By Lannette Phipps

The weather has been absolutely gorgeous. We’re not even at the end of February and temps are in the high 70s and low 80s. We did have a couple cold and windy days in February, but those are long forgotten. I’m hoping the weather holds out for our spring breakers who will start rolling in around the 7th of March. For those of you under the impression that spring break in Rocky Point is all about college kids, it is definitely not! We have tons of families coming down for their spring break as well. The town and beaches get very busy, and it’s definitely nice to see. Some of us locals hibernate, and go out only when absolutely necessary, and some love to go out and join in on the fun. It’s going to be great now that our office is no longer on Calle 13 – we can actually get to and from work without having a case of road rage. Speaking of our new office, we will be having a Grand Opening Party on February 29th starting around 1:00 PM. If the paper is early, this will serve as a reminder to come and say hi, grab a taco, and a beverage and hang out. If the paper comes out on March 1st, then we had a great time and you can probably still come by and tap the keg. Lots of stuff happening this month so be sure to check out the ads in the paper and our Facebook Page as well as the Events section.
All three cruises aboard the Astoria – leaving from Rocky Point – have now finished and the ship is headed back where it will go on a few more trips and then be retired. You’ve no doubt heard and read lots about the trip(s) and I’ve started my own account of our trip in this edition. There were some of us who were extremely pleased with the trip and others who were disappointed. No, it wasn’t perfect, but it was definitely an experience of a lifetime – being on such an historic ship with a fantastic history and being the first to cruise out of our Home Port – priceless (for me at least). I’ll go into the whole Home Port issue and other stuff in my articles about our trip. In the end I think it all came down to personal expectation(s) and one’s ability to “roll with it”. I think the fairest and most accurate account of the cruise overall – at least our 1st cruise anyway – was by Melissa Yeager of the Arizona Republic (surprised me too!). I do hope that CMV returns next season with a small ship, or a slightly larger ship, and that other cruise lines come here as well, and we all do a little more to support them.

The Boo Bar’s 6th Annal Poker Run last month was the first one that ‘ve been on and what a blast! There were 144 people registered, though more went on the Run. I didn’t count the vehicles, but there were a lot! Super fun time, and we went on trails that I had not been on in some time. Jose and his team did a great job of controlling the crowd – herding cats at times – and it was a well-organized event and lots of fun. (I didn’t even get scolded for not airing down and for screwing off, which is always a plus for me!!) I believe the run is always the Monday after the Superbowl so plan for next year if you have a 4×4 capable vehicle – tons of fun. And our own Mario Zepeda won 1st PLACE with a 4-8 straight!! So, anything is possible! And to Jose – let’s hope the day never comes when you have to pull me out and I have to eat crow!!

Every time I write about the terrible potholes, they are fixed by the time the paper comes out, so let’s hope that rings true this time, before Spring Break. They are particularly bad on the Coastal Hwy. from the windmills to the stop sign at Islas del Mar. They did fix the ones by the railroad tracks, but the highway is SO terrible. If you see someone in your lane, just slow down and know that you’ll be doing the same thing on your way home. It is such a dangerous little stretch of highway, with no shoulder, it would be nice if the city would fix the holes on a regular basis.

There’s a lot of “talk” on the internet groups where people ask what food/items you can bring into Mexico and whether or not you need a Passport. While I understand everyone has a different experience, it is good to know the actual law(s) and then you can decide for yourself whether you want to take the risk or not. The jobs of Aduana and Immigration, and all of the various positions – on both sides of the border, are to help travelers, not make our lives miserable – so why can’t we do the same for them? And for our fellow travelers as well?

Yes, people bring food and items into Mexico all the time that are not allowed or allowed in limited quantity. Mexican Law is that they have the right to confiscate your vehicle and items if you are breaking the law. Will they? Probably not. Do you want to take that chance with your vehicle and toys when you can buy whatever you need here? That’s up to you.

Do you need a Passport? Laws in both countries say YES! They DO NOT have to let you into Mexico without the proper identification for you, your vehicle, or your pet. No, they usually don’t ask for a Passport though I have been asked for mine numerous times as well as for my vehicle and dirt bike registration, and rabies certs for my dogs, but I probably cross more than the average person.

The U.S. on the other hand, has to let you back into the country even if you don’t have a Passport, but if you come to Rocky Point often, why don’t you? Maybe you don’t want to spend the $$ for your Passport Card or Passport? Maybe you want to buck the system? Maybe you have some other reason? That’s all well and good except for the hundreds of people behind you in line. It’s hard enough getting through the border on a weekend, let alone spending the extra time for those who don’t have the proper identification. Times a few extra minutes by 20 or 30 people and now travelers have been delayed – not by minutes – but by hours! So, if you are one of the ones that doesn’t want to get your proper identification, that’s your choice, but please do not go on the internet telling newbies that they do not need their proper identification, or they can bring in whatever they wish.

Please give them the correct/legal info and then add your personal opinion on top of that, if you wish. That way at least they can decide for themselves what risks they are willing to take. All of us who love Peñasco, and have a vested interest in seeing it prosper, thank you in advance.

We would like to congratulate Mary Snyder of Encantame Towers (and Puerta Privada) for being named Woman of the Year by Puerto Peñasco Business and Professional Women’s Association. She is being recognized for her many contributions to our community over the past 25 years. A charity gala will be held on April 25th to present her with this prestigious award. The event is open to the public and features dinner, dancing and music. The Puerto Peñasco Business and Professional Women’s Association provides scholarships for local girls who would not otherwise have the opportunity to attend college. Check out the article in this month’s edition and if you would like to attend you can purchase tickets at the office of the Rocky Point Times – we might even invite you to sit at our table! It’s a great cause and a reason to get dressed up and go out!

Well, I’ve stirred the pot enough for one month. I’m off to Guerro Negro with Tony Ballesteros and some local friends to do some up-close-and-personal-whale-watching. I ‘survived’ the first cruise out of Rocky Point, swimming with the whale sharks in La Paz and Boo Bar’s Poker Run. Now here’s hoping I don’t get swallowed or squashed by the giant whales. Do I have the best job ever? Looking forward to an awesome experience. Will let you all know how it goes so you can book your trip next year.

Cheers and have a great spring break!