Tiny Trek – La Cruz de Huanacaxtle

Daily walks on my sisters favorite park path during her final weeks gave me the space to think, cry and wonder what this life will feel like without her spunky voicemails that always began with, “Hey sis, this is your sister.” Which make me smile because I know this voice by heart.

I booked a trip to Mexico during this emotional time, remembering all the fun we’d had as a family in that beautiful country. A spring trip would be a welcomed break from the February snow shoveling and the impending spring rain and muck. The wet season has created a path to the tiny house that requires skilled leaps to make it to the front door without feet becoming completely soaked and caked in mud.

My growing bridge over muddy water.

The trip began at 4 a.m. in the airport with a passport card that is not valid for air travel. As Anthony Bourdain said, “Travel isn’t always pretty.” This was one of those moments, but we problem solved with the help of a fantastic Southwest agent, rerouted the flights and turned around for a trip back home to get the required passport book. The mistake became a lasting memory of the trip.

La Cruz de Huanacaxtle is a small village tucked in between the massive resorts of Puerto Vallarta and the busy tourist beach of Sayulita. It is a walkable, cobblestone town with a large marina filled with floating homes of ex-pats and local fisherman alike.

The marina.

After the Pescados y Mariscos festival that filled the town square with food, vendors, music and locals, La Cruz returned to it’s quiet daily rhythms. The vacation rental was exceptional, a small, beautiful compound run by ex-Texans John and Sandra. With only one other couple on site we enjoyed the quiet afternoons around the pool, and the rooftop deck was a favorite breezy spot to play Rummicube, eat fresh fish, and watch the goings on in the town square or the live music from the bar next door.

Strolling thru the town square outside our accommodations.
The exit to the street.
My favorite afternoon spot.

The town is small enough that we’d hear music and start walking, following the sound to little rag-tag bars. The quality of live music here was impressive and we truly enjoyed dancing the night away, supporting local musicians. We rode the local bus to other towns along the coast, enjoying a beach day in Sayulita with the Mexican vendors, which are non-existent in La Cruz.

An afternoon on the busy Sayulita beach.

We had our fill of fresh seafood, the warm Mexican sun, and the time to rest, read, draw and explore. My sister requested her ashes be spread once each season in this first year of her passing, and on this spring trip I left a bit of her in the ocean on a coastline she loved.

Arriving with only a small backpack, the rental owner Sandra asked, “Is that all your luggage?” I explained that our rental space was larger than my entire house, and I just don’t own much stuff. It turns out I still over packed. Coming home to the tiny house has been great. My son enjoyed his time in the tiny, hanging out with his buddies and taking care of Mr. G who greeted me with excited circles of joy.

Happy to see the snow gone, I am watching the flower bulbs I planted last fall emerge and patiently waiting for the ground to dry up so I can resume the final construction push to finish this little house. The small footprint allows my work hours to be cut back to part-time, creating space to finish the house this spring, opening up a summer of hopeful adventures.

The next “Tiny Trek” will be in May to San Diego to celebrate my 55th birthday with a posse of girlfriends that go way back in my history, should be a howling good time.

May you experience the renewed life spring brings in this season of Easter, and happy trekking.

Hillary D.

“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.” – Anthony Bourdain

2 responses to “Tiny Trek – La Cruz de Huanacaxtle”

  1. Even though we don’t communicate much Hillary, I have such fond memories of you and your family growing up. I was so saddened of Jennifer’s passing. What a wonderful tribute to her. I loved reading the blog and look forward to reading more! Take care my friend.
    Gina Anderson (Collier)💜


    1. So sweet to hear from you! I also have very fond memories of our friendship in the old neighborhood…I still remember your bedroom that I coveted!


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