IMG_2717Rain felt different driving to my office this morning. Even though was like any other rainy day,  I could feel the viciousness of the weather man talking about Huricane Harvey over the radio imagining him with a crooked smile just feeling happy that finally something really disastrous was finally happening, and listening all sorts of recommendations to be prepared for storm, flood and other possible effects of the severe weather to come.

Then I thought: Bread and Water.  Isn’t curious that now that they are out of the stores’ shelves, people is nervous waisting their possible last tank of gas for the next 2 weeks looking for bread and water when we usually trash full boxes of strawberries and veggies, rotten fruit and vegetables, waisted food that stays in the fridge for so long or ended in the trash or left behind on a restaurant table?  And today, the basics recover their importance and people fight for them. FIGHT FOR THEM _i repeat in my mind_ Why we don’t give thanks every morning because we have water to drink and bread to eat? Why we fight? We always wait to say thanks or to pray to God when things are ugly, when remedies becomes scarcer, when sickness knock our doors or death is sitting at the edge of our beds.

Huricane Harvey is touching the coasts of Texas tonight and tomorrow and touching the fear of humans. Now is when basics are basic, when we know than the only thing that matters is our own survival and the survival of the ones we love. Basics. – Valerie S. Mayer


Love is everywhere

IMG_2617And it was just there, staring at me: a man made leather earthly baby blue and tan heart. I smiled and thought _ I love to be in love!_.

My own heart jumps within my chest like a playful dove playing on a shallow pond when the day is over and I am getting closer to home and I am going to see you. Fluttering butterflies dance in my stomach when I think about you and everything looks just prettier, food tastes better, and strolling in a gallery is just an indescriptible pleasure when our hands hold. Everything feels just right no matter the circumstances. Love is everywhere because you are in my life. / Valerie Mayer

Airstream weekend

Let’s start by saying that Valerie and I love the outdoors. The closer we can be to nature, the better. Although we are urban creatures, we feed and recharge from our time away from the city. Yes, we can put up a tent with our eyes closed in a few minutes. But I have to be honest: tenting during the Texas summer is not in our bucket list.  Although glamping is not really our thing, during the hot months of the year it’s darn good option to stay close to nature without getting fried.

A couple of weekends ago we went to Wimberly, TX for a much needed batteries recharge. Through AirBnB, Valerie found someone renting an Airstream “Sovereign”, somewhere in the outskirts of Wimberly. I now understand why the call them the “land yatch”. Wally Byam, creator of Airstream, had it very clear: He designed a glamorous way to mix the open road, the outdoors, and the comforts of home. Since the beginnings in the 1930s, these land yachts became an iconic brand. It’s design, it’s well-engineered structure, the properly-sized windows and interior space, it all combines right. Even it’s mirror-like metallic skin makes it blend in with its outdoor surroundings. I am not really a fan of camper vehicles, but this experience did change my perspective of glamping. Now, even a road trip in one of these things has trickled into our bucket list!  /Jaime Belden

A religious experience – Parras Part 3 of 3

From the modest altar for travelers and bus drivers in Paila, to the top of the hill of the Santo Madero in Parras, there is a deep, serene, and spiritual peace in the air. A stairway that seems to climb into the heavens and a sunset gold light shining on the church bell tower. All signs of a higher power displaying its powerful beauty in this magical town, and a gentle whisper calling us to visit again soon. /Jaime Belden & Valerie Mayer

From where the colors come – Parras – Part 2

The vivid layers of light and color coexist in this magic town resilient to the pass of time. I wonder if  the reflection of ripe fruit, blue skíes and dusty adobe are the muses of those who chose the colors of their town. Every corner is colorful, combined with the pristine white of cotton clouds, green pecan tree leaves and emerald reflection of water from natural pools. It’s funny how similar colonial constructions and colors look alike in towns that are thousands of miles apart. Barranco, a neighborhood in Lima, town of poets, writers and musicians in my beloved Peru, has the same passion for colors on their walls and bugambilias on their fences. I close my eyes and am able to feel the bright yellow of the old church and the calming green of the tree that provided shade to a palapa where we stopped to rest from the heat. I have to admit, I left a little bit of my heart in Parras de La Fuente, Coahuila, and must go back to recover it, or perhaps to leave a bigger piece. / Valerie Mayer & Jaime Belden

Doors, walls, cyclists and ancient groves of Parras – Part 1

Parras de la Fuente, Coahuila has gone through trials and tribulations, through revolution and evolution, bad times and good times. The town has grown, evolved, and changed. Generations have come and gone. But some things are still intact, untouched, and standing strong. Here is one of several series of photographs captured in a too short 24 hr visit. (1st of 3) / Jaime Belden & Valerie Mayer

Fredericksburg: the German-Americana Nappa deep in the heart of Texas.


It’s 4th of July weekend and waves of people swirm into Fredericksburg. Some for it’s wineries, others for its shopping, some for its German flair, some for its deep Texas spirit. Limestone, mesquite, blue and starry summer skies. Bed & breakfasts, BBQ, and cold beer. Wildflowers, dragonflies and longhorns. See it, feel it, taste and you’ll understand why it’s a jewel in the Texas hill country. /Jaime Belden