Sunday, December 14, 2008
Thanksgiving in La Paz
Making routine blog entries is almost as hard as leaving La Paz. We arrived here in early November and, pressured by the marina to set a departure date, decided to be conservative and chose January 15th, 2009. We did plan to have Thanksgiving here with family and friends, but now we'll be celebrating Christmas and New Years, as well.
La Paz is the capital of Baja California Sur and was founded in 1535 by Hernado Cortez. It wasn't until 1720 that the village gained a permanent foothold,after the Jesuit missionaries colonized the area and constructed the Nuestra Senora del Pliar de la Paz mission.In its early days, La Paz was famous for its pearls. While the pearl industry is just a memory in its history, the city remains a pearl unto itself. With the square in front of the Mission and remnants of colonial architecture splashed throughout the town it has a charm and character that is unique.
Hans arrived in La Paz for fishing, a week ahead of the kids. Andrew, Chantal, Sean (Chantal's beau) and Nicole all flew in a week before Thanksgiving.
They were originally scheduled to stay in the hotel Los Arcos, but that hotel was shut down due to a strike (and remains closed a week before Christmas). Thanks to David Jones, the owner of the sports fishing business where Hans was staying, we were able to get rooms for them at La Perla, down the Malecon from Los Arcos. The Seisun family (Dennis, Verena, Christine and Daniel) also flew down for the Thanksgiving day holidays.
Dennis and Verena Seisun generously offered their casa on Las Margaritas in the La Posada neighborhood and the use of their Vanagon. We made good use of their car to restock Citla upon arrival in La Paz. It was also nice to be able to do a couple of loads of laundry at their house (it went a long way towards improving the environment on board!).
We spent the week taking in as much as we could of La Paz and the surrounding beaches. There was way too much to see and far too little time to take it all in. Andrew and Sean did their best to critique the town's ability to serve a good margarita. While their survey was not all inclusive, the verdict at the end of the week was that the Dock Cafe at Marina de La Paz pours one of the most potent margaritas they sampled. Nicole's Spanish proved invaluable to all of us during our week of adventures and misadventures. She made quite an impression with the representative from the Secretary of Tourist board in La Paz!
We had a delicious Thanksgiving day feast with the family (minus Danica)at David Jones's house with his gracious wife Jane, their extended family and the many people who work with him in his fishing business. Two deep fried turkeys, pulled pork, mashed potatoes, yams, salads, string beans, cranberry sauce and all the trimmings found us too full to enjoy the enormous desert spread put on after dinner.
We left saited and happy to have been able to share this holiday with others.
The week went by way too quickly. There was so much to see and so little time to do everything we'd like in the limited time the kids were here. We did have an opportunity to anchor for the day at Caleta Lobos, where we enjoyed an afternoon of swiming, eating fresh ceviche and enjoying cold cervezas. The only members missing this excursion were Hans (he was out fishing) and Daniel (who was at casa Las Margaritas doing homework).
The Saturday after Thanksgiving came all too fast and we said our good-byes to the kids in front of La Perla Hotel as they boarded a taxi for their flight out. Sunday was Hans's flight home. Monday afternoon, we drove the Seisun's out to the airport in the Vanagon and found ourselves suddenly alone, without family or friends in La Paz. While we missed them all terribly, we agreed that life could be much worse.