Sunday, January 06, 2008

Happy New Year from Loreto, Mexico!

To end 2007, Greg and Carmen of FN58, Mike and Carol of FN151, and Carver and Marian of FN62, and I all played Bocci Ball on our new courtyard by the 9th Green. It was Guys versus Girls and quite a heated competition. Nothing like a little friendly sports to see people’s true colors. Of course, I was playing in my fur lined parka, high heels, and beer in hand … every handicap I could claim for my bad aim! Carmen is always a class act as she brought out Champaign and glasses for us to toast the New Year in style!

The wind finally stopped on January 4 when most people have left town. The last few days have been perfectly warm, bright and sunny in Loreto. This must be heaven on earth and I must have done something good at sometime to deserve such a life. There is NOTHING better than being out on the water with good friends on these beautiful mornings.

We went out with Jeff and Maria of FN556 and their kids Mitch and Ashley. Jeff and Mitch had no trouble diving into the 60 degree water while Captain Chino and I watched and laughed at these crazy polar bears from Nebraska. The water was smooth as glass and we saw hundreds of dolphins playing with the boat for what seemed like hours. No matter how many times I see the dolphins, I am always amazed at their playfulness and beauty.

No trip is complete without going around Coronado Island to see the sea lions basking in the sun and posing for the passing boats. Even in our 34’ Luhrs Sports fishing boat we were able to get within 15 feet of them for a good look and photos. Another perfect day with 80 degree temperatures, calm water, abundant sea life, green mountains in the background, and most importantly great friends.

This was Mitch’s first time to Loreto and he hopes to be back soon when their home is completed. There were so many great young adults here with their parents over the holidays that I think we need to find a forum for them to get together and find each other during these vacations. I am so impressed with all the families that I have met here and it is another reinforcement of what a fantastic community is growing here.

We thoroughly enjoyed having dinner with Russ and Cindy Demers of FN109 and their daughters, Alexandra and Marissa, at Mita Gourmet. Alexandra was very interested in the heated political campaign happening here and noticed right away that each of the parties were on the opposite sides of the street with their supporters actively soliciting votes. Marissa is attending college in Upstate New York and was telling me how her class was studying Loreto Bay as an example of the New Urbanism Development. How interesting!

Tomorrow is the first day back to work in 3 weeks for most businesses, and I am feeling rested and ready to tackle another rollercoaster year. I have done little work over the holidays and am training clients that there is very little that can not wait until the vacation is over. There was nothing more evident to make me realize this than getting a phone call at 10 am from a local Loreto Bay resident on New Year’s Day, who shall remain nameless.

I was so pleased that he was thoughtful enough to call and wish me a Happy New Year, until in the next breath, he had to ask me a FM3 question. Are you kidding me??? I reminded him of the time and date and said surely this could wait until tomorrow, especially since Immigration was closed until Monday. He responded by saying that he did not want me to “work” but just to answer his questions? Would you phone your lawyer on New Year’s Day and expect him to answer a question without “working”. Good thing that I consider this person a friend and was able to joke with him, and I took the positive from this experience and realized that I have to be more adamant about saying “Not now, let’s discuss that during office hours.” in the future.

One of Baja BOSS’s corporate clients is Sea Kayak Baja Mexico, which we helped incorporate last year. David Noel and Ginni Callahan love kayaking in Baja, so much that they’ve built their lives around it. Ginni has been guiding in Baja for 11 years, and is a British Canoe Union (BCU) sea kayak coach Level 4. Sea Kayak Baja Mexico is the only BCU-endorsed kayaking center in Mexico and is also Mexico’s only Nigel Dennis Expedition Centre. With this valuable support, Ginni and David provide kayak instruction and expeditions for those with basic experience looking to enhance their skills and challenge themselves on longer and tougher expeditions than other kayaking companies offer. All of their kayaks are singles of British design (skegs instead of rudders). Enjoy a course in the Sea of Cortez or in the surf of the Pacific! The photo is from the beginning of a trip down 60 miles of central Baja’s Pacific coast in early 2007. For more information on how to join them in Loreto on a kayak tour go to: Sea Kayak Baja Mexico http://www.columbiariverkayaking.com/baja.html

Loreto is growing up as a business center. I used to say that there were three Gentlemen’s Clubs in Loreto and one bank. Now Bancomer Bank has opened their brand new second branch located on the highway offering services for Preferred Foreign Clients. Banking has come a long way in one short year, when previously it would take waiting in line for at least 2 hours to have money changed or inquire about a new account with staff that spoke very little English. Bancomer has definitely stepped up their customer services and are now open on Saturday mornings for everyone’s convenience.

The new competition in town is Banamex Bank located on the main street of Salvaterra. Banamex is owned by Citigroup and we feel competition is healthy for better services, rates, and options. Now we can say that we have 3 strip joints, and 3 banks. I do not believe there is any relation to one another; it is merely a twisted comparison of life in a small town. I think it would be interesting to know how many stores there were that sold beer, and how many pharmacies (many) in comparison to how many lawyers and accountants are here (very few)?? This would be an interesting survey, but far too time consuming for me to visit every beer store!

I am looking forward to getting back to work and seeing what 2008 brings. One thing is certain, this has been a very fun holiday season and a great community is forming just as we had all hoped. All the best for a prosperous and healthy new year!

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