Back from La Paz, Mexico
09 August 2014 | 2900 Mile Round Trip
The first miracle for the 2900 mile round trip from Morro Bay California to La Paz, Mexico is that our 1998 Honda CR-V with 240,000 miles didn't have a glitch. The AC worked in the 106-degree heat, the suspension didn't fall apart during our 34 mile off road "shortcut", and we only had to turn off the engine once to keep it from overheating while we were parked on the road waiting for the road construction delay to end. Maybe it wouldn't have overheated at all if we would have turned off the air conditioning, but we took the risk and suffered the consequences. The second miracle is that Grandma Gina, the lady who runs our favorite burger stand in La Paz still remembered how Jason liked his burger and they were just as good as we remembered! We were a little apprehensive, afraid that our memories had built up our favorite food places to an unobtainable level, but there were several times during the trip that Amy asked me if I was ok, because I had tears in my eyes!
One of our best meals wasn’t at one of our old classics but was based on what I call “Taco Cart Experience”. We had just left the hotel on a Sunday morning heading south out of San Quiten and then out of the corner of my eye I spotted it down a side street. A rag-tag collection of shade tarps that could only mean one thing: a MSM (Mexican Street Market). Usually a once a week affair, a MSM is part swap meet, part farmers market, part flea market, and if you are lucky - part taco goodness. A lesser trained eye could have missed it, but I almost instinctively stepped on the breaks and made a sharp U-turn. It startled the kids half-awake in the back seat and they were asking what I was doing. I just told them to trust me and I wouldn’t do them wrong, they both laughed, but the laughter turned to understanding and ear to ear smiles as I turned on the side street and they spotted the MSM.
We were like three kids running down the stairs on Christmas morning as we scurried out of the car and followed the scent off authentic Mexican street food. To the left Tocos Dorados (fried crunchy Tacos), to the left Tacos de Carnitas, and straight ahead was aquas de frutas (fruit juice and sugar water). It didn’t matter that we were the only white faces in sight; because from the smiles on our faces it was obvious to everyone we knew exactly where we were and were perfectly happy to be there! The pork they were frying up for Carnitas in a huge 3ft diameter old style wash tub looking fry pot was hold tenderloin. Now we have been into a lot of Mexican churches and never dropped a few pesos in the box to light a prayer candle, but folks, if there would have been a prayer candle around we would have lit the entire top row! For 10 pesos each ($0.75) we had perhaps the best pork carnitas tacos we have ever had in our lives. We were only ½ way to La Paz at that point, but we could have turned around and headed home, or cravings satisfied. Of course we didn’t turn around; we wobbled to the car and continued onto La Paz, where like Cinderella at the Ball danced our way through the town.
To Be Continued……