When the December winds started to howl like wolves and the snow covered my favorite bird-watching window, I knew it was time to get out of Maine, so we rented a house in La Mision, packed our bags, and laughed all the way to the airport.
This house is really beautiful. With a thunderous view of the Pacific, it has an imposing stone fireplace, an enormous hand-carved hutch, and well chosen artwork in every room. None of this caught my eye, however, as much as the light switch plates. Now, that’s artwork! I’d not seen any like them and could not wait to find some for myself. Well, good golly, Miss Molly, on our first trip to Rosarito in search of food, I nearly jumped out of the car while it was still moving at a somewhat fast clip when I saw beautiful, staggering “curios” on the sign.
Store after store on the free road offers more beautiful goods than the Pottery Barn advertises at Christmas time. Each proprietor was as courteous and helpful as the one before. I saw more light switch plates, vases, dishes, and well, curios, than I could imagine existed. I fell in love with the swirled designs of the red, white and blue switch plates (probably paying homage to my Americanism) and bought several for myself, as well as for my children, my grandchildren, my neighbors, and the paper boy. Then I spied the covered dishes, selecting only two for my two nieces with upcoming weddings while trying to ignore my husband who was muttering inconsequential things like, “Who’s going to carry all this?… How heavy is that?… I’m surprised she doesn’t want a burro…They’ve got switch plates at Home Depot for under a buck!” But when he got too close, I would surreptitiously slither around the corner and find as yet undiscovered treasures.
Then I found the tiles. Oh, you know I wanted a whole box of those beauties, but I did recognize that this might just push the envelope right out of the mailbox, so I settled for twelve carefully chosen ones. Again, the patterns are amazing, the colors bright, and the prices right.
I believe there is no better way to spend a rainy afternoon – wait a minute, it doesn’t rain here – a sunny afternoon than in several of the multitudes of shops selling curios. They are gorgeous, unbelievably inexpensive, and something quite different to bring back from Mexico. Easily located on the free road between Puerto Nuevo and Rosarito, they are a must see.