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Events personal

Trip to Villahermosa, Tabasco

Hotel Quinta Real Villahermosa

We’re almost done with the year and I realized there’s much to post in this blog. Back in July we went to Villahermosa, Tabasco for the wedding of a friend. It was my first time there so I didn’t know what to expect. Very soon into my trip I found out that they have very interesting food and recipes. We went to a traditional Villahermosa cuisine restaurant to try it out.

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No, this is not the traditional restaurant, that was a quick stop because we were running late.

Okay back to my story. The pejelagarto is a very popular dish around there. They prepare it in several ways: grilled, stuffed, in fillet, etc. In my case, I got to try it in empanadas. To me it tasted like crab (yes, with a B not a P).

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After the wedding, we went to a cacao farm where they give tours to show how chocolate is made. I was expecting to see a big factory and large farming lands, but it was a lot simpler. The farming land looks like a small jungle in the middle of the town, which grew around the perimeter of the old cacao fields. The place feels like a real jungle with the humidity, the plants everywhere covering the sun and the sounds of birds and other animals. The tour guide told us they have a section where monkeys live. This was their habitat before the town came into the jungle, so they are trying to preserve them there. We couldn’t spot any of them but sometimes you could hear them in the distance.

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Guacamayas

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We saw several types of trees that I’ve only read about in books. The rubber tree which produces a resin that native Mexican tribes used to create shoes and the first balls to play games. A cinnamon tree, which I never stopped to think how cinnamon is obtained. The tree is small and you can peel a part of it’s trunk or branches and that’s the cinnamon sticks. Then a gum tree used by Mexicans for centuries for chewing gum before Thomas Adams created the chewing gum industry world wide.

Rubber tree | Arbol de hule

Cacao plant

We also got to try freshly done hand-made chocolate. They demonstrated the traditional process of making chocolate from the cacao seeds. I participated adding the spices and trying the resulting mix. Then they explained how that process is now translated into industrial processes and how most milk chocolate has barely any of the outstanding health benefits of the cacao (also, white chocolate is just fat, no benefits at all).

Hand made chocolate

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It’s been a bad year for my writing but I started experimenting with video recording and editing. So I’ll be posting some of my video experiments using mainly a GoPro Hero 3+ Silver. I hope you enjoy this first one about this trip.

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personal Photography

San Francisco & Napa Valley trip photos

Golden Gate crossing

Before attending Google I/O, I went with a co-worker and friend to San Francisco and Napa Valley. Originally we were only going to SF for some shopping and walking around before going to see Cats, the broadway show at the Orpheum Theatre.

Gabriel Saldaña at Napa Valley

But after I commented that I’ve never been to there before, and since we both love wine, we decided to make a detour to Napa Valley. The view was fantastic all the way, very nice, green and relaxing landscapes.

napa valley

wine barrels

I don’t remember the name of the winery where we stopped by, but it was very nice. You could go see the wine barrels and picnic at the front yards. There was lots of families and live spanish guitar musicians playing.

big wine containers

wine in grass

I tried several wines, we bought some bottles and had some white wine glasses while having picnic lunch under the sun in very nice and comfortable grass.

Time flies when you’re relaxed under the sun and enjoying a nice wine, so we had to rush back to San Francisco, fighting traffic cause we were running late to see Cats. Fortunately we already had tickets so it was only a matter of getting there. We made it just 10mins late, so we did enjoy the whole show except for the two first songs. I would’ve loved to take some pictures of the show, but it was forbidden.

Ghirardelli chocolate factory store

Then when we thought we had already passed our stress moment of the day back in the traffic jam before the show, we decided to continue our day going to the Ghirardelli chocolate factory to get some chocolates and some shakes at the cafeteria. But we ran out of gas, uphill right at Union Square. We didn’t pay attention to the gas meter and the car completely stopped. I stopped a cab and went to the nearest gas station and fortunately they also sell the gas containers, so I easily filled up the container, went back to the car, poured it in and we were set. Of course we stopped at the nearest gas station to get a full tank, but we continued our journey through the city towards the chocolate factory.

Ghirardelly chocolate factory

The chocolate factory has a beautiful sight from the bay, I was lucky to get some steady shots without a tripod.

After enjoying a great chocolate shake at Ghirardelli’s cafeteria, we still wanted more touring and we ended up having dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe by Pier 39. It was a great day.

Hard Rock Cafe at Pier 39

I love travelling, and every time I get to travel I try to squeeze the most out of my time to know and experience the best from each place. After visiting the Bay Area a couple of times already, there’s still lots of places I still don’t know. So I’m looking forward to my next trip to know more of the area, the people and take some good photos. Any recommendations?