Random Quote:

Me: "Can I have some of that pasta?"
Commons server: "That's not pasta!!"

 

SoCal Vacation: Part 3 
Time for another update to finally finish my California blog!

To wrap up out time in the San Diego area, we headed down to Tijuana, Mexico to do some exploring south of the border.
As was my trip to Mexicali, crossing the border to Mexico was incredibly easy. This time, we decided to park on the USA side and walk across the border.

When the landscaping ends, you know you're close to the border!


Getting across the border was a matter of navigating through the turnstile gates. There is a customs office but it was closed (and probably abandoned):


The border line!


At least they are colorful:


Close to the border, we found a pretty neat square with cheap Corona and tons of drug stores. It wasn't too crowded yet since it was so early.


The Tijuana River...or what's left of it:


Me in front of the Tijuana Arch:


We walked down a major street with tons of aggressive salesmen, usually all selling the same products -- stupid gifts and fake guitars. They all come over to you and try to get you to come into your stores, and will barter like crazy. "Special deal just for you! 100% off!". So I'm thinking, "so it's free??"
Either way, I did a little bartering of my own and got a cool Corona hat for $5.


We were getting a little hungry, so we were pulled in by a Mexican who flagged us down from across the street with a menu. We were looking for some authentic Mexican food and definitely found the right place. Actually, it was a sketchy bar by night, and an empty area with a few tables on a patio by day. We all ordered Pacifico beers, and my sister got a margarita which came with a free shot. I didn't let that shot go to waste.

Anyway, if you can't imagine the sketchiness of this place, this sign should help:


It reads "If someone tells you we are closed, the truth is we are still open." Good thinking...maybe they should put it OUTSIDE their restaurant.

After eating we decided to try a little more haggling. An Eagles poncho caught my dad's eye, and we managed to haggle the price from $50 down to $20. Made for a great souvenir!


This guy was walking around the street. Some sort of Mexican cartoon figure:


Los Quatros Fantasicos!


A little bit of native street dancing, and some more street salesmen:


We worked our way back through a few stores then back to the US border. Getting back into the US was definitely a hassle -- and this was early afternoon. There were 2 lines, one shorter one for US citizens, and another (very long line) for the Mexicans. Getting back was a matter of speaking with customs officers and making sure we weren't smuggling anything over the border under my dad's new poncho.

For the rest of the trip, we drove up the coastline, driving over the San Diego bay bridge and driving north to our final destination of Newport Beach.


My family stayed in Newport for 3 days at a timeshare Mariott (the only catch was they had to sit through a lecture on the timeshare opportunity, and they almost bought into it).

The Mariott had a beautiful view, with huge pools, hot tubs, a life-size chess set behind the clubhouse, and the ocean in the distant background:


I went golfing with my dad at Oak Creek Golf Club in Irvine. Nice course, and both of us played decently well from what I remember.

We ended our trip with a view of the Newport Beach sunset. Just beautiful!


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