Aspiring to be Useless (Wasting Away in Margaritaville)

Beautiful statue on the malecon in La Paz.

I’m sitting here with my pitcher of marguaritas thinking back over the day and realizing that it’s our third full day here and we already need to buy more tequila and mixer. Man, supplies start running low when you’re spending your days being nothing but useless to anyone. It’s great! If this is what retirement is going to be like, I’m going to be a big fan.

We got some serious lessons in the retired cruising lifestyle yesterday when we finally met up with Steve and Lulu Yoder ( and Keith and Kay Schardein ( We ‘met’ Steve and Lulu via our respective blogs, and Keith and Kay are friends of a friend of mine who put us in touch when we were planning our La Paz trip.  Both couples are down here in La Paz enjoying life on their boats and guess what? They know each other! It is said that the cruising community is small, and I guess that must be right.

Truth be told, these couples saved us from having to drink several extra pitchers of fire-water margaritas due to the extreme stress we’ve been under since we got here. Without a doubt, there is no reason to be here without a boat. We feel literally stranded, land locked, like boats on the hard. The sea beckons, but we can only long for it. We stand on the docks and stare into the water like complete fools. We’ve walked down the malecon and seen all the pretty statues. Meh. We have been in the hot tub and in the pool. Sigh. We’ve gone to some pretty beaches up north of town. Too crowded this weekend anyhow. I’ve hung in the hammock and read my book. Yawn. There will be no dessert hiking in this desert. This is one inhospitable desert.

So you can imagine that it was with profound relief that we stepped into Keith and Kay’s dinghy today for the ride out to their boat, a Westsail 43 anchored almost directly next to the Yoder’s boat, a Westsail 28. Not only did we get to be on the water, we got to see new and exciting boats as well! We could hardly express our delight.

Mike, trying to communicate with the natives.

Mike and I first boarded Kieth and Kay’s Westsail 43, Chamisa, bearing the international currency of cruisers, beer. The wind was up in the harbor, 14 knots or so with a few whitecaps which made us feel almost like we were under sail.  Mike and I were anxious to learn as many of the finer points to retiring to this lifestyle as we could, and both couples were very generous in sharing their knowledge. Cold beer, warm wind, blue water, good conversation. Oh, and big dolphins. Did I mention those? What could be better?

When I think about the harried life we lead back in Tacoma, I am more than a little chagrined. We can go literally months between visits with our neighbors, and it always seems like they have to be arranged. There’s none of this ‘hanging out’ that seems to just happen naturally in the cruising community. We’re so busy being useful back home, we have no time to simply ‘be’ with others. Sure, we’re on vacation now, but our new friends are not on vacation. They live this way. After lives of complete and utter usefulness in the workplace and at home, after raising families, owning homes, and all of the other useful things people do, they have aspired to uselessness. I hope we are not far behind.

Knowing Steve’s penchant for good food, we followed him to this restaurant and it didn’t let us down. Fabulous burgers!



13 thoughts on “Aspiring to be Useless (Wasting Away in Margaritaville)

      • Hey, call it what you like, Steve! You can aspire to be useful all you like. But remember, I’ve read your entire blog. Whatever you call it, I’m aspiring to it.

  1. Gwen, what about your husband? Won’t he want to come, too? LOL! Sandra, that’s really the key, isn’t it? One needs money to be useless, unless you want to really downgrade your standard of living. Big sighs all around on this one. All together now…

  2. We do, too! That would be completely cool. It’s very exciting to meet people you’ve only met ‘on line’ before. And then to see they are just as cool in person!

  3. Mike, love the grip you have on that beer between your legs (but I understand that hand gesturing can be critical). Cheers to being useless–and enjoying it!

    • You have a sharp eye for what is important Tristan. One thing Melissa and I have noticed down here is that you can drink a lot of beer. I would also direct your attention to the little knitted beer cozy that Lulu has on her bottle. She makes these and gave all of us our own cozy as a gift. You really need the right equipment for the job.

  4. Ciao…whoops…a – buenas dias – you guys are having so much fun in your idleness (is that a better word, Steve?) is it O K if I come down in my banka boat (Filipino canoe) and join you???

  5. We’ve been following Steve and Lulu’s blog .. how cool that you got to meet them! We agree that life is too busy … we rarely see our neighbors, friends and family! Living on “island time” is for me!

    • It was totally cool to meet them! It was like a little taste of what it will be like when we get to the point where we are actually on a boat. That still seems so far away with all of the things that need to happen before then. I know you get what I mean!

  6. Pingback: La Paz Ramblings | Little Cunning Plan

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