In the midst of the author's booksigning at the Pyramid hotel
south of Rosarito beach a couple of weeks back, we were gearing
up to the shared meal late in the day. Mary Ann and I were
talking with a few friends in a group and a pal and his wife ask
if we'd all like to run down the beach a mile or two to see
"It's not far from here." He said. And we set off for a visit.
We piled the group of us into Vaca Blanca and followed
directions until we arrived at what seemed like a tiny
beachfront community of mostly smaller tourist homes. But,
leaving the highway towards the water it became obvious that the
grouping of homes was not small at all. Nor were the individual
homes. There must have been several hundred houses tucked onto
this hillside beachfront. We wound our way down the bluffs and
were directed to a particular road, then a specific house,
parked and exited the truck and were welcomed by our friends to
the house that had been in their family for two generations.
I have, in my 62 years, never seen a warmer, more charming
place. It was two stories; the downstairs was packed with a
kitchen, small hall, a room with an elevated bed, a living area
and much more. The upstairs was similar minus the kitchen, again
with an elevated bed. It turns out the beds were elevated to
allow the grand ocean view while still in them.
But it wasn't the arrangement of rooms that was striking, it was
the attention to detail that had gone into the aging
construction, and the warmth of the appointments. The size of
each room was relatively small, like you'd expect at a beach
house anywhere, but their arrangement was totally functional and
accommodating. On every wall, paintings and small family
photographs were hung; creations, some artistic, some rough hued
were suspended. A door stop was handmade by our friend's father
as were a table top of broken tile and other warm items.
Character was represented there, in as many forms as it could
We sat, us friends, for a while on the upper deck overlooking a
rocky coastline with major breakers smashing into spume in front
of us. Our host told us of the history of the campo and his
family home. His dad had put his heart into the place and it
showed and it was partially passing down a trail of years to his
son and his family. You could touch the warmth; the unique woods
and finishes, the floors, the low and heightened ceilings and
the personal touches. Everywhere you looked were signs of the
love that had been put into the place.
Alas, we were due back at the Pyramid for dinner and all sped
there. During the evening we continued the festivities. They
ended in a tequila tasting where Jose Cuervo Tradicional won. It
had cost NP 351.00 for a liter bottle. It was recommended by
another friend on a Web board.
The small sips of Tequila did their work and before long we were
wearing down and then in bed, talking about the
filled-to-the-brim day. Mary Ann was soon asleep and I was
reading when I thought about the home we had visited.
There are many mostly-American communities thriving on Baja's
"Gold Coast." There are as many white-plastered magnificent
domiciles as you can count, developed inside whitewashed
protective walls with cemented roadbeds and all the amenities.
The carefully arranged art and beautiful sculptures in those
abodes and wonderful. But are they Mexico? Do the fancy
lifestyles allow us to change from or simply relive what we have
What I want is the change, the comparison of lifestyles. I don't
want the same things on two sides of a border. I want to live
the difference. I know that is true with my wife and our
children. They want it also. So I guess I can call myself, in
some small way, successful.
You know you're in trouble when a friend's house gives you a
feeling of success. But what's what it did.