There are several border crossings throughout Arizona and California that go into Mexico, we chose to go through Tecate. The drive through Baja California was very mountainous and vineyards were every few miles. It took about 3 1/2 hours to get to Ensenada from where we stayed the night before. We passed through a few towns, one storefront we passed we actually saw a horse throw a man off of it! When we got to our hotel we were a bit hungry so we had a snack at the hotel’s restaurant then explored the waterfront, it was my first time seeing the Pacific Ocean! We spent the night in Ensenada’s downtown area browsing shops and finally went out for dinner at the end of our night.
Ensenada is a giant port for Baja California, so getting on a boat is pretty easy. We found out that grey whales migrate from Alaska down to Mexico for winter and we were right on the cusp of them leaving the area, we were lucky enough to snag a spot on a boat to go out and see a few whales and a ton of dolphins near an island. Both of us felt extremely sea sick on the small boat but it was a great experience. After our boat ride we had tacos at Sabina Restaurante, that was featured on Anthony Bourdain’s show, No Reservations. Afterwards we went to Hussong’s Cantina, supposedly it’s the oldest bar in Baja California and they may have created the first margaritas; but who knows? Regardless, we enjoyed our margaritas that were only 45 pesos each! After exploring a bit more we headed up to Rosarito which was very different from Ensenada. I guess a bunch of students were visiting for spring break so it was a non-stop party for them! Luckily we were able to get up early enough to lay on the beach in silence. After noon a ton of vendors make their way out on the beach to sell things like churros, coconuts and ice cream; we totally caved on the sweets eventually then left to browse more shops before we left for San Diego, CA.
We spent a ton of time waiting in line at the border crossing to get back into the states. Three hours on a Saturday night. We figured it might be because of our new administration… maybe they were doing more throrough checks, but we got to the kiosk and they asked us 3 questions and sent us on our way… We got into my friend’s place near San Diego pretty late so we weren’t able to check out the area til the next morning. We had one day in San Diego and made sure to visit La Jolla Cove before we left. We caught the sunset and were able to see a bunch of seals and sea lions pretty up close! After the sunset we stopped at In N Out Burger so I could experience it, then headed up to Los Angeles where Elliot’s cousin was expecting us.
The next day we slept in then went out for a drive chauffeured by his cousin to check out the main roads from Beverly Hills through Hollywood. We visited the Museum of Death, which we spent a lot more time inside than I thought we would’ve considering the size! The museum had a lot of cool content but a lot of gruesome content as well, so pictures were not allowed. After we continued our walk down Hollywood Blvd then headed back to the house so we could meet up and go to a free show at The Satellite. The next morning we beat LA’s traffic on the way to Venice Beach and the Santa Monica Pier. Neither place disappointed, and it was everything I expected after playing Grand Theft Auto V. Before we left that night we drove up to Griffith Observatory to see the city at sunset, but that traffic caught us and we ended up missing it but the view of the city lit up at night was amazing! We skipped the planetarium, but we walked through the museum for a bit before we headed up to San Luis Obispo to see a friend of Elliot’s.
Our day in San Luis Obispo went well, we hiked up Bishop’s Peak right near the house and got a great view of the city surrounding us. We worked up a bit of hunger after the hike, so we headed back to the house before checking out Pirate’s Cove that was also nearby. Half of the area is a nude beach, we actually skipped that part and climbed down a rope attached to a rock wall (sorry mom!) that leads down to this super cool cave area that pirates used to pull their ships into. Climbing down wasn’t easy, I was completely terrified I was going to fall into the ocean but the sight was perfect and I can say that I’ve successfully climbed down a rock wall.
That night we were trying to plan where we were going to route ourselves to for our next destination but the weather just wasn’t winning us over in any direction. We decided it was best to decide the next morning where we should go based on how cold it was and how much snow the other areas were supposed to be getting, but I’m going to save all that for another blog post!