Home: Emmanuel’s AirBNB
We’ve booked five nights in this La Paz AirBNB, tying (with Guerrero Negro) our longest “intentional stay” in Baja. It’s nice knowing that we don’t need to start researching our next destination, route, and place to stay for quite some time, so that means we can spend a day doing very little, and still have days ahead where we can do very little. We’re retired, after all, so it’s nice to be able to act like it every once in a while!
Our place is a little apartment (the last unit in a line of four) in a quiet neighborhood. A kitchen (lacking only an oven) combined with a living/dining area, one bedroom, and a connected bathroom. A surprising feature is the tiny box of a courtyard off the kitchen, which is just big enough to hold our bikes, let us string up some hand-washed laundry, and let me air out my pannier that had become imbued with the sickly-sweet smell of a block of Parmesan cheese that had gone bad.
On the day we arrived, we went to a big, little-trafficked grocery store a block away to pick up supplies. It was part of a chain we hadn’t seen in Baja until a couple days ago, called Aramburo. Today, we walked to a full-service laundromat (this one at least took my first name, unlike the other time we did full-service, but still didn’t provide any sort of claim check, just “cinco”/5pm). And on the way back we stopped at Chedraui, another grocery store chain we hadn’t heard of. These new encounters (and absence of Calimax) give the feeling that La Paz is in some ways more-connected to mainland Mexico than it is to the rest of Baja. Far larger and far busier than the Aramburo, Chedraui also had an upscale fanciness to it that we hadn’t seen at other big groceries. And it gave Wal-Mart a run for its money with its international product selection. On the “upscale” side, I couldn’t resist picking up a $4USD(!!) bottle of Donald Trump-themed Mexican craft beer to go with our veggie and turkey-sausage saute.
After a couple days of chores and down-time, we finally got around to checking out some of La Paz. A walk to the cute and somewhat-European-feeling jumble of streets that make up the “downtown”, then north along the waterfront (with a failed stop at the tour office to ask questions about our upcoming kayak trip), then back south to lunch at a restaurant in the middle of the tourist strip, and finally back up the hill to our place in the Guerrero neighborhood.
In that last segment, we passed a good-sized baseball stadium. It made me think that attending a baseball game would be a fun thing to experience in Mexico, but unfortunately the Delfines de La Paz (La Paz Dolphins) wouldn’t have their season-opener until a couple days after we were out of town. It’s a little strange that the season here starts later than it starts in the U.S., but maybe that’s due to being the Mexican minor-league. More importantly, it made me realize that the MLB season in the U.S. has already been going for a couple of weeks. The start of baseball has always been a traditional marker of “spring” (and the general passage of time) for me, so this year it is a particularly useful anchor to grab onto. Our ever-changing location isn’t the only thing that makes us feel disconnected from the rhythms of our past life; living through “summer” weather in March and April is something that has screwed up my internal sense of time’s passage through the seasons. So being able to check in on White Sox games in Chicago is a way to maintain a hold on a thread that was woven into the fabric of the first 40 years of my life.