Baja!

Families are great. I love our kids, and the people they are and are becoming, but sometimes Becky and I need some time, just the two of us, to be grownups together. We’ve never been in a relationship without kids, so that adult-to-adult bonding time has been pretty scarce.

Which means we have to go to lengths to make it happen. While the kids were at the Swanks, Becky and I boarded a flight to Cabo San Lucas. Apparently we weren’t the only ones with this idea; the customs area was overflowing. We shuffled through this room with this many people for two hours. Becky was breathing in a very controlled manner.

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But we weren’t here to see tourist Mexico, so we didn’t just hop on a shuttle bus to the nearest resort. Oh no, we wanted some real Baja Mexico. We rented a car (for way too much money), and drove an hour to reach our Airbnb in a little town called La Ribera (which doesn’t have an official website). It was dark when we arrived, but upon waking, eating breakfast, and going to explore, this is what we found.

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(Note the hoodies, and the deserted palapas. It’s not as warm as it looks.)

Becky combed our guidebook, and found a couple of awesome things nearby. One of them is a waterfall that mostly only the locals know about, just a one-mile hike down Cañon del Zorro.

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With the help of our host, we found the local gringo restaurant, where the food was comparatively expensive, high-quality, and delivered with unbroken English. This was a welcome respite; the rest of the town was Spanish-only.

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One of the days was dedicated to my 12th-day gift to Becky (whale sharks!), which meant driving 2½ hours to La Paz. What we found there was a really interesting and vibrant town, with lots of people out on the streets even though it was a chilly day. The entire peninsula is completely overrun with cute, friendly, filthy street dogs, that beg you with their adorable eyes for whatever food or love you can give them.

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We walked the promenade, and spotted lots of public art…

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…and some surreal marketing stuff…

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…and a place to grab brunch. We had two hours before our adventure pushed off, so a cup of coffee on the beach was in order.

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We strolled the town, and noticed quite a bit of Christmas spirit. This was in the courtyard of a house, just behind a gate.

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This was inside the cathedral (four stars on TripAdvisor!). We were surprised to find that there were snowy evergreens in the iron-age middle east.

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One strip mall had a ghost tree.

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Once our adventure had concluded, we stopped for lunch at a place our tour guide recommended. Becky would normally never let a photo of her like this see the light of day – we had just stepped off the boat, so she’s covered in ocean, wind, and bruises; and it looks like she burst a blood vessel in her eye from fear – but that margarita really is as big as it looks. And it was good.

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Our drive to La Paz included a sunrise, so it seemed fitting that our drive home would include a sunset.

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We made sure to explore our town. Here’s a bit of the flavor of the place.

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Our little house!

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Our street!

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Here you can see the “large” grocery store, the supermercado. There are lots of “mini-supers” around, but this one had fresh fruit and vegetables.

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We did eventually make it back to that beach, and swam in the Sea of Cortez.

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Our host keeps bees, and invited us to help him work on the hives! There was only one suit, and Becky is terrified of bees doesn’t enjoy being stung, so I got the privilege.

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Here’s our shower, including a loose tile that we were instructed to “leave over the drain while not in use, so things don’t crawl up into the house.” (Emphasis and nightmares mine.)

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This trip was a mixture of tough and amazing, just the way we like it.

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