Baja Halloween – Thursday, October 31

We have fallen into a morning routine of waking before sunrise and climbing the wooden ladder up to our rooftop terrace to watch the sunrise.

It is cool, breezy and gray this morning but just before the sunrise the sky turns subtle shades of pinks and lavenders and Art welcomes the day with a sunrise salutation.  We see Marshall already on his way to the beach with Charlie, the dog, leading the way and wave a greeting. I do stretches on the cool and dusty tiles and after the sun has broken free of the horizon I descend the ladder to begin the important task of making our morning coffee.  We position our chairs at the corner of our terrace and drink our coffee serenely, pressured only by the choice of ocean or mountain view?

Ocean or Mountain View?

Ocean or Mountain View?

We decide to walk into the desert this morning before the day grows hot. I suggest one of the arroyos since the dessert is a lush green this early in the year but Art wishes to climb one of the cactus clad rocky knolls just north of us. I’m game but hope that all the desert critters are sleeping in and choose my footing carefully to avoid cactus and thorn bushes and any early rising rattle snakes.  I make it three quarters of the way to the top but I am wearing sandals and the climb grows steeper and the rocks more jumbled.  I choose to sit on a boulder and wait while Art conquers the “mountain.” I inhale the view along with a very pungent scent. I don’t know what bush, cacti or flower emits the odor but it is unusual and not entirely pleasant.

Ocean vew from a rocky Knoll

Ocean vew from a rocky Knoll

After our hike, I make another pepper and onion frittata before we drive over to Dave’s and Shelly’s to look at the Toyota 4 Runner that they are selling.  Art seems more interested in their Surette Rolls battery line up than the proposed car but we go for a drive anyway. Art takes the wheel with Dave in the passenger seat and we venture down a sandy arroyo and out onto the beach. It’s wonderful to be out on the sand with no fear of getting stuck but the vehicle is 23 years old, the same vintage as our marriage and although the price is right and the rust spots are not much of a worry, Art wishes for a newer model that is less likely to have mechanical issues. How should I interpret that?

At 3:00 P.M; in need of supplies and anticipating the first Thursday night Art Walk of the season, we drive back along the coastal road to San Jose.  Our first stop is a consignment shop where Art shows me a faded oriental carpet that will be a considerable improvement to the worn carpet that we acquired with the house. We are resisting spending a lot of money on a new carpet that, in one or two seasons will also fade in the intense Baja sun.  We arrive close to the shop’s 4:00 P.M. closing time and make  an offer on the rug,  but the head honcho, who can make the decision does not answer his cell phone and we leave empty handed.

Mundane errands beckon but after we finish, we return to the Old Town to enjoy the Thursday night Art Walk. It is after 5:00 P.M. and the diminishing light on this overcast day casts a silvery halo over the church and the gazebo in the downtown Zocolo. There are several clusters of easels with paintings exhibited and a local group is doing a fund raiser, serving hot dogs on long tables shaded by white canopies. Children are gathering, most wearing costumes and the beginnings of a festive night is unfolding. We walk from the Zocolo into the art district stopping in at a new gallery exhibiting exhorbantly priced acrylic paintings.  Wine goblets with a few sips of wine each are handed to us and we linger longer than the art warrants finishing the wine. Halloween has fallen on the first Thursday art walk of the season and the district is bustling with both tourists and families with their children in costume.  A group of Mariachis stroll the cobblestone streets and crowds follow to hear the lively music. We pop into a few galleries and accept libations when offered.  At the Ida Victoria gallery, on a side street at the very top of the main artery of galleries we meet Chef Tadd Chapman who has prepared and offers us exquisite octopus canopies and blueberry mojitos to promote his new restaurant the Juan Sanchez. Our friends, Dan and Laurie Henning show their sculpture at this gallery and at some time in the future, we hope to own a  Brent Lynch painting who’s work is exhibited here.  This may well be the best gallery in San Jose del Cabo.

We had plans to splurge on tonight’s dinner and the La Panga Restaurant on Zaragosa Street, recommended by friends of ours.  We are however impressed by Chef Todd’s gourmet treats and walk instead to the main tourist street to investigate the Don Sanchez restaurant. The menu, although pricy, looks enticing and we allow ourselves to be escorted into the interior of the restaurant and out back to an enclosed patio. The candlelit ambiance is lovely and a soloist guitarist serenades the diners softly.  We sit down in anticipation of a memorable meal and evening. The waiter hands us menus and places an I-pad with the wine list between us.  I am pleased to know how to navigate the I- pad and quickly choose a glass of Pino grigio from their by the glass options.  Art orders a blueberry mojito since the taste he had at the gallery earlier was much of what brought us to this restaurant.  20 minutes later my glass of wine arrives but Art is still waiting for his drink.  We come to find out that they have no blueberries and are “picking” them.  Only now does our waiter takes our order but they are out of the seared ahi that I choose so I settle on a crab cake appetizer for my entrée and a beet, arugula and blue cheese salad as my starter.  Art orders a poblano cream soup starter and a parrot fish entrée. Arts mojito finally makes its appearance and when an “amuse” arrives our irritation dissipates and we and savor the morsels slowly and sip our drinks. My salad is good but in need of more greenery and less of the blue cheese and dressing. Art’s soup is nothing special and my crab cakes, although flavorful, are slightly burnt on one side. Art offers me a taste of his Parrot fish which is excellent. The bill, including tip and tax is exactly $100; not excessive had the service and food been what was expected. We feel that this restaurant has potential and that we hit it on an off night.  We may give it another try at some point.

Art drives us mindfully and slowly home, along the rocky and rutted road without incident. It is 11:00 P.M. when we turn off our solar lights and fall to sleep to the pounding of the waves.


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