Food and Fun in Loreto, Mexico

Villa del Palmar Loreto in Mexico, Baja California. #VDPLFam #villadelpalmarl // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comThis post is the last in a series of 3 documenting my trip to Villa del Palmar Loreto earlier this summer.  The trip was paid for by the resort but all opinions and crazy awesome experiences are mine!

So I’ve told you all about Loreto, Mexico and what makes the hotel part of Villa del Palmar Loreto special.  So now it’s time to share some of the extracurricular activities you can do at the resort. You know, the fun stuff.  Like the hike we got to take. This is the view from the very top. It was well worth the physical exertion.

Amazing hike at Villa del Palmar Loreto. #VDPLFam #villadelpalmarl // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comOne early morning (you have to go early or it will get too hot), we took a really cool hike that is on the resort property to one side of the hotel. The trail was amazing.  It was clearly marked and the views and landscape were stunning.  This hike could have easily been self guided and there were signs with plant info all along the way.  I am not an avid hiker and I was able to complete it (but I did sweat a lot…) and I’m so glad I did!

Nature hike on the property of Villa del Palmar Loreto. #VDPLFam #villadelpalmarl // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comOur hike was led by a local nature expert who I have no doubts could survive on Naked and Afraid. This was such an awesome way to learn more about the area, the sea life and folk history. I would highly recommend trying to set up a hike with a guide if at all possible on your stay! I even got to try some cactus fruit at the very top of our hike. It was kind of awesome. From that high perspective, we were able to check out several of the surrounding islands. These islands are not inhabited (well, there might be one dwelling on one of them) and are the perfect spot for a white sand beach picnic.

Beers on a boat excursion turing the islands of Loreto. #VDPLFam #villadelpalmarl // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comOur boat excursion was one of my favorite part of the trips. We picked up the boat from town with the intent to tour some of the islands, eat lunch at one of them and then be dropped off back at our resort.  The boats are super comfortable, with cushioned seats including compartments to make sure your stuff stays dry, a covered portion near the rear and a ladder to easily climb back in to the boat. And there were beers.

Tour the islands of Loreto and swim in the gorgeous blue waters. #VDPLFam #villadelpalmarl // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comOur boat trip got started a little bit later than we had hoped and by the time we got to our first island, the tide was too high for us to go ashore.  But that didn’t stop us from dropping anchor and snorkeling around a bit.  The water was warm and beautiful.

Swimming in the Sea of Cortez. #VDPLFam #villadelpalmarl // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comMost gals snorkeled but I just hung out in the water.  After a short time we got back on the boat and made our way to the next island where we had a little time to snorkel again. Once our play time was over, we continued on to the hotel while checking out all other islands, by boat, along the way.  The rock formations and dessert landscape was gorgeous and like nothing I have ever seen.  And being on the boat was so much fun. A glass bottom boat is also available which would be really cool.  I’m ok with fish as long as there is a bunch of safety glass between me and them.

The best place to stand up paddle board - Loreto, Mexico. #VDPLFam #villadelpalmarl // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comThe resort has plenty of water sports as well. I tried stand up paddle boarding for the first time!  And you can’t tell from this photo but my legs were totally shaking! It wasn’t really that difficult but I didn’t want to fall off in to the water.  The water is really shallow for a ways out but that meant you could see the fish swimming under you.  That part freaked me out. And since it was my first time I was afraid of getting to far away from shore.  I paddled around, close to shore for about half an hour and then called it a day.  I would totally do it again though.

Kayaking in Loreto, Mexico. #VDPLFam #villadelpalmarl // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI did really enjoy kayaking however!  We were lucky enough to get to use one of two glass bottomed kayak boats.  The kayak holds two people and was really easy to manuever in the calm waters of the bay.  We didn’t get too adventurous but we could have taken the boat to a nice little white sandy beach around the side of the bay if we wanted to.  I am going to put that on my list of things to do for my next trip there.  I think my boys would LOVE to do this!

Eating fresh chocolate clams straight out of the ocean at Villa del Palmar Loreto. #VDPLFam #villadelpalmarl // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comWhile I was kayaking, some of the other gals got to go diving for chocolate clams! The chocolate clams are abundant in this bay and are absolutely delicious. This was one of the coolest experiences ever.  The team was able to find about 100 clams and they brought them right up on to the beach. The kitchen sent out some salt, lime and hot sauce and we all got our turn to try these straight out of the water clams. I really hope that isn’t a once in a lifetime experience.

Dressed for dinner at Villa del Palmar Loreto. #VDPLFam #villadelpalmarl // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comThe night we dressed up for dinner was really fun.

Refreshing drinks on the beach at Villa del Palmar Loreto. #VDPLFam #villadelpalmarl // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comThe evening started off with cocktails before we moved in to Danzante Restaurant for a delicious dinner experience. The food at Villa del Palmar Loreto is SO amazing. You could get the traditional Mexican dishes that you want in a trip to Mexico but they are elevated.  There is a fine dining touch to them.

Delicious tortilla soup at Danzante Restaurant at Villa del Palmar Loreto. #VDPLFam #villadelpalmarl // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comOur meal started with an amazing tortilla soup. This could have easily been served in the bowl but they chose to share it with a gorgeous presentation, where the waiter attends to each guest to complete the dish. You can’t see it from this photo but the way the avocado was placed in the dish was a really nice touch and showed just how much care goes in to creating each dish.

Fantastic food can be found at Villa del Palmar Loreto. #VDPLFam #villadelpalmarl // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comThe fresh seafood was crazy good and showed a fusion of flavors from other parts of the world. My trip to Cabo, last year, was a huge disappointment in the food category and I was not sure what to expect here.  I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of food and level of sophistication.

Specialty coffee at Danzante Restaurant at Villa del Palmar Loreto. #VDPLFam #villadelpalmarl // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comAnd they know how to put on a good show.  This custom coffee presentation was both fun to watch and delicious to drink.

Tomato stack appetizer on Italian night at Villa del Palmar Loreto. #VDPLFam #villadelpalmarl // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comAnd you don’t just get Mexican food at this resort.  They do theme nights with the food too. This was part of Italian night and we were treated to some favorites, like this caprese stack and bruschetta along with a delicious steak. There are three restaurants on site. One is super casual and easy.  One has seating indoors and out and features a buffet and the fine dining option of Danzante.  You can also use in-room dining.

Buffet dinner at Villa del Palmar Loreto. #VDPLFam #villadelpalmarl // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI am not a buffet gal, but this may have been the best set up I’ve seen.  Everything on this buffet was really nicely displayed, was super fresh and very tasty.  There were tons of fresh options as well, like a taco bar and fresh tostadas for dinner or omelet bar in the morning.

Breakfast at Villa del Palmar Loreto. #VDPLFam #villadelpalmarl // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comWe were treated to an extra special breakfast on the terrace of one of the Presidential Suites. Not only was the suite ridiculously awesome, with a 3 sided, wrap around terrace, but it also featured a private jacuzzi. When you stay in this suite, you can request a chef to come up and help you prepare dinner on the outdoor barbecue.

Chilaquiles breakfast at Villa del Palmar Loreto. #VDPLFam #villadelpalmarl // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comThese chilaquiles and tamale was my favorite. I can’t wait to try my hand at making some at home!

All pastries and breads are made on property at Villa del Palmar Loreto. #VDPLFam #villadelpalmarl // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comAll of these glorious pastries are made on property by someone who obviously knows what they are doing.  They were flakey and delicate and tasted amazing.

Health conscious "green juice" featuring local ingredients. #VDPLFam #villadelpalmarl // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comAnd while a vacation can tend to be full of decadence, the staff knows that health is something that many people are interested in.  Each morning they presented us with this special green juice to start the day off on the right foot. Featuring celery, aloe, mint and more it was sweet and delicious but good for you too.

Several great eateries to choose from at Villa del Palmar Loreto. #VDPLFam #villadelpalmarl // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comAnd they weren’t stingy with the guacamole.  They all but refused to serve guacamole on my trip to Cabo, which was a big let down.  I knew the resort was on top of it when this was one of the first things I tried once I arrived.  It was absolutely delicious.

Drinks on the beach at Villa del Palmar Loreto. #VDPLFam #villadelpalmarl // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comAs were the drinks…from the margaritas

Coconut drinks by the pool at Villa del Palmar Loreto. #VDPLFam #villadelpalmarl // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comto the coconut drinks by the pool, they totally nailed the cocktails.

The resort has themed nights featuring entertainment for the whole family to enjoy. #VDPLFam #villadelpalmarl // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comAnd there was plenty of nightlife for me. One night we watched a stage show featuring Mexican dances and stories. The dancers interacted with the crowd and it was really fun.  On another night, there was a musician playing classic rock songs on his guitar which was also really fun.  The outdoor restaurant features a large wrap around bar and was the perfect place to retire after dinner for a night-cap.  I just think resort will appeal to all kinds of people looking for their perfect vacation spot.  Read yesterdays post to see my info about the private night club on the resort. And of course, each room features a private patio that would be another perfect spot for enjoying the sunset or view of the lighted resort at night. There is a little something for everyone here and I highly recommend you check it out for yourself.

Villa del Palmar Loreto is offering some bonuses if you book your trip and mention a special code. Hop back over to yesterdays post to see the deal and all the info about the hotel you could need!

Thank you, Villa del Palmar Loreto, for bringing me to your fine resort and letting me share it with my readers. My extended family has talked about coming back next summer and I really hope we do!

Read more about Loreto, Mexico

Read more about hotel Villa del Palmar Loreto

 

Villa del Palmar Loreto – Best Resort in Mexico

Hotel Villa del Palmar Loreto is the best place to stay in Mexico. #VDPLFam #villadelpalmarl // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comHere she is.  Villa del Palmar Loreto. The resort paid for my trip to come and check out the hotel and town.  All opinions are mine.  And in my opinion, this is the best place to stay in all of Mexico. 

In July I was invited to come stay at Villa del Palmar Loreto.  It was a press trip for myself and about 9 other bloggers/journalists and the trip was absolutely amazing. This hotel is perfection. From the grounds to the amenities.  All of it.  But mostly, the staff.  You can tell they are proud of the work they do and they do it well.  This hotel feels like luxury, but without any of the pretension or price. Which suits me perfectly. If you missed my post yesterday, go back to read all about what makes the town of Loreto so special. I used to vacation there as a child and it was really cool to see how it has changed since then. This resort, however, is only about 3 years old and has all the modern amenities you could dream of.

This post is extra long! Read on to find out all about the resort! [Read more...]

Loreto, Mexico – Your New Favorite Vacation Spot

The town of Loreto, Mexico. #VDPLFAM #VillaDelPalMarL // www.cupcakesandcutlery.com*I recently was invited to go on a press trip to a wonderful town in Baja, California called Loreto to learn all about the amazing resort called Villa Del Palmar Loreto. The trip was paid for by the resort but all opinions are my own. In my opinion, Loreto is the best town in Mexico and I can’t wait to tell you all about my visit.  Loreto is just a 2 hour plane ride from Los Angeles on Alaska Airlines and you seriously need to vacation here.

This post is full of great photos and info! Read on to find out all about my trip!  [Read more...]

The #FunnestSport with USA Swimming

Experiencing the top swimming talent in the US at USA Swimming Nationals! #sponsored #funnestsport #momtrendsswim // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comThis amazing opportunity for my son and I was made possible by MomTrends and USA Swimming.  On August 8th we were invited to the William Wollett, Jr. Aquatic Center to check out the USA Swimming National Championships.  The top .3% of all swimmers in the United States were here competing for a spot on the National team for the Pan Pacific games.  The level of talent in this one place, including a crazy amount of Olympians and those posed to be future Olympic stars, was insane.  We were fortunate to get an intimate look in what USA Swimming calls the #funnestsport. 

USA Swimming Nationals #sponsored #funnestsport #momtrendsswim // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comThe day started with us getting a tour of the competition.  I mean, we were literally on the “deck” where only coaches and swimmers are allowed.  We were right in the action and I’m not going to lie, I felt like I was in the way a little bit.  I also thought I might end up in the pool.  But it was awesome to be able to share this with my son so he could feel the excitement first hand.  We got to see the determination on each of the swimmer’s faces and also the camaraderie between the other athletes.  As we learned throughout the day, although swimming is based on your individual times, it feels very much like a team sport.  And the abs!  There were abs every where! 

Checking out USA Swimming National Championships. #sponsored #funnestsport #momtrendsswim // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comOh did I mention we had a photographer following us around?  That wasn’t awkward at all.  Here’s me trying to look like a celebrity.  Or trying not to sweat to death.  Or looking at some abs.  You decide. 

Ready to sign autographs at the USA National Championships. #sponsored #funnestsport #momtrendsswim // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comOur tour included a look at the pavilion that is available for both swimmers and spectators.  The pavilion was a place to find food, a full swim shop for any swim equipment needs and also a places for the athletes to sign autographs.  Remember this event featured a bunch  of swimming super stars.  O took his turn at the table…

Learning about swimming as a sport and how fantastic USA Swimming is. #sponsored #funnestsport #momtrendsswim // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comOne of the coolest parts of the day was getting to chat with 12 time Olympic medalist, Dara Torres.  Not only is she freaking gorgeous, she’s crazy inspiring, amazing athlete and an all around nice person.  It was really special that she gave us some of her time to talk about her swimming experience.  She also told us a little bit more about SwimToday.org.  While my area is full of swim teams, other areas, especially in other parts of the country, they are not so easy to find.  SwimToday.org is the place to go to find one in your area.  Dara reinforced the idea of swimming being very similar to a team sport.  It’s also much easier on the body than sports like football.  And your kids don’t sit on a bench, they are always participating.  Dara has gotten involved in spreading the word about swimming as she feels that it is a a sport that often gets overlooked but teaches kids so many positive qualities.  We also got a chance to talk to Mary Gen Ledecky, mom to Katie Ledecky, swimming superstar.  At 17, Katie is an Olympic gold medalist and world record holder.  We got a chance to find out what it’s like to parent an Olympic athlete and again, she talked about how the swimmers really feel more like family than opponents. 

Swimming selfie! #sponsored #funnestsport #momtrendsswim // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comAnd then it was time for a selfie. 

Swimming with Olympic medalist Dara Torres. #sponsored #funnestsport #momtrendsswim // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comThe the kids were treated to a little time in the pool with Dara.  An absolute once in a lifetime moment to get to swim with an Olympic swimmer.  

Swimming lessons with olympic swimmer Dara Torres. #sponsored #funnestsport #momtrendsswim // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI can’t say enough about Dara.  She was truly amazing.  She was funny and so kind with the kids.  She gave them little drills to do and then had them race.  The coolest. 

Pool time with olympic swimmer Dara Torres. #sponsored #funnestsport #momtrendsswim // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comAnd right on the other side of the practice pool where the kids were playing, the National Championships went on.  The entire experience was amazing.  It is not an event I will soon forget.  And although I am not sure my son fully grasped just how cool this experience was, even he commented about it feeling pretty special. 

Swimming with Olympic swimmer Dara Torres. #sponsored #funnestsport #momtrendsswim // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comThank you Dara, USA Swimming and MomTrends for showing us a really cool look at swimming.  To find a swim team near you, be sure to check out SwimToday.org.

*This post was sponsored by MomTrends and USA Swimming.  All opinions are mine. But the facts are real. And swimming just might be the #funnestsport.

Photos 1, 2, 6, 9 and 10 are mine

Photos 3, 4, 5, 7, and 8 are courtesy of Mike Lewis (check out his portfolio!! AMAZING!) for USA Swimming

Personal Style with JC Penney Back to School

Back to school shopping at JC Penney. #thatsmykid #ad // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comAh! My baby is totally growing up! He’s my first-born.  He’s who I figured everything out with.  He’s who made me a mother and who delights me every day.  It has been amazing to watch him grow and to figure out his own style.  I was pretty apprehensive about back to school shopping with him this year.  I can’t pick anything out for him anymore.  Everything requires his approval or he flat-out won’t wear it.  I am ok with him defining his style, but he’s a fan of licensed character shirts and I am just not.  I was worried about how we would compromise and if I could take a step back and let him create his look. We took a trip to JC Penney to pick out some back to school clothes. It went far better than expected, especially because JC Penney carries some of our favorite brands like DC Shoes, Nike, and Vans. We were excited to get to share his personal style with JC Penney for back to school shopping.  This kid is a true individual and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Here are a few things that make him special: This blue blanket is a trusted member of our family. #thatsmykid #ad // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comHis blue blanket still comforts him greatly.  But we are starting to try out being without it.  (Trust me, it’s not going far. My husband and I sleep with our own afghan every night). He’s a pretty brave little boy.  And has the sweetest heart.  When we started working on going without a pacifier, we told him it was time to pass it down to his baby brother.  He didn’t even flinch but wrapped it up in a cute little package for his brother and never looked back.  He was a child model. Very briefly. #thatsmykid #ad // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comHe had a very brief stint as a child model with a large display in our local department store. But he never turned in to a diva. I think it helps that he doesn’t even remember this… My boy has always been a music lover. #thatsmykid #ad // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comHe has always had a love a music and never hesitates to share his passion with us. He’s really not in to being a front man, though (this photo was taken in the privacy of our back yard for my eyes only).  He’d prefer to make the music and work alongside a band. My little Ghostbusters fan. #thatsmykid #ad // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comHe ain’t afraid of no ghosts.  He's always been so great dealing with his food allergies and asthma. #thatsmykid #ad // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comHe is an absolute trooper with his asthma and food allergies. From time to time he will voice his displeasure but for the most part he just handles it.  This kid is so dang cool.  Big brothers are the best. #thatsmykid #ad // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comHe’s the best older brother.  My little long haired Boy Scout. He sometimes gets flack for his hair but he doesn't let it bother him. #thatsmykid #ad // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comStyle wise he keeps his hair long.  And it is his decision. He tells us it is his trademark and he wants to keep it that way. I totally stand behind his decision to wear it long. He understands that not everyone will like it and is gracious when people mistakenly call him a girl. He is my little Cub Scout and enjoys being part of the pack and earning badges. He’s a good friend and a great example of acceptable behavior (most of the time).  Selfie with mom. #thatsmykid #ad // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comHe will almost always indulge me in a selfie.  Back to school shopping at JC Penney with my stylish boy. #thatsmykid #ad // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comHe has definite opinions about how he wants to dress.  And lately he has been “dressing up” a bit. When he wants to look nice he will go and pick out a woven button up shirt. And I couldn’t say no when he picked out a clip on tie from JC Penney.  I mean what kid in elementary school doesn’t need a tie?  He also asked for a suit but I had to draw the line somewhere. Cool kicks for back to school. #thatsmykid #ad // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comLike me, this kid does not shy away from color and enjoys the neon.  Plain black t-shirts will never go out of style. #thatsmykid #ad // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comHe picked out some great pieces from our shopping day at JC Penney.  These plain t-shirts were on sale for $6.  They will go with everything.  And he is great at posing for pictures.  Back to school shopping at JC Penney. #thatsmykid #ad // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comPlease note that he is giving himself “rabbit ears.”  It is the newest form of photo bomb. We were able to agree up on a few character t-shirts.  I told him that he could pick out 2 character t’s and we ended up with only 1.  YES! We had only one minor stand off when he tried to pick out rolled up jean shorts.  NO.  Just no. But these camo shorts are totally his style. We ended up with a bunch of fantastic items from JC Penney, that he and I both agreed on, and still showcases his personal style. I can’t wait to see how he handles this next grade and all that comes with it! I am so looking forward to see how he handles all the things that maturing brings. I have no doubts that he will handle it all with class, style and maybe a few fart jokes.

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JC Penney had everything we needed to head back to school in style.  From skate brands to cool basics, we had plenty of choices to foster his individual style.  And I love that JC Penney wants to celebrate kid’s individuality and self-expression through fashion.  And you can celebrate your own child’s super star qualities.  Use the hashtag #ThatsMyKid on your photos and they might be shared on the JC Penney Facebook page.  Find out all the info here.

When It Fits, You Feel It. http://www.jcpenney.com/backtoschool

*Disclosure: Compensation was provided by JC Penney via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not indicative of the opinions or positions of JC Penney.