3-19-09 Thursday (Mi Amigo)

With today being our last day here, it was hard figuring out what was best to do today. Well, maybe not that hard. We toyed with the idea of going to Belmont Park, a beachfront amusement park. Nah, we can go to an amusement park anywhere. We opted to go into Tijuana, Mexico instead. Ya know, going there was debated many a time by Jim and I. I've been fairly strong about going, while he's been against it. Several people have said, to stay away because of the gang related problems. Almost every city has their bad spots. Even in Fort Myers, Florida, we had wonderful areas, and then places to avoid. Don't go to Pine Manor, MLK, or Harlem Heights. Several years down the line, Lehigh Acres started getting a bad name too. It's just about the same everywhere. In Tijuana, I'd feel safe sticking to the touristy main drags. For the most part, that's what we did.

Back in 1985, I visited El Cajon/San Diego but was only 15 years old. My Aunt Claudia took me to Tijuana. We bought some vanilla and some trinkets and then returned to the US. I vaguely remember the trip so I wasn't much of a tour guide today. We parked on the US side and walked to the border. After entering Mexico, a guy commented, "You have a nice camera". After that, I put it away. I felt lost there. We stayed in heavily populated areas and tried to figure our tourist map out. I was getting stressed, feeling as though this was all a bad idea and gonna bite me in the ass. We walked over a freeway overpass.... it was familiar to me. We walked toward some major landmark. We then walked up a major artery in search of a bathroom. Several bathrooms we passed had people at the door way charging .35-.50 cents. We only had 20's and didn't want to deal with change. We held off as long as we could. Finally we gave in and paid our $1 for 2 of us, used their nasty restroom and then sighed with relief.

I craved tacos. Well, authentic tacos. We stopped in some restaurant. They handmade the tortillas and were very grateful for our business. We both had a pork and beef taco each. Sometimes, in foreign countries, meats are "interesting". They were pretty good though and they had some awards for best this or that up on their walls.... I could translate some of it.

Some interesting observations: We saw many donkey/mule photo opportunities. Back drops and all, they wanted to photograph you next to their beast. There are a lot of pharmacies around. In Mexico, prescriptions aren't needed. The most commonly advertised drug there is Viagra. Another thing is the vendors/shop owners are very pushy. We've experienced this a lot while on cruises. "Come and look my friend" or "We have many things you want". Because it's a Thursday, there weren't many tourists around. This made the vendors especially desperate. They'd walk across the street to get our attention. Yes, even the typical "amigo" was overused.

After the Mexican experience, we were glad to be in the US BUT didn't regret the visit to Mexico.

Later in the evening, we went to Urban Mo's. We ordered guacamole and chips for an appetizer. It was great but I should have skipped it. Too much food, too much fat. Jim had a chicken sandwich and I had a Cobb Salad. The salad was awesome. I chose the Asian dressing which was a thin, watery, yet delicious dressing. It was all presented on a square plate and very elegantly arranged in a geometric balanced way. Excellent presentation. I should be a food critic...... Nevermind, that's why I need to lose weight..... Anyway, great food. By the way, Mo's is a gay bar/restaurant in the very gay Hillcrest area of San Diego. This place was packed compared to all of the other restaurants on the strip. It was filled with many gay/straight patrons. I think the food, music and attached dance floor bring all sexual preferences here. The "gay stuff" isn't all over the place. No phallic symbols (that I saw), or other naughty silhouettes around. This place was a tasteful, fun place.

Tomorrow, we're off to Palm Springs!


  1. Have a safe trip!
    And I love 'real' tacos too!

  2. Tijana...YOU GUYS ARE NUTS!!! You really like living dangerously! So glad to hear you made it back OK. The stories I hear every night on TV are about tourist killings and be-headings there of nieve tourist like you in broad daylight and busy streets. The fact that there were very little tourist there while you were there had nothing to do with the day you picked, it had to do with most realizing it is not a safe place to be!
    Whew, having said that glad to hear you made it back and get to live another day.
    But I have to say, when I started reading this blog, and knowing of all of the thousands of people that have been killed there over past year, it sure sent chills up my spine.
    And damn, if I had known you were going, I would have given you my order to pick up so fun drugs. What was the price of viagra there?(GRIN)
    Ken, San Diego

  3. Man- I would have paypaled you money for some REAL vanilla!!

    You should have taken a pic of the salad...

    And if you ever find yourself in Indiana, you'll have to eat at English Ivy's. Gay restaurant/bar that also attracts "both sides" and is known for good food and environment. :)


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