Saturday, August 27, 2011

Presenting at the SER Conference

Despite my fear of public speaking, I am so glad I presented at the Society for Ecological Restoration conference in Merida!

First moment of terror: seeing name in program

Next moment of terror: seeing name on posters

But then I look cool as a cucumber
during the presentation!

Such a great experience! 

Mi Lindo Yucatan

Two weeks ago I embarked on a solo journey to the Yucatan peninsula with some apprehension about traveling alone in a country plagued by violence and even more terrifyingly, to speak at a conference, but it turned out to be a wonderful experience!

My first stop was Cancun, land of cheap flights and giant hotels:
A seemingly abandoned market in downtown Cancun 

Street carnitas! 

Blue raspberry waters 

Finally found the perfect beach spot 

Boat parking on Isla Mujeres 

Boats, palms and sand 

Next day I went down the coast to Tulum:
Mayans had good taste in building locations 

Watch out for turtle eggs! 

Swimming like the Mayans swam

Next day I went west to Valladolid:
Panuchos and sablutes (taco varieties) with a papaya smoothie!

Biking to the cenotes! 

Cenote #1 

A little murky but still lovely 

Biking through the jungle - en route to more cenotes 

The little town of Dzitzip

Cenote #2: Swimming in a cave

Caution: Slepering

There were two other cenotes on this bike tour: one that was basically a round pool in the middle of a town square and another that I missed because of torrential rain.... but it looked like this:

Stupid rain made me miss the turn.

Next day I went to Ek Balam 

Guardian of the ruins 

So steep! 

Mayan artistry 

Mayans priest must have been fit! 

Another cenote - my favorite! 

Little catfishes 

Where are all the taxis? 

Hostel chihuahuas 

Next day: Chichen Itza! 

The Mayans were hard core 

Another cenote! 

Very touristy but still fun 

Waiting out the rain 

Nighttime in Merida 

I spent my last night in Mexico at the beach in Progreso
where I stumbled upon this fair.

Mexico is such a great place for a vacation!
I highly recommend the Yucatan peninsula.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sonoma County Weekend

After three weeks of working hard in Berkeley, 
we needed a summer break from
dreary cold Bay Area weather.

Sonoma County delivered!   

Historic streets of Guerneville 

Good for summer sidewalk people watching 

Champagne tasting at Korbel!

Down to the river for a dip! 

Cooling off with watermelon wheat! 

Down at the river mouth 

Sonoma Coast dunes 

Goat Rock 

Steep beaches 

Golden sunsets 

We camped at Armstrong Redwoods!

Next afternoon:
Russian River Brewing Co. Consecration and Supplication
Belgian sours conditioned in wine barrels!

Asian calamari at Aleworks! 

A sad sight 

Buying tickets to the Sonoma County Fair! 

Hall of Flowers 

Hungry goats 

Will they eat skirts?
They might, if you let them. 

Giant cows! 

Horse racing! 

Pig showcasing! 

Mutton Rodeo! 

Hang on, kid! 

Mutton on the loose 

Battle of wills 

Oof! Good thing they wear helmets... 

 Jump dog! Splash dog!

Scary fair rides 

Winner of the ugliest cake contest 

Winner of the Funnel Cake contest!

Sonoma County is a great place
for a summer weekend!