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It’s all good

06 Apr

It has been months since I posted, and I think I fell out of habit for two reasons: my pace of life has picked up so I don’t find myself with as much free time, and we have settled into a routine that doesn’t feel like travelling, so I’m less inclined to “document.”

More and more I feel the urge to be compellingly honest when I write these entries. I don’t want to appear that I’m painting my life in a rosy color, and I certainly don’t mean to be bragging.  Yet, the overwhelming thought that comes across my mind on a day to day basis is, “Damn, how lucky am I?”

My general contentment feels especially rich because of the bumpy couple of years before.  More than a year after Diego died I could still slip into a sobbing mess just by letting myself think about him.  And then last year I was feeling really lost about where Mark and I belonged. I was wondering if we were too “light and free” from traditional bonds that held us to a place and a community.  But lately, and I suppose this is the past few months, I feel like we have gotten back our rhythm. Here’s my theory on why.

First, we have carved out a new set of home bases that are really working for us: Rosarito-Mammoth-Akumal.  Currently we are living in Club Marena, Rosarito in a perfect little townhouse we rent for next to nothing.  Unlike our condo last year, this unique location is protected from the wind by a bluff, so we’ve had terrific weather all winter and spring, without a hint of fog or marine layer so far.  This means that we enjoy our outdoor life so much here. We eat all our meals on the patio in shining sun, Mark surfs right out front, I walk Pancha on the beach every morning, we both swim in the pool and enjoy the hot tub, and we’ve even been playing tennis together.   I can’t stress enough how important it is for both of us to be outside as much as possible. If there is a condition that means someone is addicted to the sun, we both have it. Yes, we still spend a good part of the day inside working on our computers, but we hurry with our work so we can get outside.

Sunset at Club Marena

Sunset at Club Marena

Another great part about Rosarito this year is that we got our Sentri passes, which means the wait at the border is less than 15 minutes.  So we can run up to San Diego for family events or a doctor’s appointment or just a drink with friends without having to plan three hours ahead and sweat it out at the border.  It is so much better!

And this year we get to ski again, which is so much fun. We took last season off so we could travel, but this year I was so anxious to get back to skiing. Our first ski day was delayed for weeks because of a hold-up in our condo purchase, but the deal finally got done and we headed up on January 28. Since then we’ve been up four times. Our schedule (which has been flexible based on various events up there or down here) is two weeks in Mammoth, two weeks in Rosarito.  It is pretty ideal because after ten days of skiing our knees are pretty shot and it’s time to do some cross training down here.  Our new condo in Mammoth makes the transition so easy, too. The rental company takes care of everything and rents it when we are gone. For the winter months we’ve even made a profit (though we expect the summer months to rent sparingly). Still, it seems too good to be true!

Finally skiing again!

Finally skiing again!

Mark's nephew Ben on his  first solo visit

Mark’s nephew Ben on his first solo visit

With the Avila-Gorostizas, enjoying the hot springs in Mammoth

With the Avila-Gorostizas, enjoying the hot springs in Mammoth

And then in June we will head back to Akumal, and stay for six months.  This is our longest stretch in one place but I think we both admit this is our favorite of all the locations.  We can live even more comfortably outside in Akumal, and both of us are just suckers for the tropical lifestyle.  Whether we are paddling, snorkeling, or just staring at the turquoise water, we are addicted to Akumal.

So, I guess we have created some roots and normalcy out of our gypsy lifestyle. We have “stuff” and familiar places to rest our heads in each place, so it takes less than a day to arrive, unpack, and feel settled in each location.  We also feel like we have a community in each place. In Mammoth we have a few local friends and on the weekends there seems to always be someone visiting from San Diego.  In Rosarito we are making more and more friends.  This week was eventful as the next door neighbor invited us to a really fun dinner party and then the next night we bumped in Mark’s old Kingsburg buddy and went to the Tequila Festival with his crew.

The Rosarito Tequila Festival

The Rosarito Tequila Festival

Learning about the agave root

Learning about the agave root

Meeting the band and sharing tequila

Meeting the band and sharing tequila

In Akumal of course we are slowly becoming integrated into both the local and “loco gringo” communities through sports, happy hours, my teaching, and the dog spay/neuter project.

Anyway, I just want to throw it out to the universe that I am incredibly grateful for my happy, happy life.  I know things won’t always be this rosy, and that makes it all the richer!

Here are few more photos from the last few months:

Mark took his mom to her first Laker's game to ring in her 70th year

Mark took Jason, me and his mom to our first Laker’s game to celebrate Diane’s birthday

I had almost TOO much fun at our track girls reunion in February

I had almost TOO much fun at our track girls reunion in February

Paola and me at good old UCSD getting Isabella some hurdle training

Paola and me at good old UCSD getting Isabella some hurdle training

Pancha and I visited Diego's tree

Pancha and I visited Diego’s tree

Spent some time with all my nieces and nephews up north including this cutie, Amelia

Spent some time with all my nieces and nephews up north including this cutie, Amelia

Found this puppy at the K38 taco shop and fell in love! We named her Villa, took care of her for a week, and eventually helped her make her way to her forever family in San Diego.

Found this puppy at the K38 taco shop and fell in love! We named her Villa, took care of her for a week, and eventually helped her make her way to her forever family in San Diego.

Joe took this gorgeous shot one evening in Mammoth Lakes. Ah!

Our buddy Joe Smith took this gorgeous shot one evening in Mammoth Lakes. So pretty!

And since it’s Saturday night, I’ll end with this: two of my favorite munchkins performing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NE1JhVeWv6M&list=UUHUhXEf6oGxZJSi7MxxTlBg&index=3

 

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1 Comment

Posted by on April 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

One response to “It’s all good

  1. Diane Vargas

    April 8, 2013 at 10:05 am

    Wow Michaela!  I loved this post and your deep expression of contentment……..and I could just feel your happiness shining through your very expressive words.  Awesome!!

    I really love the way you write and I so enjoyed all the pictures and the videos.  I was especially touched with the picture of Pancha at Diego’s tree…….she looked pretty darn cute.

    Sending much love and so looking forward to seeing you and Mark.  Love…..Diane

    ________________________________

     

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