Sunday, June 10, 2018

HAPPY 4TH BLOG BIRTHDAY



                                FELIZ CUMPLEANOS AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

I cannot believe today, June 10, 2018, is the fourth birthday of my Blog. What started out as an adventure at the suggestion of my husband has definitely taken on a life of its own.

So here we are. Another year of sharing our nomadic and all of our wonderful memories and experiences. I am also branching out with posts on "themes" and cultural experiences in Mexico and beyond including celebrations and fiestas, interesting people, and indigenous animals.

And to mix things up and keep us on our toes I am in the process of preparing blog posts from the recent journey we took to Portugal and the Andalucia region of Spain. It was a great experience and and I look forward to sharing six wonderful cities and their cultures with you.

I like to think and hope that I am progressing in this blogging experience and hopefully my posts are becoming more interesting, more entertaining, and more informative. Until our next birthday celebration, I thank you for joining me along this journey and I look forward to another year of MEXICO AND BEYOND: LAURA'S PHOTO JOURNEY.


THE FOLLOWING ARE MY PUBLISHED POSTS FOR THE THIRD YEAR WITH LINKS FOR YOUR VIEWING EASE AND PLEASURE.




A LOVE AFFAIR WITH THE DONKEYS OF MEXICO







ALL OVER THE MAP OF SOUTH AMERICA




ALL OVER THE MAP OF CENTRAL AMERICA



                                                   





IGUANA TIME IN PUERTO VALLARTA

























THE LLAMAS OF SOUTH AMERICA










THE ARTS AND HANDICRAFTS OF MEXICO



THE DOORS OF MEXICO









Thank you for joining me in my blogging "gig" and I look forward to seeing you this year. I sincerely appreciate your sharing my blog at the following link and please do not hesitate to email me to share your suggestions and recommendations. Until my next blog posting, sending you my best wishes for happy and safe travels. Laura

BLOG LINK    https://lauraaloveland.blogspot.com/

AND MY EMAIL ADDRESS:   lauraannloveland@gmail.com


For those of you who missed my Blogs third birthday party here is the link with all of the postings for the third year:


                         
              

THIRD BLOG BIRTHDAY INVITATION

Saturday, May 12, 2018

PUERTO VALLARTA: VALLARTA BOTANICAL GARDEN A MUST!


Welcome to the wonderful VALLARTA BOTANICAL GARDEN (VBG) located in the Cabo Corrientes region just south of Puerto Vallarta in México. The location of the Vallarta Botanical Garden could not be more different from the Altiplano (high plain) landscape of San Miguel de Allende, México which was the subject of my blog post entitled



These two botanical gardens are diverse, unique, and wonderful, and so very, very different as a result of their geographical locations. I love them both and I look forward to you joining me in this excursion to the Vallarta Botanical Garden.






Only forty minutes (mas o menos) south of Puerto Vallarta a visitor passes through a landscape of astounding natural beauty with pockets of still pristine coastal wilderness. Encompassing a mountainous peninsula that juts into the Pacific Ocean at Cabo Corrientes (Cape of the Currents), this is the most westerly point in the state of Jalisco. For mariners of old this point was the treacherous entrance to Banderas Bay (The Bay of Flags) where Puerto Vallarta is now located. Cruising sailors often refer to it as Mexico's Point Conception.





Beyond the coast, Cabo Corrientes boasts lush and varied habitats of tropical dry forest (both deciduous and semi-deciduous) as well as pine-oak forest and cloud forest. When you add to this the untamed rivers with their lush waterfalls and the native animals which include the emblematic jaguar and macaw, you find a truly remarkable environment.





This is the area where Bob Price, Curator and Founder of Vallarta Botanical Garden, chose to build this beautiful complex in 2005.




A brief history: "Robert Price and his mother Betty founded the Vallarta Botanical Gardens after realizing the need for conservation and environmental awareness in the area. Bob was specifically concerned with the numbers of orchids that poachers were taking from the nearby jungles to sell commercially. He envisioned a place where orchids could be propagated and displayed without depleting the local populations. The Garden opened to the public in 2005 and has been flourishing ever since."


                                    


The vision of the founders was: "The creation of Vallarta Botanical Gardens has provided an unprecedented opportunity for our community to share the wonder of the vast diversity of Mexico’s plant species with the world. We have assembled botanical collections in a safe environment with viewing trails and have already built the most-visited public collection of orchids in the country of Mexico.”



                                                                       

The Mission was: “To create Mexico's foremost botanical garden for the propagation, study, discovery, conservation, and display of Mexican native plants for the enjoyment of Puerto Vallarta's residents and our visitors.”




The Vallarta Botanical Garden has grown and expanded throughout the years since its inception. The Garden now includes the following amenities which add to the overall experience of visiting the Vallarta Botanical Garden.




The Vallarta Botanical Garden is the perfect place to share with friends from Puerto Vallarta.


FACILITIES AND ACTIVITIES FOUND AT THE VALLARTA BOTANICAL GARDEN: 



CONSERVATORY OF ORCHIDS AND NATIVE PLANTS





México is home to over 1,200 native species of orchids and of these over one third are endemic, naturally occurring only within México. More orchid species are found in Jalisco than in any other Mexican state. A current goal is the creation of the National Collection of Mexican Orchids, the most complete collection of Mexican orchids anywhere in the country.

HACIENDA DE ORO VISITOR CENTER AND RESTAURANT





Without a doubt, some of the most delicious food found in the Puerto Vallarta area is served at the lovely Hacienda del Oro Visitor Center and its restaurant.  Enjoying a meal and a cool refreshing drink at the restaurant with its amazing view of the forest and the river are worth the drive alone.


OUR LADY OF THE GARDEN CHAPEL FOR SPECIAL OCCASIONS AND QUIET TIME


   


CHAPEL INCLUDING SHRINES TO THE MAJOR RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD AND A SMALL PET CEMETERY









HIKING TRAILS AND NATURE WALKS





RIVER FOR A REFRESHING DIP





EVENTS,  EXHIBITIONS, AND REUNIONS





AND BIRD WATCHING!










With my sincere thanks and appreciation to the founder Robert Price and his staff at the Vallarta Botanical Garden (Jardin Botanico Vallarta). The Vallarta Botanical Garden is awesome! (Jardín Botánico de Vallarta es increíble!)







I realize that I am a very fortunate person. I can enjoy both the beauty and diversity of a truly great botanical garden complex nearby and also the wonder of fish life just off our shore. The following links are to a mini photo album showing the beauty of our local tropical flora in Puerto Vallarta and following thereafter is my photo album on the Vallarta Botanical Garden. 





Good friend and two-time president of the Puerto Vallarta Garden Club agrees with me. A day at this wonderful garden complex is not to be missed while either living in or visiting Puerto Vallarta. We promise you will not be disappointed and you will come back time and again.  Laura

                                                     



LOCAL TROPICAL FLORA PHOTO ALBUM







      VALLARTA BOTANICAL GARDEN PHOTO ALBUM    


POST PUBLICATION UPDATE: Just read the following in a local paper, the Vallarta Tribune, and thought I should share it.  Way to go Vallarta Botanical Garden!

Posted on 10 May, 2018 by Marcia Blondin

"Congratulations to the Vallarta Botanical Gardens for placing fourth out of the Ten Best Botanical Gardens in North America brought to you by USA Today. Founder and Curator Bob Price is celebrating in London, England. Way to go, Bobby! Another feather, er, flower for your ‘lovely’ straw hat! "          
                 
                                     

Saturday, April 14, 2018

DOORS OF MEXICO: LAS PUERTAS DE MEXICO



I have a fascination with doors. I was not aware of this fascination until living in the Spanish colonial town of San Miguel de Allende in Mexico. Walking the cobblestone streets of this beautiful town I found myself constantly confronted with one colorful or unique door after another. It seems evident from the number of hits in Google Photos. Flickr, and Amazon Prime that doors are a popular subject. Search “mysterious door” or “secret door” and thousands of results pop up. What is it about doors that is so compelling?





The pineapple is a symbol of "welcome" which is why it often embellishes doors. Aren't these doors in San Miguel beautiful and unique?

In a literal sense, doors represent the unknown as in “I wonder what’s behind this door?” Doors are often symbolically endowed with ritual purposes. The guarding or receiving of the keys to a door or being granted access to a door can have special significance. Similarly, doors and doorways frequently appear in metaphorical or allegorical situations, literature, and the arts, often as a portent of change.

For those of you who cannot wait, here is the link to my photo album:

THE DOORS OF MEXICO AND BEYOND



Front door and back door with some serious entry steps as seen in San Miguel.  Watch your step!


  More insane entry steps such as these are often seen in San Miguel and can be especially challenging in the evenings.   



Elaborate front door and smaller "service entry door" to its side.  I wonder what "OUI" is all about?

A door is an important element of a house, a symbol of passage from one place to another, one state to another, from light to darkness. Doors also have an aesthetic role in creating an impression of what lies beyond.



The oldest and best panaderia (bakery) in San Miguel is called the Blue Door Panaderia.  Very appropriate!



One of my favorite residential doors in San Miguel de Allende and I also love the cactus!


Doors can symbolize hope, opportunity, opening, passage from one state or world to another, entrance to new life, and initiation.  Knock, knock, who's there?

Entrances to holy places (temples, cathedrals) are not necessarily invitations to participate in the mysteries contained inside. The act of passing over the threshold means that the faithful must set aside their personalities and materialism, to confront the inner silence and meditation that it symbolizes.



Convent and Church of Our Lady of Belen in Antigua, Guatemala


These fantastic carved doors are found on the Cathedral of Cusco in Peru

As an access to a refuge or the warmth of a hearth, a door also symbolizes communication, contact with others, and with the outside world. An open door attracts because it signifies welcome, invites discovery, but a door can also signify imprisonment and isolation. A closed door signifies rejection, exclusion, secrecy, but also protection against dangers and the unknown.



Doors to this old cantina in El Centro de San Miguel are an invite to a cool drink and possibly an interesting conversation.


I obviously find doors fascinating as is evident by my photograph album that is part of this posting. The variations of doors and their design and decor are endless. I rarely left the house without taking my camera because I never knew when another door photo opportunity would present itself. A friend of mine while visiting made the statement "San Miguel is like eye candy." I have never forgotten that statement and especially in regards to its doors.



My friend Karen said San Miguel de Allende was "eye candy" nailed it and Laura Fraser, a favorite writer of mine, lived it. 


Consequently, for a little variety from my normal blog postings, I have decided to make this post all about the visual pleasure of some of my favorite doors. At the bottom of this page you will also find a link to my photograph album with many, many additional doors just in case you become fascinated (obsessed?) with doors like me. Enjoy my world of doors. I hope this might be an opening of a new door for you and yours!



Navigating the cobblestone streets in San Miguel is the price you have to pay to find special doors!



One of my favorite pedestrian-only alleys in San Miguel is full of crayon colored residences and doors.


Appearing on all sorts of decor from doors to quilts the pineapple symbolizes those intangible assets we appreciate in a home: warmth, welcome, friendship and hospitality.


This old structure in San Miguel with its stone windows and doors certainly takes you back in time.


Our front door in Merida was chosen as the local produce "market" for the day by this lovely couple. Welcome!  


Oh, if only these doors could speak and tell us of its history!


I felt especially pretty in my red holiday huipil with these doors as the background in San Miguel de Allende.


Patiently waiting for the door to open for the weekly burro delivery in San Miguel de Allende.


Maybe you might want to translate "Cantina las Perras" for your own edification!


This door makes me want to sneak in and take a peak!  


Door is holding up well, but the walls not so much!  


I can't decide whether blue doors or red doors are my favorite.  And yours?


Mother and daughter found this beautifully painted garage door with San Miguel (St. Michael the Archangel) while exploring the backstreets of San Miguel de Allende.


A favorite photo I found from San Miguel which I call "White Dog with Black Eye and Blue Door."


I remember hearing many years ago that a picture is worth a thousand words. Those words definitely contributed to and inspired me in the creation of MEXICO AND BEYOND: LAURA'S PHOTO JOURNEY.

Click on the following link to go to my WEB ALBUM which has additional photos for this posting. CONSIDER YOURSELF WARNED: THIS IS A LARGE ALBUM WITH MANY, MANY DOORS!

THE DOORS OF MEXICO AND BEYOND

Please don't be shy! I sincerely appreciate hearing from my readers with their questions, comments, and suggestions. Until then, gracias and safe travels! Laura


               MEMORIES ARE ONLY A CLICK AWAY!