and is so crowded now it has lost the small town charm  that I am drawn to and I imagine it won’t be long before it is just an extension of Puerto Vallarta but it is worth a visit and I will pay a visit next year to see how all the improvements have turned out.

Til next time

Michelle

The delightful and pretty little town of San Pancho, Mexico

The first Sunday we were in Mexico, we did a day trip from Lo de Marcos to another little town about 15 minutes south called San Pancho and also known as San Francisco.  Though still small it offered many more restaurants and delightful little shops to poke around in.  There is a lot more traffic in comparison to Lo de Marcos which you can easily wander down the street and only have to more over to the side of the road for the occasional car.  In San Pancho it is better to use the rugged sidewalks, often being in a bit of disrepair, but they are working on improving the roads and sidewalks in some areas. 

If you walk down the main street you will end up at the beach, which is breath-taking but more crowded than Lo de Marcos.  It is scattered with beach chairs, loungers and colourful umbrellas provided by the adjacent beach restaurants. There are some vendors at the entrance to the beach that sell some really nice hand crafted items such as jewellery made with leather and silver and painted pottery, and beautiful hand-woven table clothes and runners.  The vendors are not in the least bit persistent like some of the bigger beaches in the Puerto Vallarta area.  There is a lovely beach restaurant ‘La Ola Rica’  which has been in operation for 15 years now.  They have delicious pina coladas served in mason jars, the beers are reasonable at 20 pesos for a Pacifico.  On Sundays there is a Cuban band that plays in the late afternoon and a dance floor on the sand for those that just want to get up and dance.  We came back the following Thursday and had lunch at this restaurant – shrimp quesadias which were delicious and the fish tacos are also very good.  They serve huge hamburgers too that looked fantastic they also have great guacamole.  I look forward to returning next year.

There are also a couple of restaurants on the main street that serve really good coffees and lattes which I was totally craving.  There is a new restaurant that was to open today in fact ‘Zedeco’s’ which is owned by some Americans from New Orleans and the restaurant will specialize in Cajun fair. By what they told us it is going to make you feel like you are in the heart of New Orleans, so another restaurant to visit on my return.

For dinner we went to ‘The Blue Pig’ and feasted on some wonderful barbecued ribs, baked beans, coleslaw and potato salad and delicious garlic toast and great staff. This is definitely a restaurant to visit if you love ribs, a bit more pricey then some of the restaurants but well worth it.

The Sunday evening that we were in San Pancho there was a Jazz Festival in the town park, some very talented bands played along with our friends from the RV parks ‘The Sons of Beaches’.  It was a very fun atmosphere and an area to dance as well.  Be sure to bring some good bug spray though as there are little no see-ums that bite the heck out of your ankles and legs and if you have a lawn chair even better but there are a number of park benches to park yourself on. 

San Pancho is really a sweet little town that is home to many artists, very friendly people,  and a number of different types of accommodation from bungalows, small hotels and houses to rent. The energy was  really good there and I completely felt at home  perhaps the creative air that was very apparent and I could definitely see myself spending a lot more time there. It is so great that you can fly to Puerto Vallarta and catch a bus from the airport and stay in a small town and really soak up the local culture.  I look forward to visiting again next year.

Until next time

Michelle

The tranquille little town of Lo de Marcos

Sunset in Lo de Marcos

I have just returned from a lovely two-week vacation in Lo de Marcos, Mexico which is located about 1.5 hours north of Puerto Vallarta.  I have friends that have been to Lo de Marcos a number of times and they raved about what a wonderful little piece of heaven it was so I decided to meet up with them this year.  It is a small, quiet little town for sure but it has a number of RV parks scattered along the beach and some  have bungalows for rent. The RVers spend 3-4 months, and the bungalows are great for friends that are coming for just a week or two.  We stayed in bungalows at El Pequino Paraiso one of the RV parks at the south end of Lo de Marcos.  It was a very nice location, just a short walk to the mostly deserted beach and the bungalows were clean and had cooking facilities and a nice balcony, nothing fancy but certainly adequate and the price was definitely right at approximately $35 CAD a night.  It is a bit of walk into town may be 15 minutes at a slow pace.

It reminded me a bit of Barra de Navidad, only smaller, where you can walk on the streets and when a car comes by you just move over to the side.  There is only one out of the 3 main streets that is paved with cement and only a few cars parked on the side here and there.  There are some good restaurants in town – Luna’s Pizza which just opened recently, and is run by a young man from Italy and his lovely wife and another friend from England.  The italian fare is unbelievable, you would think that you were in Italy not a sleepy little town in Mexico.  The pizza was authentic italian style,delicious thin crust and the spinach salad incredible.  They offered a number of other Italian dishes and a special of the day – if you visit Lo de Marcos you definitely have to stop in there. Every night there was waits to eat there, and the service was always great and friendly.  .

Another fun place especially on Wednesday evenings was Tia Juana’s when they had live entertainment and the restaurant was filled to capacity with snowbirds enjoying the tunes from the band Sons of Beaches – a group of retirees from British Columbia and the US who have a love for music and play together during their stay in Mexico.

A great place for breakfast was Clarita’s, it is only open Thursday through Sunday another place where you may have to wait for a table.

The beaches are clean and very few people except when the waves get big and then it becomes a little bit of a boogie board haven along with a few surfers.  There is a surf shop in town next to Claritas for those wanting to rent a board and try out the surf. The locals are very friendly and helpful and I never felt unsafe walking along the streets at night.  If you like a quiet beautiful atmosphere and just want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the bigger tourist areas, Lo de Marcos is an excellent choice. You can catch a local bus right from the airport for 40 pesos and it will drop you off right at the town centre.

I will be posting about some of the surrounding towns we visited in the next couple of days.

Til next  time

Michelle