Where we've been: West Coast: ° Cabo San Lucas ° Puerto Vallarta ° Sea of Cortez

East Coast: ° Playa del Carmen ° Cancun and the Mayan Riviera

Cabo San Lucas: WorldMark Coral Baja, December 2006. We love this resort. You know you're in a tropical resort when you can swim up to a bar and order a beverage . . . which can be done at the WorldMark Coral Baja. This is essentially a time-share resort (for which we have a timeshare trade), but we also overheard conversations that indicated that anyone can reserve suites. This is where timeshares come in handy; we were low on cash that year and our timeshare trade for a week at this beautiful place cost $40 (taxes, I think), plus the airfare. It's generally easy to find low airfare to Mexico. WorldMark was reasonably well located. While it's not really walking distance to anything, public transportation was a block away. We took local busses into town and down to the waterfront. Absolutely the best restaurant we found was Captain Morgan's in the old town. Built around an open-air courtyard, superb food, very pricey, but well worth it.

Puerto Vallarta: A quick get-away from the West Coast of North America. While it has first-class accommodations, Puerto Vallarta has also retained its old-world charm because of the colorful neighborhoods built up the hillside from the main part of town.

The area around Playa Mismaloya became famous after director John Huston filmed "The Night of the Iguana" with Ava Gardner and Richard Burton there in 1963. The impressive rock formations of Los Arcos emerging from the bay's crystalline waters are noted diving areas. Downtown, murals painted by Manuel Lepe adorn buildings, and the Malecon (sea wall) is adorned with bronze sculptures. Beaches are beautiful, the water is warm, and fish are vivid.

Streets are lined with shops and galleries featuring paintings and sculptures by local artists, including vivid Shamanic artwork from Huichol Indians from villages in Jalisco and North Central Mexico.

Sea of Cortez: A dozen of us lived out of kayaks in the Sea of Cortez. Now, THIS is a superb way to travel. Sea Trek Ocean Kayaking, Sausalitio, California leads trips through the Sea of Cortez. We flew into Loreto, which was a sleepy fishing village a few years ago, but I've heard that like so much of Mexico and Central America, it is turning into San Diego South. Sea Trek takes care of everything; you basically just show up with beach clothes, a windbreaker, small sleeping bag and tent, meet at a hotel in Loreto, then go. Fabulous people — all kayakers are fabulous people — guests have included members from the Oceanic Society and various environmental groups. As you kayak from secluded beach to beach, Sea Trek's staff fishes, then sets up camp and a kitchen at each stop-over. They start the your dinner. You paddle in, set up your tent, hang out, have dinner, sleep like a baby, then get up the next day to paddle to the next stop. If it gets too warm during the day, just roll out of your kayak into the Sea of Cortez. Jacques Costeau said the Sea of Cortez is the youngest sea in the world and, as such, it is vibrant and filled with life.

An environmental note is warranted: People moving to Baja want their golf courses . . . golf courses DO NOT belong in dry places. Developers in this area claim to be "green," citing they are "desalinating sea water" rather than using fresh water. There is no fresh water to use, and desalination is not "green." Desalination will ultimately destroy the Sea of Cortez and everything in it, which means they will be destroying great beauty and a replenishable food source.

100 Mitos de la Historia de Mexico (100 Myths in the History of Mexico Spanish Edition) Myths in the History of Mexico.
Do dark events lurk behind the figures of Miguel Hidalgo, Benito Juarez, Francisco Villa o Venustiano Carranza? Who were the true creators or the Mexican nation: heroes or outlaws, dictators or tireless individuals in search for justice? Has the Church played a hand in Mexico's politics? With his distinctive sharp and marvelously documented style, Francisco Martin Moreno answers these and many other questions related to Mexico's dazzling history and its most obscure moments.

1,000 Mexican Recipes
Marge Poore's recipes include traditional fare from all regions of Mexico, as well as dishes inspired by the "nueva cocina" of today's top Mexican chefs. This cookbook covers what home cooks need and want to know about Mexican cooking. Throughout, the author shares the cultural and culinary heritage of the people and food of Mexico from her perspective as a traveler.