The Baja Years
1978 - 1998
Created by Dan on 10/08/2009
I don't know exactly what year it was, but I think it was the late 1970's - Angel's parents sold the house in Van Nuys, and moved to Rosarito Beach, in Baja California, Mexico. They lived there for about 20 years, until Angel's mom died, and her dad came to live with us.
Before they moved to Baja, we all started driving down there occasionally to visit places they had visited before, and to show it to me. Somewhere along the way, they decides to buy a house down there, and picked Rosarito Beach. We found an American real estate agent down there, and looked at a variety of small homes. We eventually picked a small, 2 bedroom house in Baja Malibu, a small development a few miles north of Rosarito Beach.
Their house was not on the beach - it was about half a mile away, and on the other side of the highway. There was a tunnel under the highway, so you could walk to the beach, although the hill down to the beach was fairly steep. I remember the tunnel had a sign pained on it - something like "Through this tunnel pass the happiest people on earth."
I remember we would walk along the beach, and see those with homes right there, sitting on their patios, and we were somewhat envious. Until a year of bad storms that wiped out that row of homes. The Mexican government apparently decided those homes were too close to the beach, and would not let them rebuild - those people lost the entire investment, as well as their homes.
With Angel's parent house, like all real estate deals in Mexico, there was always the risk that something would happen in the future, and someone would show up claiming the land the house was on. As a matter of fact, in the late 1990's, that happened with the young man who was SELLING THE HOMES in Baja Malibu! His home was claimed by someone else, and he bought Angel's parents' home.
During most of the years they lived in Baja, Angel's parents came up to Los Angeles many times - typically once a month. Tutti was still caring for Angel's grandmother, and they still owned the old family house in East Los Angeles. Often, Angel and I would drive down to Baja on Saturday morning, stay overnight, and drive back early Sunday morning - leaving early to get through the border before it got crowded.
In the mid 1990's, Angel's mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent radiation and chemotherapy, and seemed to recover. But it reappeared in 1998, and she died on December 20, 1998.
Angel's dad immediately sold the house in Baja, and moved to Los Angeles, where he lived with us in Shadow Hills.