A first-class international culinary tour in one evening ---
Dining at a four diamond restaurant is something that most people don’t do very often - dining at three fine restaurants in the same evening is something most people would not imagine doing, so it was really a rare experience when I got the opportunity to enjoy a special dining tour called Gourmet Experience. Organized by several of the top restaurants in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico, Gourmet Experience tours guests through a six-course dinner at three upscale restaurants. Each restaurant prepares two courses and pairs it with wine from Casa Madero, the oldest winery on the American continent.
Americans, Canadians, and other foreigners are still buying homes in Mexico’s popular beach destinations – they’re just not buying as many as they did two or three years ago. And they’re not buying nearly as many as Mexicans, who as a group are buying about half of all new properties currently sold in popular regions such as the one anchored by Puerto Vallarta.
The real estate market in Mexico was hit hard by the housing bust in the U.S., though home sales in Mexico have been supported somewhat by a strong Canadian economy and by
There is a black Bentley sedan parked in front of the Holiday Inn Express hotel. The $200,000 luxury car seems out of place at a Holiday Inn property but it’s a reminder of the purpose of my stay here: to see how far up market the American hotel chain has moved since I last stayed with them many years ago. The Bentley and I are at the Holiday Inn Express in Lisbon, Portugal, a city that is one of my favorite value destinations in Europe. My stay at this hotel is less about this particular location and more about assessing the chain’s level of service and comfort regardless of country or location. Could Holiday Inn Express become one of my favorite value hotels?
My trip has been like a crazy Saturday night: nonstop, intoxicating, and at times dangerous. I’ve been on a three month journey through South America, I danced through Rio like a Carioca, ate and drank myself to delirium in Buenos Aires, and felt the spray of nearly escaped disaster on the back of my neck as Chile’s beaches were crushed by an 8.8 earthquake. Salvador, Brazil is my Sunday morning and I’m worn out, still slightly high from the night before, and hungry. This is the last stop of my trip and I’m looking for food that
Rocinha, literally meaning "little ranch", has grown from a community of small farms to the largest favela in Brazil, housing over 250,000 people. Wet clothes, vines, and shirtless men hang out of windows. Beer costs a buck. Pharmacies, grocery stores, and butchers are open 24 hours. Labyrinth stairways and cobwebs of TV cables twist around the lampposts and the apartment walls that are lodged into this steep hillside. I’m trying not to miss a beat in the rhythm of motorcycle traffic, blaring music, and squaking chickens. After spending days