Trinidad, Cuba. March 2016

Trinidad_3_20_2016_SFW_10_Trinidad_3_20_2016_SFW_4_ Trinidad_3_20_2016_SFW_13_ Trinidad_3_20_2016_SFW_11_ Trinidad_3_20_2016_SFW_19_ Trinidad_3_20_2016_SFW_32_

Trinidad, located in central Cuba, is a 500 year old colonial town that has been subject to little modernisation in it’s tenure. Plumbing and electricity has been built in without changing the fabrication of the town itself.

As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, there has been some restoration in the main hub of the town. This is where the tourists flock to see the colourful buildings, resplendent with the patina of “old”. Here we visited a restored church and feasted in remains of another.

Step away from the throngs of tourists and down the hill and the buildings become more dilapidated, the patina’s, less intentional and you get a real glimpse at life in Trinidad.

Taking this trip with Coast to Costa, helmed by charismatic and fluently Spanish speaking, Andrew Tyree, allowed us to experience Cuba in a way that the tourists shlepped in by the bus load were just not able to. Andrew was willing to strike up conversation with anyone, which led to us unearthing a pottery studio and an ancient cocktail recipe, amongst other things.

Trinidad_3_20_2016_SFW_1_ Trinidad_3_20_2016_SFW_3_From the rooftop of our Casa.

Dinner in the ruins of an old church.

Trinidad_3_20_2016_SFW_40_ Trinidad_3_20_2016_SFW_31_

Trinidad_3_20_2016_SFW_15_Trinidad_3_20_2016_SFW_30_Away from the throngs of tourists. Here Andrew struck up conversation with a local butcher cooking up the innards of an entire few hundred pound pig.

Trinidad_3_20_2016_SFW_60_

Another well timed conversation lead to this pottery studio. Whilst we were picking out what we thought were tiny planters, Chichi, the owner, explained to us that they were in fact cups for an ancient cocktail, native to Cuba, the “Canchanchara”. The cocktail consists of rum, sugar, honey and lime (or lemon). It’s very tasty.

Trinidad_3_20_2016_SFW_45_ Trinidad_3_20_2016_SFW_42_ Trinidad_3_20_2016_SFW_44_ Trinidad_3_20_2016_SFW_43_The Trinidad area is also home to Playa Ancon, one of Cuba’s most famed beaches.

Trinidad_3_20_2016_SFW_17_ Trinidad_3_20_2016_SFW_34_More from central Trinidad and a snap of our #CubaSquad. From left to right: Scott, Andrew from Coast to Costa, Erin, Michael and Megan from Fresh Off the Grid.

So much more to come from Cuba!

Bay of Pigs, Cuba, March 2016

BayofPigs_3.19.16_1 BayofPigs_3.19.16_3 BayofPigs_3.19.16_16

After a whirlwind 24 hours in Havana, we hit the road, headed for Trinidad. We took the long way round and made some very special stops along the way, the first of which was the Bay of Pigs. I’ve traveled to a variety of places, but this was my first tropical beach visit – coconut laden palms, sparkling blue Caribbean Sea. It was hard to reconcile this paradise with it’s history.

BayofPigs_3.19.16_12 BayofPigs_3.19.16_10 BayofPigs_3.19.16_5 BayofPigs_3.19.16_14

After a little beach time we were treated to an incredible spread before heading out to our next stop.

Just a few minutes away was the Cave of the Fishes, a unique spot where the salt water meets the freshwater. The deep pool was completely clear and filled with brightly coloured tropical fishes (hence the name!)

CaveoftheFishes_3.19.16_12 CaveoftheFishes_3.19.16_11 CaveoftheFishes_3.19.16_9

Diane, 7:30 am, February twenty-fourth. Entering town of Twin Peaks.

Snoqualmie_Seattle_2

If you know me, or have followed this blog for any amount of time (in the oh, 8 years I’ve been running it) you might have realized I have a bit of a thing for Twin Peaks. Audrey Horne is my hero, Dale Cooper is a babe (as is my cat, Agent Cooper, named after the man himself) and I know, wholeheartedly that the owls are NOT what they seem.

Last November I spent a significant amount of time in Seattle for work (getting UNIQLO’s first PNW store off the ground and the various marketing and events that went into it). Once everything was up and rolling, it was time for a little break, Scott flew into town and we headed up to the mountains for an IRL Twin Peaks experience. A dream trip.

Pictured above is the Salish Lodge, perched right on the Snoqualmie Falls. The Salish Lodge is a rustic mountain retreat and most well known as The Great Northern, the hotel at the centre of Twin Peaks. This is, naturally, where we stayed during our trip. It’s charming and complete with real fireplaces and a hot tub in the bathroom, oh so romantical.

Snoqualmie_Seattle_3 Snoqualmie_Seattle_1

Naturally for dinner and some drinks we felt it necessary to swing by the Roadhouse. Whilst there were no Bookhouse Boys in sight – they make a mean chili and have a pretty good selection of local beers. The Roadhouse is located in Fall City, right next door to Snoqualmie and in terms of oddity, the town gives imaginary Twin Peaks a run for it’s money.

Snoqualmie_Seattle_12 Snoqualmie_Seattle_7 Snoqualmie_Seattle_10 Snoqualmie_Seattle_22 Snoqualmie_Seattle_21 Snoqualmie_Seattle_18

It wasn’t all fireside chats and chili with the Bookhouse Boys. Twin Peaks is known, for well, some peaks. So we decided to conquer one of the lesser peaks in the area Little Si. The 5 mile round trip lead to some sore muscles but some fantastic views.

There was one very important stop we had to make on our Twin Peaks tour. RR Café (also know as Twede’s Café) baby.

Snoqualmie_Seattle_31 Snoqualmie_Seattle_37 Snoqualmie_Seattle_33

It’s true what they [Dale Cooper] say. This must be where pies go when they die.

If you’re a Twin Peaks fan looking for a Lynchian style trip, it’s a highly recommended 24 hour jaunt.