Sunday, November 6, 2011

Re-Discovering Loreto Bay

This past weekend was the second annual Re-Discovery Weekend - an event that has become the unofficial beginning of the season here in Loreto Bay.  Last year, several of the people who were involved in the early days of the development had the idea to organize what they called at the time a “Reunion” weekend, inviting Homeowners to get together in Loreto at the end of October to recapture some of the excitement and enthusiasm that marked the early days of this development.  I wrote about that event (Reunion with Food and Power, Oct. 2010) and speculated that it would become an annual event.

Which brings us to this past weekend, I have mentioned in earlier postings this Fall that there are more people here, earlier in the season, than ever before in Loreto Bay.  And so it was with the “Re-Discovery” weekend, with more people having arrived for the season and others who planned their first visit this Fall to coincide with the weekend the community population was at record levels for this time of year.

Things “kicked off” on Thursday afternoon with a get together at the Community Pool where there were about twice as many people in attendance than at the same event last year – a good omen for things to come during the rest of weekend.  Bajaja Deli Bar & Grill generously provided Margaritas and Apies for the party and the resulting level of conviviality was testament to the quality and generosity of their contribution!

Friday morning Darlene Tait conducted an Escorted Shopping Tour into to town to help Homeowners find the best places to buy produce, meats, pharmacy items and household goods in town.  This was a great help to both those who are setting up their households for the first time and others who wanted to catch up with the ever-changing shopping options in Loreto.  Speaking of food, that evening was the Official Opening of the aforementioned Bajaja restaurant, with a special menu of Pulled Pork and Ribs with all the trimmings, which drew a full house and many rave reviews.

On Saturday there was a full day of activities, starting with a Market and Expo that was to be staged in the “Racetrack”, a large open median space located between the Founders and Agua Viva neighbourhoods.  The plan was to invite some of the fresh fruit and produce vendors who sell at the Sunday market in town to set up the day before here in Loreto Bay.  However, the best laid plans in Mexico are always subject to change, and unfortunately the vendors were unable to make it due to a prior commitment at the market in Mulege, an hour and a half north of here.  However, there were a handful of different community and non-profit groups from the town of Loreto distributing information on the services and activities they provide.

Later in the morning I conducted a tour of several of our Real Estate Listings for Homeowners who were interested in finding out what was happening in the local market, followed by a second tour in the afternoon lead by my co-agent Ariel.  This was an opportunity for our residents to see some comparable properties and find out where prices are at the start on this season.  In my group there were several comments made about the remarkable values available now on a good selection different plans, at prices well below what many of us paid several years ago!

But the biggest event of the weekend was Saturday night at the Inn.  The evening started with a cocktail reception hosted by Bahia Property Management combined with an impressive exhibition of artwork created by some very talented Homeowners.  Although the subjects, styles and techniques varied widely, the common theme running through many of the pieces on display was the inspiration of the beautiful surroundings where we are so fortunate to have found ourselves.

Following the reception and exhibition we moved to the pool patio area where Las Villas de Mexico - Loreto generously hosted a buffet dinner for 200 Loreto Bay Homeowners who had registered in advance, quickly filling all the available seats. Two long buffet lines moved steadily through a delicious selection of dishes including soup, salad, rice, grilled fish, tamales, chilli relenos among other dishes and deserts.  This was further evidence of the increased numbers here this year as the equivalent event last year had attracted just over half that number, and there were even more who would have liked to attend this year after the maximum capacity for the event had been reached. 

After everyone had enjoyed their fill, I had been asked to make a few announcements and introductions and then it was my great pleasure to introduce the entertainment for the evening – Loreto Bay’s own “Los Beach Dogs”!  This time the original trio of Rich, Steve and Charles were joined by their “stray dog” Tony on electronic drums, which added even more punch to the Dogs increasingly professional sound – these guys have been practicing!  They played two full sets and along with their popular blend of classic rock, blues and some folk style standards, Rich has written and composed a new original piece about Mexican Highway 1 called “Ride of your Life”, complementing his first composition “Road Uncertain” which received one of the biggest ovations of the evening.  So, if there were still “45’s” being made, we might have our first #1 hit here in Loreto Bay!

But the weekend was not over yet – Sunday morning a pre-Halloween parade was planned for 10:00.  After the “exuberance” of the night before, I arose Sunday morning with some doubts about how many be-costumed paraders would actually show up, but once again we “Loreto Baybes” proved to be up to the challenge!  By the time I arrived at the roundabout down by the INN several costumes had already arrived and over the next 15 minutes a couple of dozen more joined us, including this year’s hot trend – dogs in costumes! (no, not Los Beach Dogs in drag, but the four legged variety looking surprisingly happy with their get-ups)

Headed up by no less than the Pope (complete with a Pope-mobile – driven, appropriately enough, by the Devil) the parade formed up for a circuit of the Paseo with religious themes, and cadavers apparently being popular choices this year, along with any costume that could be made from a sheet.  Planning ahead, I had brought down with me on this trip, a full head Gorilla mask of black rubber and thick black fur which I have worn to some good effect for many Halloweens back in Canada.  However, I had failed to take into consideration that it is considerably cooler in Canada at the end of October – a fact that became abundantly clear to me after about 5 minutes wearing the mask in 85 degree weather!

As with the previous Loreto Bay parade that I had taken part in (“A Red Letter Day in Loreto Bay”, February 2011) the paraders far outnumbered those who were watching, but a good time was had by all and Las Villas de Mexico - Loreto provided some refreshing drinks at the halfway turn around which kept us all going until we returned to the starting spot - where we were further revived by some slightly stronger cold drinks.

The final event of the weekend (which I plan to Blog about at greater length next weekend) was the first annual Home and Garden Tour of some of the beautiful private homes here in Loreto Bay.  A limited number of passes for the tour were sold and the $300 raised will be contributed to a local charity in the town of Loreto.  The tour featured six homes that are among the growing number recently completed or renovated and they provided an inspiring look at what can be done with both Village and Custom homes and their garden spaces.  This was a unique opportunity for other Homeowners to be welcomed into these special places, and I hope that in the future Re-Discovery weekends will include similar tours as I am sure this would become a highlight event.

So with all of these activities and festivities having been enjoyed by the largest numbers of Homeowners here this early in the year, the Re-Discovery Weekend was an unqualified success and it well and truly launched what promises to be the best season in Loreto Bay’s history.  When Homeowners from all over North America can congregate together in this emerging community to share good times and create new memories, we can all begin to really appreciate the special magic that is “Living Loreto”!
(Thanks to Al Graichen for some photos)