Finding Renewal in Mexico

Mexico is our safe place. That sweet spot we head to when we need to heal weary minds and hearts. When Jim’s sister passed away in 2003 we found solace in Mazatlan. When my mom passed away in 2005 we almost immediately grabbed Ron & Dario and headed to Puerto Vallarta. This fall, rather than take the planned drive around the USA, we knew that a couple of months renewing on the beaches of Baja was what was called for.

And so, we crossed the familiar border once again in search of serenity. We meandered our way south from one known spot to the next before arriving in Los Barriles. The long drive had caused us to question this crazy path, especially in light of our Baja caravan coming up shortly. But the welcoming greeting upon arrival of old friends, our camp family of Verdugo’s, immediately made us realize it was so, so, so the right decision.

I haven’t written much this last two months not because we weren’t having an amazing time but simply because there wasn’t much that seemed “blog worthy”. We were simply living our LB life and loving it.

We walked the wide, expansive beaches several times a day with Aspen frolicking nearby or, most often, swimming out to fetch her floating toy. We did yoga most days including twice a week at the beautifully finished Yoga Garden. We had nightly happy hour in the rocking chairs overlooking the beach, often stunned into silence realizing how magical our life is.

We hiked the hills, went to the farmers market, saw movies in the park, and perhaps too often headed to the Round Bar at Rancho Buenavista for Octavio’s killer margaritas.

We shared meals with friends all over town and found a new favorite in Lily’s front yard where you BYOB and get there early to earn a spot of one of only a dozen or so tables for the best hamburgesa especiale you’ll ever have.

Life in LB is social. This small town, honestly mostly gringo these days, is an ongoing medley of familiar faces; some that spend each winter here and some just coming through for a bit. We spent many hours with our dear friends Toni & Rieta before they abandoned us for the mainland.

Dave & Linda, Rob, Jack & Michelle, Peter & Brenda, Val & Steve, Jan & Judy, Val & Lorraine, Art & Ione, and so many others. The list goes on and on of people who are now 4-year friends, and who’s easy friendships make our hearts happy.

We would all huddle in line each Wednesday for the fish guy and on Saturday mornings, before the market, try to keep Steve from buying up all of the tamales and empanadas from the tamale guy.

We were in bed most nights by 9 pm and up with the sun. Whale and dolphins were spotted often and happy hour was often serenaded by the slapping of rays jumping through the waves.

There was nothing, and yet everything, magical in our time back in a familiar spot with good friends. More than once one of us would comment on how very glad we were that we made the long drive. Our hearts were lightened and our spirit refreshed. The one regret is that life lived at that pace often isn’t well documented in pictures. Why take a photo every time you go to dinner or sit in the rocking chairs with friends when you’re just going to do it again tomorrow?

Next time we may pull out the camera, or even cell phone, a little more often. But to all of our dear friends and acquaintances of LB know we appreciate you all and you are forever important in our life.

Leaving was bittersweet, as it often is, but we are used to it, our life being a long series of goodbyes. This time around we do have the comfort in knowing we’ll see them again in a mere month when we stop in for two days with our Baja Amigo’s caravan.

Heading north to meet said caravan, we happened upon another magical moment from the universe when we pulled into La Paz and happened to learn that not one, but four couples of overlanders we follow online were also there. When we started researching driving the Pan-American highway nearly a decade ago so many of these folks were our inspiration and we avidly followed every kilometer of their journey. Online friendships evolved but until now we hadn’t yet landed in the same spot. This time we were all too busy talking travel to take a group photo so we’ll just say thanks for the great evening gang and we look forward to the next time our paths cross.

And now we sit in Loreto, once again as just our little family. We are moving north before we turn and head south again, loving every minute of this crazy geographical nomadic life we call our own. Rested, refreshed, and re-invigorated. Thank you, Mexico, as always!

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