How it happened came of mistake. Mike had already booked his ticket for a short surf trip on the outer edge of Baja - El Pescadero - with his brother, a few friends and one local who owns a lot of land there, when I realized how close the dates were to our Anniversary weekend (making things, undoubtedly, more difficult seeing how additional time off to during such a hectic part of the year would be tough) So, we improvised. Nixing plans for Hawaii in trade of a low key Mexico anniversary - slash - surf romp. But El Pescadero was a little too sparse and rugged for my liking - once I started to examine the extent of the town via google - so begrudgingly I began to look into other towns on the outskirts of the village where I feel head over heels in love with an Earthship "built by the hands of 70 individuals in the matter of 20 days" that I stumbled upon in a remote area of the Baja desert. On Airb&b in Todos Santos, just 12 miles from Pescadero that sold me immediately on this city as a suitable anniversary destination after I read the brief description naming it most alluring to "yogis, surfers, artists and organic farmers" amongst tourist who bear an affinity for the art of slow living.
Good thing. Because we fell in love. Hard. Entirely. With every inch of that old town. From the lush green back roads and the cactus lined beaches, to the cobble stoned main streets, and the wood planked beach bars, Todos Santos is rooted in an old school notion inherit in the kind of understated charm and simple living we here in the states have never been very good at giving the respect it deserves.
One afternoon, for instance, we spent a good long while with one of the wealthiest men in town. A friend of the friend we flew in with. Relaxing on his ocean front lot (built with loving hands) directly in front of one of the local's most respectable surf breaks (this guy, a Santa Barbara native farmer who, rumor has it made a killing on a weed growing endeavor 32 years ago, noted the prime soil and stellar surf combo in Baja and decided to uproot everything he had going on at the moment and head to Mexico to start a company and a family, way back when) who talked about his children being the only Gringos growing up in the schools at Todos Santos. Using the one phone in town to forge the start of his new business, and busting his ass all these decades later, still battling trade taxes and government restrictions. Whatever he's doing though, he seems to be doing right. Splayed out in a hammock, with a long gray beard and zen like "Dudeish" state of mind, surrounded by an abundance of freshly grown organic fruits, with a garage full of his own harvested essential oils made in a gorgeous home built with a yoga studio at it's center, he's a hard one to not praise / idolize / admire.
The food, though, above all is what proved most appealing to me about this place. We dined out every night, piling our plates with fresh ceviche and stacking beer bottles on the table all for under 25$ every meal. At one point, when the waiter asked me if I needed my margarita "to go" I wondered if in fact this was the place where I should in fact be retiring. And then theres the truckloads of families who cruise the town in the flat bed of a pickup truck, waving happily as they pass by. A parade of everyday people, generally delighted by the basics.
All in all a most memorable and romantic way to ring in a decade of marriage. With non stop surf sessions for him and books and naps and wine and salted florescent pink Mexican sunsets for me.
Todos Santos, we'll be back. Mostly likely with our own truck load of children and empty suitcases though to fill.
See you then,
M & J
Earthship Booking Here