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Gateway to Mexico

Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico

When we got to the San Diego area, we knew that we wanted to do a day trip to Tijuana to explore and eat! My aunt lives in Ocean Beach and displayed interest in joining us so we planned a trip. We did a little research and found the best way to get there was to take the San Diego MTS Blue Line Trolley from the city to San Ysidro and walk across the border into Mexico. If you are ever planning a day trip from SD to TJ, then I would highly recommend the trolley. It was $2.50 and was roughly a 45 minute ride, which flew by fairly quickly. Check out https://www.sdmts.com/ and you can see the trolley map, schedules and fares. Walking across into Mexico was very quick and easy and we had no issues, except the fact I ALMOST left our passports at home (thanks to James for double checking that one lol). Before we left the USA, we also downloaded Offline Map and Travel Tip Guide: Tijuana. This is a useful app that you can use when you are out of the country without cell service to still have some knowledge where you are and what you’re near. We didn’t use this too much this trip because my plan with Verizon includes Mexico and Canada. Although, we have been looking into the best apps to utilize for our trip to Europe later this year and this one seemed to be up there.

Once we got into Mexico, we walked our way to downtown Tijuana to explore. On the street, we found some artwork of a butterfly. We snapped some iconic pictures here because it was beautiful and unique to the area. There were some colored flags strung above the walkway and this was also very beautiful as they flapped in the wind. We enjoyed the street art and decorations and walked our way through the city.

First thing on the list was food! It was such a warm and beautiful day that we searched for a restaurant with a rooftop. Its not hard to find food around here as everyone is outside trying to persuade you into their restaurant and promising great deals. I couldn’t even tell you the name or the place we went to, it kind of just happened. Once our waiter came around, he mentioned a drink special of two margaritas and a shot of tequila for $7. The table was completely full of flavored margaritas from strawberry to lime to coconut and even jalapeno! Our waiter was very sweet and even cracked a cold one to have a drink with us.

Then it was time to order food, everything sounded so good that we opted to try a couple shareable items for the table and some entrees. James and I discussed sharing an entree, but decided that we were fairly hungry and each ordered a plate of tacos. The table somehow talked me into eating a deep fried jalapeno and promised it wasn’t too spicy. Well, they must have more margaritas then me because it was HOT! James of course enjoyed all of the spicy food and ate his little heart out. My aunt Veronica and her boyfriend had ordered a bowl, packed with meats and veggies. We all tried cactus for the first time, it was different and had an interesting texture but was something we will definitely try again. After we were stuffed with delicious Mexican food and a fair share of margaritas, the group decided it was time to explore some more and find some shopping.

The great thing about Tijuana is that there is a lot to do and you don’t need a taxi or a car. We walked around for a couple hours, looking into shops and picking up some small things here and there. We went into a shop looking for a shot glass (something we collect) and ended up with a bottle of tequila and some cigars. Do we drink a lot of tequila? No. Do we smoke cigars? Also no. Guess that’s the fun in Mexico, you didn’t even know what you really needed. My aunt picked up some fun rings and her boyfriend got this really awesome skull decoration. After some walking and hard work put into shopping, we decided to stop for a snack and another round of margaritas.

The restaurant that we randomly went into actually had a lot of meaning for my aunt and I. My parents, my aunt, my grandparents and I were in Tijuana around 10 years ago visiting. One of the distinct memories we share from that trip is this restaurant and it having a mechanical bull and a spinning ride (not sure how to explain it). It was oddly random and interesting that we just happened to go into this exact same place 10 years later together. Here, we enjoyed the company of each other and even did some dancing. Veronica and Vanya are so fun to hang out with and we really enjoy when we get to spend time with them. A mariachi came around and played for us, and we enjoyed the feel of the Mexican culture. After some time here we decided that it was time to make our way back to the states.

We had a great time spending the day in Tijuana, enjoying the food, drinks and culture.

Cheers to another country visited together and many more to come!

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