Wednesday, August 2, 2023

A New Adventure…

This is something I’ve always wanted to do so here we go, now or never, ready or not, jump right in and don't look back…

After 252 days of a major health scare, 5 separate hospitalizations in less than 5 months and a very long year and a half of recovery, I’m finally DONE with the medical nightmare that turned my world upside down and I’m reclaiming my life. 

AND after more than a decade of documenting the gastronomy of SMA, it’s time for a new adventure!

I’m going on the road to 12 different parts of Mexico in order to get a 360 degree view of culinary Mexico. The project will take two years. Over the course of the next six months, I'll be spending a lot of time planning these trips, talking with chefs and food writers, upgrading technology to make life easier on the road, improving my Spanish after doing no immersion trips during COVID like I used to and savoring every ounce of SMA before I take off. 

I’ve been thinking about this trip for well over 5 years now and although Eva Longoria lived the dream in a 6 episode version, I’ll be hitting up 12 regions in Mexico and sometimes traveling solo, without the benefit of a crew. I’m giving up a lot to do this project but it’s what I need to do right now. I’ll also be gathering things along the way for my grandchildren, Olivia and Parker, so they will come to know the Mexico that I love, too.

I’ll be looking at all things Mexico as it relates to food and spirits so unique, one-of-a-kind experiences are on our radar. We also intend to support local chefs, wherever we are, just like we’ve done in San Miguel de Allende for over a decade. Down to the basics, one of the many challenges will be living out of a suitcase for at least a month at a time. I’ll be back in SMA, my home base, off and on during my time on the road. A new website will be activated before we take off and we’ll advise you when it’s up.

In all the years I’ve been in Mexico, I’ve traveled to more than 54 cities. Here are the stops I’ll make along the way, subject to some minor changes and not necessarily in this order. We’ve been to all the cities but one - San Cristobal de Las Casas - but this time around, were going a whole lot deeper:


Yucatan and Quintana Roo including Merida and Cancun

Tabasco and Chiapas including San Cristobal De Las Casas


Veracruz , Puebla and Cuernavaca

Mexico City


Guadalajara and Colima

Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Barra Navidad, Nayarit

San Luis Potosi, Saltillo and Durango


Todos Santos, Cabo San Lucas, Valle De Guadalupe, Tijuana and Ensenada.

Someone recently asked me if Mexico was safe for the solo, female traveler? I’ve been traveling in Mexico for over 50 years now and I credit 30 years of Chicago street smarts for getting me by. 

To the SMA community that sustains me, thank you for the continued support over the past decade and for following the food trail from 2013 to 2023. We’ve been fortunate to see SMA through some of the best (becoming a major food city) and worst (COVID) chapters in the past 10 years and we respect, honor and appreciate the many chefs and restaurateurs who were with us on this journey.

And to my delicious, beautiful, mysterious, chaotic and colorful Mexico, you always leave me wanting more so I am coming to find you.