Sunday, November 12, 2017

krafting the memories

"How can you afford to retire to Mexico? When my husband and I were there last year, it cost us $400 a night."

She worked in the computer division of our company. The year was 2009. I had just told her that I had finally finalized my plans to move to Mexico.

I thought of her comment last week when I headed north to Puerto Vallarta to spend the day with a friend and his wife. They were staying at Sunset Plaza, one of Puerto Vallarta's all-inclusive resorts. I had stayed there almost exactly two years ago with a friend (killing me softly).

Even though it did not cost $400 a night, it was what my fellow employee had in mind when she thought about the cost of living in Mexico.

Of course, I live here for far less than $400 a day. That is because I live in my own private resort in Barra de Navidad, not in an all-inclusive resort in Puerto Vallarta.

Wayne Kraft and his wife Arlene were in Puerto Vallarta about this time last year. I wanted to drive up and see them, but I was in the throes of dealing with Barco's death. When they told me they were going to be in Puerto Vallarta just after I returned from Europe, I decided I was not going to miss an opportunity to see them.

Wayne is one of my lawyer friends from my private practice days when I was a criminal defense attorney. I first met him when he was a bailiff for one of my favorite circuit court judges. He then became a deputy district attorney, and we crossed swords occasionally.

Criminal law is a bit like warfare. And criminal lawyers -- both prosecutors and defense attorneys -- often build the same type of strong personal bonds that are found amongst combat soldiers. And between some clients and their attorneys.

Poor Arlene had to sit through a full day of lawyer war stories. Lawyers can put any fighter pilot to shame when it comes to relating a battle tale.

Meeting up with Wayne was a bit coincidental. When he was still a bailiff, he told me that my client, who was about to be sentenced, was a favorite of the judge. He was one of mine, as well. I did my best to help Brad find a better path in life. During my brief stay in Reno last week, I met with him and discovered that life was going well for him.

Wayne and Arlene are quite pleased with the Sunset Plaza and its all-inclusive services. So much so that they intend to return next year.

I started to write that all-inclusive resorts feel a bit odd to me. But, I do not know why. After all, they are not unlike cruise ships -- whose praises I sing. And reading my post from two years ago, I found that stay to be very recuperative.

I am not very fond of Puerto Vallarta. It topped my list of prospective retirement spots in Mexico -- only because I knew it best. I soon discovered that it had all of the problems of a big city without offering the cultural offsets that big cities should. And each trip there simply confirms that my decision was wise beyond its years.

But I will return to see Wayne and Arlene. In fact, I may decide to spend a short  vacation at the Sunset Plaza before then -- if I can find someone who wants to enjoy the pleasures of $400-a-night Mexico.

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