Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas - Happy Holidays - Goodwill To All

This is a Week of Firsts. Delta Airlines’ first inaugural flight from LAX to Loreto was Monday, December 18. It was 3 hours late and had less than 20 people on board. Not a lot of fanfare, but they need time to get used to this route. Delta is offering $139 USD one way fares from LAX to Loreto until April 30, 2007, but you must book by December 25.

Not to be outdone ... Alaska Airlines is offering $99 USD one way fares from LAX to Loreto as well. Tickets must be booked by January 22. Also check rules for black out dates. What a deal!! It costs me more to fly from La Paz to Loreto.

My friend Bob Johnston of FN41 was on the Delta flight and was also the first guest in our newly renovated Cabana Rooms. Bob said the beds were comfortable and the rooms very nice. Bob enjoyed the breakfast at Santa Lucia Restaurant and appreciated the wireless internet so he could stay connected.

Bob was intending to move into his Loreto Bay home this trip, but the experience was not quite what he expected. Needless to say, we were very sympathetic and Nellie’s Bar was a great place to unwind at the end of a long day. We got our new BajaBOSS sign this week, and are definitely setting a new standard for Loreto. You won’t miss our place and it is becoming the talk of the town in many good ways.

The streets of Loreto are lit up with lights and the town square is very beautiful. The shops are full with new toys and gift ideas for the holidays. Many people and cars are out every night and it is delightful to stroll around. The wind is really picking up and it has gotten cold overnight. It goes down to about 15C or 59F at night. This may not sound cold to the rest of the world, but when in Mexico … it is unexpected and we are not prepared with heating or warm clothing. There is much style diversity as you see people in tank tops and shorts; as well as in multiple sweaters and boots.

We had dinner at Mita Gourmet and listened to Herzon on the guitar. It was very enjoyable and Mita does have propane heaters just like Nellie’s Bar to take the chill out of the air. The restaurant was busy and the food is always good.

Lynn and Sharon of FN325 are obviously feeling at home in Loreto and Nellie’s Place as they sat in light T-shirts braving the cold. Mark and Allison of FN308 required a little more cervezas to ward off the chill. We all were very happy being in Loreto and enjoying the view and company 3 days before Christmas.

Some of my best customers are Shona and Peter Edwards of FN331 and Will and Cynthia of FN238 (next to me). This night there was little wind and the propane heaters made all the difference. We had fun discussing how a bad experience with certain liquors at a young age can remain with you your whole life. We were telling tales of too much lemon gin, tequila or Baby Duck. I am sure that the reason I don’t drink white wine is a suppressed nightmarish memory with Blue Nun!

Here is me and Jeanny, my #1, on saddles at El Borracho Restaurant. Notice that I ride side saddle because I AM a lady … even if I do run Naughty Nellie’s Bar! This is a great place owned by Mike and Andrea from California. There is more wood on their property than all of Loreto combined. Mike built the saloon and casitas himself and it is a wonderful, friendly place. They are open for breakfast until sunset and prices are very reasonable. Take the road to San Javier and it is less than a kilometer from the highway. Tell them “Nellie Sent You”.

BajaBOSS had our Mexican posada party there. I am so very happy with my team and excited about all the great things that we will do together next year. Starting on my left is Andres, who worked on the El Don Yacht previously. Andres knows many people and things about the area and his customer service skills are exceptional. Next is Yaser, my Bar Manager. Yaser was previously with Pachamamas and is excited about the opportunity of running Nellie’s Tapas Bar. Yolanda worked with Yaser and will be joining us as our Tapas cook. We all look forward to trying out the different recipes until we get just the right menu. Jeanny is the Office Manager and takes care of me and all my multitudes of tasks. Jeanny was a lawyer in Santo Domingo and is studying for her law exam in Mexico. Felicitas is my Rooms Manager for the Hotel and looking forward to receiving all our guests. Juanpablo is my C.F.O. / accountant and was with AeroMexico Airlines for 15 years. We will be providing accounting and Hacienda filing services on all levels for both locals and foreigners.

One of the nicest things about my staff is that they are always smiling, joking and laughing. I can already rely on them when the work needs to be done, as was evidenced in opening the Bar and Hotel on time. The one person missing from the photo was Andres, my night watchman. He keeps an eye on our building and guests all night long and always tries to help out where he can. Perhaps next summer, I will be able to take the staff on a real horse back ride as I’m sure they will have learned to say “Whoa Nellie” in six months time!

I love the fact that I can make an executive decision and decide to turn away business and close on December 24, 25, and 26. No work will be done these days by any of my trades or staff, or me for that matter. This is why I am posting my blog update today. This is a celebration of the holidays, but also what we have accomplished in a very short time. BajaBOSS is resting now, but will be racing next year.

For those of you in Loreto, please join us New Year’s Eve to ring in 2007! We will be opening our office as well in case it is cold, so there will be plenty of places to wander and mingle with friends. The cost is $20 USD or 200 pesos per person and includes first drink, midnight Champaign, cheese and fruit, and hopefully party favors being hand delivered from the USD next week.

I wish all my friends the very happiest of holiday seasons and a healthy prosperous New Year! Thank you very much for taking the time to read my blog and sending your good wishes. I am never afraid or lonely in this new adventure because I am lucky enough to be surrounded by good people.

Mucho Gracias y Feliz Navidad

Miss Nellie

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