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If you're a fan of outdoor activities, you'll find the amount of outdoor activities practically endless at Meling Guest Ranch, located in the Ensenada municipality of Baja California, Mexico.  Yet, not all of us care to four wheel, mountain bike, fish, hike, watch birds, or even spend a lot of time outdoors...  (Why'd you come to Meling Ranch in the first place?)  For those who don't want to do outdoor activities, or for those dark, chilly winter evenings, Meling Ranch has a bit of a surprise for you:  A couple of rooms that serve as a library, music room, pool room and a great place to socialize.

Photo:  One of the shelves of books in the Meling Ranch library.  No, they don't use the Dewey Decimal system, but they do have a battery-powered boom box, high-tech circa 1988, for the pleasure of the ranch's guests.

The library, so to speak,  is a rather informal affair, as it consists of a couple of bookshelves full of paperback novels, left by previous guests.  Predictably, the favorite subject matters are love, romance, murder-mystery, detective thrillers, and spaghetti westerns.  However, for the intellectually inclined, there is set of encyclopedias; the exact year and brand escaped me, as I'm not really very intellectually inclined when I visit Meling Ranch.  To use the library facilities, you just grab the book of your choice, and read it during your stay at Meling Ranch.  Protocol dictates that if you take a book, you leave one in its place for a future guest, so if you plan on using the "library," you might want to bring one of your old dog--eared books from home to donate to the library.

Photo:  The stove in the "library" and books to the left and right of the photo.  I couldn't figure out why the couch blocks the door... I should have asked Andrea Meling.

If reading isn't your thing, the room next the "library" also has a full-size pool table, with all of the equipment needed to engage your buddy in a game of pool.  For entertainment, three's an out-of-tune upright piano, with a couple of gimpy keys, but I tried it out by playing "Cotton Eyed Joe," and the piano classic, "The Entertainer," and, by golly, it really works.  Just try to avoid the keys of E-flat or A-flat, which, unfortunately, are very popular keys for piano music, unlike "sharp" keys for stringed instruments.  The previously-mentioned keys have an abundance   of sour notes, so you might want to consider playing your masterpiece in the key of "G."  On the other hand, sour music is better than no music at all, especially when played by the light of a cheery kerosene lamp on a chilly night at Meling Ranch.  You won't get cold, as there's an inviting fireplace in the pool room.

Photo:  The pool table, and the out-of-tune piano, in the large room located adjacent to the library.  That's a BB rifle mounted on the wall, above the piano.

Photo:  The pool table, and the fireplace in the background, with lots of room to sit near the fire.  During my visit in late September, a fire wasn't needed, as the weather was very pleasant.

You'll also find plenty of easy chairs where you can sit down and watch your homeboys play pool, and curl up with one of those paperback books you selected from the "library."  After all, you're on vacation, and one of the primary attractions found at Meling Ranch is the ability to r-e-l-a-x!

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