ED calls Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point), Mexico, her happy place. It is my happy place, too. The sandy, uncongested beaches are the setting for low tides that reveal fascinating pools and high tides with exciting waves. The people are friendly, food is delicious, and drinks are abundant. One can drive buggies onto the dunes, bounce on the waves on a banana boat, or sit on the veranda and doze.
Desperate to escape the bitter winter of Chicago and Michigan, our A-team of travelers called me a few weeks ago to plead, “Let’s talk about Rocky Point, TODAY!” A Zoom meeting settled dates which allowed three days post Mexico to enjoy the Phoenix area.
Guiding newbies to a treasured destination offers a chance to see old sights in a new way and prompts one to seek novel experiences. Enroute on a very rainy day, we stopped at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in southern Arizona. Although we have driven through this area many times, we had never pulled off the road to visit the park itself. We will try it again sometime, when it isn’t raining.
I suggested our friends trash a Visit Rocky Point marketing pamphlet which showed none of our familiar haunts. I wanted them to see the village not the resorts. The house that I booked in Los Conchas, Bahia Delfin, was familiar to me, as I had stayed there previously. It is quintessentially Mexican with painted tiles on the counters and in the showers, artisan furniture, and outdated cupboards. The plumbing is questionable, there are no handrails on the patio stairs, the microwave is in Spanish, and during this visit, two of the dining room chairs were unusable. But it was clean and well furnished with a large covered patio and a breathtaking view of and access to the sandy beach.
We ate and drank at Flavios in the fish market, The Friendly Dolphin (Delfin Amigable) in town, and Wrecked at the Reef on Sandy Beach. We checked into The Captain’s Table (Casa del Capitain) to enjoy dinner at sunset and began with a fishbowl-size margarita. Unaware that a pointed finger and minimal gesture of the head might mean “yes”, one diner was presented a second margarita as we enjoyed the music provided by strolling musicians. Mexican coffee topped off our meal, a show in itself as the liquor flames into the espresso. Topped with whipping cream, it is a delicious libation for coffee lovers. And more alcohol than necessary following two margaritas.
We cooked shrimp from Jessy’s and enjoyed Lucas’ chicken. We shopped at Super Ley and, new to us, Coppel department store. We perused the “pot shops” (my term), filled with beautiful ceramic ware. One shop is an American liability lawyer’s dream, the three floors so crowded that one could get lost if not injured. The layers of dust coating the merchandise and floors trigger sneezing upon entry. The other store is slightly less crowded but displays their products in appealing themed arrangements.
Young boys washed our car windows spontaneously when we stopped at a traffic light. The whole car was cleaned when we parked for a short time on Rodeo Drive (not to be confused with the Rodeo Drive of Beverly Hills). All for a small amount of cash. These acts often irritate Americans, but I salute the teens trying to survive, not glued to electronics. We dropped dollar bills into Red Cross buckets.
Although the weather was cool, the tide variation was substantial. A tidepool excursion led by a biologist and his translator wife out of CEDO revealed our ignorance. Where we saw rocks and algae, he identified an abundance of animal life.
We locked ourselves out of the rental and learned that none of the emergency numbers provided by the management agency worked. A guard at the entrance to the housing development found an open window to let us in. When we reported it to the agency the next day, no one was concerned.
Between our activities, we dozed, read, played games, and walked the beach. One beautiful afternoon, when the tide was out and testing the direction of the wind, we each took a handful of ashes, the remains of one of our team lost last year to COVID and threw them into the sea, watching Larry become one with the universe. Another member raised a kite in honor. Tears were close; hugs were plenty.
My husband watched the speedometer as we cruised through Sonoyta to avoid contributing further to the local police as we had donated less than a year ago. One last stop at Vazquez in Sonoyta to pick up tequila for my brother, and we passed through the wall into the USA.
Another three days of fun and fellowship in Phoenix. Then it was time for all of us to depart. We were ready. The Midwesterners were confident they could tolerate the remaining winter. Everyone wanted their own beds and routines.
This team began traveling together when our kids were young and included them in our adventures. Now when we travel, we Facetime them, and detect a rolling of the eyes as they see us together. A friend once expressed dismay to one of our team that we could maintain our friendship when we traveled together so much. It has worked. Aware that relationships can frazzle, we honor and protect our individual space.
I suggested at one time that we could test our bonds by renting an RV. No one has jumped on that.