Back from holidays! (nothing was the same)

A week away feels so much longer, particularly when I was coming down from several months of extreme stress, pressure and sickness.

And WOW it was worth it. Such a great holiday, such a great time.

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Greetings from sunny Sayulita!

We visited Sayulita in Mexico, close to Puerto Vallarta – roughly an hour away. An easy place to get to, and an easy place to like. Eternal summer.

We did everything. Horseback riding on the beach, hanging out with friends, boogie boarding at the main beach, swimming in the ocean every day, snorkeling, stand up paddleboarding, hiking, I went on one run, and a boat trip to the Marietas Islands (more on that later…).

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We even got to gallop on the beach!

I miss it. I feel sad to be back.

The food was so great, we cooked/ate a lot of meals at our VRBO rental- which was great, by the way. The only downside was the shared plunge pool that ended up being not-so-shared as our neighbour unit had a large family and kind of ended up occupying it. Oh well!

What did we eat? Octopus! Shrimps! So many shrimps, I felt sick. Shrimped out!

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Cooked my first whole octopus

We made fresh salads with avocado, queso fresco, salt and lime. That’s all you need for seasoning, as we found out. We drank Coronas (me) Pacifico (Ian) and then later, Agua fresca  Jamaica for me (when I was off booze).

Restaurants? We did that too! We ate at La Esperanza, pricier than the other joints but SO high quality- I had tuna steaks in hibiscus sauce on mashed plantains, and it was AMAZING. So much tuna I gave some to Ian because I was full and still kind of reeling from my hangover.

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Souvenir beach bag I bought for my sister.

We also did an entire night of street foot- we started with tacos el Ivan and got eight – ocho-tacos al pastor for super cheap, $100 pesos? Next we had hot churros, and then a beef tamale, and then corn in a cup. It was all so good! In the beginning of our trip, we ate ceviche from a street vendor and it was excellent and fresh. So much good food!

The only tragedy was our boat trip to the Marietas Islands. I was excited for it, and the boat ride out was really nice, we saw dolphins and blue-footed booby birds and their chicks at the islands!

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Ill fated boat trip, oh against my better judgement

We snorkeled a bit but I was freezing- the water was cold and kind of silty so it wasn’t great snorkeling so I swam back to the boat and hopped on a stand-up paddleboard. It was tough and tippy!

On our way back, we swam some more, had lunch and plentiful snacks, and ….my ultimate downfall, copious amounts of free flowing booze like pina coladas, margaritas, tropical drinks and shots. Jesus.

Anyways, you can see where this is going…I drank WAY too much, encouraged by the atmosphere and fun and I completely lost control. The minute I stepped off the boat and onto the bus to head back to Sayulita, I was throwing up uncontrollably. Ian gave me a water bottle and it fell uselessly out of my hands because I couldn’t even clutch anything.

Threw up out the window the whole way back, and we staggered to the plaza- we stopped there so Ian could go to the bathroom, and I proceeded to throw up over the back of the park bench in the middle of the day, bright sunlight. YUCK.

We staggered back to our place, and I was so sick I couldn’t even make it to the bathroom (yes puking in a bucket, please and thank you)…

Passed out apparently with my eyes open, creepily.

Threw up at night again.

Rinse, repeat.

So, Thursday was not a great day after but I rallied and we went to the beach and got a Chocobanana (great!) and I managed to eat some stuff later on. I wasn’t feeling too miserable, because I guess passing out at 5pm the day before gives you plenty of time to stew in your misery before getting it over with.

So, yeah I am kind of off booze for now, giving my poor liver and brain a break plus GAG.

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The endless summer of San Pancho

But, I LOVED Sayulita and San Pancho and would definitely go back. Love Mexico!

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A not-so-progress weekend

We all have these I guess. The grey days, in a funk, blah rides. Though check out this pic- even on his most blah days, Oats is a cutie! Taken on Saturday:

Mr. Handsome- photo credit to Hannah R.

Mr. Handsome- photo credit to Hannah R.

Also, Oats got his vaccinations on Friday and he felt really ‘off’ on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday, his canter felt terrible. He was scrambling, couldn’t keep the gait, felt like he had about 10 legs going at once, and was very unbalanced. I was like WTF? After our fabulous rides this past week, I was quite disappointed to have such a lousy ride…

Then I clued in that he most likely was feeling sore and out of it. Fair enough, Oats.

I let him graze for about an hour in the outdoor arena while I worked on it, digging up grass clumps. I do think he had the better part of the deal though!

I went for a fairly good 15k run with my husband on Saturday after I finished riding and working in the outdoor. In retrospect  I was running on legs that were already feeling tired. I was complaining on Friday that I felt tired, really tired. Like, I came home and lay down- on a Friday?! I was THAT tired, I guess.

So, running on Saturday after riding and digging in the arena was probably a bit much but it felt pretty good. AND I saw a seagull fish a crab out of the ocean and start smacking it around. The poor crab didn’t stand a chance, even when the seagull dropped it a few times!

Sunday, I tried again with Oats and he still felt very ‘eh’. His canter was improved, but his trot got worse. He could.not.bend.right. for the life of him! I tried everything, and he cranked his leaning to the left.

It was frustrating…And yet again, I figured it was stiffness due to the vaccination. I guess it was just hitting him harder than usual? So, two days of me feeling like I don’t know how to ride my pony, and don’t know how to run anymore either. Positive progress? It’s a bit of a game of snakes and ladders, haha!

Oats had Monday off, and so I did I. We normally take that day off to decompress, and give he and I, a fresh start to the week. We have our dressage lesson today and after the weekend, I am not sure what I’m going to be getting from him…

Hit the ground running

Yup that’s me! Back from my fabulous trip to the Hawaiian island of Kauai.

To spare anyone a tedious recap, I’ll bullet point it. In short, it was SO NICE. Weather could be a bit iffy, depending on where you were- rainy/windy, or sunny but quite windy. Overall average between 25-27 deg, sun was HOT when it was out, so had to reapply lots of sunscreen.

Ocean was chilly but swimmable, I’m a bit of a chicken there so others might find it easier!

  • Do go trail riding. We went to CJM, which does kind of quiet/boring walk-only rides but the length- 2 hours, and scenery is amazing. AMAZING!
Trail riding at CJM

Trail riding at CJM

  • Go to the Nepali coast. We did the hike, and the beach there (Ke’e) and bought coconuts off some young guys truck.
Hiking at Nepali

Hiking at Nepali

  • Go to the brewery (Kauai brewery in Port Allen) smart friendly owners. Their Lillikoi beer if amazing!
  • Go to the rum tasting at Koloa Rum. It’s in the Gaylord Plantation, friendly and fun!
  • Snorkel at Poipei. It was super windy but we saw TONS of fish really easily. Busy but because it’s one of the best spots…
Sea turtle at Poipei beach

Sea turtle at Poipei beach

  • Buy fish from the grocery store- I had king crab meat for $7 bucks, and we bought huge ahi tuna steaks for like less than $8.
  • Don’t buy bread- it costs more than the fish!
  • Go swimming at any beach- there are zillions! We liked the beach at Kaap’a that had the Andy Irons memorial.
Beach time!

Beach time!

  • Buy a taro pie at McDonalds. It looks super bizarre (purple?) but so tasty!
  • Stay at two places. We stayed in a super creepy, crumbling resort (the Aston Aloha) for a few days and wow, did it ever feel like its heyday was 20 years ago- creepy but cool. Then we stayed at a jungle lodge off the beach and out of town for a few days. Got the best of both worlds!
  • Eat fruit from everywhere! We got mangoes off a tree (well, from a crazy looking but nice Hawaiian dude who beckoned us over to give us some he had been busy collecting off the ground..) SO GOOOD.
Starfruit

Starfruit

  • Apple bananas, pineapple, citrus- any kind, mangoes, starfruit. Try them!
  • Do a luau at least once. We liked the Smith’s Garden Luau.
Smith's Garden Luau

Smith’s Garden Luau

  • Understand that going to see Waimea Canyon is a crapshoot. We ended up with this: after a hair-raising stomach-churning 10 miles of driving…
Waimea Canyon disappointment...

Waimea Canyon disappointment…