Saturday, April 17, 2010


I love this show! So do a lot of people. HBO immediately renewed it for a second season after the first episode aired. It's about life in New Orleans three months after Hurricane Katrina. It's heartbreaking, incredibly written, full of deep, complex characters brought to life by a talented cast and it's shot beautifully. And then there's the gorgeous music. I mean, what more could you want in a tv show? David Simon has done it again. Just when I was thinking of revisiting The Wire, along came Treme. Salon's Heather Havrilesky summed it up perfectly, "Treme is a true gift, a way to finally appreciate and embrace one of our most beloved but neglected cities."

Treme had me at the opening credits. Sooo good! I'm humming that song all the time. Click to enlarge.

I'm so happy I got to visit New Orleans in 2007 and finally understand what draws people to the energy, vibrancy and magic of that city. It's truly unlike anywhere I've ever been. The people, the music, the history, the culture, the

Walking through abandoned houses, seeing fragments of people's lives and memories covered in mold, grime and dirty water, witnessing the immense devastation, talking to people who are trying to rebuild their lives and stay positive; all of it was so powerful. I remember crying while taking pictures, wondering how and why it's taken so damn long to clean up. And I remember feeling really, really angry.

New Orleans still needs help. A lot of it. Here's how:

Make it Right:
Habitat for Humanity, NOLA:
Musicians Village:
Global Green:

From the series Notice, 2007, New Orleans.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Playa Ensenachos and Playa Megano

Ahhh, those two beautiful beaches, etched in my mind. I'd like to go back right about now.

Walking to the beach, checking out the palapas under construction.

The boardwalk through mangroves to the beach.

Jean Cousteau has found something...

...and that something is a starfish!

I love this pic of pink seaweed that Jean took.

Reading a great book on a sandbar in the middle of the ocean is bliss.

Tide pool.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Cue the food pics!

So it turns out, despite what I've read and heard, the food in Cuba ain't so bad after all. The simple meals are the most enjoyable, when the flavours can really come through and aren't distracted by smoke and mirrors (see Asain restaurant photos). I think we lucked out at the resort because there were so many options, the food was fresh, never had to eat at the buffet for dinner, and we mostly stuck to seafood.

Out of the four restaurants at the resort, the Cuban Creole restaurant was by far my favourite. Simple food, full of flavour and cooked with love. And the staff were amazing. They gave me mini Spanish lessons, so helpful!

My favourite meal! Fried whole red snapper, rice and beans, grilled zucchini and peppers, garnished with crispy plantains. Home run. Brought me to my knees.

Fresh fruit for dessert. I could eat guava all day long.

Same Cuban restaurant, different night. Second favourite meal. Lobster in a white wine, butter and garlic sauce with grilled eggplant, peppers and potatoes. Sooooo good.

Buffet breakfast, not too shabby. Again with the yummy guava.

Surf and turf at The Grill restaurant. Tragic melted cheese covering the (otherwise tasty) surf and a sad sauce smothered on the (otherwise tasty) turf.

Jean trying to figure out how to remove aforementioned tragic cheese.

The "Asian" restaurant was a bit of a bust. When incredible sushi is readily available in Toronto, the standards are pretty high. And it just feels wrong to eat sushi with a knife and fork. Don't even get me started on the cream cheese. Shiver.

They called this chicken teriyaki but it really wasn't. The chicken took a seriously long time to chew, which was actually really funny. But when the bottles of vino and champagne are flowing...who cares?! It's alllll good.

Red snapper ceviche with a balsamic glaze.

Lobster again, cause when in Rome...

Went to a restaurant in the city of Santa Clara one afternoon. We were curious what the tortilla con jamon y huevos would be like but when it arrived we were confused. Not anything like the tortillas in Mexico. Small cubes of ham on scrambled eggs with toasted white bread. Very bland and boring. Not so much a tortilla at all really.

Hamburguesa, mojitos, Beck's, Lonely Planet and people watching.

This meal was so nice, I ordered it twice. Perfect for dinner on the last night.

The wonderful Ariel y Juan at Cuban Creole on our last night, closing down the house. He sent us on our way with happy bellies and a bottle of bubbly.