Sunday, December 20, 2015

Buen Viaje, Renee

Renee has temporarily left Intermezzo to travel back to the US to be with her daughter, Christina, for the birth of her first child, the start of a new generation on her side of our family tree. It was sad to see her leave and Intermezzo feels a bit empty without her.  She seemed pretty sad to be leaving, but at the same time excited about what she was heading towards to experience and to see her family for the holidays.

So I'm singlehanding Intermezzo now, on watch 24/ a posh marina.

Renee and I spent our yesterday together exploring the small town of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, which everyone refers to as just "La Cruz" for the obvious difficulty in pronouncing its full name properly. Lots of boats choose to anchor outside of La Cruz because it is smaller and has some quaint charm compared to Nuevo and Puerto Vallarta, and because it has a vibrant music scene.

We decided to take the bus from the marina to La Cruz, about 12 miles by road northwest. We weren't exactly sure where to catch the right bus but figured if we walked to the nearest bus stop that would be a good start. On the way, we stopped at the laundaria to buy some tokens to do our wash when we returned and, surprise, in walks Marc and Marci, our good friends from Glen Ellen, with their laundry! They have a condo near to the marina and we were looking forward to visiting but didn't figure on running into them on the street by chance. They know the area well, including the bus routes and had rented a car for the weekend to run some errands and take a day trip to a favorite beach restaurant. So Marc gave us a lift to the main road to catch the bus to La Cruz and we were on our way.

La Cruz is nice little town with a smallish marina, excellent fish market, quite a few nice little restaurants and, indeed, a vibrant local music scene founded mainly upon a contingent of 60-something hippies, real, ex- and wannabe. I wanted to find the somewhat famous Philo's Studio Bar. I had learned about Philo and his legendary La Cruz music venue in an obituary that appeared in Latitude 38 when he unexpectedly passed away in October.

We found Philo's place and it turned out that his memorial tribute was taking place, an afternoon and night of music performed by musicians that had played there for many years, a few years or had recently arrived on the scene. We were greeted warmly by his lovely partner, Maria, who genuinely thanked us for coming, like we were friends of the family. Philo was clearly a friend to and loved by many. It was quite an honor to be there to experience and the music was great, with some very moving songs played in tribute. While almost everyone in the audience and on stage is eligible for Social Security (we felt young), it was great to see some really talented young 20, 30 and 40 year old musicians willing and able to keep the local La Cruz music scene going into the future. 

After saying goodbye to Renee this morning, I joined Marc and Marci for a relaxing day in the La Cruz/Punta de Mita area. We visited the Sunday's farmer's market in La Cruz, which features fresh organic produce and local artisanal foods, had a nice lunch and relaxed at a beach restaurant in Punta de Mita, watched the sunset over cocktails and finished the day off with dinner at "Tacos on the Street", a really nice, popular restaurant that has grown from its namesake origins, but not too much. A really nice day spent with really good friends.