Oh my, where to start? What an exciting month November was with all the events and awesome weather. Apparently Peñasco did not get the memo that summer is over. I did feel like a tourist again and am still exhausted from the concerts, hanging out with friends at the motorcycle rally, the Charanga Derby, boat trips, all the food and visiting with friends and family. Oh, speaking of food…Mario and Alicia found the absolute best tamales in town! They are huge, delicious, and packed full of meat. They are easily double the size of a regular tamale and have the olive, slice of potato and chile…delish! Honestly the best I’ve ever had here in 30 years – 27 of those being full-time – so needless to say, I’ve eaten a lot of tamales. If you would like to order some, you can call Alicia or Mario at the office (383-6325), and they’ll hook you up. Between my Uncle Pat and I, we just bought 3 dozen, ate most of them, and then vacuum sealed and froze the rest for future quick easy meals. Going to do the same with my big blue shrimp. We sure do have the best shrimp down here!
How much fun was Peñasco in November? Lots!!…and people have video and photos to prove it! Good grief…Polaroid days please come back!! The month started off with The Black Moods concerts – two nights at Banditos and an acoustic set at BooBar – great shows. Love those guys! Before their first concert on Friday night, Mary (yes, that Mary) and I headed over to Ramon’s at the Sonoran Sea to grab a bite to eat. WOW! What a menu and delicious food. Such a variety and interesting combinations. I had the Portobello Bahia which is a Portobello Mushroom filled with shrimp, mozzarella, and basil drizzled with a balsamic reduction sauce. Sooo good! We also had a special chef’s appetizer, which wasn’t on the menu…super interesting flavors…half of a peach with pancetta, feta and sprouts drizzled with a balsamic glaze. Mary ordered the crab tostada which was excellent as well. And, of course, the wine was good. There are so many things on their menu that I need to try so I’ll have to go back a few times and write “The Eats” about them. I highly recommend you check them out if you’re looking for great food.
Saturday started off with the Annual Charanga Derby Races in El Mirador. Campeche was packed from top to bottom with children and adults cheering for each charanga that came racing down the hill. The custom jalopies are homemade and have no engines, so they get a big push from the top of the hill and have to make it all the way down and over a jump near the bottom. Most made it over the jump, and I don’t think anyone crashed this year. It was lots of fun and I look forward to next years’ races.
After the races we headed off to a super fun fundraising event for Young Life Foundation at Margarita Mermaids in the OId Port. We enjoyed dinner, drinks, live music, door prizes and a silent auction with some great items. Of course, I bid on all things wine related and ended up winning a wine basket with a pair of beautiful hand-painted wine glasses, chocolates, and a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine glasses were hand-painted by Roxanna Chana (firstname.lastname@example.org) of “A Touch of Glass” and are just wonderful. If you are looking for a great and unique gift for someone, I suggest you contact her for sets of hand-painted wine glasses. If I’m not mistaken, she can customize your design, or you can choose from some she has already made. Such a great gift. After the fundraiser, Mary and I headed back over to Bandito’s for night 2 of The Black Moods. I had a great time – or so I’m told! I do remember it was fun hanging out and seeing people I haven’t seen in a while and, of course, the band was awesome. I highly recommend you check them out.
The following week, after I recovered from that fabulous weekend, my bestie (Heather) and her husband (Kevin) came in from Southern California to participate in the 20th Anniversary of the Rocky Point Bike Rally. We couldn’t have it because of Covid last year so we were all super excited when they announced that it would be on for 2021! I’ve heard there were about 6,000 bikes in town, but it seemed more like 10,000! Our “Rally” started out with bacon wrapped shrimp, jalapeño poppers, nachos, and drinks at Wrecked at The Reef. Heather started off her vacation right with a shot called “Four Horsemen”, which is Jim Beam, Jack Daniels, Johnnie Walker and Jose Cuervo…good grief! Wrecked has some interesting shot drinks like Mexican Candy, Reeses Pieces, Three Wisemen, Incredible Hulk and the Scooby Snack. They also have great food and live music and nothing better than kicking back with your toes in the sand!
The next morning (Thursday), we were on the phone calling around looking for a kickstand spring for Kevin’s Harley Road King. No luck, so I made a post on Facebook asking if someone coming down for the Bike Rally could bring one down for him. Joseph Avila went shopping and delivered us a brand-new kickstand spring on Friday…how awesome is that? Thanks Joseph! In the meantime, we headed off to the Rally registration and Kevin and Heather registered and got their swag bags and we asked everyone there for any ideas on where to find a spring, but no luck. So, then Heather and Kevin got the “true Mexico experience”…where you run all around town…call everyone you know…and eventually someone finds a solution for your problem. It was kind of like a treasure hunt…such a Peñasco experience…reminded me of being here back in the 90s. We eventually hit paydirt when Doug Shukers, owner of SDS (Skilled Diagnostic Solutions) on Blvd. Fremont rooted around his shop, performed some magic, and hooked Kevin up with a couple of springs that would work until his new spring arrived on Friday. Doug came highly recommended from a few friends as well. He offers automotive, marine and diesel service and is factory trained and certified. His shop is located on Blvd. Fremont No. 24, and you can reach him at 383-1746, cell 638-105-5909 or email him at email@example.com. Thanks Doug!
Exhausted from the hunt, we headed over to Manny’s for Bloody Mary’s and brunch. The day was gorgeous and sat there for hours soaking up the sun. While we were kicking back enjoying the view, Mario showed up with a few more spring alternatives! Gotta love this town, its peeps and visitors!
All filled up on Vitamin D and Tito’s, we headed back to the ranchito to get ready for the much-anticipated Wine Pairing Dinner at Infusion del Golfo at Laguna Shores Resort. (At least I was much anticipating it.) The restaurant was packed – I think tickets sold out right away. As we were being seated, I spied some of the best local chefs in town…so you know it was going to be good! I was too busy enjoying myself to take notes, but Chef Tony Acuña and Chef Adam Sturges did a fantastic job with the cuisine and the wines were provided by Pillsbury Wine Company who has tasting rooms in Cottonwood and Wilcox, Arizona. Go figure! (You can find them at www.pillsburywine.com.) Some of our courses were sweet potato cream soup with truffle cream chives, baked port with ash black mole, tikin xic, plantain and cilantro and beef tenderloin with herb-truffle goat cheese, purple potatoes, and duck fat. Fabulous! We did order a bottle of Malbec (Elsa Bianchi), so we didn’t go dry between courses, and then moved onto a Cab called Carnivore (I think) – it was a fantastic Cabernet Sauvignon. If you love wine and food, and see Infusion hosting another Wine Pairing Dinner, I suggest you snap up tickets because they go fast, and it is always a gastronomic feast! On a normal day their food is excellent and their wine list extensive. So many restaurants have great wine lists now – makes my heart happy!
Friday afternoon Heather and Kevin headed out to Rodeo Drive to do some shopping and grab some lunch and I headed into the belly of the Bike Rally beast…the Old Port. We planned on hanging out down there all day and night, so I wanted to get there early to find a parking spot since I was driving my truck and the main drag is always blocked off for the masses of bikes and foot traffic. I scored a spot and headed straight to Margarita Mermaids for a cocktail, to meet up with friends, watch the action and see the gals from the Deva Bike Club set up their bikes for the Bling Deva’s Bike Show.
Margarita Mermaids was slammed, and Krissy and staff were running around like crazy as I grabbed a cocktail (seems to be a theme this month) and headed outside where I ran into friends, Tony Ballesteros, taking his awesome photographs, Jose Boo, owner of the infamous Boo Bar, and local explorer and Old Port resident, Steven McNabb. For those of you who don’t know Tony, or haven’t seen his photos on Facebook, he is a wonderful photographer, gets to photograph all the cool stuff, has a booth at the Mermaid’s Market where he sells his photographs and lots of other stuff he makes, and he has Tony’s Mystic Whale Tours which is an unforgettable trip over to the Baja where you get up close and personal with majestic grey whales and their babies. (Whale watching season started this month so we should start seeing whales around Peñasco as well and our local charters offer whale watching tours.)
After Kevin and Heather made it down the Malecon on their Harley, we hung out in front of Margarita Mermaids, caught the Deva’s Bike Show, and watched the bikers and shenanigans from that end. After the show we headed down toward Boo Bar since that end is always super packed and they have designated burn-out spots, which are always fun to watch. Bikers from all over the U.S. and Mexico were represented and, of course, some SUPER nice bikes. We eventually made it to Boo Bar, had some snacks and drinks and watched the action from their newly renovated front terrace. Fun and shenanigans galore. That is definitely one of the best viewing spots! There we met up with friends Todd Lyons, owner of Prestige Properties and his friend, Dalton and then we all headed over to MOO Steakhouse and Grille for some more action, drinks and a bite to eat. We hung out on their upstairs terrace and watched everyone cruise up and down the Malecon and do burnouts – there was another designated burnout spot. Have to say it was a super fun day and night. A lot of us locals usually hunker down during these super busy weekends and let the tourists have the town – we come back out when everyone is gone, but it was nice to be out and about with friends. I do have to admit that I was whipped and sent Heather and Kevin off by themselves to enjoy the Calle 13 and the biker nightlife down there. The 20th Annual Bike Rally was a lot of fun and I’m definitely looking forward to next year!
For a few weeks in November whale sharks were hanging around out in front of Sandy Beach so a bunch of us hopped on a charter aboard the EcoFun’s Sol Chaser with owner, Maru Zacatelco and set out to see if we could find the whale sharks and maybe jump in and swim with them. (I swam with them for the first time in La Paz when we were on the first cruise out of Peñasco and it was so cool – terrifying, but so cool!) Unfortunately, we didn’t have any luck finding them but did have a great day out on the water paddleboarding, kayaking, snorkeling, and swimming. The crew gave was awesome and gave us excellent service – even diving down to the bottom to retrieve my Yeti (it was Heather’s fault!). The weather was super warm, and the water temperature was absolutely perfect. I’m constantly amazed at how fortunate I am to live here.
Finally rid of Heather and Kevin (haha), my friends, Vi Jaren and Ed Waters show up back in town and invite me over for a sunset shrimp dinner at their condo at Esmeralda. It was a gorgeous sunset; fantastic dinner and I always enjoy their company and conversation. They visited Barb’s Dog Rescue, talked to Barb for a while, played with the dogs and puppies, and even transported a dog to its forever home on their way back to Phoenix later that week. Barb’s Dog Rescue is at its capacity, and she and her staff are doing everything they can to house, spay, neuter, heal and care for so many dogs. Her 2022 calendars are available, and the Rescue always accepts and needs donations. And don’t forget that you can bring down dog food for Barb’s and WhyNot Travel Store often has a stash that needs to be transported down. The Rescue always has dogs that need to be transported back to the U.S. tor their forever homes so check out their article in every issue.
Remember that you can donate blankets, warm clothes, canned goods, towels, school items, etc. all year long. You can drop them off at our office Monday through Friday or there are many businesses around town that accept and distribute donations. We have lots of charities and families that are in need.
Thank you to Bill Brooks (from Las Palomas) who bought us girls a bottle of wine at Mare Blu – he said it looked like we were having a really good time…and we were! Pozole Sunday is back on at Boo Bar and it is absolutely excellent. Tide Calendars are now on sale, and they make a great Christmas present. Remember there are lots of places to shop for presents in Rocky Point and we don’t seem to be having any supply chain issues, so come on down and shop Rodeo Drive, the Old Port and all over town. Next month is Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers January Jam so get your tickets and make your reservations.
We hope everyone has a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year!