An unexpected “May the Fourth”, more heat, cool pools, and some water down art. Here is week eight on the road and still in the Baja, yeah.
Words taken from my daily journals, with some enhancements…..here or there.
Hotel Tripue (near Puerto Escondido): Perfect morning. Looking out, sitting poolside, the view is like a postcard. Palm trees, mountains, blue skies with just the right amount of fluffy white clouds passing by, and a poolside cabana restaurant. And me, sitting on a blue and white striped cushioned lawn chair. Are they called lawn chairs in Mexico?
We’re at this first class hotel, with a pool, restaurant, and RV spots. The RVs been plugged in with the a/c going all day. Which I gotta say is nice. When it gets too hot, bout mid day, I know that I can find salvation here, if the pool isn’t cutting it.
I did my morning rituals under a mango tree. Only in Mexico, right? I could feel the heat beginning to turn up. Ignoring the heat and still in my PJ’s, drinking my morning tea, I wondered around the area til I found the mini mart near by. I bought the necessities, bananas and bug spray.
Okay, it’s now HOT! I have about 15 minutes for a quick dip before dinner. Goal: bring down my raging body heat. Once I jumped in, wow, it felt great. But swimming laps in a sombrero is a challenge and a first.
Encounters with the local wildlife: roadrunner running past the pool but first a pose for the camera, donkeys coming up to say buenos dias, and a rare sighting of the mythical Baja Unicorn!
The evil, horrible, sneaky Senor Gluten!
I woke up with horrible stomach cramps and totally exhausted. It wasn’t from the water, it was that sneaky gluten and I know exactly when it happened. Those amazing tacos on the beach, I remember eating what was supposed to be maiz (corn tortillas). Flour tortillas in Mexico don’t look like the ones in the states. They look delicious and kind of like greasy corn tortillas!!!! I realized, a few days later as I sit in bed in agony, that I had eaten these sneaky evil flour tortillas. Nothing to do but sit and wait out the storm. Alice was off on an adventure, which gave me the entire RV. Time to snuggle in with Truffles and a movie.
(BTW, for those gluten avoiders out there it was a challenge while in the Baja due to a language barrier. But I learned “Sin pan” No Bread, “maiz tortillas, por favor” corn tortillas please, “a la parrilla, por favor” grilled please “no harina de trigo por favor” no wheat flour please. And read labels: Trigo (wheat), Gluten (wheat gluten) and avoided Mole and all other sauces (salsas are ok!). In the 5 weeks in the Baja I only had one issue with Gluten, this was it. Here’s a great article that I should have read before hitting the Baja, it’s really helpful.)
In the evening, I got a sweet message from mom. She went to the film festival in Lincoln and took a short video of my stop animation on the big screen. So glad she could be there. I get goose bumps when I see my work on the big screen, which was only one other time. But I’m getting there, little by little. My gluten-polluted body may be aching but my mind smiled with pride as I drifted off to sleep.
May the Fourth be with you?
After a great night sleep, I woke to a better feeling stomach. I felt that I had shaken the gluten. Yesterday, it felt like every cell in my body had been punched in the gut but not TODAY! This is really good news because Alice and I are suppose to go to a great restaurant tonight for her friend’s birthday. And I actually have an appetite.
After a great shower, I put on the fanciest shirt I had. The one with constellation on it that I bought at the Mexican Walmart. Since it was a holiday, May the 4th, I decided to honor an iconic badass with bun style pigtails. “The Americans will LOVE this.” I thought to myself as I adjusted my hair.
Driving over the ridge revealed an oasis in the desert. I felt transported from Mexico. With green polished golf courses, high wooden arches, it looked like a mirage, no way this could be real. We had a fantastic dinner with great company at Azul, which could easily find its place and hold its own in DTLA AND had many gluten free options. But there was something missing. Everyone spoke English, everything was written in English, I felt like we were in Palm Springs not Loreto Bay, Mexico.
AMAZING dinner of fresh fish, pesto, carrot puree! And the epic night view from the back of a golf cart, while on the after dinner drive.
So was my hair a hit? Yes, well, sort of. Before going to dinner, Alice and I stopped by the mini mart to pick up more water. The middle aged, oh wait. I’m middle aged. WOW, how’d that happen? Okay, let’s try this again. The 50-60 year old Mexican woman, whom I had become acquainted with over the last few days when visiting her shop, looked at me and asked:
“Si! Si! Si!” I exclaimed in utter giddiness, holding back the urge to hug her while jumping up and down.
I had spent the evening with massive amounts of Americans and NO ONE noticed. It might have been a generational thing and might have been before their time, the Americans were Baby boomers. I’ll give them that, but I find it amazing that the person that did notice was the last person I’d thought would. Just goes to show, the force is strong in this mini mart running Mexican woman in her 50-60s.
Water down Art: A brisk morning in Loreto Square, I’m watching the street come alive with shops opening, tourists wondering, and dogs scavenging.
We arrived in Loreto yesterday. I’m at a coffee shop I read about, the Sea Café. Online it said that this place has the BEST latte art and there was a picture of a cute little teddy bear in a cup. I HAD to check this place out. So how is my fancy latte art? Well, if I squint real close I can almost see a bubble that looks like, well, a bubble. It seems that the artist has lost its muse. At least it will taste good? Nope. Just hot water with a hint of coffee and cream. If this is a bad day in the Baja, I’ll take it! As I’m writing, I can hear the mission bells ringing, it’s perfectly cool in the shade, and I’m enjoying the movements of life around the busy street. Yep, not a bad day at all!
First Photo from online of the "BEST” latte art and the photo of the “REAL” latte art.