Insalata Mista and Pizza Marinara at La Pummarola

No trip to Playa del Carmen would ever be complete without dinner at La Pummarola. Nani and I went with my uncle’s brother and his lovely partner. Both he and her always make for fine company, and with so many people at dinner we were able to split a few dishes, including complimentary ice cream and brownies at the end of the meal. No photos were taken of the dessert; it looked too good to wait.

Pear and Pecan Salad, Mixed Paella

For almost two weeks this month my wonderful grandmother was in Texas while I was at her home in Playa del Carmen, but she returned a few days ago and brought her cooking. I was growing lonely in Mexico without her and somewhat tired of the mixed salads and random nibbles I could find close to home in Playacar, so to have her back has been a joy.

Tonight we had a dinner party with family friends and new friends, so I naturally made sure to photograph her food. The pear, pecan, and blue cheese salad had a perfect balance of savory and sweet and the paella was hearty, healthy, and filling. I didn’t take a photograph of her homemade ice cream because I was too busy eating it. Have I mentioned that I love my grandmother?

I’ll be in Playa del Carmen for another week or so.

Automattic Theme Division Meetup in Lihue, Hawaii

I spent all of last week in Lihue, Hawaii, with the Automattic Theme Division. We’re growing — 14 employees currently make up the group and we’re looking to hire more people — but make time to meet in person at least once annually and talk about high level objectives for the year.

Of all the Theme Team and Theme Division meetups I’ve been to so far since beginning my work at Automattic, Lihue has been my favorite, hands down. The weather was spectacular throughout the entire week, the stars shone more brightly than in any location I’ve ever been (although, the Catskills do come close), and the chats I had with teammates over dinner, getting to know them beyond the work that we do, really was quite lovely.

I’ve made a few very close friends at Automattic and know that whatever happens down the road, I’ll always be thankful that my career choices have brought them into my life. It’s easy to grow cynical, jaded, frustrated, and tired of the people and politics in my industry, but when I take time to meet people face-to-face, talk about life that exists away from the computer screen, and spend a few moments appreciating the good instead of the bad, everything feels much better.

Life is so short and when my time is up I’ll look back to these moments with a joyous heart, and will only focus on the wonderful memories that were shared in far away places with like-minded individuals. Everything else will fade away into the background.

Ensalada Mixta

Tonight I enjoyed a dinner out in Playa del Carmen, eaten just a stone’s throw away from my grandmother’s front door at Don Pepperoni Playacar. My grandmother and I, along with good friends Don and Darcy who visit the city every year, caught up on the happenings in our lives since we’d last met and also talked Seinfeld. Any conversations that involve Seinfeld will always be fantastic. I’ll be in Mexico until March 1st, spending time with family and taking in the sites and sounds of a city that I’ve come to enjoy almost every year since 2008.