My name is Carleen. I live in Salt Lake City, Utah. This November I flew to San Diego to stay with my friend who lives in La Mision. I just finished six months of chemo therapy for colon cancer. No guarantees. This trip was my chance to rejuvenate. And I did. That day we also picked up my friend’s 18 year old grandson, and together our adventures began.
Our first night, we visited La Fonda Restaurant for music and relaxation. I was so impressed by the friendly hospitality, beauty of the restaurant, great music, delicious coffee and gorgeous shoreline view from downstairs. I leaned back and listened to renditions of the Rolling Stones and Creedence Clearwater played just as I remembered them back in my high school days. The people dancing were all ages from eight to 80. I thought that was delightful and so unlike back home.
Sunday we attended the friendly Nazarene Church in Rosarito. Afterward was a Chinese food banquet at Palazio Royal that outshined many Salt Lake City restaurants. We had several platters of hot fresh food and lots of tea from very attentive and polite waiters.
Monday was our trip to Monday Market in La Mision. I loved the outdoor shops. I found several treasures but my favorite was the B. Makowsky Naked Leather handbag (gently used). What a great deal! I paid $6 for this handbag that would cost new about $258. I love to shop so this was my treat day.
The days flew by as the three of us ate, talked, walked on the beach, worked in the yard, enjoyed the sunshine, fresh air, and beautiful views of the mountains and ocean. I found that mornings come slowly into the valley in La Mision with the roosters crowing before dawn. The quiet of La Mision was so very peaceful. I learned to enjoy the bumpy dirt roads. People stopped in cars and on horses to wish you a good day. There are no unpaved streets in Salt Lake City. It is a city of pavement and intersecting freeways. The air is full of pollution. And no one ever stops to wish you a good day. Such a difference.
Thanksgiving came and my friend had pre-cooked much of our Thanksgiving feast except for the turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy. We three set to work with merry hearts on Thanksgiving morning preparing the bird. When all was cooked, we sat down and each gave a thanksgiving prayer. I was and still am so thankful to have been in their company. What a feast we had….and we ate like barbarians. There was noodle pudding, spinach quiche, sweet potato pie with whipped cream, vegetables, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, and 14 pounds of turkey, all for us.
Friday was our trip to Ensenada. I was surprised at the size of the city and the large Port area. We went to the fish market first, and I saw thousands of fresh fish of every kind on ice and wanted to buy some of all of them. Next was her grandson’s first music/guitar lesson with Luis Gamboa. I sat enthusiastically listening to the strumming of two guitars. The instructor offered insightful knowledge and the student absorbed each concept like a sponge. When the lesson was complete, the radiant smile on the young man’s face told me that a whole new musical world had just opened up to him. I was very proud of both of them. We celebrated with three hot cappuccino’s.
Last we visited Los Globos Market. We bought beautiful vegetables and fruit. I saw beautiful quality clothing right and left, aisle after aisle. I decided that day when I come again it will be with an “empty suitcase” and I’ll replace at least half my wardrobe.
Too soon it was time to leave and I found myself in the airport surrounded by disassociated travelers fully absorbed in their smart phones and iPod’s. No one spoke. The bumpy landing hailed the first snow of the year and 17 degrees. As I stood outside looking for my son’s car with snow blowing hard sideways into my face, I remembered the warm sand and cool water on my feet on the beach in Baja. It brought to mind Genesis 1: 2, “And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” I will miss my friends and Baja.