Monday, April 11, 2011


Since George and I moved to Loreto more than a year ago we’ve been inundated with questions about life here south of the border. Some of the questions are downright silly and some have merit, but there are a few that keep cropping up, just screaming to be addressed, so here goes!

“What made you decide to move to another country?” This is a legitimate question and deserves a thoughtful and measured response... I sure wish I had one. Truth is we were up for a big adventure and after trolling the Internet for possible retirement locations we happened upon a Web site for Loreto Bay that struck a chord with us. The site was filled with photos of a beautiful place – a desert landscape we were familiar with being from New Mexico with the added bonus of being near water. The views are of dramatic mountains to the west and the sparkling Sea of Cortez to the east. It was a no-brainer. Bottom line is we were seduced by a Web site, which only goes to show the power of really good marketing.

“What do you do all day?” This one is harder. When this question has been posed (which is often), I’ve always stumbled and tried to rely on my wit and that hasn’t always worked, which should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me. My typical response used to be something along the line of “a whole lotta nothing.” So much for my wit. It’s actually hard to describe what we do all day. We putter, we talk, we walk, we ride bikes, we hook up with friends, we lollygag and we shoot the breeze with anyone and everyone, in short, we have a great time. We enjoy the scenery, the people, the food and the lifestyle. Hey, it’s retirement! But after an unfortunate encounter with someone who persisted in pressing me for a different response (and how weird is that?!), a friend told me the best response is to simply say that we enjoy life. (Thanks, Robert!)

“Aren’t you afraid of the drug violence in Mexico?” No. Although the news north of the border is full of dire predictions about the fate of gringos in Mexico, the reality is that we had more to fear from drugs and crime in Albuquerque or most anywhere else in the States than we do here. Just for clarification, the vast majority of drug violence takes place on the U.S./Mexican border, which is 700 miles north of Loreto. Enough said.

“What do you eat?” Food. Really, really good food without the additives, hormones, antibiotics, refined sugars and other icky things that are staples in the States. So, what do you eat?

“Isn’t the language barrier a problem?” It should be but it isn’t. The people here are more than willing to help us with their language. We stumble and fumble and they smile and help us along. And the really cool thing is that they enjoy helping us understand their language.

“Don’t you miss the States?” No, we don’t, with the exception of family, friends and Costco. OK, I really miss Target, too, but that’s it.

“Don’t you get bored?” Are you kidding?? We live on the Sea of Cortez, which means we have access to water, water sports, wildlife including beautiful birds of all kinds, colorful fish, playful dolphins, swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, boating, sunny days, incredible sunrises and sunsets and beautiful vistas. That one is definitely a no-brainer.

“What happens if you get sick?” We have gotten sick and we went to the hospital here in town, we were treated and it was an eye-opening experience in that it was totally unlike going to the doctor or hospital in the States. We waited all of two minutes before we were seen by a competent doctor. We were escorted into an examination room by the doctor (not a nurse or receptionist who, in the States, leaves us in the room to wait another 45 minutes before seeing the doctor) where he asked us about our problem (it was a tummy thing) and then proceeded to order tests. We returned with the requested test results (which we picked up the same day) and after reviewing and explaining the test results, the doctor wrote out a couple of prescriptions. We were charged nothing for the consultation and the doctor’s time. Zip, zero, nada. The tests cost the equivalent of $18 USD each and the prescriptions were about the same. And we recovered from this common intestinal problem after a few days of treatment. All in all, it was like visiting the family doctor 50 years ago. No paperwork, no hassle and no wait.

Any more questions?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A year, a month, a week and a day

I’m taking some poetic license with the headline, but I am close when describing how long George and I have lived in Loreto Bay. It seems like a good time to do a ‘year in review ‘ kind of thing that is so popular in the newspaper business, which is where I spent my formative years. So this is what we’ve learned over the past year, month, week and day…

Never make a major decision (or any kind of decision, for that matter) after two margaritas. Just say no! Sure, it seems like a good idea at the time, but the next morning can be painful! But, truth be told, even though it’s been a strange, convoluted and sometimes painful journey to get to where we are today, we’d still drink the margaritas and make the same decision.

Because we love it here in Loreto Bay. Our home is beautiful, our surroundings are awesome and I can’t imagine living anywhere else in the world. But it’s been hard. We’re still waiting for sidewalks, landscaping and all those things we took for granted in the States. And we may continue waiting for quite some time. Our feet are always dirty from slogging through the dust and silt that awaits us outside our front door. We get cranky and talk endlessly about the problems that face us.


We have forged friendships that will be a large part of our lives until we die. (You know who you are! Love you, mean it!) We’ve made the best of a difficult situation, which has strengthened us and made us better people. We’re a part of a community of people (see reference above to wonderful friends) who want to make this place a vibrant, welcoming and inclusive place.

We wake up every morning to the sound of birds chirping and the knowledge that we live in a special place. We can take our morning coffee to the tower and (as long as we don't look down to see the mess that is still a part of the scenery) see the panorama of the Sea of Cortez. And we have a paved Paseo (thank you Homex) to ride our bikes on. We have two new restaurants in the development and another on the way. Life is good and getting better.

We’re actively working to become a part of the larger community of Loreto. We take Spanish classes in town, courtesy of Senor Jesus Jacques, and although we struggle with the language, we are trying. We love to participate in the events in town, like the Optimist Club Spaghetti Dinner we attended this afternoon with friends. Maybe we’re not doing enough, but we’re trying and we’ll get better at it over time.

Tomorrow we’re off to La Paz for a few days for shopping and loafing and kicking back. How lucky are we? Very damn lucky.