Mexico Part 2, Chichen Itza

Sam and I always end up having a discussion about whether Chichen Itza is one of the seven wonders of the world or not. Of course, Sam says there is no such thing as seven wonders. Regardless, Chichen Itza is a wonder for me and a must see place. Built by the Mayan civilization, Chichen Itza still remains, and amazes thousands of tourists a day. We visited Chichen Itza in 2007 and even after seven years we found no major changes. The amount of tourist doesn’t seem to decrease, if anything there were many more!!

In 2007, we visited Chichen Itza with a tour group which cost us about $75 per person. This year we opted for a more private approach and rented a car for the day. It cost us $100 to rent the car plus extra money for gas. The entrance fee to Chichen Itza is about $20 per person. Enjoy the pictures!

Chichen Itza, 2007

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Mexico Part 1 (Tulum & Akumal)

Last month my family and I enjoyed a trip to Mexico. Located along the Caribbean Sea in the Southeastern part of Mexico, Playa del Carmen has become a popular tourist destination in Mexico. Sam and I visited Playa del Carmen in 2007 to learn Spanish, and we loved it. This year we returned with my parents and sister to celebrate my birthday. In our week long vacation, we managed to click thousands of photos. I want to share a few that include our adventure, great food and some of the most beautiful scenes in Playa Del Carmen.

In the short time that we were there, we managed to visit most of the tourist sites and had a lot of fun. This post includes the pictures from our trip to Tulum & Akumal. Since Tulum and Akumal beach are close to each other, you can visit both of these places on the same day.

Tulum is one of the last cities inhabited and built by the Maya and lies along the coast of Yucatan Peninsula. Not only the location is spectacular, the entrance fee to Tulum is very reasonable ($5 per person) compared to the other ruins. If you are planning to visit Tulum, make sure to take a lot of water with you (also take a lot of cash, there are street vendors selling cute items and coconut juice which is a necessity in the hot weather.)

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Want to shop for a gift? There are a lot of vendors on the street to Tulum.
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Hot & Thirsty? Have some coconut juice!
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Cool little windows.
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Jumping with joy!
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Love <3
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Family!
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Akumal: Located near Tulum, Akumal beach used to be one of my favorite beaches after I visited it in 2007. This year, we noticed many changes in the area. The beach has grown in popularity making it is more crowded, and the number of restaurants (and prices) have increased a lot. Although super crowded, it is still fun to relax in the beach, go snorkeling or enjoy amazing seafood at the restaurants. If you are there, don’t forget to try a big deep fried grouper :)

Akumal, 2007
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Grouper, 2007
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Grouper and salsa, 2014!
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Yum!
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Stay tuned for Part 2.

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Plum Chutney

Happy Fall everyone! Our very generous neighbor gave us a box full of plums. They were super sweet but we couldn’t finish eating them, so we decided to make plum chutney. Plum chutney goes well with crackers or even turkey for Thanksgiving! I like to eat the chutney as it is because it reminds me of Nepali snacks called “Pau”. If you have excess plums and do not know what to do with it, try this recipe. You will love it!

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Ingredients:
5  lbs plum
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 cups brown sugar
1 tablespoon crushed cloves
1 tablespoon cardamom powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon powder
Salt to taste (or 1 teaspoon)
1 large onion chopped
1 tablespoon ginger crushed
1 tablespoon garlic chopped
Red chili to taste

Directions:

1. Rinse and cut plum in half.
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2. In a large dish, add plums, onion, garlic and ginger.
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3. Add one cup of apple cider vinegar.
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4. Add two cups of brown sugar.
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5. Add crushed cloves.
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6. Add cinnamon powder.
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7. Add cardamom powder.
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8. Add red chili powder and salt.
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9. Mix everything and cook it on medium heat.
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10. Cook with the lid on until everything softens.
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11. Once all the ingredients are soft, cook without lid for 10 minutes with frequent stirring.
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12. Let the sauce cool and place it in cute little jars. This chutney makes a great fall gift for your friends and neighbors.
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