Friday, March 20, 2009

A long weekend in Mexico

I know I say it all the time, but I just love our little place in Rocky Point. It was about 8 years ago when I made my first trip across the border, and it was such a different experience. My roommate at the time, Erin, had her sister & friend in town visiting so we decided it would be fun to take them there. We got hand written directions from someone at work & left at about 4PM.

We had only lived in Phoenix for about 5 months so we didn't know our way around the valley, let alone how the heck to get to Mexico. She talked to a travel agent online & asked where we should stay. Mind you, 8 years ago Rocky Point was not what it is now. There were only 2 resorts, some homes and condos, as well as a few "hotels."

After a VERY long trip, and a very intimidating drive through the border town of Sonoyta, where we had no idea where we were going until we saw a random sign pointing to the right that said "Puerto Penasco." I'm not even sure we knew then that it meant "Rocky Point."

The town was ABSOLUTELY crazy. People all over the streets partying. You could not even get through. It was a relief to get past the border town and on our way to the beach. It seemed like FOREVER to get there.... Finally, after a long boring stretch in the dark we started to see sand, and palm trees and signs.

Unfortunately it was the SAME THING. Craziness.... absolute craziness. We finally found our hotel, paid for our 2 night stay in cash & got in to our room HORRIFIED. Cob webs, spiders in the shower.... nasty dirty looking beds. Now, I wasn't so used to nicer accommodations at this point in my life, just leaving the college life and living very much so paycheck to paycheck. I also had yet to have the opportunity to sleep in a Four Seasons, so my expectations weren't THAT high. However - if you have ever seen me around a spider, you would understand where I'm coming from.

SOMEHOW - we were able to communicate to the hotel person we needed our money back. We could not stay there. We drove to the few resorts they had, and finally found one place with a room. A junior suite. We spent ALL our money on one night's stay.

Needless to say it was not the greatest first experience. It just so happened to be that it was the weekend of the Mexican Independence day and we were among the very few Americans in town.

The following year my running group decided to go down and do the Rock Point 10K. I took it upon myself to find our accommodations. After some research I found the neighborhood of Las Conchas. It was about a 10min drive from town, a gated community with a guard. GORGEOUS beach homes.

It was the best thing I ever did. For the next 3 years we did the same. Rented out homes for up to 60 runners for the weekend. The largest home would put on a pasta party before the race, and it was always a great time.
We really fell in love with the area, and when Shane & his business partner (at the time) were looking for investment opportunities it seemed like the perfect place. After several months of searching we finally found our home. It was actually harder than you would think. The prices were starting to rise and many people were coming from California and Arizona to do the same, invest.

It was a rough first 2 years with renting out our home. Things were destroyed, the house was not cared for well. Our neighbors basically hated us, and every time we got to the house we were heartbroken at what we would find. Finally, we came to an agreement with our co-owner to not rent anymore. We would rent to a family or close friend, but it just wasn't worth it. We never made any money off the rentals, and we didn't go as much as we would like to enjoy it. We found an incredible man, Miguel, to be our caretaker & our visit this past weekend was the first time we saw how good he really was.

We pulled up to the house and all the landscaping looked AMAZING. The trees and flowers were blooming & all cleaned up. The house was immaculate inside and out. Shane didn't have to spend the first day cleaning up and in a bad mood. IT was WONDERFUL.

Something about this trip was different all around. Shane & I were both more relaxed. For the first time I wasn't obsessed with getting my 4-5mile walk or run in every day. Actually, I was probably more lazy than ever. AND, it felt fantastic. I much needed rest, I suppose.

We had our friends Amy & Robb with us for a couple days and had a blast with them! We were also able to work on getting Internet set up in the house so we can spend more time there & work. Absolutely perfect.

I know there has been a lot of bad press about Mexico in the news. I think every person I spoke to about going asked me if it was safe. I assure you people, Rocky Point is as safe as it was a year ago, two years ago. You always have a risk when you leave the country, but when you get there you forget about it all. The people are so nice and so friendly. WE are their economy. The depend on us and our money to survive. I always have a really hard time when I see or here "American's" acting rude, being disrespectful. We have our favorite places we go to eat, our favorite fish market person. We even brought some presents for our shrimp guy & his family this last trip.

Again, back to the bad press. If you read more closely into the articles you will see that the drug cartel problems are the border towns like Nogales & Tijuana. Sonoyta is far from the areas that are publicised as being dangerous. We plan to go back once a month until the Summer and have absolutely no fear. It IS safe.

Of course I only remembered to take pictures one day. The dogs were SO tired. Passing out on the deck & I thought it was too funny to not take pictures. The one chair they are sitting in is all broken, GROSS padding on it from the renters, but it's "bub's" chair so we had not thrown it away yet.... You can see how tired they are, and Abby with her pink lips - everyone asks if she's wearing lipstick. My little pretty princess.

I can't wait, 3 more weeks and we will be back, this time for the Rocky Point Triathlon!

The 75lb lap dog.


Can you see the "lipstick?"

Trying so hard to fight it.... eyes barely open


Fe-lady said...

Las Conchas is nice- I have stayed there a couple of times with friends.
I won't go back to Mexico however as last time we were hassled by their "police" coming back from the tri.
They had us take our bikes/bike rack off the car and open the trunk and went through all our stuff. It was obvious we were there for the race.
Plus we never had a moment's peace on the beach without some little girl or boy coming up to sell us something...
glad you guys are out of the way and still like it.
Me, I guess I've had enough of Mexico over the years.

kt said...

I'm so jealous of your time there. :) In a good way, I promise. I still haven't seen the ocean but I am dying to and working on my husband to take me there.

And, your dogs are so sweet. I think I know EXACTLY how crazy you are for them cause we feel the same way at our house.