One Year in Riviera Nayarit

I've been living outside of the US for almost 4 years now.  I can't believe that it's been that long! I have to say that since moving here to Nayarit, the pros definitely outweigh the cons.  

Some of my favorite things about living in Nayarit in no particular order.

  • Being so close to the beach!  Within an hour and I'm on a beautiful beach with the most beautiful sunsets and lukewarm water.  
  • Being close to bigger cities like Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta- which means we have access to lots of festivals, concerts, and major events and don't feel like we miss out on anything. 
  • Having so many places to go and see! There are so many beaches, the sierras, the lagunas, waterfalls, trails, natural springs, and many Pueblos Magicos like Tequila, Sayulita, and Jala just to name a few.  We have so many places to explore still!
  • The people here are just so nice.  Everyone is very amicable and always helps you out if you need it.  
  • Direct flights to Tijuana so that I can always be a  3 hour flight away from my family just in case I need something.  Or when they come visit :D
  • THE WEATHER.  I have to put this in caps because we have simply the best weather out of all the regions nearby.  During the spring it's cold morning and evening and during the day a little hot and humid but never over 90 degrees.  In the summer the fog rolls in and it rains non-stop the whole time.  Fall and winter get cooler and fresh with out any of the humidity but you'll get perfect 75 degree days in between.  Still perfect weather to hit the beach!
  • Public transportation is really functional here.  Taxi's are not at all expensive and there are more buses passing through at all times of the day.  We've used them to festivals, events downtown, or at night when we want to go to a bar. And if you live here without a car, you can even take a bus to the beaches and surrounding cities.  
  • Destination weddings! I love to photograph weddings and weddings that take place on the beach are my absolute favorite!!! I love it when people come here from the US or Canada and get married here.  It's just so much fun! If you want to know more about destination weddings click HERE to read the post I wrote ;).  
  • We adopted Sasha, which has brought sooo much joy into our lives and she loves to go out and adventure with us.  We take her with us whenever we can, otherwise we just think of her the whole time! 

And now that we're expecting a little one, we can't wait to go to the beach and explore all of the amazing places we've been to and still have left to see! It's like every time we leave the house, there is something new - we love that feeling.

It's been a crazy ride but sooo worth it.  The Riviera Nayarit is full of adventure and relaxation so if you're on a fence about coming, just do it already.  You won't regret it at all ever! 

Tequila, Jalisco

One of the perks of having your husband work in a school is Spring Break! He gets the two weeks off and since I work from home, I do too!  It's great for planning trips or having people visit or just lounging around and binging on Netflix.  

After we had some friends come and go, we were left wanting to explore some place new.  So we got in the car and headed down the highway towards Guadalajara, which is only a few hours from us here in Nayarit.  We stopped in Tequila, Jalisco.  Yep, that shot of Jose Cuervo that you get at a bar for a whopping $10 bucks, or whatever the going rate is now, is made right here in Tequila.  All official tequilas are made here and if it isn't made here, then you're not drinking real tequila.  So make sure you check your labels and know what you're buying.

This beautiful Pueblo Magico (magical town or historical town), is absolutely breathtaking.  With it's cobble stone streets and lively mood, this is definitely a place we plan on visiting and staying a few nights in.  In town you can tour the various tequila factories like Jose Cuervo and see how they make their tequila from the farm to the bottle.  It's actually really fun! And they let you taste the tequila, which is a plus in my book.

*click on the photos to view them bigger*

We got a little lost on the way and ended up at Tres Mujeres Tequila and stuck around for the tour of the agave fields and how they make their tequila.  It takes about 15 years for one agave plant to go from seed to tequila.  There are barrels and barrels of tequila that are waiting until the perfect moment to be bottled.  Never knew that it took so long and that the process was so intricate to make tequila.  

We really enjoyed the whole road trip, even the getting lost and look forward to staying there in the future!  

Oh, on the way from Nayarit to Tequila, there is a volcano! A real live volcano that erupted and now you see all of the lava / obsidian rock flanking each side of the road.  Pitch black.  Of course we stopped to take a few photos! It was amazing.

Santa Maria del Oro | Tepic, Nayarit

Since arriving, we have been busy trying to get the apartment in order and painted.  Man, painting is a lot of work!  Mostly though, we have been busy exploring!  Cue in the whole "Adventure is out there!" scene from UP.  There is sooo much to see here and so many beautiful beaches.  However, we didn't want to drive the hour+ to the beach and we were told of a laguna here named Santa Maria del Oro.

Legend has it, that the towns princess fell in love with the son of her father's greatest enemy.  Very much the Romeo and Juliet story with a twist.  Rather than the young love struck couple killing themselves for love, they were punished by both their fathers.  The tears that they shed in captivity are the same tears that filled up the laguna.  So they say... (True story is that it was a crater that hit the area and with time, rain water began to fill the laguna.  But I like the other version much more!)

The lake is about a 35 minute drive down the highway through luscious trees and lots of fields filled with agave, sugar cane, and corn.  Everything is just so green here, tropical, jungle.  Armed with our bathing suits we went.  Man, I've never seen such a beautiful lake before.  Not even Big Bear comes close to how beautiful this lake is.  Hardly anyone there and a few boats passing by but other than that, it was like finding a lake in the middle of a jungle.  

The photos were taken on my trusty Canon Powershot A495.  I bought this camera eons ago and it has always chucked on.  It doesn't have the settings that my big camera does but to be honest, I'm out having a good time with the possibility that the camera might get wet or damaged... so I'd rather it be this little camera than the bigger one.  

Anyway! Check out the lake... What do you think? 

Happy Monday!

 

A whole new chapter... | Moving to Nayarit

Last week, I posted this on my instagram: 

instanayarit.jpg
Normally I would post something like this on my blog but given the circumstances I am going to use instagram to post. Back in February my husband and I decided to move closer to the ocean. We felt that the places we had backpacked through in December provided us with a vibe like no other. A place with people who think and are more like we are. A place where we imagined raising a family one day. A place where we could grow as individuals and as a couple. So we began taking the necessary steps to make this dream come true. A dream so big that we are astounded at our resourcefulness and determination to make it happen against all odds. We set a date as to when we'd leave and on July 15th we made it happen. Packed up our things into our car and drove the 15 hours to Tepic, Nayarit. We are in awe of this place and it's only been a couple of days. It was the most beautiful road trip with its green hills and excellent weather. And with the ocean an hour away, the adventures are going to be endless. This is the beginning of a new journey. A new HIStory. I can't even begin to explain how big a part God has been in this new beginning. I will leave that for my blog as this is becoming a novel. Stay tuned for more adventures! 

I can't believe that we actually put all of our belongings in our car and drove the distance to pursue a dream together!  In the span of  3 years I have done this twice.  Once for love and now for life.  Both working in tandem and offering the best of everything. I am truly truly honored that God has worked His plan and we stayed confident that He was going to provide us with the light at the end of the tunnel.  Man oh man, He definitely exceeded our expectations and we are truly grateful.  This city has been magical.  Beautiful.  And the way that it has received us has been the best experience so far.  Smiles everywhere you go, never a dull face, and lots of happy people.  Happy people equals a happy city and a happy city therefore creates a happy life.  That's the equation I've come up with for Tepic.  

We have a lot to discover still and so many places to get to know.  So stay tuned to this blog here because it's going to get interesting!!!

xoxo,
Jackie

P.S. Anyone from or been to Tepic before? Give me the insider tips in the comments below! 

 

San Anotnio, TX

One thing I have noticed since living in Mexico, is that people travel more often.  Even if it's to the sierras, or only to the other side of the border, they make time to get out.  They make time to take family trips, enjoy the beaches the country has to offer, and refresh.  

We had the opportunity to go to San Antonio with the school we work for and make sure that the hs kids didn't get left behind.  To be honest, I haven't traveled much of the United States, so this was a first trip for me to San Antonio.  

It was amazing being able to see San Antonio in all of it's Christmas splendor!  We visited a few museums, a couple of missions, the outlets (which wasn't my cup of tea, but we did go to Outback Steakhouse so yum!), Six Flags, and the Riverwalk - which was my favorite place of all!

Looking at the photos, I already want to go back!

 

 

Be-Lated Honeymoon

I can't believe that we are at our 6 month mark!  I'm liking this whole marriage deal.  Wake up next to the person you love, endless cuddling before falling asleep, eating together as a family of two at our table, and traveling. 

When we got married, we didn't have the time to go on a honeymoon.  So when Gaby + Fer booked us for their wedding in Puerto Vallarta, we decided to extend the trip a week and finally have a honeymoon.  My husband and I love to backpack and camp and thanks to my awesome dad, who is just like us, got us these amazing backpacks.  We travelled through the entire Bahia de Banderas in the Puerto Vallarta coast.  We enjoyed summer weather, amazing warm waters, cool people, and got to see the famous Isla Marietas that's being posted all over Pinterest.  

I have to say that it's true what they say: "A couple that travels together, stays together."  There is nothing like watching a sunset over the beach and turning around to see your husband enjoying it at the same time.  

Thank you God for such an amazing time and for family!  At the bottom I'll list all the places we travelled.  For now, enjoy the slideshow of our trip!

 

 

Where I go when I dream

Sometimes, I have dreams of putting my camera and a few changes of clothes in a backpack and closing the door behind me.  Never looking back because adventure is forward.  Because sometimes you need cool mornings in the middle of a forest, a jump into a flowing river, and a warm tent to sleep in.

This is where I go when I dream... What do you dream of?

View more pins

HERE

Jackie + Kevin | Laguna Beach Wedding

It was a beautiful day.  The sun was shining and the weather was perfect.  Perfect for a beautiful beach wedding at Crescent Bay in Laguna.  They decided to have a small intimate wedding with only 30 guests.  And it couldn't have been more beautiful.

With the beach as the backdrop, Jackie and Kevin vowed to love each other in front of their closest family and friends.  After, we followed them to the shore for some amazing portraits with beautiful light!  A nice dinner followed where their maid of honor and best man gave amazing toasts, as well as the fathers of both the bride and groom.

Jackie + Kevin:  thank you so much for having us there on your special day!  I enjoyed watching the two of you join lives and I wish only the best for you! Thank you! 

Sneak Preview | International Portrait Photographer

Location: UCR Botanical Gardens, Riverside, CA

When I go visit Riverside, it's bittersweet.  I see my family and friends, catch up on all the latest happenings, and the best part is when I get to photograph clients both past and present.  It's always such a great part of my visit.  

I'm going to be sharing many more sessions from this past visit during Christmas, but I leave you with a sneak preview of Jeff.  Who needed headshots... but we went ahead and did a full on session :).  

Happy Tuesday!

____

Cuando voy a visitar Riverside, siempre me siento un poco nostálgica. Veo a mi familia y amigos, me pongo al dia con todos los chismes, y la mejor parte es cuando tengo la oportunidad de fotografiar a los clientes tanto del pasado como del presente. Es siempre una gran parte de mi visita.

Voy a estar compartiendo muchas más sesiones de esta visita pasada durante la Navidad, pero yo te dejará con una previa vista de la sesión de Jeff. Quién necesitaba fotos para su currículum... pero igual decidimos en hacer una sesión completa :)

Feliz Martes!

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some things i don't ever want to forget

my dad playing the guitar at the beach when we were children.
my mom hand making halloween costumes and dressing up with us.  every year.
that feeling of standing at attention after an amazing field show.
first day in college.
first day out of college.
when you know you rocked a session.

sitting on the stoop watching the rain fall and talking about traveling the world.


recent trip to Rekowata, Creel