Posts Tagged ‘Vacation’

Mexico Vacation

We just got back from our vacation to Mexico City and Huatulco.

We landed in Mexico City and spent the first few days seeing the sights.  We took a day trip to see the pyramids in Teotihuacan.  These are the Sun and Moon pyramids and we got to climb to the top of both of them.





The ride back from the pyramids is about an hour and a half and we pass thru the mountain ranges and see the the most colorful houses.


On Day 3, we went to a small town on the Pacific side of Mexico about a 1 hour flight from the city.  We rented a nice beach house right on the sand on Playa Bocana just outside of Huatulco.


We had the most amazing sunrise every morning.


Here is a picture from the pool deck.




About a 10 minute walk up the beach, there was a reservoir with pink flamingos!


All day long, we would see the pelicans fishing in the ocean.


On one of the last days in Huatulco, we went for a river rafting excursion.


khare-blog-550 khare-blog-551 khare-blog-553

It looks pretty scary but wasn’t too bad.

Check out this amazing photo of an eagle we saw on the river.


We are now back from vacation and getting ready for school after a long summer!


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After Bordeaux, we  drove a few more hours thru the South of France to a town called Toulouse.  My room mate from Harvey Mudd College lives there now with his wife and three kids.

The kids made some new friends and we had a great time.



Here are me and Laurent – visiting for the first time in 15 years!


khare-blog-0018Laurent has been busy for the last few years, building his own house from the ground up.

Here is a picture of the outside.  It is completely off the grid.. all solar powered and assembled from 40 foot shipping containers that he welded together.  Pretty amazing!




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We just got back from two weeks in Spain and France.  Our adventure started in Barcelona amongst all the fantastic architecture and museums.  From there, we went to Bilboa in the northern part of Spain.  We visited the Guggenheim museum in Bilboa.  Next stop was Bordeaux.  Only two days there but had a chance opportunity for  private tasting and tour of Le Chatelet winery.  Next stop was Toulouse where my roommate from Harvey Mudd College lives with his family.  Then back to Barcelona and the long journey home.  A total of about 1200 miles of driving and a lot of Tolls!

Here are some pictures from Barcelona.  I’ll post the other sights separately.

This is the family on the tour bus the first day in Barcelona.   This is a great way to see the all the major sights in the city.

Barcelona Tour Bus

Barcelona Tour Bus

Barcelona has the most amazing blend of both new and old architecture throughout the city.

Here is a picture of the “bullet” building or the Torre Agbar designed by french architect Jean Nouvel.  The outside lights up in different colors at night.


One of the most impressive is the Sagrada Familia church designed by Antoni Gaudi with construction going on since 1882.


The interior is much more impressive than the exterior.


Gaudi has influenced much of Barcelona architecture.  Here is a local park called Parc Guell.  The views are amazing.


The crowds were even more so!



Of course, no trip to Barcelona is complete without the Tapas.  We found our favorite vegetarian friendly Tapas Restaurant called La Ciutat Comtal near Plaza Catalunya.  This was a very short walk from our apartment in the Gracia district.  We tried several different ones but kept going back to La Ciutat.

Try the bravas, cabreados, padron peppers and their sangrias (both the white and red)!

Fried Egg over Fries - Cabreas

Fried Egg over Fries – Cabreados


Padron Peppers





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We just got back from our summer vacation in Santa Teresa Beach on the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica.  Once again we rented a beautiful beach house.  The trip to the house was a little more involved.  Two flights from Los Angeles to San Jose.  A two hour car ride to the Ferry terminal.  A two hour ferry ride  and then a 2 hour car drive!

Here’s the gang on the ferry ride to Santa Teresa.

The first of many beautiful sunsets.

Here’s a picture of the iguana in our back yard, affectionately know as Mr. Fluffy Pants. (don’t ask me why!)

Here is a picture of a parrot in our back yard.

On our second day, we all took surfing lessons.   Getting up on the board was not too difficult for the kids.


For me though… not so easy.  Its harder than it looks!

After a hard day of surfing or swimming in 80 degree water.. we would usually go out to eat at one of the many wonderful restaurants in Santa Teresa.

On one of the days, we took a short hike to one of the many waterfalls in the Mal Pais area.

This one took about an hour of pretty strenuous climbing and navigating rocks but was definitely worth the hike.

This is a picture of the swing at our house.  Many an hour was passed staring at the ocean!

Here is Annika enjoying the water and the sunset behind our house.

On one of the days, we went for a hike into the local rainforest.

We saw many capuchin monkeys, parrots, woodpeckers and many other creatures.

The beach on our last day in Santa Teresa.

A very relaxing vacation.  We are already planning our next trip to  (stay tuned).


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On one of the days, we went to a zip line “park” run by Canopy Safari.  It was about an hour’s drive into the jungle from Manuel Antonio.  It started out with about a 20 minute walk up the hill.   From there, it was about 20 zip lines down and a couple of rappel lines.  Here are some pictures.















After each zip line, they hurried us through to the next one.   It was loads of fun as you can see from the expressions….. but I must say, it was all a bit too “sanitized” for my liking.  Guess you have to do it once but, I would go back for another river ride instead!


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On one of the days in Costa Rica, we went white water river rafting on the Savegre River.  Our tour was conducted by the Amigos Del Rio group.  We chose the full day adventure down the Class 3 rapids of the Savegre River.  The adventure started with a bus ride to a way point about an hour outside of Manuael Antonio.  From there, we climbed into a 4 wheel drive hum-vee type vehicle for another hour drive deep into the rainforest.

Here are some pictures from the adventure.



We started off slowly and then hit some major rapids.  It definitely looks scarier than it felt at the time.




They referred to this section of the river as La Boca del Diablo or the Devil’s Mouth.

There was also another section of the river we got to “surf a hole” – a technique where you are paddling upstream against the flow of the river and keeping up – too cool to describe.





We were fortunate to have a great tour operator and boatman (Ramirez) leading our raft.  Only a few of us fell out of the boat and were quickly rescued!  This was an amazing and thoroughly enjoyable day on the river.


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We just got back from a week of vacation in Costa Rica.    This time we rented a beach house in Manuel Antonio Beach.  Manuel Antonio is a small beach town about a 3+ hour drive from the capital city of San Jose in Costa Rica.  We rented a car at the local Budget and drove the 130km to our slice of paradise.

Here are some pictures of the kids on the beach behind the house.






Each day we built a (bigger and bigger) sand castle in the hopes of battling the high tides.  Each morning we would come out to see the waves had wiped clean our hard-work!




One of the features of the beach house was the daily monkey crossing.  We got to see a troop of monkeys crossing thru the back yard.  The monkeys would stop by pretty much every afternoon for plantains and flowers.




In between the beach and the monkey sightings, we enjoyed the wonderful backyard and pool.



During the week, we also did a day of white water rafting and one day of a canopy tour.  I’ll post those pics separately.


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