Sunday, November 29, 2009

SANTA FE HOTEL and DALI DELI WINE ROOM Now Open in Loreto!

The new SANTA FE HOTEL opened last week, just 18 months after they started construction. As you enter town it is the largest newest building next to Domingo’s Steak House. The SANTA FE HOTEL offers 120 rooms, free parking, wireless internet, deli style internet café, ATM machine, large self service laundry facilities, and a huge wall of coolers for beer and wine.

The inside courtyard pool is very lovely offering Jacuzzi and lounging areas protected from the wind. This hotel will soon be a favorite among the fishermen and off road racing groups, as there is so much space both in the rooms and the facilities.

All rooms are Suites that are nicely appointed with one or two double beds. Included in each room is a kitchenette, with microwave, blender, coffee maker and toaster; dining table, TV, in room safe large enough for a laptop computer and nice bathrooms with showers. All rooms have sliding glass doors for added light and great for families and groups as many of the rooms have adjoining doors.

The rates are very reasonable and start from $56 USD for a suite with one double bed; and only $63 USD for a much larger room with two double beds. Prices are based on double occupancy. This is the headquarters of the Villa Group Ensenada Blanca Project, and they will be offering many great promotions for dinners and activities to further enhance your stay in Loreto. For more information visit www.hotelsantafeloreto.com or call 011 52 613 134 0400.

Fernando Pelayo is the General Manger from their Cabo division and looking forward to welcoming many guests and providing first rate customer service, offered at only a few hotels in the area. Many may remember Pablo from the Mediterano Restaurant and he is with Hotel Security. They ensure that your cars and valuables are looked after, and that only guests are roaming around the hotel.

Their internet café, deli and market should be open December 15, 2009, and this will be open to the general public. I am looking forward to seeing what types of sandwiches and salads they will be offering as any selection will be more variety than our current choices. Loreto has come a long way in three years and we welcome change.

A little hidden secret not known by many is the MUY MUY Café on Benito Jueves next to the Corn Tortilla Shop. Jose is the owner and baker, and has been in business for almost two years now serving fresh baked muffins and yes … real donuts! He makes apple fritters, bear claws, and several different glazes on his donuts including chocolate. He even has donut holes which are a great treat for the kids, or a nice light tidbit for those of us watching our calorie intake.

Many of my friends were not even aware that you could get fresh donuts in town. Drop by and say hello to Jose and support another entrepreneur trying to stay alive during these slow times. His shop is open Monday to Friday from 7 am to 11 am; and again from 12 noon to 2 pm. He is closed Saturday and Sunday. A dozen glazed donuts are 85 pesos and a nice surprise for your neighbors and friends while they are hot and fresh.

The biggest event of the week was Dali Deli’s grand opening of their Wine Room. Most everyone knows about Dali Deli located on Benito Jueves who have been offering specialty items and meats to keep us ex-pats happy for the past 3 years. Beatrice was at the door greeting customers, including Glen Mickowski who just sailed into town with his wife Joyce, for a few days to stock up for their next adventure.

It was a fabulous turnout and packed with friends all dressed up Loreto style to mingle and socialize, and enjoy the many different wines offered. Dali Deli will be the second distributorship for Los Cabos Wine Importers in Baja and everyone is excited about this new venture.

Juan Manuel Solis, is the Sommelier and Importer based in Cabo San Lucas. Juan Manuel has been working with the Villa Group in Cabo for many years, and now with their new Santa Fe Hotel, as well as the beautiful new La Mision Hotel, feels that this partnership with Dali Deli will be a win/win for all local residents and visitors.


Owner Jose Luis was running around attending to all the details and everything was perfect. Chef Felipe catered the appetizers and is quickly becoming known as the In Home Chef at Loreto Bay. His website is www.chefatloretohome.webs.com and I have been told that he will come to your home and cook dinner parties for 8 to 10 people, or cater large parties. Many cases of wine were sold this evening and it was a very successful fun event.

Pedro Lopez of Porto Bello Restaurant was sampling many new wines to consider stocking for his 2 locations. Pedro asked me to let you know that his airport restaurant is now only open on the days of the flights … Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from noon to 4 pm. Otherwise, you can visit him 7 days a week at the Puerto Escondido Porto Bello Restaurant from noon to 8 pm.

Build it and they will come … we in Loreto are ready and waiting!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Fresh Starts in Loreto …

The weather has changed in the last week and has dipped below 80 degrees during the day with bright sunny skies. The storm season is over and now we enjoy putting on a sweater in the evenings. I can now actually be outside to enjoy the sunrises and sunsets, and greet the many walkers and workers in the early hours.

This week Baja Onsite General Store opened in the old Farmacia location in Loreto Bay. The store is owned and operated by Evan and Julie Fager. They stock all the convenience items we have been wishing for … beer, soft drinks, groceries, cleaning supplies, used books and video rentals. They have swifter mops, hoses, wireless door chimes … make sure you check with them for what you need before heading into town. They may just have it … and pick up a 6 pack while you are there! It is a leap of faith to take on the overhead of renting space and purchasing inventory, so please drop by and support them, both financially and with your appreciation. Please contact Julie@BajaOnsite.com for any inquires.

Another entrepreneur in Loreto Bay is Peter Boddy of PJB Design Studio. Peter and I have been friends since the beginning days of Loreto Bay when we shared an office in Scottsdale. No exaggeration when I say many of us worked 70+ hours a week for years, along with hundreds of others that would come and go to share the vision. For those remaining, we still love what we do, and are lucky to be able to live here.

PJB Design Studio can be found on the main boulevard in Loreto Bay just a few doors down from the Baja Onsite General Store. I am enclosing a photo because this is Loreto and there is no signage, and whatever numbers there are … do not make any sense! Drop by and say hello to Peter and find out more about his creative and innovative architectural design solutions.

This year more owners are take possession of their homes, furnishing them, and plan to spend more time here. Thinking of customizing your Village Home, both interior spaces and courtyard gardens … this is what Peter does best. Since Peter was involved with the Design process in Loreto Bay from the beginning, he truly understands the conceptual plans.

The finishing touches are what turn any house into a home. These include water features, ironwork, using color to create ambiance and dimension, landscaping and courtyards with cook centers and pergola shade areas. Unique outdoor living elements are what set Loreto Bay apart from other developments.

Peter is very responsive and has excellent communication skills. He and his wife, Ariel Klein, have been part of this project for six years and Loreto Bay is their home. When looking for someone to trust with your dream home, look at who is personally vested in Loreto Bay and who will still be here years from now when we are sipping margaritas and laughing about the good old times that we are creating today. You can contact Peter at peterb@pjbstudio.com

Back downtown at my office, they are busy tearing up the Loreto Municipal Square. This hole seems to be larger than most swimming pools I have seen here, but in fact it is for a new gazebo, with a semi circle fountain surrounding it. Why is it so deep?? Quien Sabe??
The plans look very nice, and these 3 palm trees have recently been replanted in a row. There will be curved paving stones leading into the Square from the different corners. The old wooden benches are being preserved for lots of seating areas. The workers are confident that it will be completed January 2010. Quien Sabe??

While they have the machinery here, they may as well tear up more streets while they are at it. Planning logic would not have made this the plan when they spent nine months tearing up the existing sidewalk in front of the Hotel Posado del las Flores and my office. What are they doing here and why??? Quien Sabe??

Meanwhile it gets dark about 6 pm now, so make sure you have the necessities of life in Loreto Bay … plenty of wine to share with friends, and a flashlight so they can get home safe. Friends came over with this flashlight, and I was suitably impressed. It gave off more light than many cars here! As I have said before… I amuse easily living la vida loca in Loreto!

On the social scene, many ex Loreto Bay VIPs and guests were in town to attend the wedding of Bob Toubman this weekend at the Hotel Oasis. Congratulations and good wishes to Bob and Elvira for a lifetime filled with happiness.

Happy Thanksgiving to my many American Friends!

Miss Nellie

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Dorado Real Estate Opens during Party Week in Loreto!

We had the Grand Opening for our new downtown location of DORADO LORETO Real Estate office on November 11, 2009. Many friends came by to say hello and give us good wishes for the future. The Sales Team of Brad Palen, Dee Wise, Drew McNabb and Ariel Klein were all very pleased with the turnout and it was great to see so many people returning for the winter.

It was also my First 49th Birthday, so there was a delicious cake made by Carol Boyd of the Mediterano Restaurant and plenty of cold cervezas and good cheer to go around. Guests were very complimentary about our new office and those that remembered the old abandoned building appreciated the complete renovation from top to bottom.

Dorado Loreto has opened this season with over 60 Listings in this area. In many instances, prices have dropped 20% to 30% from where they were in 2007. This is reasonable considering the rapid growth and over inflated prices that happened worldwide during the past several years. We have some great deals including a 2 bedroom, 2 bath Casa Chica with tower in Loreto Bay Founders neighborhood for $200,000 USD. Also, we have a large downtown property with boat garage, landscaped and paved yard, and rustic Mexican style home for $250,000.

It was a busy week socially with more residents and visitors arriving. The Alaska planes are full from now to the end of the year and many people are considering driving Baja, or flying to Cabo and then making their way here for the holidays. I enjoyed hanging out with my friend Steve Williams and his buddy Jim Miller who were down doing some repair work on Steve's home.

This weekend we hit another milestone … it was exactly 6 years ago that 52 lots and homes were sold in Cluster 1 of Loreto Bay in 2003. Many of the owners were in residence and we thought it was a great opportunity to get together with friends and pat each other on the back for surviving the worst and looking forward to the future.

Del Borracho Saloon had Mark Tyler, Bruce Wheeler, Jesus Cortez, and Roger Cortez entertaining with their excellent Rock & Roll band. These events only happen a couple of times a year and always get a standing room only turnout. It’s a Main Event to watch these guys play.

Greg Gordon was getting into the groove as he chimed in with his cowbell accompaniment. People were literally screaming along with some of the popular lyrics, throwing their arms in the air, and stomping the floor in time with the music.

It is great to see everyone having fun, laughing and happily mingling with old friends and newcomers alike. Girls just want to have fun! Lots of dancing anywhere people could find a spot … near the pool tables, outside on the deck, at the bar and in their chairs.

The cast of characters from all walks of Loreto come out to party. We have the Harley gang dressed in their leather uniform; long time ex-pats; Mexican locals of all ages; sidekicks in all shapes; and part time residents and visitors all experiencing the best of Loreto.

The most surprising highlight of the evening was the debut performance of a young trio consisting of Miquel, Eddie and Oscar As the startup band, they demonstrated amazing talent and skill as they entertained on drums, guitar, bass. All in the crowd were amazed by the dexterity and passion that these young men displayed. When they played their last set of the evening, all attention was focused entirely on them and they received many standing ovations of appreciation from the crowd.

There is no doubt that Eddie will be a star with the right opportunities. At the awkward young age of 14 years, he commands the drums and symbols with such natural skill that it can only be described as “awesome”. With his first performance this evening, all of Loreto will be watching his future performances.

We were told that Oscar is also14 years old, and has only learned to play the base eight months ago. He will be another up and coming talented musician to watch. Miquel is the most experienced at the ripe ago of 20 years old. He played a few solos and captured the audience’s completed and undivided attention.

Mike and Cholie’s next Rock & Roll party will be at the end of February, 2010. Mark it down on your calendars now to make sure you don’t miss it! The Del Borracho parties are the most fun events in the area! Great hamburgers, cold beer on tap, happy friendly people, and rock & roll…Life doesn’t get any better!

Their staff are all attentive and work very hard to make sure customers are served quickly and the place is constantly cleaned as people move around from table to table. They love the party as much as everyone else and are smiling all the time! Rock & Roll at Del Borracho crosses all cultural, social and economic perceptions and its just a Good Time!

Have a great week!
Miss Nellie

Saturday, November 07, 2009

25th Rock & Roll Hall of Fame at Madison Square Gardens, New York … too much fun!

I missed blogging last week because life was more of a whirlwind than normal. I left Loreto on Tuesday, Oct 26 at 4 am and drove to San Jose del Cabo for an 11 am flight. From La Paz I decided to take the San Jose road as there is a lot of construction on the Pacific highway towards Todo Santos. I saved myself an hour and my little Mercedes finally felt like a Baja Car as it took the curvy mountain roads at 120 km/ph, with the tunes blaring and the windows down blowing fresh 84 degree temperate air to start an exciting week.

I arrived at Cabo airport at 9:30 am and left the car at the terminal parking lot as there are really no other options. The car was very safe when I returned, and the cost is 320 pesos for the first day; and 150 pesos for each day thereafter; and more expensive by the hour for partial days. To park for 4.5 days, it was 890 pesos, which is expensive but worth the benefit of just having the car within steps of the terminal and safe.

I took the flight to Dallas Fort Worth and was greeted by my friends and Loreto Bay neighbors, Joe and Miki Mckenzie. I had never been to Texas and we have often talked about my visiting over many glasses of wine in Loreto. Dallas is an attractive city, very clean and modern, with lots of green spaces. I was amazed how friendly everyone was, from the minute I landed at Immigration and Customs, to meeting Joe and Miki’s friends at CRUSH the local wine bar near the exclusive Highland Park neighborhood. It is a place that would be fun to go back and wander through the many stores and enjoy the never ending restaurants.

The next morning I left for New York City for one of those very special weekends. My friend Ann had been the highest bidder at a Charity for Children Auction on VIP Box Seat tickets for the 25th Rock & Roll Hall of Fame performance at Madison Square Gardens on Oct. 29. She generously invited “the girls” and we had the most spectacular time. I flew into Newark Airport where you can take a private car to Manhattan for $75 or the subway for $15. Tanya flew from Halifax, and Lorraine came in from Toronto. Ann flew from Victoria and it was a truly international weekend.

I booked the New Yorker Hotel which is only a block away from the Gardens and about 8 blocks from Times Square. It is located in the Fashion District with lots of shops, restaurants, and always people on the street at all hours of the day and night. It is very reasonable by New York standards, only $350 a night for a standard queen room. The room is not large enough to swing a cat, but it is similar to all other quality hotels in size and amenities.

The main event of course was the concert and the only way it has been described is “legacy”. The first of two massive Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th anniversary shows had monumental moments that just keep coming on the stage starting with Tom Hanks opening the show, which last six hours – yes that’s right 6 hours! It was amazing to be in the private VIP box with catered food, endless drinks, and our own bathroom! Show highlights were:

Jerry Lee Lewis reminds the crowd of rock & roll’s ’50s roots by settling in at a white baby grand for “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On.”

Crosby, Stills and Nash add another layer of perfect harmony when James Taylor joins in on “Love the One You’re With.” The capper: one of many awe-inspiring guitar solos by Stephen Stills.


Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel’s voices mingle on “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” The pair throw their arms around each other at the conclusion of “The Boxer.” Will the U.S. see this reunion again? Garfunkel admits their recent shows together “were a lovely falling back together again” but they have “no such plans,” after their set.

Stevie Wonder turns a technical difficulty into a hilarious quip: “Aw, shit … stuff happens, you know what I’m saying?” and changes his set before it even gets going to kick off with a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind.” He later pays homage to Michael Jackson with a stunning “The Way You Make Me Feel.” Not enough yet? Smokey Robinson emerges for a loose, warm rendition of “Tracks of My Tears.”

Moments later, John Legend arrives onstage to pay homage to Marvin Gaye with “Mercy, Mercy Me.”



B.B King is up next, earning Stevie’s praise as “the king of blues for every city in the world” with “The Thrill is Gone.”













Sting strides onstage popping the bassline to “Higher Ground,” and the song morphs into “Roxanne” and back again.

Two words: Jeff Beck. The guitar legend joins Wonder for “Superstition” and breaks into an otherworldly solo on the break, flinging his bare right hand at the strings and tapping away.











Springsteen hits the stage with his famous plea, “Is there anybody alive out there?” He gives even himself a jolt with guest Sam Moore, who he praises as “one of the all time great bandleaders.”

Springsteen welcomes John Fogerty for “Fortunate Son” and a pair of sweet covers for E Street: Fogerty’s own “Proud Mary” and Roy Orbison’s “Pretty Woman.”

The E Street Band make their own Wall of Sound as Darlene Love joins Bruce and the gang for “A Fine, Fine Boy” and “Da Doo Ron Ron.” “We’re in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame now,” Springsteen exclaims.

Tom Morello wah-s out a bone-crunching solo on a mind-blowing cover of “London Calling” with the E Street Band that nearly outdoes his earlier heroics on “The Ghost of Tom Joad.”

Springsteen delivers a brief and hilarious speech about how New Jersey and Long Island were once a connected landmass as a way of introducing the night’s final very special guest: Billy Joel. E Street keeps cranking through “You May Be Right,” “Only the Good Die Young” and Joel’s hometown anthem “New York State of Mind.”

Bruce Springsteen brings the house down with “Born to Run” and reluctantly leaves after wringing the last possible “higher” out of “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher.” “That’s rock & roll!” he exclaims.

There was just too much to remember and it was a perfect evening among friends! Thanks Again Ann!!

HBO will broadcast four hours of highlights from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary Concerts on 29 November at 8 pm ET (US).

We also took in Broadway and the newest play that the town is buzzing about is MEMPHIS. We were able to secure great mezzanine seats for this show that had only opened Oct 19, 2009. This is a real song and dance musical. The lead vocalists were amazing and the music was very good. There is lots of R&B and the choreography is terrific. I highly recommend it as entertaining and many “in the know” say it will be nominated for a Tony next year. High energy, great story and terrific talent!

I could have stayed another week, but New York is expensive and I needed to save things to do for my next visit. It is easier to get from Cabo to New York and less expensive than to fly Loreto to Victoria. Although I visit my family often in Victoria, it’s nice to have a playground that is culturally, geographically and socially very different from Loreto for a change of pace occasionally.

News in Loreto is that Dorado Properties Real Estate is now 100% owned by me, and with five full time sales associates, we are the largest independent broker north of La Paz. We are opening our downtown office in the Loreto Plaza next to Hotel Posada del las Flores and near Mita Gourmet Restaurant. Our Grand Opening will be Wednesday, November 11th, 2009 from 11 am to 7 pm. Drop by and say hello to our team and see our inventory of reduced prices for properties in this area. I will be there from 4 pm to 7 pm and look forward to being back in business downtown!

See you in Loreto!
Miss Nellie
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