RV Roadtrip to Baja Post #5: The Return Trip, Big Blogging Dollar$, And A St. John Update

As predicted it was technically very tough to post from Mexico. The cold, hard truth of the matter is we just totally dropped the ball on this whole blogging thing. We’re already back in the states and we’ve been back for quite a while. Weeks. Maybe months. I’d love to say that we’ll never disappear like this again but the fact is we make zero blogging dollars. As a result, there are very few consequences when we drop out like this. Our scholarships are not on the line. No endorsement deals are in jeopardy. I can honestly say that no one is more disappointed by our lackluster commitment to posting than we are. How’s that for chicken and egg? Let me tell you what happened anyway.

After Todos Santos, we started the long journey northward. We had about 1000 miles of rough road ahead of us to make it back to the border. Luckily, there were a few towns  we skipped on the way down so we wouldn’t just be retracing our steps. In all honesty, our expectations were pretty low. Baja didn’t really seem to be panning out and we were ready to cut our losses. But, lo and behold, the return trip was full of hits! Our first stop was a town called La Ventana. It’s just outside of La Paz and we went because a server at the coffee shop in Todos Santos thought we’d like it. You know, because he knows us so well. And we pretty much always take travel trips from strangers. Turns out he was right. It was wall-to-wall kite-boarders. Literally. But they were all from Quebec and speaking French, which somehow made it way more interesting. Loved La Ventana. We ended up spending a couple of days there.20180207_162344

Next up was Loreto. Which we also liked. It’s a little town with a pretty impressive  (and absurdly Jesuit-positive) mission. Also, there was a carnival going on the night we were there. It was charming and we had some of the best tacos ever. The carnival taco stands in Loreto have table service. Enough said.

 

From there, we headed to Bahia Concepcion which is a big bay on the Sea of Cortez. It’s a fantastic destination for RVs because there are several beaches that you can camp on for just a few pesos. We chose Playa Requeson and it was stellar. We were literally parked right on the beach. Vendors come by selling vegetables and fish and tamales, so if you manage your water and dumping situation you can stay for a while. We were there for three or four nights, just chilling and giving ourselves a little rest. We also stopped in a few other cute towns like San Ignacio, Santa Rosalia, and we checked out some very cool cave paintings in Catavina.

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This is so Baja. Beautiful. But also kinda oppressively depressing.

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Beachside camping.

 

We were out of cell reception for several days in a row. When we finally got back on the road and the cell service kicked in, we had inboxes full of bad news. Jennifer’s grandfather passed away and she needed to get to New Jersey ASAP for the funeral. The best plan we could come up with was to make a bee-line for San Diego (which sounds so much easier than it actually was) and hope we could get her on a flight in time. And instead of spending a couple of weeks visiting friends and family out west, as planned, I would start driving from San Diego towards Indiana (with the dogs) and we would pick Jennifer up somewhere along the way.

It all worked out. She made it to the funeral. I got to spend one night with friends in LA. The pups and I listened to a bunch of Audio books, ate some Sonoran hot dogs and In-Out burgers, and picked Jennifer up at the El Paso airport. After that, we spent a few days at Guadalupe National park before driving to Indy for another work week. We spent a lot of that time processing our Baja trip. Here’s what we ended up with:

  1. We’re glad we went, but it was tough. The desert almost beat us.
  2. We definitely wouldn’t do it the same way again. If we did it again, we would only rv as far south as Bahia de Concepcion. If we wanted to go back to Todos or La Paz, we would fly. And the Valle de Guadalupe (wine country) is super accessible by plane, rv, or car and we will definitely be going back there.
  3. There are no really great fish tacos in Baja. Get over it. The mariscos/ceviche is amazing, though. Go with that.
  4. There are sooooo many Canadians. Prepare yourself. I think they might be responsible for the fish taco problem. Just a guess.

I mentioned we’ve been back from Mexico for a long time, right? I wasn’t joking. After that week in Indy, we drove down to Florida so that my mom (World’s Greatest Dog-Sitter) could watch the pups while we did a short trip to St. John to meet with contractors. It was our first time going back since the storms.

Here are some befores and afters. (If you’re reading this, stop what you’re doing and go out and take same nice pictures of your house. We never did this. We have lots of close ups of food and flowers, but this is at good as it gets for the house).

 

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 Before: That’s me in front of our house.

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After: This is me in front of our used-to-be house. Same shirt! That’s my sad face.

 

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Before: View up from pool/workout area.

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After: New open concept.

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Before: The Shack.

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After: The Invisible Shack.

It’s weird. We’ve been traveling like crazy since the storms and even though we always thought we’d go back to St. John and rebuild, we’ve also been sorta open to the idea that we might find somewhere even better for us out there on the road. Have you ever seen that movie Away We Go? With John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph? It’s fabulous. You should see it. Anyway, it’s about this couple who are visiting friends in different places and trying to decide where they want to live and how they want to be. It’s probably about some other stuff, too. Who can remember? I see a lot of movies. Anyway, we’ve felt a little bit like we were in that movie this whole time. Like we’re constantly going on interviews and first dates with all these different places. Like, could we live here?  But nothing has really clicked. We’ve spent a lot of time in super random places recently and when I look around I’m always wondering (sometimes aloud) how did these people get here? I mean, were their ancestors wagon-training-it to California and they just got distracted? Or they ran out of hardtack and salt pork? Did the wheels literally fall off the wagon? Are these the descendants of failed settlers?

Well, that’s the old me.  After all of this time on the road I’m starting to get it. I see how you could end up saying, “Yeah, this is good enough. Forget about where we were headed, let’s just stay here. There’s probably no gold in them thar hills anyway.”  Going back to St. John was a great reminder of where we want to be. Yes, the house is still gone. Our neighborhood is insane. But we can’t wait to rebuild. We like it way better than Mexico. Or anywhere else.

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Plus, we still have the terrible house sign. Our neighbors found it. It’s tucked away in a closet at my mother’s house. For now.

Happy Easter/Passover, everyone. Until next time.

 

One thought on “RV Roadtrip to Baja Post #5: The Return Trip, Big Blogging Dollar$, And A St. John Update

  1. Colleen says:

    Hey guys! We’ve been thinking about you and wondering how the trip is going! So glad to hear you loved La Ventana. We finally went there and really liked it too!
    We’re happy you got back safe and had some better experiences on the way up. I can’t wait to see what you do in St. John!
    Keep in touch.!
    Cheers,
    Colleen and Betsy

    Like

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