Sunday, October 31, 2010

Reunion with Food and Power!

This past week the main event was the first (annual?) Loreto Bay Reunion. What made this event special was that it was wholly organized by, and for Homeowners, with the goal of recapturing the positive energy, dare I say magic, which was one of the ingredients that caused us to fall in love with this place in the first instance.

Those feelings, had their beginnings during the sales events that each of us participated in, and have sustained many of us through the trials and tribulations that we have experienced during the process of building our homes here.

The idea behind the reunion had it’s beginnings with several former employees of the
original Developer and has gained momentum in the past several weeks as more and more people have arrived here for short or long stays. Any doubts about the amount of support and interest there would be in the event were dismissed on Thursday afternoon, when over 60 people gathered at the Community Pool for an informal get together.

Dar and Ed (who hold Honorary Homeowner status, despite actually living in town, due to their substantial influence in the early stages of the Development) organized the margaritas and beer and provided appropriate background music for this welcome party. One of the other organizers, Laurie, circulated the crowd selling tickets to the dinner party to be held at the INN on Saturday night, and due in part to her efforts, the initial 80 tickets were sold and another 40 were made available most of which also sold by the time of the dinner.

The following evening, on Friday, people were encouraged to get together in their own groups and have dinners in town at one of several restaurants, some of which offered specials for the event. Earlier in the day Peter Body had an Open House at his design studio on the Paseo, where he specializes in renovations, landscape design and general contracting services. This was so well attended that the people who attended overflowed the office space and took over the sidewalk in front of the PJB Design Studio on the Paseo.

On Saturday there was a picnic tour to the Islands and several nature walks in and around the Development and I offered Real Estate Tours of several of our current listings to showcase some of the different floor plans now available for resale. I was pleasantly surprised when over a dozen interested Homeowners, along with several of their guests, participated and seemed to enjoy seeing through these homes, particularly a few of the less common plans.

That evening the big event was a Beach “Partay” held at the INN, which had prepared a delicious buffet served in the recently renovated pool/courtyard. Before the meal, there were a few words from some of the organizers, welcoming everyone and recalling similar evenings which we all had participated in during our Sales Events in the past. There were also a few words of introduction and welcome from a senior
representative of Homex, the new Developer who now owns the INN. Homex also generously hosted a wine and beer bar during the cocktail appetizers and throughout the dinner.

With over a hundred people in attendance, each table during the dinner became it’s own party, and following the meal, people mingled and visited until about 10:00 pm under the clear starry night sky of another perfect evening in Loreto Bay. Many people commented during the evening on the warm sense of community that was in the air that night. It was a special way to begin a new winter season that already feels more vibrant and cohesive than any previous year so far, in the early history of Loreto Bay. I am looking forward to seeing how that sense of community continues to grow and develop as more and more people arrive for short or long stays in their homes during the coming months.

On Sunday the organized events wrapped up with a quiet brunch at the INN. Although
some people were only here for a short visit, to coincide with the Reunion, many of us are settling in for a longer term here, and this weekend’s activities have provided a great beginning to what I am sure will be the busiest and most optimistic time so far in the Loreto Bay Community. I for one, hope that this Reunion becomes an annual launch to each winter season, reminding us all of the reasons we chose to be here and why we want to stay and see this special place fulfill, and exceed, the hopes and dreams we all had for it at the beginning.

While the reunion was a focal point of this week, it was not the only noteworthy event. An important part of any community is the access to goods and services within it and there have been two major openings this week that will contribute to our life here.

About a year ago I devoted this space to the opening of the first grocery/convenience store in Loreto Bay, Baja Onsite, owned and operated by Evan and Julie (with assistance from their two young boys in charge of quality control of the pop and chip inventory!). During last winter their modestly sized store steadily added more and more products, requiring more shelving and cooler capacity, until by the end of the spring the store had overgrown it’s location and they decided something had to be done.

This Fall, renovations began on a new, much larger store which could accommodate all
of their inventory and allow them to expand the selection into even more commodities. Many long days were spent preparing this new space, while continuing to operate in the original location, until they were finally able to open this week in a space which is three times the size. While they have added a wider selection of dry goods and packaged foods for the opening, Evan and Julie promise many more delights to come, like a deli counter with cold cut meats and cheeses, frozen Angus beef cuts and other prime meats, refrigerated fresh fruits and vegetables and - wait for it - Onsite DELI SANDWICHES AND PIZZA in the near future.

The idea of being able to pick up a hot-from-the-oven Pizza within walking distance
of my casa is a fantasy that I thought would be years in the future, but thanks to Evan and Julie’s hard work, determination and ongoing investment, I expect to be enjoying this delicious evidence of our growing community in the near future! I know I join with all other Homeowners who have seen the new store, to express my gratitude to this ambitious and entrepreneurial couple for contributing in this important way to our lifestyle here.

Although it is my pleasure to do so, I also pledge to support their endeavours as much as I can, and encourage all of the Loreto Bay community to do the same. Already I am changing my shopping habits and now make a point of checking out what they have on hand before I head into town to do my “hunting and gathering”. If you take the time to do this, I’m sure you’ll find (as I have) that not only are many of the staples now available here in our own community, but they also have a growing list of products that are not available anywhere closer than La Paz or Cabo! Continued success to Evan & Julie!

Appropriately, in this week that saw the opening of a new larger food store, we also
saw the launch of a new store catering to a critical demand that is shared by all Homeowners in Loreto Bay. For the past several years Greg has developed a reputation as a skilled and experienced electrical contractor here in Loreto Bay. I have heard many stories from Homeowners, of his success in sorting out the sometimes unique (verging on eccentric) electrical systems that can power our homes here.

As I’ve gotten to know Greg over these years, he has described the reality that there is no guarantee of compliance with any sort of “code” when it comes to the way the wiring was put into our homes. So, in the not uncommon event of electrical problems developing as we live in these homes, it takes a special skill (of almost detective proportions) to figure out what was done originally, and how to fix it and make it work properly.

So it is with great pleasure that I can announce that Greg, with the charming and able assistance of his wife Jane, have opened The Power Store on the Paseo this week. In addition to stocking an excellent selection of hardware, light bulbs, hard to find electrical items, custom light fixtures, solar path lights and much more, the Power Store specializes in power conditioners.

This responds to a very real need to protect electrical appliances and components
from power fluctuations, both high and low, that are a fact of life here with the instability of the electrical grid. These systems are available in a range of sizes from single outlet protection to whole home coverage and can also include integrated generators than can provide uninterrupted power in the uncommon, but always potential, event of a blackout of the CFE grid.

Although they have just opened their store, Greg’s experience “on the ground” is evidenced by the carefully selected inventory of the most needed/hardest to find electrically related products. Jane adds an eye for d├ęcor items and she promises that they will continue to add more stock and variety to the store as they get settled into their new enterprise and they welcome product suggestions from their new customers.

I encourage you to drop in when you are in Loreto Bay and you will make finds that you previously would have had to go to a Home Depot type store to get. I am sure that as word travels into the surrounding community and into town, customers will be coming from outside Loreto Bay to purchase this hard to find hardware. Who knew, Loreto Bay – a shopping destination!

So, this week we have had over 100 Homeowners participating in various events and parties to celebrate our “first” Reunion, the expansion of our first community food store and the opening of a new business to help us live more comfortably in our homes – not bad for end of October and the beginning of our new winter season!

Meeting new and old friends in a time of celebration and supporting individuals who believe in the future success and growth of this community, it’s been a good week to be “Living Loreto”!