Monday, July 15, 2013

Let's Tijuana! Segunda Parte

This is part two of my Tijuana travel recap. Be sure to read part one here!

Buenos Dias y congratulations, you made it through your first day (and night) in lovely Tijuana, Mexico! Are you ready for more?
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First question: What time is it? If you are a light sleeper like me, it is probably 6 A.M. and some car with speakers attached to its roof, blaring an advertisement for whoever is running for governor woke you up. Or, maybe it is 6:15 A.M. and another car with roof speakers advertising a different person running for governor got you out of bed. Perhaps it is 7:05 A.M. and a truck with an entire PA system on the roof, plus ice cream truck-esque music blasting in the background has pulled up in front of your hotel and is selling water. Point is, you are up and it is early. My suggestion is to just deal with the fact you are awake and get going.

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Toilet paper in my purse. #MXlifehack
Most likely, you are not going to need to check out of your room until noon-ish. This means you will have a private toilet until 12 PM. Take full advantage of that and stick relatively close to the area your hotel is located at. The public banos in TJ aren't the greatest, and you usually have to pay to use them. No bueno.

So, let's get dressed and get some breakfast. Early morning Tijuana is very..uhh.. empty. Not a lot of places are open early in the morning. However, you have a few options for breakfast if you can't find a restaurant that is abierto para el desayuno.
Option #1: OXXO. OXXO's are the equivalent of 7-11 in Mexico. You'll find something there and there is an OXXO on every corner.
Option #2: Panaderia. You might be able to find an open bakery, but most Mexicans buy their pan de leche the night before.
Option #3: Cocos Frios (again). If you had Cocos Frios yesterday, I would advise against this.
Those are my 3 suggestions, you don't need much to tide you over. Everything will be open and in full swing by 10 AM.. and once 10 AM rolls around, you will eat tacos. 
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Tijuana Beach view from our swaggy hotel room
Alright, now you've eaten something, so what do you want to do? How about the beach? There's Tijuana Beach or you can drive 20 miles south and visit Rosarito Beach. I would do the latter, but if you aren't in the mood to go far, Tijuana Beach on the south end is where you want to go. Mexican beaches are fun. For one, you can drink on them. Second, there are beach vendors walking up and down the sand selling kites, churros, hats, offering to braid your hair--you name it. Also, the ocean water is so much clearer in Mexico, you can see the animales in the ocean, swimming around you. This is where I suggest you spend a good portion of your day doing nothing. In my opinion, that is how a vacation is meant to be spent.
After you're all beached out, you can go back downtown and shop or (if you must) get ready to make the drive back across the border. Coming into Mexico probably took you 10 minutes. Leaving is a whole other story. YOU MUST PLAN YOUR DAY AROUND LEAVING.

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There are two borders you can cross to leave Tijuana: San Ysidro or Otay Mesa. Regardless which one you choose to go through, you will have to wait in your car for at least an hour to get back into San Diego. Cue walking street vendors. If you haven't had your fill of hecho en Mexico trinkets or eaten a tostiloco yet, here is your last chance................!

And that's it! You made it. You did Tijuana and you didn't get kidnapped, mugged or beheaded like your mom told you would happen.

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