Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas in La Paz, Baja style

Christmas in La Paz, Mexico 

It's Christmas Eve, and here in Baja people are scampering around preparing for the big day.

La Paz, Mexico -- our home for the holidays

. There's lots of traffic here in La Paz (population around 200,000) today as everyone does their last minute shopping.  It's not as bad as South Coast Plaza (come on -- it's still Baja!) but Mexicans love Christmas even more than Americans do.

Gaily decorated sailboats compete for attention along the La Paz waterfront 

A lighted Christmas VW bug speeds along the waterfront, 
while the inflatable Santa on top holds on tight

Blue lights entwine a large ficus tree, ubiquitous here in La Paz

My photo op with a young local boy rehearsing 
for his big role of Joseph in the Christmas play

This Christmas altar in the yard of a home here in La Paz is typical
of others throughout Mexico

The owner of this fancy power boat in the marina spared no 
expense for his Christmas light display

We attended a Christmas pageant at the large Catholic church in town.
Truth be told, I didn't completely understand everything that I saw there, but 
it was dramatic nonetheless.

Wisemen (I think?) enter the church for the Christmas pageant

Close-up of the wisemen's mask, which was actually a little bit creepy.

As always, I'm missing my family back in the states as I write this. Choosing the cruising lifestyle, with months and years away from family and friends, is hardest during this time. 

I realized yesterday that in recent years when Chris and I have been cruising and helping deliver other people's boats, we've been away from family and in exotic locales for FIVE of the last several  Christmases (Portugal, Honduras, and three in Mexico). 


Of course, this is one of many prices we pay for choosing to go off on these sailing adventures. 
Besides the financial cost/sacrifice, this one (to quote our President Elect) is HUGE. 

But, what am I gonna do, feel sorry for myself because I'm in a warm, exotic locale on a 
sailboat with my handsome husband for Christmas?

Um...NO. That would be unseemly for several reasons. (smile)

What I'm going to do is buck up

One of the most powerful life lessons I've learned is that for every decision we make in life -- for every path we choose -- there is a sacrifice. For every benefit we get by our decisions, we give something up. 

Every time.

This is my sacrifice.

So, what you do is you make the locals and your fellow cruisers your family while you're away from home. It's not easy, and it's not the same -- but it is a great source of camaraderie and fellowship.

So we were especially sad to say goodbye this morning to our very good 
friends Bret and Marne of s/v LeaHona. 

Farewell dinner last night with Bret and Marne of LeaHona 
at Mesquite Grill here in La Paz

We've had the good fortune to hang out with these two in Puerto Vallarta,
 Mazatlan, San Carlos AND La Paz.  We volunteered together at 
the orphanage in Bucerias.

Today, they're sailing south from La Paz and heading for the Mexican mainland, 
while we remain here in Baja.

Playing Baja Rummy with Bret and Marne (right), while Trisha
 of s/v Interabang plans her next sneaky move

Trisha, we're glad you and Derek are staying in La Paz over the holidays!

Bret and Marne help a local nun down a curb in her wheelchair

Bret getting excited about Christmas at Marina La Paz

So -- they're gone. 

As former Laker Coach Phil Jackson said:

"Unceasing change turns the wheel of life."

It was his mantra -- he had it on his desk at Staples Center.

So, we'd all best take this to heart. Who knows what 2017 brings?

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from

Captain Chris and First Mate Liz, s/v Espiritu


  1. Miss you two. I'm diving in Indonesia with sailor ladies and meeting up with Tom in Vietnam early Jan to march. We got to meet up soon.

    1. Merry Christmas, Rose! We miss you guys too -- you will both always be amongst our most cherished cruising friends! Great times in Isla Mujeres! So excited for your exotic adventures in Indonesia and Vietnam -- looking forward to seeing the photos and hearing the stories! Happy New Year to you both -- XXO Liz and Chris s/v Espiritu