La Paz, Mexico
Celebration was in order so we headed to Mexico, land of sun, sand and tasty edibles. In our week here, we will be toasting my fortieth year on earth, the conclusion of a successful sixteen year career, and the start of a journey into the world of food and wine. It seemed appropriate to do all of this in a country I am so passionate about. Our adventure this trip is in the Baja penisula, in a magical place called La Paz. We flew into Cabo San Lucas on New Years Eve and promptly drove 3 hours north through the mountains to the capital of the southern Baja, a little a city tucked into cove on the Sea of Cortez. We rented a little place on the beach about 20 minutes north of town. The drive through the mountains was surprising and dramatic. I didn’t expect to see such desert terrain, and the vast fields of tall and multi-tentacled cactus and intense dark clouds intermingled with bursts of bright, warm sunrays. It reminded me so much of driving through the landscapes of New Mexico, and this region won my heart on that first trek. We wound through the mountains on a two-lane highway, stopping intermittently to let the cows pass, or to take in the glimpse of the sea when we came close.
The sun had just set when we arrived at home in La Paz. Kerry had made reservations at the best restaurant in La Paz for New Years Eve, Tres Virgines, but we were completely spent after the 4am wake up, a six hour flight and a three hour drive. We tried a local Italian place that we walked along the beach to, but they were having their own private party and we weren’t invited. Feeling a little desperate and quite hungry, we resorted to the Pemex station that served food. We managed to get an assortment of food packed up, the nuances of what it was exactly we missed. We feasted quite well on slow-cooked chile infused beef with tortillas, along with delicious tamales and a petite burrito. We toasted New Years in New York with Corona, and fell asleep to the sound of the ocean, a bonfire on the beach, and fireworks.