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IT’S A MATTER OF ATTITUDE by Special Guest Blogger, Jack Hecker

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Here is an excellent essay about getting to know Rocky Point and how easy it is to make lasting friendships with the Mexican people by multi-time visitor, Jack Hecker, who, by the way, we’re sorry did not, for whatever reason, enter the Sonoran Resorts “Why I Love Rocky Point” Travel Writing Contest earlier this year!

Take it away, Jack:

We had just finished a golf game and were sitting around drinking beer and lying, which is what most of us do best.  I explained I would not be playing the next week because I was going to Rocky Point.  You mean Mexico? Are you crazy, they asked?  They’re killing people left and right down there.  My response was, would you go to Phoenix or Chicago?  Besides, I spent many years working in downtown Cleveland. They’re not shooting little fat, bald Americans like me.

It was my first trip down and I admit I had some trepidation. I had heard those stories, but I had also spoken with a number of folks who were regular visitors.  They had no fear of returning.  Still there was the doubt.  Nonetheless, my wife and I, along with our buddy Ross started the trek.  Ross had been there a few times and knew his way around; at least that’s what he said.

I found the drive through the Organ Pipe National Monument to be sensational.  Then we hit Lukeville and the U.S. Border check.  No problem!  We got the dreaded red light on the Mexican side.  In that all we had was our clothes, there were no problems and we were on our way. This is when it got a little dicey.

The road into and through Sonoita was littered with differing speed limits, range free dogs and Mexicans who didn’t appreciate my driving at the speed limit.  I didn’t know any Spanish swear words before then.  My inability to read the road signs was a bit of a problem and added to my anxiety.  Ross spotted a Taco stand in town and insisted we stop for fish tacos.  Not being a fish taco guy, I didn’t partake of his snack.  Instead I sat in the car sure that someone was going to shoot me right then and there.

That mission completed we headed out Route 8 toward Rocky Point.  That was enjoyable in that there was virtually no traffic and we could clip along about 75 MPH and relax.  At one point I checked the rear view mirror and spotted two pickups bearing down on me at a rapid pace.  Soon they passed me going at least 85, each with humongous fifth wheels attached.  The rest of the journey was fine and we arrived at our destination in one piece.  Welcome to the Playa Bonita.

Upon trying to check in we encountered another problem.  They had no reservation for us.  The clerk asked again, “What’s your name?’ I said Hecker.  She said, “No, but I have a reservation for a Heckermouse”  With that Ross burst out laughing.  It turns out he had his girl friend, a Venezuelan, and a travel agent make the res.   She asked him how to spell my name.  He said,” H-E-C—–K-E-R m-o-u-s-e.”  She having never been a member of the club had no clue.

We spent the biggest amount of time around the hotel, with a few side trips for shopping.  We never really got to know the place or the people, so my preconceived notions of Mexico had little chance to change.  It was two years later when I returned that things changed.

This time I made the drive with full confidence that the Mexicans weren’t going to shoot me.  I had picked some friends brains about the place i.e.: what to do, where to go, etc.  I was able to rent a beach house in Las Conchas that a company I represented owned and got off my derriere and went out to discover Puerto Penasco.  What a change in process.

Upon arriving at the house, there was a problem so I went into town and at Oceano, met Daniel, rest his soul, who immediately got the problem resolved.  Not manana, he got it done now.  He was a very warm and friendly guy and we became friends.   He always had a smile and great suggestions on where to go and what to do.  One of his suggestions was a place called Debbie’s in the old port.

There I met another new friend, Hugo.  He managed the place and when I told him that Daniel sent me he was like a shadow.  He turned out to be a great friend.  If he saw me walking in the Malecon, he would run over to the window and yell at the top of his lungs, “AMIGO…look what I have for you, waving an ice cold Pacifico at me, lime and all.  Up the steps to a huge bear hug and a cold brew.

As time and visits went by I met more folks, joined a forum, made more friends and really learned to love Rocky Point and the people there.  I learned that if you give the folks a smile, they’ll give you a hundred in return.  If you keep in mind you are a guest in their home, they’ll treat you like a long lost friend.

One last anecdote.  One day I was looking for a meat market on Bravo.  I parked in front of a house where two men were sitting, having a smoke and discussing the world, I guess.  I got out of the car and started to walk to the corner where the shop was.  “Buenos Dias, Amigo” they shouted.  “Buenos Dias”, I replied. I pointed up the street and said “Carneceria???”   “Si Senor”, they replied.  Later I came out with six of the best rib eye steaks I’ve ever tasted.  As I strolled by them I held up the bag and yelled,”Carne”.  They laughed and yelled Bueno, Bueno.  A smile, a wave and off I drove feeling like I just made two new friends.

It was all a matter of attitude and preconceived notions.  Rocky Point is the only place in Mexico I have ever visited.  There are others like San Carlos I would like to see, but I find it hard to tear myself away to go there.  If you have never been to Rocky Point, please don’t go the way I did.  Open your mind; enjoy the views, the beaches the sun rises, the sun sets and most of all, the people.  I know I can’t wait to return to make some new friends.

This blog is powered by www.sonoranresorts.mx, Jim Ringquist, Director of Sales and Marketing.

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