Shop Locally Holiday Gift List 2013!

By Shandra Keesecker-Rivero

Navidad en Rocky Point 2011I’m always interested in figuring out creative gifts this time of year, yet have to admit I am a last minute shopper. Christmas Eve is just one week away, which in Mexico is traditionally the time when people choose to open their gifts. Looking back on family holiday trips, when we would open presents on Christmas Day as we hunkered down in the snow-packed landscape of Kansas or Colorado before returning home for a second wave of presents on January 6th (Kings Day), I lean more to the 12 days of Christmas tradition …both to extend the joy as well as to get in a few more shopping days.

With this in mind, and after asking around for top gift suggestions from Puerto Peñasco, here is our annual Shop Locally Holiday List!

1. DONATION TO YOUR FAVORITE CHARITY.  Looking for a gift for someone who has everything? Why not a donation in their name made to your favorite charity or organization in town? From musical instruments to toys, diapers to hemodialysis, various groups and organizations throughout Puerto Peñasco would surely welcome this wonderful gift! Check contact information in the Rocky Point Times Newspaper or JoinUs for details on contacting your favorite group. One way to get started is to purchase raffle tickets from Los Rolling Rockies wheelchair basketball team (raffling off a Jeep) or from the local Fire Department (also raffling off a car).

2. SHRIMP!  This appears to top many a list, and with shrimp prices a bit higher this year Puerto Peñasco’s “pink gold” is certainly a great treat. There’s of course the shrimp market down along the malecón in the Old Port, and we also recommend a stop by “El Pulpo” on Av. Constitución (down the road from La Ley) as well as Pesquera y Procesadora Mar de Cortez on Av. Sinaloa (heading North past the DIF park).

DSCN38713. WINE!  Yes, this year we’ve succumbed to the delight of wine tastings at El Tapeo Wine Bar and are pleased to see they are well stocked with offerings from across Baja California’s wine valleys, not to mention a selection of olive oil, marmalade, salsas, and tapenades from Mexico’s rich vineyards. Their gift basket crates provide a wonderful under the tree surprise!

4. TEQUILA! As long as we’re toasting, let’s talk a bit about Tequila.  While we may be a distance from the blue agave covered hillsides of Jalisco, the Tequila Factory on Blvd. Benito Juarez provides a wide display of tequilas for most any palette.  In addition to their artisanal hand crafted tequilas in a variety of flavors, the Tequila Factory also features the likes of Tequila Peñasco – whose reposada was honored with a double gold medal from TheFiftyBest.com during a recent national taste test – along with the award winning silver, reposada, and añejo offerings of Roger Clyne’s Mexican Moonshine Tequila.

5. TICKETS!  There were a variety of suggestions for this area, so here are some stocking stuffers we’d love to see!

  • david-aguilar2014Opera tickets!  Puerto Peñasco Winter Gala on Dec. 28th to be held at the Municipal Auditorium. Evening to highlight performance of soprano Rocío Olalde, who currently performs in Sweden, accompanied by pianist German Esquer Delgado.  Tickets are 250 pesos and available at Puerto Viejo Tostadores (coffee shop across from Thrifty in the Old Port)
  • Mark Mulligan Dec. 28th @ Caribbean Parrot. Ok, so there are no actual tickets for this as entry donations will be given to a local charity. Even so, an “invitation ticket” in any stocking would be nice as well.
  • New Year’s Eve bash with La Culebra!  Ringing in 2014 to the tropical beats of salsa and merengue is right up our alley! Tickets are 350 pesos / person or reserve a table for 10 @ 3000 pesos. Tickets and reservations: 638.113.2363 or 638 380 5496
  • David Aguilar concert – Jan. 9th –  This independent Mexican singer-songwriter-troubadour will be bringing his guitar sounds from Central Mexico to Puerto Peñasco on Jan. 9th at the Municipal Auditorium. Tickets are 60 pesos or 150 VIP and available at Discos y Cintas Strauss next to La Estrellita Pemex station (across from Alejandro Portugal Insurance).
  • January Jam VII – Jan. 24th & 25th !  We too are anxiously awaiting for these tickets to go on sale, not to mention tickets for Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers annual Circus Mexicus in June!  Stay up on info at:  www.circusmexicus.net

6. LOCAL ARTISTS!

  • There is still one Mermaid’s Arts Market before the holidays, Saturday, Dec. 21st, at Plaza del Camarón from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.  In addition to providing a treasure of gift possibilities, the Mermaid’s Market features local artists from across the community (US and Mexican) showcasing a variety of items: jewelry, incredible chocolate, roasted coffee, candles, photography, paintings, ironwork, upcycled items made with seashells, art made with recycled tires, incredibly intricate hand-woven welcome mats made with recycled plastic bags, and much more.
  • One of our favorite holiday stops is the Ideas shop located just below Latitude 31. Cindy’s wooden puzzle sculptures almost always make their way under our tree!
  • Villa Alemán / Jardín Alemán – Our amigo Victor Alemán now has a spot back in town (right across from the movie theater) for those looking for larger gift items including meticulously crafted tile-decorated tables and decorative planters.

7. MORE ART!

  • Cholla Mall a.k.a. “Rodeo Drive / Shacks” on Av. Revolución – or rather, the former main road to La Cholla and now open to traffic from Sandy Beach as it skirts by the new Convention Center.  Away from the curios shops in the Old Port, a trip to Cholla Mall reminds us of the wealth of artistry in Mexico with items such as sculptured ironwood, meticulously carved and painted alebrijes, ceramics and glass, along with holiday ornaments and carefully crafted nativity scenes. Begin the adventure in Cholla Mall at Eddie Wharez Diseños Casa y Jardín (offering 50% to 70% discounts through Dec. 31st) and make your way up the street. Tip: Calle Luis Encinas is a good way to get to Revolucion during construction on Blvd. Juarez – or of course the new Convention Center road.
  • Navidad en Rocky Point 2011Old Port – amidst the souvenir trinkets and lucha libre masks (the latter being one of my favorite holiday gift items), art pieces, blankets, and galleries can be found tucked into surprising spots in the Old Port.  We’re also suckers for the popular name on a grain of rice!
  • Mercedes – Walking into Mercedes’ shop in the Old Port is reminiscent to a walk along stone cobble streets in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato or market places in Tepoztlán or Guadalajara. Handblown glasses and talavera tiles are a sure bet!

8. COFFEE!  Yes, really.  In addition to our annual mention of Mario’s Organic Coffee as you enter the Old Port (which has been under new ownership since Fall), we’d like to make special mention of Puerto Viejo Tostadores and their on-site roaster, as well as Café Gabacho roasted by one of our favorite “gabachos” Richard Scott in Las Conchas.

Puerto Viejo Tostadores is creating a space for coffee, film, music, and art in the Old Port and can be found across from Thrcafe-gabachoifty ice-cream and next to the Blue Marlin.  For Café Gabacho, contact Richard at richalready@gmail.com, 638 107 3385

9. CALENDARS!  Two of our favorite calendars are already out: CEDO’s annual Tide Chart calendar (available at CEDO) and the Rocky Point Calendar produced by our amiga Karen Aldridge. The Rocky Point Calendar, which goes from Dec. 2013 – Jan. 2015 is available at: Rocky Point Times Newspaper (off Calle 13), ProAlliance office (above Tequila Factory on Blvd. Juarez), SILVIA VILLA’s “PREMIUM SERVICES” and “PETALS & PERFUMS,” LOCATION: Ave. Agustin Melgar No. 334, and the This & That shop (heading out of Old Port).

10. SPA!  Gift certificates to one of the numerous spas across Puerto Peñasco would fit perfectly in any stocking….just saying.  Some popular options in town include Sonoran Spa (at Sonoran Spa Resort), D’Lucy Spa (Blvd. Fremont), Acqua Medical Center (Plaza del Sol, Blvd. Fremont), Pamper Spa & Beauty Center (Plaza Fremont), Peñasco Beauty Center (across from Ley), Aztec Sol Beauty & Spa (Av. Luis Encinas), and Gloria’s (Av. Constitución).

October fest - golf peninsula de cortes 2013 58Plus…… CERTIFICATES!  As long as we’re on the topic of gift certificates, check with many of the fabulous eateries in town for a stocking stuffer that will surely delight! For that golfer in your life, a day of golf at any of the three spectacular courses in town would also make for a great gift.  Peninsula de Cortés (Mayan Palce): Information & Reservations: 383-0443  email proshop: proshop01.ptp@grupovidanta.com     The Links at Las Palomas Beach & Golf Resort:  638) 108 10 72   | Toll free 1 866 286 5053 email: ugentil@laspalomasresort.net    Laguna del Mar:  Tel: (638) 383-0032 Email: adrianasaavedra@lagunadelmar.com.mx

Happy Holidays and enjoy shopping locally!

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