Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Todos Santos

distance = 85
Eric and Jami had told us that Todos Santos had a "Salt Spring vibe " to it.  I would agree and add a little Tofino feeling as well.  But still very Mexican.  It was more touristy than I expected - several boutique hotels, upscale restaurants and shops selling souvenirs. 

We spent one day exploring the beach and sprawling residential areas to the north, including a stop at Earthship Mexico (no one was home) and an organic lunch.  Another day was spent exploring the many art galleries in town.  Karen also got to spend some time at the spa as a result of a birthday gift.
We ate a couple of times at the Hotel California.  The recently renovated hotel features a decent restaurant and a shop where you can buy tee shirts with the hotel's name and their tag line "Legendary." Although not explicitly stated you get the feeling that they are referring to the Eagle's song that bears the same name as the hotel.  The feeling is reinforced by the fact that the background music play list for the hotel lobby and restaurant seems to rotate frequently to Eagle's songs especially the one about the hotel.

All this is in spite of the fact that the song's composer has stated that he has never visited the hotel and that the song is not about the hotel.  In fact, he has said that the song is not about a specific building but rather a metaphor for the excesses that exist in California and by extension all of America.

As we ate there I wondered if that song's criticism of excessive consumption occurred to any of the guests who visited the restaurant from their multi-million dollar ocean front homes in the surrounding areas.  Many of those homes were financed by second mortgages taken out using the equity from their other homes during the height of the US housing bubble.  As a result of the financial crisis one of the most commons signs we saw in the Todos Santos area was "se vende" ("For Sale") on houses and lots.

Perhaps when you have relied on debt to finance a lifestyle of excess you do get the feeling that you can "check out any time you want but you can never leave."

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