Saturday, July 29, 2006

We have had a very busy 2 days visiting the new furniture store in town; the Earth block center; Puerto Escondido; the local stores; and Saturday flea market; as well as enjoying the local restaurants. Deedrie’s highlight was visiting the Agricultural Farm of Ecoscapes. They have come such a long way and it was surprising to see the large expanse of green grass being mowed in the middle of the desert. The rows and rows of lush plants and trees was exciting to see, and we got to thinking of all the different pots that we would need for our rooftop patio.

We spent several lazy afternoons at the beach cooling off from the 100 degree temperatures. While I was happy relaxing under a palaypa, Deedrie came up with the great idea of taking her lounge chair into the water and we whiled away many hours immersed at the shore's edge. Peter Spillette from Victoria joined us for a while, and experienced the flying fish jumping literally all around us. Peter thought they were under him, and one fish flew past Deedrie’s cheek almost knocking her out. What a rush! The birds were making the rounds with this squid, not sure if it was worth the trouble of eating. The seagulls would take turns, then drop it, while the hawks would then come sample a taste. The pelicans were smart enough to only be interested in the fresh fish still alive and kicking in the water.

Deedrie’s last night here, we went and tried the new 1697 Restaurant in the town square. A nice place with good ambiance. Mostly pasta, pizzas, and some fish. A new addition to a town budding with restaurants already. Mick joined us as well as the mariachi band that is always fun, whether you are a local or turista. We had such a good time, that we missed our nightly 8:30 satellite air show passing by. However, last night many saw an amazing instant blast of light from a meteorite with a fiery tale flash in the sky about this time. I sadly missed this event, but Deedrie and others convinced me that it was surprisingly spectacular and appeared from nowhere.

We are off to Guadalajara tomorrow to furnish the Casa Chica, and will be joined by some other home owners. I'll write again at the end of the week and let you know our adventures on the mainland. Hasta Luego!

Friday, July 28, 2006

My friends are starting to arrive and I’m very excited to see familiar faces. Janet Rubenstein is a sales associate with Loreto Bay and now living here full time. We went for dinner last night and had a few margaritas at the Posada. Still the best in town! On our way home, we’re going down the highway in the usual fast pace and a Mama Horse and baby just galloped across the highway in front of us. Luckily we saw movement and hit the breaks fast enough to avoid any collision. It would have been heartbreaking to have hit them, and not so good for us either! They were beautiful animals, not the typical skinny lazy cows that come too close to the highway to graze. It is true that everyday something happens here a little out of the ordinary.

I was very happy to see my good friend Glen Mickowski arrive to inspect Lot 300. He is one of the very lucky few that have a commercial space in the bottom of his Casa Alta, since he was a very early buyer. We had coffee and he told me about all his new ventures that he will be starting up over the next 6 months. These include:

1. Catamaran Sales and Chartering;
2. Transportation of refrigerated and dry goods from La Paz and Cabo;
3. Digital film and television making;
4. Sales, Service, and Rental of Segways, golf carts, cycles and kayaks;
5. Marine Assistance for cruisers.

What a busy man he will be! I hope he doesn’t consider this “semi-retirement” because he’s making my head spin with all his energy! It will be great to have these services available and I look forward to hearing more details as he puts them together. Of course, I’ll share them with my friends as soon as I know!

One of my best friends, Deedrie Ballard has arrived!. She is one of partners in Lot 62 with me, and was the third investor with Loreto Bay Company in the early days. Deedrie is the one that introduced me to all this trouble!! She hasn’t been back since we all volunteered to help out at the very first launch in November 2003 and spur of the moment decided to buy a house. Not the cheapest “free” weekend I have had!

Mick (Glen Mickowski) is a very patient man as he teaches us to become “mobile” in Loreto. I feel like the Jetsons!!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

We sustained 10 hours of shopping and 2 hours of driving from La Paz to Cabo, on one Costco hot dog! Having Zero Expectations is really the way to go!! I walked into Dorian’s store which is similar to Sears on a smaller scale and I was absolutely shell shocked. There were fluorescent lights, air conditioning, racks and racks of clothing and accessories … even Perfume and Cosmetic counters. Where was I??? Certainly not in Loreto!

Arriving in Cabo, we decided to case out Home Depot. This is where Donella was speechless! Everything that you would expect is there, with lots of variety and comparable pricing to the USA. I wanted to build a house just to have an excuse to keep coming back.

Then off to the Plaza Pariso mall and it was heaven. There were marble floors, high ceilings, window displays in glass retail units, food fair, cinemas, good wine store, Harley Davidson shop, Hard Rock café, Sushi, Italian coffee, and a variety of art galleries and jewelry. We spent 3 hours just cruising the shops in disbelief and then went to see Pirates II in English. All the current movies were playing in the 10 cinema complex.
I kept thinking “What have I done moving to Loreto?!” Is going back to the basics and getting excited about seeing fresh lettuce available really worth giving up civilization as I know it! It was so very refreshing to have 2 days where I wasn’t covered in grit from the dust and humidity. Donella and I were walking around actually giddy and felt that this was our “Vegas”. A great place to come; go crazy; then return to reality.

Now that I’m back in Loreto, I don’t miss the lights and noise of Cabo. I know that it’s just a few hours away and I can go often when the urge overcomes me. In the meantime, I’m happy exploring this little town and establishing intrinsic worth to this community I call home.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Getting out of Dodge appeared to be no small task. Donella, Loreto Bay’s Home Turnover Manager, and me packed our bags and headed south for a girls’ shopping weekend in the big city. The weather was the usual bright and sunny, and then it went from us following this truck, to the trees blowing in the wind, and then, where we couldn’t see 3 feet in front of us.
All this happened within minutes and disappeared as quickly as it came. Mother Nature is a fickle woman.

Going through the mountains, I wondered what it took to be a highway sign maker in Mexico? Are all those squiggly lines truly representative of each unique curve in the road, or are they a series of standard squiggles that are simply close enough? There are endless car games that we play as a child to while away the boredom, and the Baja actually supplies brain teasers such as these to figure out “what the heck does that mean??” Praying squirrels and flying cows are apparently all you need to know.

This led me to inquire how does one get a Mexican driver’s license. Is there a booklet to study? Is there a test to take? Is there a waiting period? Of course not! You decide what Class of license you think you want; you pay your money; and they glue stick your photo to a paper license. Done, Finito! Simple, scary, but it works.

We arrived in La Paz in time to watch the sunset and soak up the activity. Hundreds of people along the malecon cruising, walking, watching local entertainment. There were families, lovers, tourists, balloon and cotton candy vendors. Here's Donella at the Seven Seas Hotel on the rooftop. Another of my favorite places! It’s open air, 7 stories up and facing the water and you can see and hear all the activity below, in secluded privacy. The food is great and the service is terrific.

Friday, July 21, 2006

The days meld into one another. I believe that if I don’t live longer here, I will certainly live fuller. I am becoming accustomed to the constant construction noise; flying dust everywhere; 100 degree temperatures with 60% humidity; and setbacks or delays that seem to be a regular occurrence. But these are minor in comparison to the accomplishment I feel being independent in a foreign country. I am comfortable driving anywhere, shopping, and making my way among the locals. They are very kind and patient with my feeble attempts to communicate and I’m sure I sound like a cave man. But they are oh so polite!

There are so many subtle differences that we don’t realize. For example, when I call a local Mexican cell number with my US phone, the receiver pays the long distance charges which could be $2 USD a minute. This was shocking as we are so used to unlimited rate plans Coast to Coast. I immediately went out to purchase a local cell phone. The selection was large, the prices fair – about 1200 to 2200 pesos for a good phone with all the bells and whistles. However, rate plans are not that common in Loreto as credit is not widely used. Everyone uses phone cards. OK. After much pained explanation about how much hassle a rate plan would be, I opted to get the phone and cards. No problem. Happily took my phone home, charged it and then tried to figure out how to program the damn thing in Spanish! Technology is difficult enough in English – but after 2 hours, I was ready to pay any 10 year old to set it up for me at almost any price!! OK… breathe …. Pull out the helpless female card and get help! Thankfully, I know people who know people.

I’m not here to report on Loreto Bay activities, but I just have to tell you that construction is really moving on Clusters 6, 7 and 8 and I thought I’d share some photos. I think this time next year; I’ll have hundreds of neighbors!
Been here almost 2 weeks and time to get away! Going to La Paz and Cabo this weekend for shopping, fun, and frivolity… not necessarily in that order! Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

I’m slowly becoming immersed in the lifestyle here. On the weekend I took time out from my errands and chores to go to the beach. Although it was stifling hot on my patio and even near the pool, under a palaypa by the beach was perfect. The warm sea breeze and sounds of the waves gently lapping were enough to relax even the most hard core workaholic for 3 or 4 hours at a time. It was entertaining to watch as many of the locals come down with their car loads of family and food for an all day picnic. They would swim, frolic, and play beach games. The young boys had their spears for fishing, and snorkeling was the thing to do.

My days start early as I am anxious to witness the magnificent sunrises. It’s a very pleasant 75 degrees at 6:30 am and I want to enjoy every second as it doesn’t last long. An hour later the humidity kicks in and it’s already gone up to 85. The golf course looks good as they are regularly watering and the goats keep the grass trim.

The buses of construction crews start arriving at 6:30 am and by 7:30 the site is abuzz with a thousand workers, running, talking and laughing full of energy and vigor before the long day commences. They are at the local canteens getting their jugs of orange juice and water for the day.

A new canteen was set up outside my home last night. My initial reaction was “oh no, I hope that doesn’t mean more flies.” But as soon as I said that I was embarrassed. I am living in the middle of a construction zone, and this is their site. Living here and witnessing the hard labor 10 hours a day, for some six or seven days a week, one can not help but gain a whole new appreciation of value and respect.

I left the house at 7 am to go to the gym and was a little unnerved as there were about 50 men hanging out at the canteen 30 meters away watching me. I got in my car, rolled down the windows, slowly drove through them as they parted. I smiled, waived and yelled “Buenos dias”. They smiled back. I know I will be okay because I am no threat to them, and they will be no threat to me.

Slowly maneuvering down the Paseo towards the Inn, it’s amazing to be part of the activity. The air is fresh and there is a sense of pride as everyone gets ready for their day’s accomplishments.

My mind wandered to my father, who came from China to work the Canadian Railways. He paid the $500 head tax and tolled years of long labor to make a better life for his children. Being a first generation Canadian raised in a poor immigrant neighborhood, I never knew life was hard. I laughed, learned and loved. I remember looking at the rich white folk with reverence. It seems I have come full circle and this is a time of awakening for me.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Nopolo had a wild wind storm the other night. It just picked up and was blowing everything around for a few hours, there was lightening and thunder, but no rain. I was watching for flying cows or goats. They were probably smarter than I was and sought shelter, rather than standing out in the open waiting to be struck by lightening or a flying patio chair!

I took my Pathfinder to the car wash and what a treat! The local car wash was terrific and they spent 2 hours cleaning every detail inside and out. It was dust free for all of 5 minutes, but what a proud 5 minutes they were!

I took the opportunity to walk from El Nido to the Mission and take streets that I have never explored before. I met Adalbertor and Jeannine from the El Caballo Blanco book store. They are from New Mexico and have been here for over a year. It’s a terrific selection of used books, some new books, fabric, art supplies, and other odds and ends. Jeannine is now writing for the Gringo Gazette and assured me that she was integral and not out to bash anyone or Loreto Bay. Let's hope we get some good press for a change. At least she promised to get her facts straight.

As I wandered on, I met Kathy at Complete Solutions who is a fellow Canadian and been in Loreto for the past 8 years. Kathy was really helpful about sharing information. All her beaded jewelry is unique and handmade in Loreto. I found 3 bakeries; a great little supermarket with good meat and produce; appliance, liquor and small electronics stores. I poked into the tortilla outlets; one made corn tortillas with a machine, and across the way, the ladies handmade the flour tortillas hot off the grill. Delicious!

It was quite funny that during my 2 hour walk, I met four people that offered real estate services on the side. From my extensive real estate experience combined with the past few years of closing Trust Deeds, it is very important that you know who you are buying from, both the Agent and the Seller. Remember, that there are no regulatory rules governing real estate agents in Mexico.

I love real estate and after picking up my car, I drove to some of the outlining areas. You know it’s a small town when you go to Miramar or Zaragoza and they are 5 minutes from Loreto! A different prospective altogether and each has its own appeal depending upon what the investor is looking for. I think I will explore this area more in the coming months.

Everyone feels the weather is unusually hot for July, but it is still cooler than Arizona by far. Almost all the home owners are gone and what some may term as isolation, I think is Shangri-La.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Home In Loreto Bay

I had my home inspection for Monday morning, and like most home owners, I had mixed feelings. After over 2 ½ years of wishful thinking, planning and having Loreto curse thru my veins, was it going to be finished? Will it live up to my expectations? Do I know what those really are? Buying in Loreto Bay for most of us is much more about dreams and the quest for community and lifestyle than it is about bricks and mortar. This little adobe hut will change my life … and I can’t wait. How Bizarre?!

Donella was terrific and the house was near perfect. I couldn’t wait to get the keys, shut the door, and sleep off the exhaustion. I am excited to furnish it and make it “home”.

The next day I drove to Super Ley’s in Constitution which is great store. It’s a very easy drive and takes about an hour each way. Being Asian, I was thrilled to see chicken feet, fresh fish on ice, ox tails, and lychee are readily available. The selection was much better than I have seen in Scottsdale! I’m sure there are hundreds that would disagree. However, for bare necessities and selection, it is pretty awesome. Amazing, what happens when you set your expectations to zero, it only takes a little to make one happy. I need to remember this everyday!

Walked around the deserted neighborhood last night and found a party happening at Lot 148. Unlike almost any other city I have lived in, I just walked in … grabbed a beer and found the host to say “Hi, I’m here”. There is a genuine camaraderie as everyone is transplanted from all over USA, Mexico and Canada to the time warp of Founders Neighborhood. People try to stay positive and laugh at themselves. We can’t worry about the small stuff, and it’s ALL small stuff.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Day 3 Baja Trip

Had a lazy morning and took a detour to the world’s biggest producing open sky salt mine … meaning the largest pile of margarita rim mix that you could ever imagine! It was really awesome to drive down the peninsula and feel like you were heading into the ocean. The large salt deposits sitting on the water were like plentiful clumps of foam. I can now understand how buoyant the water is when the huge grey whales pop out their little tons of joy and they immediately float. There is enough salt in this water that the birds and almost everyone else could walk on it with no miracle required.

Headed inland at a cool 74 degrees with cloudy skies. By 1 pm, it was back to a comfortable 92 degrees. Lots and lots of winding roads up and down mountains and going through forests of cactus, hundreds of acres of flat desert, and usually always surrounded somewhere by mountain ranges. No orchards or wineries or fat cows in southern baja!

Finally reached Sta. Rosilia and it was like a ghost town. Not only because of the derrick railway station and trains that were supposedly a museum, but the buildings are all made of wood from the 19th century, which is very unusual for the baja. Given that and the fact that it was world cup Sunday, there was not a male to be seen anywhere in town. We headed out to one of my favorite restaurants, which will remain nameless, and sat 5 feet from the water’s edge and had the freshest seafood platter ever. A true gem located between the river and the ocean, mountains, oasis of palm trees.

The drive from Sta. Rosalia to Loreto was spectacular as it was a true coast line road and every time you came around a mountain, you weren’t sure if you were going to see a semi coming right at you; or a vista of beautiful sandy beaches and mountains; or another high grade of road to climb.

We have now arrived safe and sound in Loreto and it feels familiar.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Day 2 Baja trip

Tracy is my friend from Canada and working on a new high end condo project in Rio del Mar, just 30 minutes from San Diego. It’s an exciting new development right on the Pacific ocean, starting from $400,000 USD for full ownership. Here's pictures of Tracy, and me in their show home. It's going to be a stunning project and great for people that want to drive down for a get-a-way from Southern California. Sales are not starting until September 2006, but if anyone is interested, please let me know and I would be happy to get you more information so you can get in early.

Nik and I continued on our journey and headed down to Escenada, about 30 minutes from Rio del Mar. What a pretty place! Mexicans love their giant flags, and it was the biggest one we had every seen! Walked down and saw the cruise ships and boats docked.

This is a picture of the fish market…. I wish they had this in Loreto!! We stopped at a taco stand and had the freshest shrimp tacos ever for 12 MEP. We loved this place and wish we had more time to hang out. Make it a definite stop on your drive down.

We are loving this drive. Hwy 1 takes you down the coast, and though some of the prettiest wine country nestled in the valley surrounded by mountains. These are a few tips for cruising the baja… a red light is merely a suggestion; No Passing signs actually mean Pass with Caution; Speed bump height and quantity bring on a whole new meaning to cruising speed; Pemex is never that far away even for people like me who rely on fumes; Stock up on water and munchies when you can because once you head inland on Hwy 1, you will want to drink, smoke, and fill your face to avoid brain damage from nonuse. Navigating the winding roads … bank hard to the right and slingslot back to the left. Do not fear the trucks for they fear you. Magna means regular in terms of gas, but doesn’t translate literally so don’t go using this in restaurants.

Finally, we neared the border of northern and southern California, and there were actual military stops with life size cardboard cutouts of handsome armed G-Men which seemed threatening from afar. As we drove closer to be interrogated, we realized this was a ploy and were sure there were candid cameras somewhere lurking in the distance because not a sole was in sight. When reaching the actual border line between states, have your 10 MEPs ready and windows rolled up for the mandatory undercarriage spray. Yes, we mean your car, and I have no idea what on earth a wine gnat from northern baja will do to the southern contingency ... but it must be fearful for this much hassle.

We stop at Guerro Negro at the Malarrimo Hotel. It's parking lot is filled with Gringo type SUVs and my little Pathfinder feels right at home. The restaurant is terrific, the rooms are clean and basic, and it’s a great pit stop. Showers leak like crazy and we soon had our own mini pool in the water closet. But there was water and specifically hot, so life is good.

Monday, July 10, 2006

July 7, 2006 - Day 1 Baja Trip

I do believe in Heroes. My buddy Nik from Loreto Bay came to my rescue and agreed to drive from Phoenix to Loreto with me. This is us and my “new” car starting our trip. While I was loading up the car, I somehow lost my watch. This was a definite sign that I should no longer have a need for it … hmmm…. Anyone want to place bets on how long I will last before replacing it??

Phoenix has been over 110 degrees in the past few weeks, but as we are leaving we encounter a gale force winds that imprisoned us in a dust storm outside of Gila Bend. Following which there torrential rains for not the usual 5 minutes, but a whole 35 minutes. The skies were black and I thought I was in the Pacific Northwest! Then the sun came out and things heated back up to the normal 109 degrees as we approached Yuma.

Being the ultimate organizer and traveler that I am … I decided that a map wasn’t necessary since there are only 2 roads to Loreto … Hwy 2 West and Hwy 1 South. Nik didn’t think this was a good idea when we didn’t know where to cross the border. Oh well. We saw a sign on top of another marked “Border Crossing” and headed down a dirt road to what looked like a farm. Finally realizing that the Border Crossing was coming up, we still had no idea of where we were, but made sure we had our stories straight. Yes, I’m bringing in used goods for my Loreto home on an FM3 and just visiting. Being a Canadian, I am used to being highly interrogated entering the USA even though I have legal alien status. So we were prepared for the normal barrage of questions. We picked the lane that said Nothing to Declare… and indeed it was NOTHING. We slowed down to 5 mph as we reached the gates, chose the right line and just breezed through without anyone so much as looking at us, let alone a check point person talking to us. We certainly were not about to stop and ask directions. Just keep driving and get the heck outta here!!

We didn’t know where to go or which way to turn, but what the heck, the hardest part was over. Well, we figured out that we were in Mexicali and ended up going round and round for almost an hour following signs that said Tijuana and then abruptly ending. Nik was good enough to break out of the guy habit and ask for directions in Spanish. Whenever he asked for Hwy 2 or the way to Tijuana, the look he got was incredulous. His Spanish was perfect, but for some reason they couldn’t figure out why he wanted to know! Uggghhh… the answer came … turn right at the round-about. Now imagine this … this is a huge circle, with at least 5 exits off of it. Where do you turn right in a circle without signs!! Finally, we figured it out and were never so happy to get out of Mexicali. It’s a big city not unlike most crowded, congested cities, only much dustier.

The drive improved dramatically after that. We climbed about 1000 m. up some mountain ranges and the road and scenery were spectacular. Miles of big boulders as beautiful as Scottsdale, yet hundreds of peaks. The road from Mexicali to Tijuana was great, smooth, fast, and lots of different types of topography from lush greenery to desert mountains. If you do this drive, make sure it is in day light, and you have lots of extra change, as it is toll after toll after toll.

Since we were visiting my friend Tracy at Rosarito, we thought we would go through Tijuana. Sounds simple enough, except once you get through freaking Tijuana it’s a maze. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to visit there, as the one redeeming feature is that you may eventually get out. Signage was non existent, at least for us, and just when we thought we were getting close, we would end up in another "Not so Master Plan" community. Nik got a lot of serious White Boy stares as we drove lower and lower into the depths of local neighborhoods. Again... get the heck outta here!

After many illegal turns and cross overs, we ended up in Rio del Mar. Great new development!! More tomorrow...

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 4th of July to all my American friends!! I'm busy packing up and clearing out. I wanted to share what living in Arizona in the summer is like ...

May 30: Just moved to Arizona. Now this is a state that knows how to live!! Beautiful sunny days and warm balmy evenings. What a place! It is beautiful. I've finally found my home. I love it here.

June 14: Really heating up. Got to 100 today. Not a problem. Live in an air-conditioned home, drive an air-conditioned car. What a pleasure to see the sun everyday like this. I'm turning into a sun worshipper.

June 30: Had the backyard landscaped with western plants today. Lots of cactus and rocks. What a breeze to maintain. No more mowing lawns for me. Another scorcher today, but I love it here.

July 10: The temperature hasn't been below 100 all week. How do people get used to this kind of heat? At least its kind of windy though. But getting used to the heat is taking longer than I expected.

July 15: Fell asleep by the community pool. (Got 3rd degree burns over 60% of my body). Missed 3 days of work. What a dumb thing to do. I learned my lesson though. Got to respect the ol' sun in a climate like this.

July 20: I missed Lomita (my cat) sneaking into the car when I left this morning. By the time I got to the hot car at noon, Lomita had died and swollen up to the size of a shopping bag and stank up the upholstery. The car now smells like Kibbles and sh*ts. I learned my lesson though. No more pets in this heat.

July 25: The wind sucks. It feels like a giant freaking blow dryer!! And it's hot as hell. The home air-conditioner is on the fritz and the AC repairman charged $200 just to drive by and tell me he needed to order parts.

July 30: Been sleeping outside on the patio for 3 nights now. $400,000 house and I can't even go inside. Why did I ever come here?

Aug 4: It's 115 degress. Finally got the air-conditioner fixed today. It cost $500 and gets the temperature down to 85. I hate this stupid state.

Aug 8: If another wise ass cracks "Hot enough for you today?" I'm going to strangle him. Damn heat. By the time I get to work the radiator is boiling over, my clothes are soaking wet, and I smell like baked cat!!

Aug 9: Tried to run some errands after work. Wore shorts, and when I sat on the seats in the car, I thought my ass was on fire. I lost 2 layers of flesh and all the hair on the back of my legs and ass. Now my car smells like burnt hair, fried ass, and baked cat.

Aug 10: The weather report might as well be a damn recording. Hot and sunny. Hot and sunny. Hot and sunny. It's been too hot to do sh*t for 2 damn months and the weatherman says it might really warm up next week. Doesn't it ever rain in this damn desert? Water rationing will be next, so my $1,800 worth of cactus will just dry up and blow over. Even the cactus can't live in this damn heat.

Aug 14: Welcome to HELL!! Temperature got to 118 today. Forgot to crack the window and blew the damn windshield out of the car.

The installer came to fix it and said "Hot enough for you today?" My sister had to spend $1500 to bail me out of jail. Freaking Arizona. What kind of a sick demented idiot would want to live here??

Will write later to let you know how the trial goes.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Happy Canada Day!! I'm celebrating my independence as this is the first day of the rest of my life.

I started my adventure over 2 years ago, when I decided with my daughter, to pack up and move from Victoria, BC CANADA to Scottsdale, Arizona. I sold my waterfront home on one of the best beaches in Victoria, filed non residency, and left with what fit in my small car (including my daughter) to start a new life in the USA. I had a tremendous experience with Loreto Bay Company and the team achieved unfathomable success in 3 short years. Now that chapter is closed for me as I move on to new challenges and focus my energy to the future.

I think I will go to Mexico, specifically southern Baja California. This time its much more difficult as I do not yet speak the language, have no immediate prospects of work, and left to my own resources in terms of visas, permits and simply finding my way. I have bought a '97 Nissan Pathfinder and will be driving down to Loreto next week. Hopefully, I can find someone to accompany me as I have never done this drive before and I'm a little nervous to do it on my own. I have sold my home in Scottsdale and almost all my furniture and once again starting over again.

I am very fortunate to have a new home in Loreto Bay which I will be furnishing over the summer. My plan is to hang out, de-stress, learn spanish, and explore what opportunities are good for me. This time around, I want to maintain BALANCE!!!

Moving to Loreto full time has a whole set of challenges. I was thinking to leave almost all my worldly goods behind, but its impossible to replace such common items that we take for granted like cooking items, dish washer soap, good skin care products and toiletries. Living in Loreto, you learn to recyle EVERYTHING ... plastic bags, twist ties, nothing is disposable and everything has its purpose.
I'm not a 2 week vacationer, nor am I sure I will be there for more than 6 months, it's very difficult to know how much to bring and what I will be able to buy. Today was a little stressful as I realized this was going to be more living on the edge than I had anticipated. Oh well.

Since I haven't ordered furniture yet, I will be "camping" in my home for another 3 or 4 months. I ordered a couple of beds through Touch of History until I do my shopping trip with them at the end of the month. I have to be very frugal about space in my Pathfinder, so I picked up a few folding chairs; bar stools and a small table to put my computer. I will be filling every inch with clothes, toiletries, clothing, kitchen stuff, linens, and all the personal photos I can fit. It's exciting yes, but hugely exasperating!!

I can't wait to get on the road to start my adventure ... 5 more sleeps!