Casa de los Artistas – Crossing The River

continued from previous post . . .

I freshened up a bit to go over to the Casa de los Artistas for the meet and greet.  I was so worried about getting to my casita that I never stopped to notice my surroundings. It wasn’t until I opened the front door to leave that I looked out of the casita to an incredible view that stopped me in my tracks.  Across the dusty road I traveled to get to my new home was a lovely beach, outdoor restaurant/bar, and the mouth of the river where it meets the Ocean!  I was so self-absorbed when I came in that I never noticed my casita was ocean front.

Since it was nearly sunset, I decided it would be quicker to “cross the river” than walk back through town and cross the river further up and make my way down the other side through the jungle.  Plus I will admit, I was a chicken to walk through the jungle by myself.

I crossed the narrow stretch of beach to the shallow river and slipped off my sandals and rolled up my pants legs.  I could see the Casa de los Artistas on the other side and this was literally a 5 minute trek.  I gingerly stepped into the water that was ICE COLD and picked my way across the rocky bottom.  The current was STRONG and in the center the water got deep!  My pants got wet, and I made a mental note to cross a little further away from the mouth next time.  It must have been a hilarious site to the other artists already gathered on the balcony above.

I entered the Casa and made my way upstairs to meet my “tribe” for the coming week.

I always dread those first awkward moments when you enter a room and don’t know anyone but since we were all in that same position, small talk was a little easier.  After a few cocktails, conversation relaxed and we began to get to know each other.  We made our way back onto the beach for a simple, yet delicious meal of fresh red snapper.

Getting to know my fellow artists, I quickly discovered I was with a diverse group of artists – they were all very cool and interesting to learn about.  Halfway through the meal, a local guy came up to me at the table and offered me a big fat JOINT.  I nearly died as I fumbled over my words, “I, uh, I, um, don’t really do that.”  “Oh, senorita,” he cooed, “come on, it’s a gift for you!” I immediately imagined DEA agents bursting in on the scene as I quickly contemplated my decision NOT to take the weed.  Another woman in my group said, “well if she doesn’t want it, I’ll take it!”


I soon found out that most of the group were from places where pot was legalized and they gave me an quick lesson about everything from medicinal marijuana to cannabis oil to pot gummies. I kept thinking to myself that I had stepped back into the 70’s as I looked around the eclectic group discussing their various “dealers” and blends that they partake in.  I felt like the uptight soccer mom from Suburbia.  Is this real life?

After the meal and entertaining conversation, I made my way back to the Casita.  All was very quiet in the little village and I bolted myself in and settled in bed.  Thankfully the windows had heavy bars because it was a warm night and I had to open them up to get some cool air.

About the time I started to close my eyes, I heard a car pull up with the radio blasting.  More and more cars arrived and I peaked out the window to see a large group gathering on the road and the beach in front of the casita.  It was nearly midnight and a band was setting up.  I could smell food cooking and hear the laughter and sounds of a party just kicking off.

Exhausted and emotional, the tears rolled down my face as I contemplated my life and felt I was living some altered reality.  And as despair was setting in, I began to quiet myself and pray.  Between my low sobs, I heard the sounds of a mariachi band. The Cumbia music drifted through my open window and it occured to me that this was beautiful.  The sounds of the horns and guitars strumming mixed with strong, harmonized voices.  This was Mexico.  This was what I had come for.  To immerse myself in another culture and run as far away from my normal, boring, sad life as I could.

As the waves and music blended together, moonlight splashed across my bed and I drifted off into a deep and peaceful sleep . . .

to be continued.

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  1. Mary W

    Reminds me of the time we went camping for Thanksgiving on the Oklawaha River. Around midnight, one empty campsite filled up with cars and tents and began a fire. They were Mexicans as we could clearly hear them talking. We had just gotten the little ones to sleep and were drifting off when they started the music. At first I was annoyed then relaxed and thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful evening with happy, happy music and laughter coming from our neighbors. Can’t think of a nicer way to go to bed. The next night we were less timid about our noisy group’s laughter and guitars. It turned out to be the most memorable Thanksgiving yet. There is something about Mexican music that just brings out the joy! Thanks for the next chapter. I love when I see an email from Serendipity Studios!

    1. Lorraine Bell

      Oh Mary, you are always there for me! How I wish we could be experiencing something like this together! It’s funny how sometimes those things that irritate you the most end up being the fondest memories! Hope you have a wonderful holiday season! xoxo

  2. Bob Masla

    Hi Lorraine – I hope this finds you doing well and staying creative. I can’t believe I hadn’t scene these blogs till now! – They are wonderful, as are your paintings! Love how descriptive and beautiful your storytelling is and Monica and I are so happy to be reminded of what a wonderful effect the Boca and Casa Experience had on you. We remember your sweet energy and send you our love. p.s. I would love to put a link in our newsletter to these posts, (which one is the beginning of the story, think there are 3?, not sure I found that), they are so personal and so descriptive, I really think our audience would appreciate them.

    1. Lorraine Bell Author

      Hi Bob, I’m so surprised to hear from you – how on earth did you end up here on my website? I’m happy you like the story telling and I have no issues with you sharing. You might want to wait a little longer though because this is a brand new site and I am still migrating the blog posts over from my old site. There is more to the story and I can let you know the order when it is all in one place. I hope you and Monica are well and finding creative ways to pass these crazy days. So good to hear from you!

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