Monthly Archives: February 2014

A day in the mountains

Zevi bought me snowshoes for my birthday a few months ago and with all of the cold weather we have had, along with the time we’ve spent away from home, I hadn’t yet had the chance to go out and use them. I was itching for some fresh mountain air, so today we finally got organized and, along with a couple friends, made the drive out to Kananaskis country.

Kananaskis mountains

Every time we go out to the mountains I marvel at how lucky we are to live so close to such amazing scenery. We live only an hour’s drive from a place that people travel miles and miles to marvel at. It’s easy to take that for granted, but we shouldn’t! Sometimes I almost feel bored by another drive down Highway 1 through the Rockies, and then I have to pinch myself, take a look around, and remind myself how lucky we are to live amidst the beautiful mountains of Alberta.

Snowshoeing friends

We did the Penstock Loop, a 4.7 km loop inside Peter Lougheed Park. It was a nice, easy trail, which was exactly what we were looking for. It was great to breathe some mountain air, and I definitely plan to get back out there before the winter ends!

Zevi and Benny

I think the puppy had a pretty good time too.

Mountain view

 

H snowshoeing

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Our trip to La Manzanilla

The view at sunset

The view from our balcony at sunset

It’s been a pretty great winter for us so far. A week ago, we came back from a wonderful trip to La Manzanilla, Mexico with seven of our good friends (and one toddler). It’s hard to know how travelling with a group of friends will go – you never know whether personalities will clash, or if you’ll see a completely different side side of the people you go out for drinks with a couple of times a week. Luckily for us, our friends are just as great as we imagined them to be and the trip absolutely went off without a hitch.

La Manzanilla at night

La Manzanilla at night

We stayed at this house, which was absolutely incredible. The pool was out of commission for the first few days, but the beach was only a short walk away, so it was far from the end of the world. It was nice to have our own kitchen for the few times that we decided to cook. The property management company was great and gave us a 25% discount because of the issues with the pool. I wouldn’t hesitate to stay there again!

Diving birds

Every day we saw hordes of these birds diving for fish

We spent most of our days eating, drinking and soaking up the sun at the gorgeous sandy beach right in the town. There were a bunch of little restaurants right on the beach, and we set up camp at a few different ones over the course of the week. The common theme among all of the eateries was deliciously fresh seafood, cheap beer, and a limited grasp of english. I was actually pretty thrilled about all three of these things, as, not only was I well fed, but I got a chance to practice my Spanish, which starts to fade away with limited practice. I ate my fair share of ceviche, and we all tried to take advantage of the inexpensive, fresh seafood that isn’t easy to find in Calgary.

Shrimp ceviche

The seafood and avocado put ours to shame

Indio beer

Love this label

La Manzanilla has a very cool vibe. I loved it because, although there were people hawking their wares on the beach, it didn’t have much of a touristy feel. The town is overtaken by 50 to 70something “gringos” who spend their winters (or, in some cases, the whole year) living the good life away from the snow and the cold of their northern homeland, so although they aren’t native to the area, they aren’t sipping $2.00 cervezas all day every day, either (not that there’s anything wrong with that – that’s what we spent most of our time doing). It makes for nice doses of the authentically Mexican mixed in with a sprinkling of cultural diversity supplied by the winter residents. With zumba, yoga, spinning, and cooking classes offered, there is no shortage of things to do in town! We did get many comments about how nice it was to see some younger people out and about, so that gives you an idea of the kinds of people you’re likely to meet.

Image

I really could go on and on, but suffice it to say that it was an unforgettable trip. We all talked at one point or another about going back in the next couple of years, so I don’t think La Manzanilla has seen the last of us.

Stray dog1

So many stray dogs everywhere, reminding us of our own rescue puppy

Stray dog 2

Jolanda's

At one of our favourite restaurants, Jolanda’s

Z on the beach

Zevi on the beach

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