Dinner at sunset after our exciting drive to Mexico. We decided to eat at Wrecked at the Reef, where some tables are on the sand with perfect sunset views. It’s very Americanized, has a huge indoor sports bar, corn hole and live bands. We prefer the quiet tables next to the sea.
One of my favorite things about Puerto Penasco is the food. They have fresh seafood, since it’s a fishing village, and the prices are outstanding.
Coconut shrimp at Wrecked on the Reef. My husband and I shared this along with a shrimp cocktail, American style.
On our first trip to Puerto Penasco, we asked our Arizona realtor for places to eat. He gave us a list, but said his family of four kids and wife liked Pollo Lucas the best. At first, I was skeptical of char-broiled chicken, rice and beans. What could be so exciting about that? Well, it’s now our go to place and favorite, too.
Prices are in pesos. For under $20 we ordered a whole chicken, rice, beans, salsa and the most delicious flour tortillas I’ve ever had. We got about four meals out of this, eating in the restaurant and taking the rest back to the condo.
I’ve posted about Pollo Lucas several times before. But it’s so good it deserves another round of applause and attention.
The works at Pollo Lucas. I LOVE the Mexican Coca Cola but I’m glad we don’t have it here!
The restaurant was empty when we arrived. Sometimes we have to wait for a seat. It’s open air with a thatched roof. It comes complete with cats who are very well behaved.
The entrance to our old home. Our homeless man, who believed he bought our house, slept on the steps.
The back yard, which had our front door, once you walked through the gate above.
Sometimes I miss my old home. We lived there for 28 years. I had my babies there and raised them until they went off to college. I never thought I’d leave. But then COVID hit and my husband worked remotely from the Master bedroom. I worked remotely from our son’s bedroom.
Prices were going crazy high because people were fleeing the big cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles. Our town offered more space and much lower prices compared to the city life. My husband believed it was time to make our move to Arizona.
When I feel like I miss the old homestead, I read my emails. Every morning I get a “Personalized Spot Crime” report for my old neighborhood.
It’s gotten so much worse since we moved three years ago in December.
Here are a couple examples from my inbox:
In the 28 years we lived there, we had very little crime. My bicycle was stolen from the carport, which didn’t lock at the time. We had a homeless man who slept on the steps of the archway.
Oh, we had someone break into the home from the hospital mental ward a few blocks away wearing his “robe” with a bare behind. My daughter was the one who ran into him in the kitchen. She was in third grade and named him Hobo Joe. My husband threw him out of the house and called the police. They caught him trying to enter the house across the street.
But through 28 years, those were off events. Nothing like the crime I see reported on a daily basis now.
Once, after flying home from Seattle visiting family, I had to take a Lyft home. My husband had COVID. Anyway, the Lyft driver told me he was once a deputy sheriff in my neck of the woods. He said the number one crime was speeding. I sure hope it stays that way! It makes me appreciate my new home and where I live.
I had crime on my mind after a run in with the Mexican police on our recent getaway. If you missed it, I wrote about it HERE.
Is there crime in your neighborhood? Do you feel it’s gotten worse or better through the years?
The resort where we’ve been staying for the past year’s weekend getaways.
We love the beach. How perfect that we found a beach four hours south of Phoenix across the border in Mexico. With wide expanses of a white sandy beach, calm warm waters of the Sea of Cortez, we thought we found paradise.
Until this past weekend. It’s paradise until it’s not.
Two things freaked me out.
First, crossing the corder at a Lukeville, which is out in the middle of nowhere on the south side of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, I saw something I’ve never seen in the dozen or so times we’ve been there.
There were a thousand men lined up on foot to cross into the United States from Mexico. There were no women or children. They were young, all colors and presumably nationalities. I’ve seen news of massive border crossings in Texas, but nothing at Lukeville. This was the first time I’ve noticed anyone on foot.
Next, we had to run the gauntlet in the desperately poor town on the Mexican side of the border. Usually it’s without incident, but it’s shocking to see people living in abject poverty. It’s nothing like our lives in the United States. The speed limit is 25 mph which the signs say 40 kmh. We have to drive through window washers who jump in front of our car with a spray bottle. People are begging in wheel chairs, missing limbs. It’s so sad.
Once through the town the speed limit increases slowly. We were last in line of about seven cars and trucks when red lights flashed behind us. We pulled on the shoulder to let the vehicle pass, but it stopped behind us! We were pulled over in Mexico.
For what, we had no idea.
We were approached by two burly Mexican cops who told us to roll down all the windows, asked for my husband’s driver’s license and told us we had been speeding at 60 kmh. (Not true.)
They said they’d write a ticket and we had to pay at the courthouse before we continued. My husband asked where it was. They said they’d show us but they’d keep the driver’s license until we paid. Oh — and the courthouse was closed for the next two or three hours.
But they could do us a favor. Pay them $160 American dollars, they’d return the license and we could be on our way. Which we did.
It made us angry, but what else could we do? End up in a Mexican jail for not paying? Now I’m fearful of the drive back. We need to find an ATM in case we need cash again at the border town. I’ll be happy to be back in the USA.
However, I have some empathy for the people living in the squalor of the border town watching countless Americans driving through to get to the beach resorts an hour away — driving luxury cars, trucks and RVs. Pulling people over all day long for $160 a pop is a decent living.
It took us a bit of time to relax. We ate delicious meals, walked the beach and read.
Here are a few photos:
Would you want to come back anytime soon? Would you be afraid? Why or why not?
I was so looking forward to my kids’ visit. Now that they are gone, I’m in a bit of a funk. I figured it out when I don’t want to eat. I don’t want to leave the house for my morning walks. I can tell my husband is a little worried about me.
Unfortunately when my two adult kids, new bride and her brother were here, things didn’t go exactly as planned. We had a heat wave and since they all live in the Bay Area, the heat doesn’t agree with them. Then the AC went out their last night in the casita and DIL got very sick.
And I got scared!
She vomited for hours. They finally decided to pack up and leave. Once she was in the AC of the car, she felt much better. I worried about her health unlike anything I’ve felt before. I realized how vulnerable she is. How vulnerable we all are.
I’m trying to leave Funkytown. We’re headed on a weekend getaway to Mexico, which is a four-hour drive away. The beach always makes me feel better. In the meantime, I have a community newsletter to complete and will keep moving.
With the kids on their way to visit, my husband and I kept our promise to quarantine. The days at home gave me new appreciation for life in our backyard. (I wrote about the need to quarantine HERE.)
“Hey, it’s not that bad!” were my famous words I’d tell my swim coach after a hard set. We emblazoned the saying on t-shirts after the coach joked that he should advertise his Masters with my expression. (I wrote about not giving up — whether it’s swimming, fishing or writing HERE — complete with t-shirt pics.)
I discovered staying home “is not that bad” — and I that I love and appreciate my backyard.
The following are views that make me enjoy living where I do:
I watched three Harris Hawks land in a tree across the wall. They love to hang out there. Then one by one, they flew into our yard. I lost sight as they flew over our roof.
Here’s a video of one flying I captured in slow motion:
I can’t wait to see my son, daughter-in-law, her brother and my daughter!
What are your favorite things or views from your home?
Friday mornings I am part of a zoom call with about 20 people. We never have that many at once, but usually around 10 make the two-hour call. A friend of my husband’s asked me to join. He thought I’d be a good fit for the group. Why? I’m not sure.
Interestingly, there are only two women in the group — including me. Also, I’m the youngest by at least 10 years. The oldest is 101 years old and sharp as can be. Demographically, they are highly educated, successful individuals. There are two neurosurgeons, several attorneys, a guy who ran a bond desk, and another who ran a hedge fund. The other woman is a mayor of a Southern California town.
Then there’s me. A former stay-at-home mom, former PR employee with an undergraduate degree and current blogger.
What’s the purpose of the zoom call? To determine “What is the truth.”
We discuss current events, politics and religion. All the stuff you’re not supposed to talk about. Yet, with our contrary views, everyone is civil and we are learning a lot from each other. At least I am.
One of the things I’ve learned about is Israel and Judaism. The majority of the group visits Israel annually and are deeply religious Jews. My daughter’s best friend growing up was Jewish and I learned a lot from their family about Orthodox beliefs and practices. But this zoom call is giving me an intensive history education in the nation of Israel from several scholars and teachers in our group.
Needless to say, today will be eye opening reviewing the events of the past week.
God bless everyone! Have a safe and happy weekend.
I woke up to thunder. The sky was dark and ominous. While writing my morning pages in my journal, there was a cloud burst and rain. My husband and I both ended up in the backyard. He left through the kitchen door, and I went out the bedroom slider, but we ended up together to experience rain.
It was a short-lived rainfall, but then there was that wonderful smell. There’s a word for it:
Petrichor: The distinctive scent which accompanies the first rain after a long warm dry spell.
I wrote about petrichor when I first discovered the word a few years ago. I wrote about it HERE
After a rain where we live there is a rich deep smell from creosote. Every region must have its own distinct petrichor, depending on plant life.
I took a look at what I wrote (link above) and what hit me was how many of the bloggers who I enjoyed reading and interacting with no longer are around. I clicked on their names and to read “page not found” or blogs with no new entries since 2021.
Do you find bloggers you followed have disappeared? Do you think it’s a coincidence it happened through the shutdown years?
Do you think that we should give our readers a warning if we stop blogging? Why or why not?