The Coast News Group
Machel's Ranch

I discovered some things in La Paz, Mexico

I thought I was going to tell you about my trip to La Paz. That was my original intention for this week’s column. In fact, my entire trip I kept trying to come up with the opening line in my mind. “There is no sense of urgency in La Paz. Life is slow, drawn out like the little ripples across the shores of Baja California.”
I was going to tell you about the importance of taking time to slow down and to remove your mind from computers, technology and all of those “must have” gadgets. I wanted to tell you how the hot air in Mexico felt like the softest wind to ever caress my skin. I wanted to tell you all of these grand things. However, as I sit here in the wee early hours of the morning, those images are wonderful, but they cannot convey to you the tranquility I found in a small fishing town, that most have overlooked as a vacation spot. I cannot capture in words the serenity I found in those scattered hot moments of daily showers to keep cool, or the wonderful day we laid out in the sun too long and my husband was sunburned. I cannot fit into this column the emotion that sits in me as I write this. I am pondering my thoughts to dig out the shining days we so loved. Yet, I cannot convey to you what I found in Mexico.
What can I tell you? I found pieces of my soul I had forgotten. While honeymooning in La Paz, I remembered the importance of silence and reflection. Lately, I have been so busy trying to do as much as possible when really I have missed out on the simple things we seem to forget, or maybe it’s just me. I think with all that has transpired over the past couple of months, I took refuge in those 10 days in stillness of the blue sky. The simple shades of the shallow water near the shores of town spoke to me.
I even found a bus ride to Cabo San Lucas to be one of the most romantic days of my life. Robin and I had chartered a bus to Cabo for one day. On our return ride home, we accidentally bought tickets for the bus that made all of the pit stops on the way back. Our two-hour bus ride turned into a crammed ride with local residents and their children watching a black and white movie in Spanish. Our legs were squished against the seats, and the speakers had a high-pitch whistle blaring out of the overhead-outdated speakers. This was not the trip back we had planned, but it turned out to be one of my favorite moments. The beauty of the resorts, the peaceful water, all of it reawakened that sense of innocence that I had misplaced. “I enjoyed the journey.” You know, that cliché saying that’s been written in too many self-help books over the last 30 years.  
I found all of these little lessons for me in those 10 days under the hot sun. I reflected on the importance of gratitude and love. I thought about all of my wonderful friends, and co-workers I had back in San Diego.
As I took my last ferry ride across the Sea of Cortez back to the airport, I kept thinking of the opening line for this column.
What I discovered is sometimes words cannot replace the experience of a soft summer breeze or the quiet moments we find in a fishing town called La Paz.
Around town
At the end of July, I met Scott Baker, the owner of Gemini Fit studio in Solana Beach. He just recently opened his own private gym that caters to those that would rather skip the larger workout places that can sometimes feel more like a meat market. Scott informed me that he moved to San Diego almost 10 years ago. With an avid love for fitness and his pursuit in a philosophy that combines both a private workout and his Gemini Fit philosophy all into one work-out session. With my recent weight loss success, I have been uncovering all of these wonderful places nearby the Ranch that have wonderful ways for you to slim down easily by combing diet and exercise. Scott Baker is one of these private trainers that will give you the attention you need, while incorporating his Gemini Fit philosophy for his clientele. To find out more on his studio and services, check out Thanks Scott for sharing with “Machel’s Ranch.”
On Aug. 7, I stepped onto a weight scale at Medizone in Encinitas and found out some wonderful news: I had hit my benchmark weight loss of 30 pounds on a diet monitored by Ranch resident Dr. Jonathon Hayes. Think Jen Anniston here and that sitcom Friends. Do you remember how she slimmed down in the mid-1990s? Well, she went on the Dr. Barry Sears Zone Diet. I just want to thank Dr. Hayes for encouraging me to try his clinic and encourage anyone that would like to lose weight and can’t seem to lose the extra pounds to invest in this weight loss program. Losing 30 pounds in six weeks has dramatically changed my attitude, but most of all, the way I feel on a day to day basis. This is not an all-protein diet. Rather, one based on distribution of food from all the different food groups, based off of the glycemic index. My favorite new snacks are blueberries and whip-cream, the occasional tangerine and a shot of tequila on my honeymoon instead of that classic margarita with all of the calories. I must admit, swallowing my pride and finding the courage to sign up was the hardest hurdle to cross. I want to personally thank the entire staff for their encouragement over the last six weeks. Thanks to the bikini image I wanted to be like, I was able to feel good about myself in a two-piece swimsuit. Here is their direct number: (760) 783-9200.
On Aug. 8, I departed the “around town” scene in Rancho Santa Fe by crossing the Mexico border! First time ever, for me. I flew out of Tijuana, Mexico, to La Paz for a fraction of the cost. If you are looking for great airline prices, park your car off of the last exit before the check point, and take a shuttle. This was one of the easiest travel days. I had expected just the opposite. We flew on Volaris airlines, a sophisticated airline company located in Mexico. Cut your vacation costs in half by avoiding San Diego Airport when flying south. Thank you to Katie and Ken Shull for allowing us to stay in your gorgeous condo for our honeymoon.
On Aug. 12, all of La Paz was celebrating the soccer win against the United States. The final score was 2-1. I’ve never seen so many happy people waving the Mexican flag, while driving down the streets. I snapped a quick shot of Robin with one of the local waiters at our favorite restaurant, El Patron. I must confess I am not a soccer fan, so I didn’t feel guilty to be excited for their win against the United States.
On Aug. 13, my husband and I chartered a bus from La Paz to Cabo San Lucas. Ranch resident Michael Harbushka had invited me to come down to Quivira, in Las Cabos San Lucas. We gladly accepted. The next morning he gave us a personal tour on the site of the future Ritz Carlton Hotel and the prestigious land development that has oceanfront views, with access to room service from the Ritz Carlton. The hotel is projected to be finished in 2011. This is Jack Nicklas’ signature golf course. Robin and I road behind Mr. Harbushka on ATVs across the desert sand. Talk about a fun career on a daily basis! We had a blast. He informed me that the name Quivira is based on the legend of the lost gold cities of Mexico. I also met Gabriela Barron, head of marketing at the Hotel Pacifica earlier that morning. For more information, contact her at [email protected]. If you are looking to invest in some property, this is worth the trip to Cabo. What you may not know is the movie “Troy,” starring Brad Pitt, filmed its elaborate war scenes on the beach on this very location. I snapped a photo of Michael and Robin together just before we headed out on our excursion. This is a must-see in person. Take an adventure and enjoy the breath taking views, and invest in beach front property. This wonderful excursion is only a plane ride away. Thanks for the tour Michael and Gabriela!
On Aug. 18, after returning to normalcy, I headed to Mille Fleurs for my first night back in town. I ran into some of my favorite locals, Karain and Tom Forysth, and Chef Martin Woesle. I snapped a shot of Martin with Karian’s beloved Belle in a candid moment. This is one of my favorite nights at Mille Fleurs: “Tapas Tuesdays.” You can order a slider hamburger for only $6 and many other wonderful appetizers on their menu. I also met Ranch residents Connie and Larry Armijo. They sat next to us and we all struck up a fun conversation. Guess what I discovered? Ms. Armijo was the producer of the last year’s Golden Globes! Talk about a local celebrity. I was tickled pink to meet some locals that used to live in Hollywood. She shared with us some of her fun stories and all of the clients (Sharon Stone to just name drop one, sorry I couldn’t resist) and how she ended up in the Ranch. She also informed me that she has her beautiful estate listed with Ann Brizolis here in town. You can visit her Web site at to see this beautiful property that is now on the market in the Covenant. Thanks to Larry and Connie for your fine conversation and treating us to drinks at one of my favorite restaurants in San Diego.
On Aug. 23, I attended The Country Friends’ Hats and Flats event at the San Diego Polo Field. Melanie Cruz Walsh informed me that more than 100 The Country Friends members RSVP’d for this spectacular day at the Polo Fields. The Rancho Santa Fe News was thrilled to be one of their sponsors. The VIP guests sat at round tables chatting with one another, while eating hors d’oeuvres and drinking cocktails. Wendi Kirbey, Melanie Cruz Walsh and Marci Cavanaugh posed for a beautiful picture between polo matches. Shortly after, they had the classic Champagne Divot Stomp. Did you know that The Country Friends is responsible raising more than $12 million for human-care agencies here in San Diego? To find out more about this wonderful organization, visit
Save the date
On Sept. 3, summer officially ends for the R. Roger Rowe School students. Watch out for heavy traffic in town that day and if you are a parent, take my advice and park. Otherwise you might end up late to work, or if you are one of those fabulously thin Rancho Santa Fe moms, late for your morning jog around the golf course.

1 comment

sister~ August 29, 2009 at 6:09 pm

love it darling….

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