Michael J. Fitzgerald has been a journalist for 40 years, working as a writer and editor for newspapers, magazines and web publications. In 2014 he published the novel, "The Fracking War." In 2015, he published his second novel, "Fracking Justice." He writes or contributes to five blogs. He and his wife Sylvia Fox are the owners and principal partners in *subject2change Media, a multi-media firm involved in print, video and broadcast. He writes a weekly column, "Write On" for the daily 'Finger Lakes Times' newspaper in Geneva, NY. He was a journalism professor at CSU Sacramento from 1986 to 2011 teaching Newswriting, Column Writing and Magazine Writing.
MEZCALES, Nayarit, Mexico - You know you are close to our storage unit in San Vincente when you see the giant Modelo beer can atop a tiny tienda on the corner where the highway turns at Mezcales. It being Mexico, it''s quite appropriate to stop and pick up a ''ballena'' or two of beer for the trip - and drink it in the car on the way. (Ballena actually means whale, but it also refers to the liter bottles of beer that are very popular.) I'll be back in the land of bottle ballenas next week to get Sabbatical stocked and ready for her trip north to San Diego. Son Dustin is already on the ground, er, water there, making sure the new piece of rigging done by Rigworks in San Diego is sturdy enough for a major offshore passage from Puerto Vallarta north. The weather will still be excellent there, just before the heat arrives in mid-May when people bail out of Puerto Vallarta just like the snowbirds leave the northeast to head to Florida each fall. I don''t know when my next trip to Puerto Vallarta will be after this - not having a boat there will definitely cramp the style a little bit. But when you consider how much it cost to keep Sabbatical at the dock ($900+ per month), I''ll be happy to have the ship back in San Diego where I hope docks fees are lower. Even if not, at least we''ll have better access. But no more ''ballenas'' of beer. At least not while driving.