Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sights to See: Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, Muyil, Riviera Maya, Mexico

Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve  Just south of Tulum.  With a name that translates in Mayan as "Where The Sky Is Born," this vast nature preserve and UNESCO World Heritage site is composed of more than one million acres of lush jungle and beaches.  It is on a small peninsula but is home to nearly half the world's flora and fauna species, including monkeys, jaguars, pumas, ocelots, rays, crocodiles, and more than 400 bird species.  Here, you’ll see mangroves, ancient Maya canals, and miles and the Great Maya Reef.  Additionally, this reserve houses the rustic, mostly undeveloped Muyil pre-Columbian archaeological site. 
Community Tours Sian Ka'an  Office in Muyil.  Ecologically responsible technologies are used by this tour cooperative that makes a strong effort to be community-centric.

More things to do in the Riviera Maya.

More things to do in Mexico.


More UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

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image c2012 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 


Monday, October 29, 2012

Good Eats: Diablito Cha Cha Cha, Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya, Mexico

Diablito Cha Cha Cha  On Calle 12/5th Ave., 984 803 4507.  Located on a side street known for its popular clubs, this bar (and restaurant) is famous for its Mango Diablo—a pretty drink composed of mango, lemon, and chamoy with tangy and colorful chili on the glass rim.  Things don’t get going around here until after 10 p.m. 

More things to do in the Riviera Maya.

More things to do in Mexico.

image c2012 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Good Eats: McMenamins High Street Brewery & Cafe, Eugene, Oregon



McMenamins High Street Brewery & Cafe  1243 High St., (541) 345-4905.  Situated inside and outside of a repurposed 1900s house, this pub has a cozy interior with copper table tops and a large deck in back with picnic tables under tall trees plus lawn seating in front.  It is the town’s first microbrewery since Prohibition and offers a selection of fresh brews.  The pub fare menu includes a delicious cheeseburger.   

McMenamin's - High Street Brewery & Cafe on Urbanspoon


More things to do in Oregon.    

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image c2012 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Good Eats: Marche, Eugene, Oregon

Marche  In the Fifth Street Public Market, (541) 342-3612.  B-L-D daily; $$.  Featuring a French flair and a name that is the French word for market, this popular spot features a sophisticated decor and some spacious booths inside as well as courtyard dining outside.  The locally sourced menu changes with the season.  Summer might see a very French salade Nicoise made with fresh albacore tuna and aioli and perhaps a delicious “Almond Financier” prepared with a roasted fresh peach or roasted figs with thyme honey.  It always features individual pizzettas and a delicious house burger with blue cheese and pommes frites, as well as oysters and mussels, a soufflé, and steak frites.  Cocktails, wine, and beer are available along with a simple and unsweetened house watermelon soda and lavender lemonade. 

Marché on Urbanspoon

More things to do in Eugene.   

More things to do in Oregon.    

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular local and foreign getaways.

image c2012 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Good Eats: Our Daily Bread, Veneta, Oregon



Our Daily Bread Restaurant  88170 Territorial Rd., 15 mi. W of Eugene on Hwy. 126, in Veneta, (541) 935-4921.  $.  This bakery restaurant is situated on the main drag inside a small former one-room church.  Family-owned and –operated, it serves an extensive made-from-scratch menu as well as local wines and microbrews.  The house specialty chicken borscht soup is thick and delicious and served with a big freshly baked roll.  Sandwiches are positively huge--don’t miss the roast beef with horseradish sauce or The Featherbenders Grill made with turkey breast, Swiss cheese, tomato, avocado, and bacon on a grilled French roll.  I recommend that two average-appetites each order a bowl of soup and share a sandwich with  steak fries.  That will leave some room for a piece of cake or perhaps some fresh marionberry pie.  A small gift shop is stocked with Oregon wines and some local products.  


Our Daily Bread Restaurant on Urbanspoon

More things to do in Eugene.   

More things to do in Oregon.    

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular local and foreign getaways.

image c2012 Carole Terwilliger Meyers  

Monday, October 8, 2012

Great Sleeps: Hotel Mitzpe HaYamim, Eastern Galilee, Israel



Hotel Mitzpe HaYamim  In Rosh Pina, (+) 972-4-6994555.  99 rooms.  No children under 10.  Indoor pool; outdoor & indoor hot tub; fitness room; dry & wet sauna; health spa; 1 tennis court.  In the Upper Galilee at the foot of Mount Canaan, near the artist village Rosh Pina and the Kabbalah city of Sefad (and rumored to have hosted celebrity Madonna), this romantic resort/health retreat is spread over 37 acres.  It opened in 1968, when this property was mostly barren, hot, and dry desert, but is now lush, like an oasis, and features fragrant gardens, walking paths, and ponds.  It is well-known for its organic fruit and vegetable gardens as well as an organic dairy farm with herds of sheep, goats, cows, and chickens.  Because the soil is considered sacred, no one poisons it with pesticides.  Rock mounds in the vegetable garden attract and protect insect eaters.  The 30-acre organic farm grows 100 different vegetables and 70 kinds of fruit, and in spring there is an amazing bloom of wild flowers.  The owner works twice a day in the fields just because he enjoys doing so. 
Each guest room here has a unique decor, heavy on English style.  Mine had a large bathroom with vintage white marble floors, a pull-chain toilet and pedestal sink, and an oversize whirlpool tub with separate glass-walled shower.  Furniture included a desk and armoire, and the bed faced an upper wall of windows that looked out into trees and over a duck-pond below.  Guest rooms are spread between the main building and four other stone buildings.  Oriental rugs and charm reign throughout, and a central atrium holds a 7-story-tall Washington palm tree that hugs the ceiling (it is NOT dead).  One person I chatted with said, “I come for the silence.”  The freezer-less Vegetarian Restaurant serves everything fresh, including fish from the Sea of Galilee, while Muscat Restaurant offers refined dining and menu items such as beetroot ravioli filled with goat cheese and hazel nut oil, and organic duck with pomegranate-caramel sauce with five passion spices and organic vegetables.  The morning breakfast buffet is beautiful, bountiful, and an organic delight.  A daily activity program includes classes and tours—perhaps bread making and a healing workshop or a guided tour of the farm.  In addition to hundreds of cows, the hotel has 200 goats and 100 sheep.  View my video of the baby goats:  
The hotel has been leading the trend of ecotourism and sustainability here for almost 40 years.  A house bakery makes everything fresh daily, and the dairy provides all the organic dairy foods and some meats.  


More things to do in Israel.

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image and video c2012 Carole Terwilliger Meyers    

Friday, October 5, 2012

Good Eats: La Cueva del Chango, Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya, Mexico



La Cueva del Chango  Calle 38/5th Ave., 984 147 02 71.  M-Sat 8am-11pm, Sun 8am-2pm.  Featuring a jungle garden atmosphere, this popular spot is primo for breakfast.  The menu then includes fragrant fresh papaya, fresh-squeezed juices, huevos a la Méxicana (scrambled eggs with onion, tomato, and chiles), a selection of chilaquiles (I especially like the one with pasilla salsa), molletes (like melted cheese sandwiches), and warm tortillas as well as empanadas and cappucinos. 

More things to do in the Riviera Maya.

More things to do in Mexico.

image c2012 Carole Terwilliger Meyers  

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Good Eats: Helser’s on Alberta, Portland, Oregon



Helser’s on Alberta  1538 NE Alberta St., (503) 281-1477.  Daily 7am-3pm; $.  Breakfast is served all day in this simple corner spot, with a $4.95 early bird special available weekdays from 7 to 9 a.m. (note that coffee is not included with the special but is included with the regular breakfast, making any savings almost a wash).  The usual is done nicely, but you’ll want to try some of the specialties:  smoked salmon or mushroom hash, an array of Benedicts, a Scotch egg (a hard-boiled egg wrapped in bratwurst, then lightly breaded and fried) with potato pancakes and horseradish cream, a German pancake/Dutch baby.  Lunch items are also available from 11:30 a.m. 

Helser's on Alberta on Urbanspoon

More things to do in Portland.

More things to do in Oregon.    

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular local and foreign getaways.  
image c2012 Carole Terwilliger Meyers