Thursday, September 9, 2010

A quiet night at Casa Latimer.

The day  is about over. It's 10pm. Out on the deck I can hear thunder. Its been rolling out all day long. There's a steady wind so the surf is churning up a little. I love sitting outside an listening to the sounds of beach at Buena Vista and the Sea of Cortez. 
Inside, I fire up the lap top, no tv for me. Decided I'd like to hear some music so, off I went to YouTube and looked up The Refreshments. God, they rock. So now, I'm hoppin'and a rockin' all over the house. Life is so good here. Take a moment to join me watching and listening to this great music. 


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sirius-ly Jammin'

Sirius-ly Jammin’

This is a postscript to the Baja Journey that Gary Field and I have blogged about previously (mostly Gary, by the way…see below). An important part of our trip involved our lifelong love affair with great music and our graphic memories of our years in, and very much a part of, the music business…. during our respective careers in the radio business and as concert promoters in Eugene, Oregon, at a time when a ton of creative talent found its way to our doorsteps and on our airwaves at KZEL-FM.
After years of living in Los Cabos, Mexico, I have found that one of the keys to happiness involves being close to the music I love (and Teena, the woman I love… shares this passion). Old or new, whether it is The Boss (our first Gold Record Album was awarded to KZEL in 1975 for helping to “break” a new artist by the name of Bruce Springsteen, due to our great program director, Stan Garrett, and his widely respected reputation as having one of the finest ears for talent in the radio business), or David Allen Coe, or Lady Antebellum, or Jack Johnson, or Joe Jackson, or the Grateful Dead (a Eugene favorite), or Bonnie Raitt, or Mozart, or Norah Jones, or Mark Knopfler, or Government Mule, or Beethoven, or the Dixie Chicks (well, you get the idea of my musical tastes….and did I mention John Hyatt and James Talley?), you will find them all on satellite radio (well, except maybe Nashville’s James Talley, who deserves to be heard as much as anyone…check his website). And having our music with us every minute was one of the gifts of the journey.
Music, News, MSNBC, PBS, Sports (and yes, even the usual bunch of right wing noise)….it is ALL on the radio everywhere in this hemisphere. And that, dear friends, is what I’m talkin’ about. It was lovely, being in the company of our music “friends” on the road and in our music pod… the car.
Most of our 5000 mile drive became an adventure in awesome guitar riffs, enervating rhythms and scintillating keyboards while participating in long cuts on Sirius 17 (the “Jam On” channel), and I would encourage all who understand, to check it out on your next road trip to anywhere.
Now that the satellite is part of Mexico as well, access to the rich flavors of music also makes living in this wonderful country truly more delightful and fun. And most certainly, I feel closer and more committed to, Rock world that was (and is) so much a part of me.
After 26 times, part of me knows I will drive the Baja again! There is nothing quite like it on the planet. Thanks, Gary! jw

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Truth About Cabo!

This article came across my desk today from the excellent people at Del Mar Development and I believe it ought to be shared with all. Jay West

Setting the Record Straight on Cabo: Despite Upheaval in Parts of Mexico, Los Cabos Remains a Safe Travel Destination for Americans

And, yes, you can drink the water.
LOS CABOS, Mexico, Sept. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite recent headlines to the contrary, many regions of Mexico continue to be safe and popular destinations for American tourists, while providing all the creature comforts of home.
The latest results of a two-year-long study of Mexico's 31 States ranks Los Cabos (San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas in the State of Baja California Sur) as second in Public Safety, Tourist Services and Transportation Infrastructure nationwide. Baja California Sur also ranks first in Natural Resources and Environmental Protection nationwide with an overall Satisfaction Index score of 97 percent.
According to Ron Hatfield, President of Los Cabos based Del Mar Developments, "Avoiding vacationing in areas of Mexico like Los Cabos because of the crime in Tijuana or Mexico City is like avoiding Seattle because of problems in Los Angeles. Los Cabos remains one of the world's most coveted destinations, untouched by the violent crimes happening in areas of mainland Mexico."
Hatfield, a local resident and a fixture in the Los Cabos community for over 15 years, is joining forces with Jacobo Turquie Alcerreca, Secretary of Tourism for the State of Baja California Sur, to spread the word that Los Cabos is a safe and ideal location for vacationers and home buyers.
"The municipality of Los Cabos, a thousand miles from the U.S. border, boasts a unique geographic location at the tip of the long, narrow Baja California peninsula," notes Alcerreca. "Separated from mainland Mexico by the Sea of Cortes (christened the "World's Aquarium" by Jacques Cousteau), the twin cities of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo and the surrounding countryside are an island-like sanctuary, unaffected by any crime or violence occurring elsewhere in Mexico."
In fact, residential communities like Hatfield's Villas Del Mar and Espiritu Del Mar offer amenities that exceed expectations at every turn. Residents and rental guests experience the beauty and flavor of Cabo, including access to some of the world's best golf, sports fishing, diving and surfing, plus two private member's-only clubs. Del Mar Development homes showcase the finest construction in Mexico and boast fiber-optic phone and internet technology. Even in the current economic climate, sales within Del Mar home sales continue to grow, with over $34 million in real estate sold in the first few months of 2010.
For more information on Del Mar Development or to arrange an interview with Ron Hatfield or Jacobo Turquie Alcerreca, please contact Lauren Banyar Reich at Janine Gordon Associates (212-871-3020, x115) or
About Del Mar Development
Since 1995, the founders of Del Mar Development have been successfully building residential communities that set the standard for luxury real estate in Mexico. Within the gates of Villas Del Mar, Oasis Palmilla and Espiritu Del Mar lies a collection of beachfront and ocean- view resort homes built by master craftsmen. Residents and rental guests enjoy the finest services and amenities in the world. Worry-free ownership and superlative property management are provided by a full-time staff of nearly 200 who take care of everything from maintaining local vehicle insurance to pre-stocking groceries and housekeeping services. Overlooking the Sea of Cortez, the Del Mar Development properties are an established community offering an escape from the ordinary and a place to make lasting memories with family and friends. For more information, please visit
SOURCE Del Mar Development

Monday, August 30, 2010

My first marlin in Mexico

 More than 31 years ago I met up with my very good friend and former boss, Jay West in Mexico for a little adventure.  Jay had just sold his award winning, Billboard Magazine two time FM station of the year, and I was temporarily retired from an import business I had been partnered in. Also along for the trip was Bill Haniford. In the photo below, Jay is on the left, Bill in the center and I'm on the right.  There is a saying among some of my generation. It goes, "if you remember the 1960's, you weren't really there". For many of us that held true into the 70's. This trip was an example of that.

From L to R,  "Best wishes, Jay West", "Best fishes, Bill Haniford", and "I can't tuna piano, but I can sure tuna fish, Gary Field"

The other day, I was talking to Jay, who is also a collaborator on this blog. He was telling me that all these years he thought we took this trip in 1977.  Well, if you look at the date on the photo, you'll notice the date is January 1979. Nuff said. Jay and I were very much present for the 60's and 70's. Just a little fuzzy when it comes to the chronology. Let it be know, that the reasons for the fuzzy headedness are no longer present in Jay's or my life. But, there still might be the occassional memory lapse, or senior moment, if you will.
The marlins in this picture  are fairly small(approx. 180 lbs each) as the breed goes, but the fishing is so good around Los Cabos that even three somewhat less than alert amateurs like those pictured above, brought home these beauties. Now, everyone can fish like a pro in Los Cabos.

"Nine yellow fin tuna, four over 150 pounds and the others around one hundred pounds, in one day, for two anglers fishing within two miles of the shore. Repeat that for three days and you have a fishery unequaled anywhere" Zane Grey. Zane Grey was writing about the fishing at Cape San Lucas over 80 years ago in the book, Fishing Virgin Seas. But things change. Back in Zane Grey's day, the only way to get here was by boat.  An 800 mile trip down the coast of the Pacific bringing everything you needed with you. When you got here there were no roads, hotels, golf course....nothing. Now it is a an easy, gorgeous, three day drive through spectacular desert country. The Los Cabos International airport now brings more than a million visitors a year.  Accommodations range from hostels to world class resorts. You can also find some of the best golf and wind surfing in the world.

And don't forget the fishing.  This 581 pound black marlin won the Bisbees East Cape Offshore Tournament in Los Barriles in July this year, just a stones throw from Casa Latimer where we live. Just look at that fish! The next Bisbee is in Cabo San Lucas in October and the fish will be bigger and the town will be jumpin'.

. By the was, this wonderful beach front house can be yours. For more information just click on

Los Cabos has it all. World class sports fishing, golf courses, wind surfing, laid back beach towns and the 24/7  entertainment center, Cabo San Lucas. Come see us and don't forget to tell your friends about

ps We lost Bill. If anyone sees him, please send him home.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Cliff homes in Cabo San Lucas

Cliff Homes on Coast, Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico

If your interested in learning more about owning real estate in Mexico be sure to go to our website at or email me at 

Cliff Homes on Coast, Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico

This beautiful poster and many more can be purchased and shipped to you. Just click on the photo or link above and enjoy!
Photographic Print
Cummins, Richard

Buy  at

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

In Mexico, where the trouble isn't

I have been traveling in Mexico for over 30 years and have found it to be very safe. Always use common sense. Don't flash wads of cash or expensive jewelry.  Stay out of places you have no business being in. Always keep in mind that in most occasions "common sense" will keep you out of trouble.  For an informative view of where is safe, and where might not be so safe, see the article below.

In Mexico, where the trouble isn’t

Main square in Merida, Mexico
Here’s a tourism ad campaign for you:
“Yucatan. No drug-related killings in 2009 or the first half of 2010.”
Nobody’s actually putting those words into advertising. But as the drug wars worsen and debate persists about the risks of travel in Mexico, Yucatan is the only one of Mexico’s 31 states that can make that claim, according to a recent report.  Lying on the Atlantic coast, Yucatan includes the city of Mérida (in photo above) and draws many visitors with its pyramids, historic hacienda hotels and Mayan culture.
Its relative safety shows up in the Trans-Border Institute’s 2010 Mid-Year Report on Drug Violence in Mexico, written by Angelica Duran-Martinez, Gayle Hazard and Viridiana Rios.
“It didn’t surprise me,”  Rios said of Yucatan’s clean slate. As a non-border state, she said, “Yucatan is not a particularly good place for drug traffickers to do business. Yucatan is pretty peaceful.” For that matter, she added: “Mexico is actually pretty peaceful, if we compare it to other countries.”  (For a country-by-country ranking, which indicated that Mexico is safer than more than a dozen other Latin American countries, see the end of this post.)
In fact, the institute’s interim director, Charles Pope, said that for all the miseries visited upon Mexico since the drug war began in late 2006, the number of tourists killed in Mexico by narco-violence seems to be zero or maybe one, depending on whom you consider to be a tourist.
The debatable case, Pope said, is Agustin Roberto Salcedo, a 33-year-old El Monte educator who last winter was visiting his wife’s hometown in Mexico — Gomez Palacio, in the state of Durango, far off the beaten tourist path. On Dec. 30, Salcedo and his wife were in a local bar when unknown gunmen burst in and took him and five other men away. The six were later found dead at the edge of town.
As that case and the institute’s new state-by-state analysis both illustrate, some parts of Mexico are in big trouble that’s getting worse. But elsewhere, entire states, such as Yucatan, remain largely unaffected. The new report may help prospective travelers look more closely at parts of Mexico that they’re considering.
Because the Mexican government doesn’t make public many details of drug violence, the Trans-Border Institute — part of the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies at the University of San Diego — used the pages of the Mexican newspaper Reforma as the principal source for its report, analyzing results for the first half of 2010.
Among the findings:
– Following last year’s daunting drug-violence figures in Mexico (6,587 deaths), the authors found a further surge in the first six months of this year. As the numbers grew, they found, violence increased in the already perilous states of Chihuahua (1,491 deaths) and Sinaloa (1,127),  and states including Durango (457), Tamaulipas (338), Nuevo Leon (279) and the State of Mexico (288) showed increases too.
– Nearly half of all Mexico’s drug deaths in the first half of this year (2,618 of 5,775) took place in the states of Chihuahua (which includes the infamous Ciudad Juárez and lies across the border from New Mexico and Texas) and Sinaloa (which includes Mazatlán and lies just southwest of Chihuahua, along the west coast of mainland Mexico).
– The state of Tlaxcala (Mexico’s smallest state, just east of Mexico City) recorded no drug-killings from January through June 2010, three in all of 2009 and one in all of 2008. Tlaxcala’s namesake colonial capital and pre-Columbian sites draw a trickle of international tourists. Recently, there have been reports of high-profile drug arrests and forced prostitution.
– Baja California (which includes Tijuana, Ensenada and the northern portion of the Baja peninsula) tallied 178 drug-related killings, a rate of 5.62 per 100,000 inhabitants, from January through June. That was a slight increase from the 174 such deaths in the previous six months, but much lower than the 443 drug deaths reported in the second half of 2008.
– Baja California Sur (which includes Los Cabos and La Paz) tallied 6 drug-related killings, a rate of 1.06 per 100,000 inhabitants. That January-June total was an increase for the state, where just one drug-related death was reported between January 2008 and December 2009.
– The west coast state of Jalisco (which includes Puerto Vallarta and Guadalajara) tallied 205 drug-related killings, a rate of 2.92 per 100,000 inhabitants. That January-June total was a marked increase from the 126 such deaths in the previous six months and the 86 deaths in the six months before that.
– The east coast state of Quintana Roo (which includes Cancun) tallied 29 drug-related killings, a rate of 2.2 per 100,000 inhabitants. That January-June total was up from 13 in the previous six months and 14 in the six months before that.
– The west coast state of Guerrero (which includes Acapulco) tallied 434 drug-related killings, a rate of 13.81 per 100,000 inhabitants. That January-June total was up from 325 in the previous six months and 313 for the six months before that.
– The central state of Guanajuato (which includes the cities of Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende) tallied 39 drug-related killings, a rate of 0.77 per 100,000 inhabitants. That January-June total was down from 59 during the previous six months and 87 in the six months before that.
Readers should bear in mind that Reforma’s numbers are considered conservative by many. The newspaper counts 23,000 drug-related killing since the drug war began in late 2006, while the Mexican government has estimated 28,000.
As for how Mexico stacks up against the rest of Latin America, Rios pointed to a comparison compiled by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, based on figures for all homicides (some for 2008, some for 2007, some for 2006), supplied by government agencies.
If you line up the listed Latin American countries from 1 to 20, from most violent to least, Rios noted, “Mexico is number 14,”  with 11.6 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants.  Sure enough, these countries reported higher homicide rates: Paraguay, 12.2 per 100,000; Nicaragua, 13; Panama, 13.3; Suriname, 13.7; Ecuador 18.1; Guyana, 20.7; Brazil, 22; Belize, 34.3; Colombia, 38.8; Guatemala, 45.2; El Salvador 51.8; Venezuela, 52; and Honduras, 60.9.
Among countries with lower reported homicide rates were Canada, 1.7 per 100,000; Peru, 3.2; Argentina, 5.2; the U.S., 5.2; Uruguay, 5.8; Chile, 8.1; Costa Rica, 8.3; Bolivia, 10.6.
For a discussion of the U.S. State Department’s latest advice on traveling to Mexico, see Mexico’s violence: a 12-point update for travelers.
– Christopher Reynolds, Los Angeles Times staff writer
Photo: The main square at Merida in Mexico’s relatively peaceful Yucatan state, which didn’t log any drug-related killings in 2009 or the first half of 2010, according to a recent report. Credit: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times

Monday, August 2, 2010

San Ignacio

It is not always the same out here. Not by a long shot. As I've said before, when you're driving down here, it can easily change very quickly.  Consequently, you never know what's just around the next corner.

For example you could be cruising through country that looks like this, and all of a sudden here comes the oasis at SAN IGNACIO
It is so beautiful, 
and such a welcome surprise.
There's also a lot of history in this area. You'll find
Mission San Ignacio.
Mission San Ignacio was founded by the Jesuit missionary Juan Bautista de Luyando in 1728 at the site of the modern town of San Ignacio, Baja California Sur, Mexico.

"Today the venerable church stands largely in its original condition, thanks to a 1976 restoration, and is used by the local community for masses, weddings, funerals, and daily worship.  The church's elaborate facade, with its engraved stone plaques and plaster ornamentation, makes it one of the most impressive of all Baja's mission churches
Inside the church, the statue at the center of the main viceregal-style altar is of the mission's patron saint, St. Ignacius Loyola.
The Padres entrance to the mission.
And just across the street is the jardin.  A park that is the social center of the community.  Where all the in people in the know, like the two guys above, gather to catch up on "what's goin' on". 

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Time for lunch in Miraflores

It has been close to 20 years since I have been to Miraflores, population 1389.  Last time Jay and I were there, we each bought handcrafted leather belts. Still have them, although mine apparently has shrunk, as there is no way I could get it around my waist these days. In those days there were only dirt roads, very little electricity and not so much indoor plumbing.  Now all the streets are paved and have lights. Everybody has indoor plumbing and our waitress, Raquela, spent all here free time in the Picacho on  Facebook. It is absolutely everywhere down here.
The menu
The restaurant
Lovely Mamacita, Raquelas abuela?

Raquela, our waitress

By the way, Jay had vegetarian enchiladas and I had the machaca beef.  Both came with the ever present beans and rice and fresh corn tortillas.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Beauty of the Desert

Such diversity
I just wanted to take a moment to say how  beautiful the desert of Baja really is. At first glance, it may look very barren. A waste land.  That couldn't be farther from the truth. Sure it would be a very difficult place to try to survive, and you wouldn't want to be marooned out here, but that does not detract from the beauty of the place.

Close up on an individual cactus. Can anyone tell me what it is?

And a little closer. Don't want to be brushing up against these!

And something completely different.

Close up

How about these fellows?

And these?

If anyone can help identify these magnificent plants, please comment and let me know.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Driving the Baja/El Rosario

We spent our first night in El Rosario, a little over 300 miles into Mexico.
 A senior moment, perhaps
First we needed somewhere to stay. I would recommend the Baja Cactus anytime to anyone. Great rooms, beds, rates.

Mama Espinosas is not only a great place to eat but  is also the official home of the Baja 1000 when it comes into town.  
Great for breakfast.
Great for dinner.

A couple of my new best friends

The next morning and back on the road.
No reason to rush. Still a thousand miles to go.

I should point out that the roads were very well maintained throughout the whole trip. Lots if widening, paving,  bridge building going on. That being said, there are different rules of the road here. Just pay attention and heed the saying "if you can see the road ahead of you, go slow. If you can't, go slower." There are lots of curves, loose livestock, and big trucks.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

On The Road

If you recall, we had our last meal in the States at .  For something completely different, I'd like to invite you to have a fine meal at Restaurant Carmelita ( no web site), a little place just a couple of miles South of Mulege, Mexico.  We had spent the previous night at the Hotel El Moro in Santa Rosalia, an old copper mining town.  I'm not sure what the major industry is there now. But, I digress. Back to Restaurant  Carmelita. Since we were having our first meal of the day we each had juevos rancheros, a long standing favorite of mine. Wherever I am in Mexico, I judge the quality of the dining fare being offered using juevos rancheros as the benchmark. I must say, those served up by Mom and Carmelita were great by any standards.
Carmelita filling our to go (para llevar) coffee cups.
The only way we could get these lovely ladies to allow us to take their pictures was if we promised to bring them copies on our way back North. I assure you, it will be our very great pleasure to do so.  
Mom and Carmelita are representative of the many wonderful people you can meet on a trip to Mexico. Kind, hard working and with a great sense of humor. You won't read about them in the headlines of the major media because those are always filled with crime, drugs and the other horror stories which unfortunately far too many people associate with Mexico. Don't believe them. Driving is safe (Jay has done it 26 times) and Mexico
 is a vital, robust and beautiful country populated with wonderful people.

Mom reading the news.
     Hotel El Moro
If you ever get the opportunity to go South of the border, I can only encourage you in the strongest terms to do so.  Those of you who are like me and have been coming down here for years know exactly "what I'm talkin' about". 
Of course, not everyone has the time or inclination to drive all the way down   theBaja.  Fortunately for those folks, there are airlines. Many of which fly directly into the Los Cabos airport with more than 30 flights per day. Making the "crown jewel of  Baja" close to everyone. Come down and visit. You might like it so much you'll want to invest in a second or vacation home or condo. If you have any questions regarding purchasing or ownership of real estate in Mexico, please visit us at:

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Buena Vista, East Cape at last

We pulled up to Casa Latimer about 2pm this afternoon. Jay and I left Longview, Wa. Sunday, July 19th, and have been on the road since. We have come 2365 miles and I have thoroughly enjoyed every one  of them.  I feel blessed and am extremely grateful that I am here. The last stop before the house was in San Bartolo, where we  bought a kilo of fresh mangoes and a kilo of fresh picked grapefruit.
After unloading the car, airing out the house, and getting set up on the internet, it was time for a well deserved siesta. Then down to the beach for a romp in the Sea of Cortez for an hour or so. It has been too long since I have had that pleasure.
For dinner we pulled out all the stops. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on Bimbo bread, jalapeño potato chips, and for dessert, Oreos and milk. Life is good!
Tomorrow, I'll be able to publish a more extensive post with more photos of the trip.
Please feel free to comment and/or ask questions about the East Cape, Buena Vista, Los Cabos or Baja.
The photo to the left was taken from the back deck just before I went down to the water this afternoon.
Why not let us help you make this part of your life? Visit us at

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Last Supper at Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant

We crossed the I-8 at Hotel Circle for the sole purpose of downing a couple of micro brewed root beers, a highly recommended teriyaki flat iron steak with garlic mashed potatoes, fresh asparagus and a large platter of garlic fries, topped off by the awesome warm apple bread pudding with pecans, vanilla ice cream and whiskey sauce. Out of the world send off to South of the Border!  You do not want to miss this experience.

Tuesday morning, day 3 San Diego

My assignment today is cover the poolside action while Jay attends a very important business meeting. He gets to do all the fun stuff.
Here comes the sun. I better get busy.
Distance traveled approximately 1,350 miles

Major event of the day.

Want to let you all know I had my very first Double Double Cheese Burger and world famous In n Out Burgers Monday afternoon. A day that will go down in the annals of ..... . I'm just sayin'....

Chips and Fry's

Sunday, July 18th @ 11am
Didn't get very far before the first stop. Had to stop in at everyone's favorite electronics store, Fry's, to get a chip for the camera.
Distance traveled, about 65 miles.

Let's get this show on the road! Anyone got any coffee?
Distance traveled approximately 60 miles and 75 feet. This could be a long trip.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Road Trip

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Jay for inviting me to contribute to this blog.
As you may or may not know, Jay and I are driving from Longview, Wa to Cabo San Lucas BCS, in a week or so. A distance of about 2,200 miles. We will do our best to inform you regarding our progress by posting videos, pictures and blogs whenever we get the opportunity. To all our friend in Los Cabos, see you soon! 
Don't forget to visit us at

Welcome to!

Enjoy the dream!