By Susan Nelson

Last week my daughter and I spent three days in Puerto Peñasco. We had a wonderful trip. We stayed at Casa Monica, Cholla Bay Bed and Breakfast, where we felt more like family than guests. Our first afternoon we had pedicures and massages on the upstairs patio looking out over the bay. It was perfect. Dinner at La Familia Restaurant our first night, and then at Ristorante Mare Blu our second night, were both excellent. I judge a restaurant by the sauces used in their recipes, and they were outstanding. So much so that, in the Italian restaurant downstairs (Mare Blu),  I even used extra bread to serve myself more of the sauce, for I could not get enough of it on the shrimp which was in the dish. Sopping bread, all the while hoping my poor table manners were not too obvious to other diners seated near us. Speaking of food, Gretchen Ellinger at Casa Monica served us a very lovely breakfast each day, served on a beautifully laid out table with dishes and linens that would do a magazine cover credit.

We walked all through the Old Port downtown area. The Malecon was still under re-construction, getting it’s facelift, but I feel that the end result will offer a great gathering placefor guests and visitors alike. I look forward to a return trip to see the finished area. We stepped in and out of many stores, and ended up at Mercedes Rusticos where we spent far over an hour looking, and buying. The sales attendants graciously wrapped all of treasures in bubble wrap. This was a great help as my daughter had to fly out of Tucson the next day, even hand carrying one large piece that would never go in her luggage. She and her purchases made it home safely.

We visited so many places on the road to Las Conchas, including the CEDO Research Station and the CETMAR Aquarium. We also waded through tide pools and walked across the tidal flats of Cholla Bay. My daughter swam in the Sea of Cortez, on our last day inMexico, and we were sad to leave as we felt we were just getting into the swing of things. We wanted to do MORE. On our drive back to the border we stopped at Schuk Toak.  It is a beautifully built visitors center which explains the Pinacate Biosphere Reserve area in Northern Sonora with its shield volcano and many craters. It is one of Mexicos protected areas that would be similar to our National Parks. We both wished we could spend more time there,  and we hope to bring our family members there in the future. The young man who gave us a tour was very well informed and explained the exhibits precisely, both in Spanish and English, as well as showing us a video of The Pinacate.

Needless to say, we are eager to return and to bring the rest of our family with us. Everyone we met and talked to was so friendly and helpful, and Puerto Peñasco has so much more to offer which we would like to explore and experience. Thank you, to all the many people who made our stay so very pleasant.