If you are reading this, it is July in Peñasco. Hot! HUMID! Since this column is written a month in advance, and we are enjoying a moderately mild June, I am going to assume that the heat doesn’t factor in to your plans to visit our fair city. In years past, before we had electricity out on the playas, June 15th was the “return to the States date” for me and most of my neighbors. Fans just didn’t cut it. Once the humidity began creeping up toward the 4th of July “hell…with humidity” was upon us and, except for a few hardy souls, it was time to leave until October.

My how times have changed! Air conditioning, swim up bars and other cooling tactics have turned what was once a negative into a wonderful vacation experience for many. What with all the new things going on here, and all the hotels/condos and the amenities they offer, I can understand that. Still, I can fondly (or maybe not so fondly)remember coming back every month from July to October to check on the casa and dealing with the oppressive heat and humidity, while sweating profusely at the house, and then taking a hotel room in town for the overnight stay just to cool down a bit.

Some events that have popped up in town have become iconic. Bike week, of course, but the recent dune buggy races were fun to watch as well, and the boost to our local economy was welcome. Tourism and traffic are slowly returning to what can be called “normal” for our town. That translates to border waits, but when you go by “mañana” time…who cares. By the way, the term ‘mañana’ as used here and most of Mexico doesn’t really mean ‘tomorrow,’ according to Mark Mulligan (a musician/entertainer who performs locally from time to time) it simply means “not today.” Keep that in mind and apply it to your expectations.

Walking the tide line has become a ‘zen’ sorta thing for the old gringo. A couple of miles every morning invigorates and gives one a sense of peace, even if things are a bit crazy from time to time.  The dogs love it. Chasing the various birds to flight, smelling and sniffing everything that has washed ashore overnight (and peeing on whatever is taller than a clam shell) whether that’s a turtle, dolphin, seal lion or some other unlucky sea denizen, and almost always taking a dip in the surf. It is a regular daily rite for them. Of course, neither of them are too keen on getting hosed down once we get back to the house, to get the sand and the stink of whatever they have rolled in off, but that’s small price to pay for the luxury of a long beach walk. Out on the playas, away from Sandy Beach, tranquility reigns.

It’s been noticeable that there are more and more people renting beach houses out our way…oh, well! Most have small children and bring their own dogs. What a joy to watch their pups gambol and race around out on the sand and into the surf. You can almost “taste” the freedom. With a very few exceptions, these visitors are congenial, respectful of their neighbors and here to enjoy Peñasco. So, as much as I would like things to go back to how they were, before we were discovered, I know that can’t happen. The best thing to do, I suppose, is to embrace the new paradigm.

I notice that some of the other columnists in this paper tout the various business and financial opportunities to be found here in paradise…not me. I’m more pragmatic in wanting to keep Peñasco as close to the way it was as I can, given what’s happened to our sleepy fishing village. Enjoy our little corner of paradise! I’m sure you will find it to be a magical place that you’ll want to visit again!