To Create Sunshine

Searching for beauty, peace and serenity in our world through nature, home and travel


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Colorful and Exotic Isla Mujeras

To Ceate Sunshine Isla Mujeres

Beautiful and tranquil Isla Mujeres is a slice of paradise in the Carribean Sea.  A small island, only five miles in length, surrounded by amazing turquoise blue water and filled with pristine white sandy beaches.  Isla Mujeres is just a brief ferry ride across the Bay of Mujeres (Bay of Women) from Cancun, yet so very different from Cancun.  If Cancun is Miami, than Isla Mujeres is a smaller, more quaint version of Key West.  Cancun is a huge, metropolitan city filled with beautiful beaches, shopping and nightlife.  Isla Mujeres offers a much slower, laid back island pace.   Imagine your days lounging on the beach or snorkeling in the nearby coral reefs.  Evenings are spent wandering Avenue Hidaigo with it’s many Mexican marcados and street cafes.

To Create Sunshine Isla Mujeres

Marcado on Hidalgo Avenue, Isla Mujeres.

The Mexican Marcado on Avenue Hidaigo

Many visitors come from Cancun each day, but Isla Mujeras is truly a destination in itself. If you plan to stay on Isla Mujeras,  there is a wide range of luxury hotels, all inclusives, and villas to choose from.  For our visit this year, we chose a charming casita near downtown complete with a pool area and incredible view of the Carribean Sea.

GETTING THERE

If you are flying into Cancun, and plan to stay on the island, you will want to prearrange for transport from the airport to the ferry that will take you across the bay to Isla Mujeras.  Have your transport take you to the ferry, where for $10 US you can purchase your ticket to cross the Bay of Mujeres to paradise.

The ferry will drop you off right in the heart of downtown.  You will find yourself on the main boulevard filled with red taxi’s, scooters and golf carts zooming by.  From there, you catch a taxi to your hotel, or if you’re staying downtown, you can transport your own bags the short distance to your hotel.  Some hotels are right down the beach within easy walking distance.  Others are a bit further.  I would want to have a pretty good idea of the location of your hotel if you are planning on walking with your bags, however, you see many people doing this all the time.

To Create Sunshine Isla Mujeres

View of the downtown area from the ferry

One of the fun things about Isla Mujeras is zipping around the five mile island in your rented golf cart. We had prearranged to rent our golf cart for the length of our stay.  One of our party walked to pick up the golf cart while the rest of us waited at the ferry with our bags. Once we had our cart, it was less than a five minute ride to our little casita.

To Create Sunshine Isla Mujeres

Villa San Miguel

Thank you for stopping by for a quick view of Isla Mujeres.  I will be returning with more to share about this beautiful island across from Cancun and more photos of the beautiful beaches.    xxoo Gerri

*Original photos by To Create Sunshine  –  For more photos of the beautiful Isla Mujeres you may follow me on Instagram @tocreatesunshine


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The Hills of Tapatio Springs

If you are a lover of rustic charm found in nature, the Texas Hill Country is the place to go.  A few years ago my brother-in-law and his lovely wife moved into the exquisite resort community of Tapatio Springs.  This was a double blessing for my husband and me because not only do we get to visit with them more often, it gives us more opportunity to explore one of our favorite regions in Texas.

To Create Sunshine Tapation Springs, Texas

Tapatio Springs hosts the perfect mix of Texas nature with deluxe resort.  This awe inspiring golfing community is nestled in the heart of the hill country, just outside the charming town of Boerne.  I have to tell you the brief ten minute drive on Johns Road from I-10 to get to Tapatio Springs is just as sweet and charming as the lovely community itself.  Once you exit I-10, the road twists and winds through the rustic and hilly countryside that gives the area it’s name.  As you drive be sure to keep your eyes open for deer, sheep, goats and various other wildlife you might see as you drive.

As you take one last turn around the bend at the top of the hill you get your first breathtaking view of Tapatio Springs. The resort was bought several years ago by the country/western singer George Strait and a group of investors and they have been making improvements to the resort ever since.  The 18 hole golf course has recently been renovated by architect Tripp Davis and Associates and features an amazing panoramic view of the rolling Texas hills that surround the golf course.

I’m honestly not much of a golfer, but I do enjoy riding in the cart and taking in the beauty of the surroundings. I also enjoy photography so this seemed the perfect opportunity to practice my amateur photography skills while Dear Husband practiced his amateur golfing skills.

To Create Sunshine Tapatio Springs, Texas Hill Country

View from the golf course of Tapatio Springs.

As you tour the golf course, you get an amazing view of not only some of the highest hills of the area, but also some of the beautiful homes surrounding the golf course.

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The 18 hole golf course offers a spectacular venue and is filled with auspicious live oak trees, rolling terrain and abundant with water features.  This serene Hill Country Resort offers both a photographers and a golfers delight!

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As always, when it’s time to pack up and return to our busy lives in the city, I’m thankful for the opportunity to have spent some relaxed time in the serene beauty of the Texas Hill Country!

Until Next Time – xxoo- Gerri


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Estes Park Beauty

After being home in Cypress for two weeks, I am still reveling in the delight and memory of our Rocky Mountain getaway.  Today I am sharing photos with you from the town of Estes Park.

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Estes Park is nestled at the base of Rocky Mountain National Park and is surrounded by the most auspicious views everywhere you turn.  Mountain Peaks rising around you range in height from 8500 feet to 14,000 feet.  Mix this backdrop with the beauty of changing fall colors and you have a recipe for beauty that is hard to beat.  The town hosts numerous cabins, condos and hotels all sharing amazing views of the glorious Rocky Mountains.

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Estes Park offers an abundance of shops, galleries, boutiques and restaurants to enjoy during your visit.  Main Street has a small town atmosphere where you can enjoy the beauty of the Riverwalk while browsing the many shops and local artists galleries. You can even throw a line in and try your hand at fly fishing.

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One of our favorite dining spots while visiting Estes Park was Ed’s Cantina and Grill. Although we had a bit of a wait ( they do take reservations ) the food did not disappoint. The menu is diverse and flavorful with plenty of fresh ingredients featuring items such as Squash Stuffed Poblano Chile and Bison Tacos. My personal favorites included the Spinach and Black Bean Enchiladas and the Veggie Taco Salad. The diversity of the menu satisfied both the vegans and carnivores traveling in our group.

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When you step outside the backdoor of Ed’s Cantina, you are greeted by the surprising beauty of the riverwalk that meanders through the town.   Here you can enjoy a stroll or simply sit and take in the peaceful beauty of the river.  Many restaurants offer outdoor seating to take in the glory while you dine.

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I have been fortunate to visit the wonders of Colorado a few times.  Each time it has left me in a state of awe and wonder at it’s incredible beauty.  There is so much more to see and experience in this great state that I look forward to hopefully many more trips!

Hope you are enjoying the beauty that surrounds you                                     where ever you may be today!

xxoo  Gerri

 


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Rocky Mountain High!

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As an elementary art teacher, I rarely have the opportunity to travel in the fall. But when our dear friend’s daughter announced her wedding would be in Estes Park, Colorado, my husband and I jumped at the chance to share their special day and to visit beautiful Colorado in the fall!

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From the moment we headed north on Highway 25 from Denver to Estes Park, the astounding beauty of Colorado  began to fill my soul with a peace and serenity that is often difficult to find.  The beauty of the fall colors mixed with the Rocky Mountain backdrop was everything and more that I had hoped to see.

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Our friends recently bought an amazing cabin ( really it’s a beautiful home ) just at the base of Rocky Mountain National Park.  The views from their back porch are simply stunning!

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The first morning after our arrival we were awoken by the sound of bugling by the “Great Prince” elk as he kept his “harem” together.   Imagine walking onto your back porch to find some 50 odd elk passing by about 50 feet away.

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My husband took this photo of a “Great Prince” elk in town.  October is rutting season for elks.  The male elk ( or as we like to call him the “Great Prince” ) gathers as many female elks as possible into his “harem”.  The “Great Prince” is clearly in command and does not easily welcome any “competitors” near his “harem.”

Before the wedding, we had a day to explore Rocky Mountain National Park! The only word I know to describe the views is breathtaking!  I have had the good fortune to visit this incredible place before and I promise it never disappoints.

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Travel Tip:  October is an incredible time to visit Rocky Mountain National Park. The air is crisp and the birch trees are turning a beautiful yellow gold.  It’s hard to miss the harems of elk as they travel into town and inhabit the local golf course.  The crowds of summer have begun to thin, but there are still many visitors to the park on the weekend.  We arrived on a Tuesday and were able to take advantage of the park before the many weekend visitors.  The weather was cold the day of our arrival, so pack you jacket,  but warmed up to a very pleasant 70 degrees over

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 Many happy travels to you!  Gerri xxoo


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Beach Getaway at The Pearl South Padre

There is nothing like a little beach getaway to renew the spirit and sooth the soul.  On a recent family escape, I had the opportunity to do just that at the lovely Pearl South Padre. South Padre Island is a barrier island located on the coastal tip of Texas.  On a clear day,      ( and they’re nearly all clear days) you might see Mexico on the horizon line.   It is a popular resort area known for its clear, blue waters and white, sandy beaches.  South Padre is  also the home of the Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark.

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The Pearl South Padre hosts the largest hotel swimming pool in South Texas.  Adults can enjoy a cool tropical drink from the swim up bar.  Families have plenty of room to frolic and play in the curvy design of the 6000 square foot pool  where there is plenty of room for floats or other pool toys.  If you prefer, you can go under the waterfall to a more secluded swim area.  For the youngest guest there is a separate kiddie pool with slide.  Did I forget to mention there is also a separate heated spa?

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From our ocean view balcony it would have been easy to simply spent the entire day merely gazing  at the lush tropical landscape surrounding the pool with the Gulf of Mexico just beyond.  The cooling breeze was ever so delightful even with temperatures soaring into the upper nineties.  A perfect place to relax, read, even nap!

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My favorite part  of any beach getaway is walking the beach in the early morning.  I adore watching the mesmerizing repetition of waves rolling into the shore.  I crave the feel of the wet sand under my feet. I am excited as the waves rush up and splash my legs and then ease their way back to the ocean.  Spending time on the beach is definitely the ideal place to relax and enjoy these warm summer days!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Summertime! Fun Time!

Now that school is out and summer is here, I am trying to get down to some serious relaxing and enjoying life!  Recently, my brother and his lovely wife were here visiting us from their home in Hawaii. ( I know, we should be visiting them right! )  For a fun excursion, my husband and I took them for a day at the Kemah Boardwalk.

CAM01186Kemah was once a sleepy, little fishing town where Galveston Bay and Clear Lake merge.  I remember as a child going to Jimmie Walker’s or the Flying Dutchman for a delicious seafood dinner and to watch the boats come in and out of the harbor.

Some would have called it a “dive” in those days, but we loved being close to the water and getting to watch the sailboats and trawlers cruising in and out of the harbor on their Sunday jaunt.

Later on, my dad, who was an avid boater, would keep his boat at Lakewood Yacht Club and we would be the ones on the boat waving to the onlookers as we gloriously breezed through the harbor.

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Then, one day, Landry’s Restaurants bought the property and it became the infamous Kemah Boardwalk that it is today, filled with numerous restaurants, a ferris wheel, rides galore, shops, and a boutique hotel! You know, they paved paradise and put up a parking lot!

Well, that’s enough of my ramblings! Seriously, it really is a great spot to send the day!

CAM01188   We enjoyed an amazing brunch at the fabulous Cadillac Bar where we were able to sit and gaze over the harbor and wave to passing boats.  We then boarded the FantSea Yacht for a cruise through the harbor and Clear Lake.  Many beautiful homes and marinas line the shores of Clear Lake and it is quite a sight to see.  It is also fun to visit the many shops, ride the train or any of the other fun rides at the amusement park.

For me, I enjoyed just being near the water again and having a chance to reminisce about days gone by when we would anchor out in the lake, swim by the boat, and then picnic off the back of the boat!  I was also glad to get to visit with my brother and his wife.    We don’t get to see them near often enough!

You never know, maybe next time we will get to visit them at their home on the lovely island of Oahu!  When this happens I’ll be sure to send you a picture!

Aloha for now!

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