la paz – sunday

We’ve been told that la paz means peace, and I can see why. this place is a secret (do not tell anyone) – its tranquil, and beautiful yet all of the people we’ve met are full of energy and life! I believe it’s this place casting its magical spell on everyone who visits. Side note: The Hotel California is few miles from here, wasn’t it supposed to have some magic about it?

Back to Sunday…
we started with a quick breakfast including “green juice” – how did they know I’ve become a juice freak? Spinach, cucumber, cactus, pineapple, and I think kiwi. Amazing way to start the day (and help flush some of that tequila from the night before).

From breakfast we headed to the spa! If there is ‘spa’ in the name of any hotel I’m staying in – I have to try at least one treatment! We had salt scrubs and ‘M’ loved his, mine was nice, but there were comic moments throughout that punctuated the fact that I was in another country.

My technician – we’ll call her Maggie – perspired from her hands. (pausing to let that sink in)
Now if I knew this about myself, I’m not sure touching people in a relaxing way would be the profession I would have chosen – or maybe if it were my calling, I’d have done something about my clammy, moist pits before I out them on someone’s naked body.
I struggled through the initial touch only because I knew she would be quickly putting water and slats on to do the scrub. Plus, she spoke no English (or very little) and our communication had already been choppy. [je parle Francais, je ne parle pas Espanole].
we proceeded on and her movements through the room were loud and clumsy – unlike the treatments where you know the technician is doing something, but have no idea what it is, nor do you care because you’re so relaxed. Not so much with Maggie. Her shoes made this duck quacking squeak against the floors every time she moved, and she moved a lot. Then she used a very loud electronic scrubbing tool on the left side of the front of my body (it ran out of power so no buffing for the rest of me) LOL I am giggling inside at this point, just taking it all in as the experience it is. My internal funny quickly turned to “What the what?!” when Maggie full on grabbed a boob! Uhhhh, really? She grabbed, lifted, pushed the girls around to make sure all surfaces had been scrubbed. (oh my!) This just continued to make for a great story. The back side was done with no big surprises (thank goodness!!) and it was time to shower. No instruction was given except rinse, but don’t use any soap, just rinse so I did, and proceeded to get dressed. Thanks Maggie that was interesting, and I did feel 100% smoother – mission accomplished. No. Maggie knocked on the door and couldn’t find words to tell me that we weren’t finished, so we stumbled around it and I figured it out. Back to the room – squeak, squeak, squeak down the hall. She sprayed me down with something she kept putting in my face to smell, and applied a lotion to seal me up. Now we were done. I thanked her – honestly it was a great treatment, just hella funny!

After spa’ing we chilled by the pool, grabbed a small bite, met up with Rick and Cydney – said our goodbyes as they were going to explore town and we’d most likely not see them again. We’re hoping to connect in Napa or Sonoma later this year. New people were showing up at the pool, which was great to see the constant stream of people because I’d hate for this resort to close due to lack of business!

We decided that we would go check out the club house at the Gary Player PGA Pro golf course. A short ride up the hill and we rented a golf cart and started to drive the course. M is a very good golfer who hasn’t swung a club in a few years, so playing this course was out for him, but he wanted o see the holes and size up it’s challenge for “next time” (yeah). The views were breathtaking, the design was outstanding, and this being my first time being on a golf course, I was impressed by the challenge of the game. M quickly figured out that playing here would be in his future – no need to be intimidated, just be ready for a good 5-6 hours of play. We even watched a few people play through some of the more difficult holes – so much fun!!

We ended the night with sushi from a great restaurant in the marina, and came back to our room to be serenaded by a mariachi band playing in a condo across the pool. Amazing day ended with some Ai-yi-yi-yi, and La Cucaracha!!!

Muy, muy Bien! Sunday=snorkeling!

la paz – saturday

day 2 in Mexico started with a trip into town. la paz is everything i thought i had hoped it would be. authentic, polite, friendly and the right mix of new and old. everywhere we went people were helpful and very proud of their beautiful part of the world. we were told about the Espiritus Island more than once which increased the anticipation of our visit on Monday. souvenirs were purchased for friends and family back home, and we met a young man from San Diego who has been in la Paz for the last 8 months clearing his head. an excellent baseball player (pitcher) ran into some life issues when his father passed away. school, baseball and family all became less important and trouble took their place. his mother knew sending him to stay with his grandmother in la Paz was the best thing for him. He was excited to get back to CA, back on track, and back to baseball. I told him we’d be watching for him – and that school was the key to his future.

back at the resort, we took our place at the pool bar and met a great couple from San Diego – Cydney and Rick. We proceeded to share stories about our lives, kids, jobs, and enjoy the beautiful day. Tequila was the bond – and as a pre dinner festivity we tasted 4 amazing tequilas sided by side. My Starbucks coffee tasting training has served me well in setting up tastings of other beverages. We all chose our favorite and everyone’s palette chose a different tequila. Lots of fun with our new friends Cyd and Rock.

The night ended with some photography of the stars, the sky was filled, and with it being so dark i had to try some super long exposures. we’ll see if I was able to capture any star trails…fingers crossed!

la paz – friday

Baja reminds us of Arizona. dry, brown hot,and beautiful. the Costa Baja Resort is amazing. It sits in a protected cove of the Sea of Cortez, and the water is so clear and warm. we walked out to our belly buttons and could still see the ocean floor. white sand beaches and cool ocean winds make it perfect.

Our room has a great view said ocean, as well as the swim up bar in the beautiful blue tiled infinity pool. we checked in, washed the travel off, jumped in swim suits and “bellied” right up to that bar! Nahteya was our server, and she suggested some of the best seafood dishes I’ve ever had. The aguachile camerons, and the scallops in this jalapeño tomato and lime juice dishes were/are my absolute favorites. So light, refreshing, and clean tasting – the favors sang to me!

We met tuna fishermen from LA, and a few locals. It always starts with just M and I at a bar and before you know it, there is a party! Good times!

Dinner at the resorts restaurant – Steinbeck’s – continued the fresh fish extravaganza. I had a fish I’ve never heard of, similar to our sea bass, and M had the Mahi Mahi. Both dishes were incredible, and we couldn’t complete our first day without a shot of their best tequila – Don Julio REAL – boy was it Real! If you know anything about me, you know I am a tequila girl, and the restaurant bar has 3 full walls of tequila! Heaven!! I can’t wait to go back and get acquainted with them!! I say there should be nothing wrong with a self created tequila class, little sips of this and that to really gain an appreciation for subtleties of tequila. Off to see what day 2 brings!

la paz, mexico

Our journey to La Paz has begun with dropping off our fur friends at their very own hotel where they will be spa’d and treated like the little kings and queens they are. their Jr Suite even comes with a web cam so we can check in on them at all times!

The 1 AM flight was supposed to be a time saver for our 4 day excursion, but it was a bit brutal staying awake and not cranky in the airport. Once on the plane things got much better and the super cheap upgrade to 1st class made sleeping on the flight to Mexico City easy.

What hasn’t been easy is dealing with my dad’s heart situation. Being able to talk to him, to hear him go from sounding concerned to joking about tequila has helped. To know that my mom (health and wellness traffic control officer of the year) is there with him helps a ton too. I think she’s stood by long enough and watched him not tell the doctors everything they need to know. His medical team is very well informed with Clara J in the mix .

beans to apples


tuesday january 4th was cold, cloudy and gray. it was my
last day at beans, and it started with a commute into work that
felt different from any other. the dogs came in for their final
‘day in the office’ at “books”, and bronx must have sensed
something different because he cried all the way to my drop off at
beans. as we passed lake sammish, crossed the I-90 bridge on
what most days was the most beautiful drive someone can take on a
daily basis – today was different. not to be morbid, but
think for a moment what it must feel like to knowingly be taking
your last journey somewhere. to know that i’d never travel
this way again with the intention of “going to work”, “preparing
mentally for my day” left weird feeling in me. a ‘dead man walking’ kind of feeling.

once i made it to the place i had called home for 3 1/2 years – all was good
again…until i reached my desk which no longer looked like my
desk, but more like a robbery in action. i was more than half
way moved out, given-away and recycled. i had work to do,
affinity network leaders to rally and organizing to get done – but
i had all day to do it, and get it done i did. talk, toss,
save, give away, hug, call, walk, toss, save, give away, hug,
talk, eat, hug, toss, save, give away, talk, snap photos,
friendly smooch and the day was done.

it ended like any other day – 5:15 pm. everyone walking out to their
families and lives outside of the center of the coffee universe,
only for me – it was the last time. relief, excitement,
finish line, and surreality. i did it!

i’ll miss my work, my team, my twitter followers who i was just getting to know,
my friends, my network leaders, and i will miss what’s coming next for
beans. i know it will be amazing, and i am actually really excited to
experience it again from the vantage point of a customer. now that i 
know what it takes to make the magic everyone else see’s…i
will be appreciated so much more.

hs – thanks for everything, it was the best!