Mission San Antonio de Padua

We  are back to visit more  Spanish Missions in California.  If you are really interested with this topic and want to see more , I already wrote a few posts  on  other Missions  (visited last year and  before ). On this trip, we made the plan to see 7 of them.  And then  be able to say that we saw them all.  Do you know how many we can see  ? Visiting a Mission ( or a park or a beach) in February has no warranty of  good weather but we were lucky when we arrived in Jolon where is located  Mission San Antonio de Padua. It is probably the least visited as  it is far away from a major city.    It sits within the “Valley of the Oaks” on California’s scenic Central Coast.

To share my visits of the Missions,  the text will be short, I will rather let the pictures tell the story of what we saw.

It was the 3rd California Mission,  founded on July 14,1771.   Mission San Antonio appears as it did more than 200 years ago. This mission was named for Saint Antony of Padua, a 13th century Franciscan. I believe he is the saint we think about to  “obtain a Grace or to find a lost object”. I know  I often invoke him  and I also thanked him when i found the object misplaced.

We visited the garden , the museum,  a wonderful gift shop ( lots of beautiful art and a very friendly lady who took time to explain where this art was coming from) and  the church . It is still an active Catholic parish.

Nice drawing on the walls.

You could buy a little souvenir like this one ! A  magnet  for my refrigerator!

It was a nice visit. Hopefully more people will go and see it.

On the same day we had time to visit another Mission. You’ll see it on my next post. Thanks so much for reading and if you comment , you know it is greatly appreciated.





As a traveler I capture lots of photos.  Those are my best memories. I can always go back to them and recall  the moment. I don’t want it to be only an  image sitting in a folder of my computer. I want to share it with people who appreciate the art of photography.  I might inspire people who are going to look at them and think “I really want to go there one day.” It happened to me many times. Do you recall it happen to you also ? Would you tell me ?

Today , only a few pictures from different trips or  sometimes just around where I live. Taken with my small camera  or with my smartphone.  I picked 12 photos just for you. And maybe just for my own pleasure of sharing.   Macro, nature, architecture, landscape, food or people. It is all interesting for me.

Many thanks for viewing and comments.

January : Vancouver, BC

February. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Chiracahua National Monument Monument , Arizona

Tombstone, Arizona

March: Just in a grocery store !

May: Palouse, Washington State, USA

July: British-Columbia, Canada

September:  La Morra, Piedmont, Italy.

Montforte d’Alba,  Piedmont, Italy

Boccadasse,  Italy

November: Vancouver, Canada

December: Whistler, Canada

If you have a favorite photo, tell me which one.






“Easter is meant to be a symbol of HOPE, RENEWAL and NEW LIFE.” (J. di Giovanni)

It is the time where trees are blooming, new animals at the farm, spring flowers are a delight to see after the winter months and sometimes it is sunny. Not very sunny for us in Vancouver. Or we need to call our city “Raincouver” again !

I wish you all a good Easter, with a little chocolate  but especially some good time with people you love.


Puerto Vallarta ( part 3)

More on “el centro” of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

We walk a lot and I take some photos. Here is the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, known locally as La Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe . The tower is topped with a wrought-iron crown hoisted by angels designed to resemble one worn by Empress  Carlota of Mexico. dsc00707


We walk by  the pier.  The pier offers access to boats, water taxis that can take you north of the bay and mainly to the southern beaches and coves, such as Las Ánimas, Quimixto, Mismaloya, Yelapa  and other beautiful destinations, you’ll also be able to catch sail trips and cruises around the bay.


For lunch we go to Coco’s Kitchen.  The address is : Púlpito 122, Olas altas.  Coco is a friend of a good friend. We have been to this restaurant before and we enjoy going back every time we go to PV.


The food is great. This is a lovely restaurant. The back of the restaurant is like a garden as there is no roof. We order avocado rolls. I eat chicken enchilada with salsa verde. It comes with rice and re-fried beans. My husband orders a beef burrito. We have a few “cervezas” with our delicious meal.




Muy rico as they say in Spanish !!   I love Mexican food ! Do you ?

Thanks for reading my posts and leaving me a comment.   The topic of my next post is a surprise..

Puerto Vallarta (part 2)

I hope you ( my  200+ followers) enjoy my  posts.  I would be very happy if you were commenting once in a while.  Many thanks for your interest in my travel stories. Now  we are going to spend time  “en el centro de PV”.  And by now you know that PV stands for  Puerto Vallarta.

After breakfast, we take the local bus to go to downtown or what we call “el centro”. The bus fare is 7,50 pesos. It is about .50 cents. The buses are old  but it does not matter as long as we get where we want to go.  We usually go “en el centro”  once during our stay in PV.  It is a bumpy ride as the pavement is  sometimes rough.


We like to walk on the “malecon”. It is a boardwalk for pedestrians. It is very popular for  tourists. This large sign  PUERTO VALLARTA  is new. It was not easy to get a picture with nobody having their photo taken in front of it.


There are many sculptures to admire on the malecon.




and also some sand sculptures.


We also see the “Danza de los Voladores“. The ritual consists of dance and the climbing of a 30-meter pole from which four of the five participants then launch themselves tied with ropes to descend to the ground. The fifth remains on top of the pole, dancing and playing a flute and drum.





After their performance, they ask for a donation.  The ceremony was named an Intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO   in order to help the ritual survive and thrive in the modern world.

There are  artists on the malecon selling  their art. And then of course , there are  restaurants  and many  stores  for souvenirs. We have a special restaurant we like to go. I will talk about it on my next post.

Hasta luego.  Have a good weekend.


Puerto Vallarta (part 1)

dsc00503 I am not counting anymore how many times we have been to Puerto Vallarta.

I remember the very first time it was in 2002. This was a 3 weeks vacation. We stayed two weeks in PV and one week in Nuevo Vallarta ( a bit further north than PV).

We stay not too far from the marina where we can find lots of restaurants. One night we walked in this area. I was pleased to see the colors of the sunset and the reflections of the lighthouse …


We enjoy walking on the beach every day . I will show you what we see. The birds, nice flowers, driftwood, shacks and sign warning us about crocodiles.






On the beach we see many shacks. I don’t think people live there all the time. They are built with any material they can find.


On that beach, there are also many restaurants that are popular with locals.


and now …the crocodiles. It was the first time we saw crocodiles at this spot. Close by a little lagoon. We saw two, a big and a small one. They were sleeping  I think or they were faking it ?


dsc00576I did not like very much to see them and the fence didn’t make a big difference. Do you know what they eat ? How  fast they run ? I was also interested to know so we did a little research.

The American is one of the larger crocodile species. Males can reach lengths of 6.1 m (20 ft), weighing up to 907 kg (2,000 lb). On average, mature males are more in the range of 4.1 m (13 ft) to 4.8 m (16 ft) in length weighing about 400 kg (880 lb). Fish, reptiles, birds and small mammals make up the majority of their diet. On occasion, large mammals such as deer and cattle  are taken. Their dietary habits in coastal regions are not well studied. Like any other large crocodilian, the American crocodile is potentially dangerous to humans, but it is not a very aggressive species and attacks are rare. The can run up to 32 km/hour ( in the water).

The sky at the end of a day is always interesting to admire.


On my next post, I will show you “el centro”  (downtown) of Puerto Vallarta.

Thanks for reading. Your comments are always appreciated.

Hasta luego!






La Cruz de Huanacaxtle (part 3)

La Cruz is a nice small village. A few thousand people and a few more during the winter months. Many fishermen. The mercado is always busy in the morning. I like to look but the smell is the  what you expect in a fish market. So I never stay very long around. Sailboats and yachts for sea lovers. I prefer to stay on land and look at the sea. But if you want  you can go on excursion on catamaran or sailboat.


The streets are not all paved. I mentioned  it in a previous post. Most of them are dirt or simply paved with some rocks. The cars cannot drive very fast. Some streets have no street lights. You can walk in the middle of the street or on the sidewalk but you always must be looking where you walk (there are holes and uneven sidewalks). I prefer to wear my running shoes when I walk in the village. It is not a place for fancy shoes.

There is a large park that is often busy with entertainment. We see a lot of signs “SE VENDE” (for sale). Some buildings are very old.  Or  they look old. There are enough stores to find what we need. Many seem to sell the same things. There are enough restaurants also. Some are more for the people who come here to spend winter  (The gringos). Sometimes,  there is just a grill installed on the side of the road. They put a table and a few chairs and they wait for customers. dsc00400

This is a bit like in Vietnam. Cooking outside, eating outside. We like TACO ON THE STREET. It is a simple restaurant with tacos. Very good. They also have flan for dessert. And it is very inexpensive.

We go for our usual walk at the marina in the morning and also we walk on the street where they have the market. Every Wednesdays, the street has vendors: kitchen stuff, clothing, toys, CD and also some fruits and vegetables. I really don’t see anything interesting. Later we will go again for our walk on the beach. My collection of sea glass is getting bigger. And every time we collect the glass, the beach is safer. I would be sorry to know someone has walk on broken glass. The glass we find is not always soft. With my collection I will try to be creative. I will keep only the best sea glass and play with it. Then I take a photo of my creation and put the sea glass back in the container. Here is an example of what I have done.


Why do I like so much Mexico ? The sunny days allow us to spend more time outside without having to bundle. It is a vacation for our normal day life and I must assure you that it is very pleasant. I really enjoy the sky and looking at the ocean.


Flowers are beautiful.


I also have a chance to practice the language. I have been taking lessons before and I feel confident to speak it . For me, learning some words spoken in any country I travel is important. At least  very basic words like : Hola, adios,  por favor, gracias.  But now that I have started to learn Italian, I get a little confused but it is OK. French, Italian and Spanish have lots of similarity. So if I say per favore instead of por favor, they will understand !

On my next post, I will talk about Puerto Vallarta.

Adios y hasta la próxima!