Statue at Rancho La Puerta /

A magical place

Some places are just special. Magical. Operating on another astral plane. Existing inside a harmonic convergence. Something.

You know the kind of place I mean. You go there, and you feel away from it all, and yet at home. You feel relaxed and easy. You feel like you’re with an old friend even if you’re among new ones.

My Aunt Leah’s in Cambria was one of those places. Almost anywhere in Santa Barbara, for me, is one of those places. In my husband’s arms is one of those places.

Rancho La Puerta, in Tecate, Mexico, is also one of those places. I learned it last year when I went for the first time, as the visiting culinary instructor for a week. And I was reminded of it this year, in May, when I got go back and teach again.

Dining room at Rancho La Puerta

This time, though, the at-home feeling was even more so, because I’d been there before. The dizzying myriad of lovely landscaped pathways – I knew them like the back of my hand. The staff at the cooking school, La Cocina Que Canta, greeted me with hugs. Even the wise and wonderful new executive chef, Denise, felt like an old friend.

Maybe the place has been sprinkled with fairy dust.

Field at Rancho La Puerta

But don’t take my word for it. Check out these posts by others who’ve also been visiting culinary instructors – Joanne Weir, Marie Simmons, and Virginia Willis. (There’s also my post from last year’s visit here.)

Poolside at Rancho La Puerta

Rancho La Puerta is achingly beautiful. Relaxing. Rejuvenating. Nurturing. Warm. Friendly. And even fun. The next time you need to be in one of those really, really special, magical places, get yourself there.

And maybe, don’t even wait until then.

Many, many thanks to Rene, Eunice, Denise, Elizabeth, Celia, and Alejandro at La Cocina Que Canta for having me. The pleasure was all mine.


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