She was grandpa’s shadow when she was young and always begged him to take her to Puerto Peñasco with him when he went fishing with his buddies. Alas, he never did, declaring it a “men only” trip and not suitable for little girls. Eventually, in 1975 she did come to visit and see what this beach was all about. Her parents were coming here quite frequently.
Actually as she tells me, her mom never met a stranger. One day when her parents were on the beach, her mother heard a Mexican speaking English so she struck up a conversation with him. He was a well known musician and living between Mexico City and Los Angeles. He was here at the beach to vacation with his daughters and to visit his sister. Over time her parents and the musician visited many times on their trips here and she told her daughter what a wonderful man she thought he was.
Somewhere along the line mom, you remember the one who never met a stranger, decided that these two, now-single parents, were a good match and when he mentioned that he was coming to Arizona to bring his daughters to visit the Grand Canyon, mom saw her opportunity. She explained he would have to come through Wickenburg, where she and family lived, to get to the Grand Canyon (which if you live in Arizona, you know is not true!) So anyway, he did visit them and mom tried to get her daughter to go on the trip with him and act as their guide – but she didn’t.
Six months after his trip to Arizona, he called her for a date, came to Arizona to take her out and this time she went. The second date was in Puerto Peñasco. I can’t let this go by, without telling you about that second date. She came to town with her parents and they were dressed very casually, she said she was wearing levi’s and tennis shoes. Upon arriving she found that he and his family were going to the Black and White Ball and invited her family to come, no one seemed to mind how they were dressed. Needless to say she and her family had no idea what the Black and White Ball was, so after arriving dressed as she was, it was a little surreal. In spite of that, they had a wonderful time and partied (as we tend to do in Peñasco) until the wee hours of the morning. That is the story of how Iva met Armando and as they say, the rest is history. Three months later they were married and decided to live in Puerto Peñasco.
Their first plan was to build a small hotel on their property on Whale Hill next to Casa de Capitan, but they decided that would not provide a place for Armando to play his well known jazz music, so the Lighthouse Restaurant came to be. It opened in February of 1998 and I and a group of 12 friends were there the first week. I didn’t know Iva and Armando at that time but am so happy to have gotten to know them since.
Iva has sons, one of whom, Mark, works with them at the Lighthouse. Armando has daughters and they have a son, Armando, Jr. who, like his dad is also a local musician. His band “Reband” is a very popular local group. They play at the Lighthouse Friday and Saturday evenings from 6:00 – 9:00 pm and then start at the new Thunder on the Beach (at the old waterfront Portofino location on the Malecon) at 10:00 pm.
I encourage you to visit this great local restaurant and experience the spectacular views of Puerto Peñasco and, of course, our phenomenal sunsets. Be sure to have their very special Mexican Coffee with your desert. I’ve included a couple of photos of a local women’s group, Las Mariposas, who came to the Lighthouse for their recent fund raiser pajama party and brunch. Iva is always happy to arrange special group events so give her call when that need arises for you and do enjoy the Lighthouse, a piece of the Puerto Peñasco paradise.
35 of the group Las Mariposas had a wonderful time at their PJ party/fund raiser at the Lighthouse.
Love the story…love Iva and Armando…in fact just saw Armando in RP a couple of weeks ago…hadn’t talked in years…great afternoon at the lighthouse..