Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Happy Thanksgiving, indeed!

Just in time for Thanksgiving and the holiday season our little part of Agua Viva is coming alive with colorful plants. I honestly doubted whether this would ever happen – that’s how beaten down we’d become here on our side of Loreto Bay. It was such a tremendous struggle just to get our homes built that it seemed that’s all we’d ever have – our homes perched on dry, dusty land.

But as the photos attest, that pessimism was totally misplaced. The walkways are progressing rapidly on both sides of the Paseo now – not just in our sub-regime. And with the addition of bougainvillea, hibiscus and a variety of other colorful plants and trees we’re that much closer to feeling like a real community.

There are still obstacles to overcome, but if we put aside our differences and stop the petty bickering and infighting, we can become one united community. Not a resort, but a village of like-minded people who want nothing more than to enjoy this beautiful place and our beautiful homes. Here’s hoping…

And here's hoping your Thanksgiving is as happy as ours!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Yippee, yahoo and hurray!

If you’d told me a few years ago I’d be thrilled to be getting a walkway outside my door, I’m sure I’d have scratched my head and said “Huh?” But that was then and this is now and WOW! To say George and I are thrilled is to say the very least. Not only do we have a walkway going in, we also have a beautifully built retaining wall and stairs – be still my heart.

No more slogging, slipping and sliding through dust and dirt up an embankment to our front door. No more wondering what might happen to said embankment and our casa if a hurricane hit. This is a big deal for us, our neighbors and the community as a whole. Because even though the line of demarcation between the Founder’s Neighborhood and our own Agua Viva is geographically distinct, we are all part of Loreto Bay. So when our property values go up with the construction of beautiful new walkways, the property values in Founder’s also get a little boost. We’re all in this together – sort of.

The sort-of comes into play because we’ve taken on the burden of completing our walkways here in Sub-regime I all by ourselves. Through the efforts of our rep and committee members (disclosure: George is the rep for our sub-regime), we’re completing our area with funds left over from the last assessment imposed on our home owners. We’re doing this in spite of the fact that half the home owners (including individuals, contractors and our less than shining knights, Homex) did not pay and left the rest of us holding the bag and assuming complete financial responsibility for our part of Agua Viva. Shame on you guys, by the way!

I really can’t say enough about what our rep and committee did for us here in Sub I. They worked tirelessly (well, OK, they did get tired) for months to bring all this together with the help of Associa, including Jorge and project engineer Eduardo. They were able to negotiate a favorable contract with one of the best landscaping contractors around and we’re now seeing the reality of all that very hard work. And all of this is being done without any additional expense to the home owners who have already paid much more than their fair share.

So thanks, Terry, Tom, Mike, Nick, Julie, Bradley, Penny, Rich and Ed. And how can I forget George?! As the man on the ground here in Loreto Bay, he’s all HOA, all the time and he’s put in more hours than most people do in a regular full-time job. It should come as no surprise to anyone that I simply can’t wait for his year to be up in February (let me throw in another Yippee! here). In fact, I’m insisting that his involvement cease and desist on that date. Hey, we’re supposed to be retired and that new boat needs cleaning!

What’s happened here in Sub I is a perfect example of determined home owners making a difference in their community. So to each and every person who helped make this a reality – thank you very much.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The name says it all

And the name is Poco Loco, which aptly describes our boat buying experience, because both George and I went a little crazy during the whole process.

Our adventure started with a boat show in San Diego and ended – after much nail biting, anxiety and trepidation – with an awesome boat. It took almost two months of searching from San Diego to Newport Beach until we finally settled on our 37-foot Cruisers Yacht and she’s everything we wanted in a boat.

But the adventure wouldn’t really begin until we got our Poco Loco to Puerto Escondido, so we contracted with a shipping company, crossed our fingers and hoped like hell that all would go well. The Poco Loco was trucked from San Diego to the mainland of Mexico and put onboard the ferry in Mazatlan for the trip to La Paz. (If you’ve ever driven down Baja’s Transpeninsular Highway 1 you’ll understand why the shippers took the route they did.) Then it was back on the highway for the remaining 200 miles from La Paz to Loreto. Talk about stressful! But she finally arrived – with only some minor damage and lots of dirt – at Puerto Escondido. I’ll never forget our first sight of her on a trailer outside the marina with a pair of boxer shorts and a towel waving from the stern as we drove up. (See photo above!) It was awesome.

And it’s been awesome ever since. We spent many hours cleaning (something experienced boaters have told us we'd better get used to) and having her prepped for a life on the Sea of Cortez and finally this past week we were seaworthy and ready for a spin.

We were lucky to have our good friends, Tom and Sue and her cousins, Helen and Pam, on our inaugural voyage. It was a perfect day, sunny and warm with just a little bit of choppiness, but Captain George handled the swells like a seasoned pro.

People are always asking us what it’s like living in paradise. In many ways, it is paradise here, but for us it’s home and all that comes with living a life anywhere. In other words, it’s not a vacation for us and it can be tiresome living here. The heat is oppressive in the summer and it’s hard not to miss super-clean, super-stocked supermarkets and the convenience of malls and big box stores. And let’s not forget movie theaters!

But with the addition of Poco Loco we get to take advantage of the most wonderful part of living Loreto – the beautiful, magical, life-affirming Sea of Cortez. And that makes up for the lack of all of the aforementioned and more. So maybe we haven’t gone a little crazy after all. Maybe this is the sanest thing we ever did!