G20 Summit in Mexico 2012

View from my Suite at Barcelo Los Cabos Palace Deluxe in Mexico

I just had the pleasure to be in Mexico recently (May 16, 2012 – May 20, 2012), I stayed at the Barcelo Los Cabos Palace Deluxe and Grand Melia Resort in Los Cabos and I must tell you that I enjoyed my visit to both Mexico and Los Cabos.

I was there to attend ExecConnect produced by TravelAge West and it gave me the opportunity to experience Los Cabos in a wonderful settings.

Driving from the airport to my hotel gave me the chance to really see the landscape of the beautiful country and just imagine being able to stay there more than the short time I was be there.

I have to share my joy that the G20 is taking place in Mexico because it will show that Mexico is a place that you can vacation as a family, a group of friends, even having your Destination Wedding there.

Just think about this …the head of All the leading countries in the world will be there working on making things better for their citizens who have put them in office.

Now in case you are wondering what the G-20 Summit is…here is what I was able to learn from Wikipedia…

The G-20 Summit was created as a response both to the financial crisis of 2007–2010 and to a growing recognition that key emerging countries were not adequately included in the core of global economic discussion and governance. The G-20 Summits of heads of state or government were held in addition to the G-20 Meetings of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors who continued to meet to prepare the leaders’ summit and implement their decisions. After the debut summit in Washington, D.C. during 2008, G-20 leaders met twice a year in London and Pittsburgh in 2009, Toronto and Seoul in 2010.[10][11]

Since 2011, when France chaired and hosted the G-20, the summits have been held only once a year.[12] Mexico will chair and host the leaders’ summit in 2012.[13]

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The 10 Must Do’s in Cabo

Los Cabos truly has something for each type of visitor. From beaches to activities, shopping to relaxation, here’s a checklist of “musts” so you can enjoy all that Los Cabos has to offer.

1. FIND YOUR FAVORITE BEACH.

Whether you’re seeking a secluded spot for a romantic escapade or a snorkeling piece of shoreline that’s also great for the kids, Los Cabos and its surroundings offer a multitude of beautiful beaches. Those low-key roads veering off onto the sea often hide a bonanza of prime waterfront.

2. NURTURE YOUR INNER ARTIST.

You’d be wise to take your camera, pencil or even pastels every time you leave your hotel room, as Los Cabos’ natural beauty and man-made élan provide ample options for a lifetime of memories.Whether it’s the orange traces in the sky as the sun goes down or fishermen coming back from a day at sea, Baja’s beauty is meant to be captured in some way or another.

3. VACATION LIKE A CELEBRITY.

Indulge in a day’s worth of luxurious spa pampering, whip out your sunglasses and stroll about like the Hollywood stars. Don’t be too surprised if you spot a famous singer or actor (or even some paparazzi) “hiding out” beside you, enjoying the warm days and lively nights of Los Cabos.

Even decades after the likes of John Wayne headed here for a little R and R, the glitterati still love this spot of sassy sophistication.

4. BECOME ONE WITH NATURE.

From December to March, Baja California Sur welcomes a flurry of whales seeking warm waters in which to give birth. Visitors may arrange For a tour that takes them just inches away from these gentle mammals, or even spot them from beaches or a strategically built bar overlooking the ocean. You may also spot seals sunning themselves on the rocks around El Arco and loudly complaining about the presence of kayakers nearby.

5. GO ON A ROAD TRIP.

Don’t neglect Los Cabos’ earthly treasures just because there’s so much to discover at sea. A drive around Baja is an adventure in itself. Having your own wheels will give you access to miles of regal cacti, a forgotten fish taco stand with ice-cold beer and other unexpected surprises.

6. HEAD EAST.

To the East Cape, that is. This relatively undeveloped area is a favorite spot for surfers looking to get away from the crowds and those who love to fish. With more rustic surroundings and camping sites than its more sophisticated neighbor, the East Cape is a dream come true for nature types, including divers who want to reach the Cabo Pulmo natural reef system.

7. GO FISH.

Even if you don’t consider yourself the fishing type, you must try your luck here. Many hotels and outfitters offer fishing packages and assorted options for fun days at sea. If you’d rather run with the big boys, sign up for one of several championship tournaments.

8. TEE OFF.

As one of the world’s most famous golf destinations, Los Cabos glitters with amazing greens.Championship courses have been carved out of an arid landscape that often looks out into the blue beyond. Everyone from Tom Fazio to Jack Nicklaus, Tom Weiskopf and Greg Norman has helped design and build what are now some of the area’s most appealing attractions.

9. COME HUNGRY.

Leave your diet behind and get ready to savor some of the best seafood and Mexican delicacies in the entire peninsula. From toe-tingling Pacific tuna to shrimp tacos with a spicy kick, Los Cabos’ range of culinary options offers something for everyone.

10. TIME2CABO.

You’re in Cabo! Leave your cares behind and embrace the beauty and activity around you.

Now that see all that you can do in Los Cabos, give us a call at 310-722-3099 or email us at Info@carterelitetravel.com to book your getaway to Los Cabos Mexico TODAY!

Carnival Splendor Sets Sail Again

Carnival Splendor

Following a three-month dry-dock repair of its engine room the Carnival Splendor set sail Sunday with a full load of passengers heading on a seven-day Mexican Riviera cruise from its home port in Long Beach, CA.

It marks the first sailing for the ship since it was marooned at sea 150 miles off the coast of San Diego November 8, 2010 after a diesel engine generator caught fire in the engine room. The fire was contained in the engine room but the heat melted insulation that protected the ship’s 110 miles of electrical cables that would have allowed a second engine room to take over. The result was a total loss of power for three days. The beleaguered ship was eventually tugged into San Diego.

“These are not the things you expect to happen, especially not in a ship only two years old,” says Gerry Cahill, Carnival’s president and CEO. “There are two engine rooms and you don’t expect to lose both aft and forward.”

The company added several safety measures to the new repairs: improved sensors, stronger insulation protection and the creation of a fire safety task force across the cruise line fleet – including better trained crew and stronger communications with land-based response facilities.

Damages from the incident, from the cost of repairs to the cost of reparations and lost revenue from cancelled sailings top $65 million, Cahill says. The Splendor incident in November displaced 47,000 passengers in all.

In a conciliatory gesture following the fire, the cruise line reimbursed the 3,299 passengers aboard the cruise, took care of passenger transfers and hotel nights and safe return to their onward, flights and sent them off with promise of a free equivalent cruise at a later date. Passengers who were booked on cancelled cruises were given full refunds and discounts toward a future sailing.

“We have not had any problems in rebooking passengers or with any passengers who sailed on the ship,” says Peter Ward, a travel consultant with Legendary World in San Marcos, CA.

But recent reports from some disgruntled passengers and travel agents say the cruise line has not been so forth coming.

“If there are some unhappy passengers out there we don’t know about them,” says Cahill.

The 3,006-passenger Splendor is one of three Carnival ships based in Southern California with sailings to Mexico. The Paradise sails out of Long Beach and the Spirit docks in San Diego for another 15 months before moving to Australia.

Stuffed Avocado with cooked Chicharron

Stuffed Avocado

 

Ingredients:

• ½ Avocado
• Cooked “Chicharron Prensado”
• Refried beans
• Fresh grated cheese

Chicharron Prensado (Ingredients)

• 18 oz. Pork
“Chicharron”
• 1 Tomato
• 6 Serrano Peppers
• 1 cube of “Consomate” or “Chicken flavor Bouillon”

Directions:

1. Wash the peppers and tomato. Roast them directly into the flame, let cool and peel.
2. The peppers are dried thoroughly and roasted with a hint of oil on low heat, covered in a pan, until you can discard the shell. Peel the tomato and ground everything in a “molcajete”.
3. Cut the “chicharron” into pieces and put in a pan.
4. Move constantly, and add the salsa from “molcajete”, the cube, and 2 cups of hot water.

Chalupas: How to Prepare

Chalupas

Ingredients (1 serving):

Small tortillas (around 4-5 inches in diameter) 4 Pieces
Green cooked Salsa 2 Tablespoons
Chipotle Salsa 2 Tablespoons
Chopped White Onion 2 Teaspoons
Shredded Beef 5 oz.
Melted Pork Butter 2 Tablespoons

Directions:

1.Dip tortillas in the melted pork butter and drain excess.
2.Slightly “brown” the tortillas on a griddle.
3.Pour chipotle sauce and green sauce over the tortillas.
4.Add the shredded beef and chopped white onions.

Green salsa ingredients (6 cups):

Pealed Tomato 18 oz.
White Onion ¼ Pieces
Garlic ½ Teeth
Salt 1 Teaspoon
Coriander 1 Branch
Water 2 Cups
Chile Serrano 3 Pieces
Oil 1 Tablespoon
Chicken Broth ¼ Cup

Green salsa directions:

1.Place water to boil and add the tomato. When water is boiling add the garlic, onions and the chile serrano. Let rest for several minutes. Rinse and mix the ingredients inside a blender.
2.Pour a tablespoon of oil into a pan and add the salsa. Let it boil and remove the foam.
3.Blend a cup of salsa with the coriander, add salt, and return it to the pan. Add the chicken broth for flavor.

Two Faces of Mexico: Ixtapa/Zihuatenejo

Ixtapa Bay

 

It calls itself a two-town destination but, in fact, Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo is a split personality. Tourism is what links the two but Ixtapa, “the white place,” in Nahaut, one of the many pre-Columbian dialects of the land, and Zehaut: “the land of women,” are nothing alike.

And why we should care is just this: Zihuatanejo is nearly untouched old Mexico – what Mazatlan was like in the 1960s. It’s an old fishing village on undisturbed shores of the Pacific where you can still find a wedding in the town church happening on Saturday nights, right across from the crafts market that delivers stall upon stall of Mexico’s finery and colors in a sleepy covered maze. Drive another 25 minutes north and find Ixtapa, a town of few residents and thousands of tourists with 1980s-style hotels lining the white washed boulevards, mostly offering an all-inclusive hospitality to families, honeymooners and cold climate escapees.

But in an odd way it makes a beautiful whole. The tourists fly into Ixtapa on mass marketed packages via Delta or Westjet or Alaska, Continental or Aeromexico and then hit the party scene, the family scene, and the romancing along Ixtapa’s beaches and cliffs. Neighboring Zijaut is there if you want it – a $15 taxi ride (or $2 bus ride) away along uncrowded streets (except when the cruise ships come in).  You don’t have to feel like a tourist if you don’t want to. People are friendly, prices are fair and there are NO hawkers hustling up the cobbled byways trying to sell you a swamp-facing condo.

Ixtapa got its start in the 1970s when Funatur, the government arm of tourism development, took a place called “stinky beach,” (that’s another story – more about a beached whale than anything else) and turned it into a paradise of whale-sized hotels flanking meandering kids-themed pools leading up to a crowded beach. Since that time, super luxury stays edged into the cracks with such gems as Capella Ixtapa (59 cliff suites – each with its own ocean-view terrace and dipping pool, and a precious spa right above the rocks and breaking waves, starting at $475/night), Las Brisas, and Loma del Mar Thalasso Spa & Resort.

A new spanking white marina, the largest in Mexico, gleams with cafes overlooking the skiffs (Fisher’s is the recommended choice for fresh catch and cervezas) and a few shops adding to the mix. For nightlife and café culture in Ixtapa you’ll have to hit the central square. This is a hodge podge of tony and casual cafes and bars, a few dress shops, a tobacco shop where you can get some Habanas for under $10, and a variety of mariachi acts playing in the gazebo. It is also the focus for Ixtapa’s winter celebration called Fun & Sun on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays through April 8 — when sundown brings artist kiosks, Mexican dance classes, live music, food and shows into the sprawling square.

FOOD & WINE HERITAGE

Happening March 26-28, the FOOD & WINE Festival brings superchef Rick Bayless (Frontera Grill Chicago, RED-O in Los Angeles) to Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo for three days of cooking demonstrations, tastings, seminars and intimate tours of the local culinary community under the theme, “32 tastes, one history, one soul.”

In November, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) added a few new items to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. Things, they said, that are cultural treasures worth preserving. Among them was Spanish flamenco, traditional gastronomic meal of the French and traditional Mexican cuisine. UNESCO specifically cited the importance of the food of Michoacán to Mexico’s cultural identity, purely a move for protection of an ancestral way of life.

Flights land at Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo International Airport (IATA: ZIH; ICAO: MMZH)

For more information visit www.visitiz.com

Honeymoon Style: Cultural Discoveries

Eiffel Tower in Paris

You love learning about ancient traditions an dcan often be found wandering around museums. For your ideal honeymoon, you prefer to take advantage of all your destination has to offer, discovering the history, mystery, local life and more.

From centuries-old European churches to village markets featuring handcrafted treasures, incorporating cultural experiences into your honeymoon lets you truly experience the destination.

The many islands in the Caribbean each have their own cultural stamp, as witnesses in the food, traditions, and customs of each island.

Hawaii, Mexico, and Europe are also your best bets.

Cultural Discoveries Destinations

* Cozumel

* Madrid

* New York City

* Oahu

* Paris

* San Juan

* Santorini

* Venice

When you are ready to book your Cultural Discovery honeymoon, give us a call at 310-722-3099 or email us at Info@carterelitetravel.com