The day started with a two hour drive to the Tijuana, Mexico border. On this particular day the lines were fairly short and the crossing took only minutes verses hours. From what I have heard and somewhat witnessed, the best time to drive across the border is during the week between two and four o’clock in the afternoon Monday through Friday. If you elect to drive your vehicle into Mexico, you need to do a few things beforehand. The first is to read up on what is and is not allowed in and out of Mexico. The second is to have some kind of Mexican insurances. The laws are much different pertaining to an “at-fault” in the event of an accident. After clearing customs we proceeded south on Mexico’s Highway 1 towards the city of Playas de Rosarito. We arrived at our villa just after dark and settled in. The next morning we had a homemade breakfast and watched the waves crash against the cliffs from our kitchen table. The floor to ceiling glass windows offer a view that cannot be imagined, but only believed if you could see it firsthand. We toured parts of Rosarito and visited some of the authentic shops. After an adventurous day of mingling with the locals we decided to have a late lunch. Our host introduced us to an eatery named Susanna’s Cuisine of the California’s that offers a unique attitude in dining. The restaurant’s menu offered a twist between Mexican and Californian style cuisines. The preparation showed signs of an Italian tradition with foods that come natural to the region. The ambiance is laid back and portrays subtle frays of elegance. We finished our lunch and decided to head back to the villa for a relaxing sunset. The night’s ocean air was cool and filled with crashing waves that glistened underneath the moon’s bright rays. Sitting by the cliffs edge in a Adirondack chair sipping a premium tequila was an ending to a great day. The next morning brought lots of sunshine and a cool ocean breeze. There was the thundering sound of waves that echoed across our second story bedroom. It was a great day for a drive through the Baja Sur California’s wine country, a.k.a. the Valle de Guadalupe along Mexico’s Highway 3. This part of the Baja Sur has perfect climate and soil for growing a variety grapes. It is the off season and the vines look as if they are dead. But they are only showing their hibernating side and will again start budding in the Springtime. The countryside is currently baron of color and the wineries just finished processing their red and white colored gold that will eventually become the nectar of the gods. Our first stop was the winery of Dona Lupe. When you walk up to the courtyard there is a small building with a kitchen that shares a space with the store. The restaurant’s limited menu offers items like pizzas, sandwiches and a few Mexican appetizers. The garden style courtyard has a quaint little café setting with tables and chairs that offer a pleasant luncheon experience. While enjoying a tasteful bounty of wine and/or your afternoon eats, there is an authentic Mexican Indian ceremony being performed just steps away. When we were done touring the Dona Lupe vineyards we headed down the road to L. A. Cetto. The label Cetto is Mexico’s largest producer of fine wines. They are recognized and celebrated in 27 different markets that include France, Spain, Germany, the United States and Canada to just mention a few. The greeting area offers an outdoor wine tasting area that was under lattes, as will as an indoor serving bar along with the vineyard’s store. The wine consultants pour the samples while explaining each one of their ingredients and process. Here is where we purchased a Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Midday was starting to peak and soon started rolling into the late afternoon. We needed to find a nice place to have lunch and our host had the perfect place in mind.
Just up the road from L. A. Cetto is a winery and restaurant that also has 6 eco-friendly luxury lofts. El Encuentro Guadalupe prides itself on spectacular views of the Valle de Guadalupe during the day and perfect celestial viewing at night. This hillside property is known as an anti-resort and themes itself as a relaxing get away for the adult in mind. They do not allow kids or motorized vehicles anywhere around the spaceage looking suites. The lofts look down onto the facility that offers indoor seating in their contemporary designed restaurant or out on their patio that provides a beautiful panoramic view of the valley. The day had a slight chill in the mountainous terrain’s air, but with a light jacket it was comfortable. We ordered a bottle of blended red wine and a cheese and cracker platter that included some thin sliced local meats. The wine was filled with flavor and the selected cuisine were a perfect combination. We asked for our bill and I was pleasantly surprised to see that with food, beverage, tax and tip didn’t exceed $60 USD.
We started back through the valley and set our compass towards the villa. That evening we fixed a homemade dinner and enjoyed the wine we purchased from L. A. Cetto Winery. We then enjoyed a campfire next to the cliff’s edge and stared at the starry sky above while listening to the dark roar of the ocean below. The surreal evening was a prelude to a great nights sleep.
Sunday morning marked Super Bowl XLVIII. We hung around the villa for most of the day and relaxed before the big game started. We went to an expat’s cantina named Paradise Cove just about ten minutes down the road. We watched the Seattle Seahawks defeat Payton Manning and the Denver Broncos. After getting to know some of the patrons, we went home and called it and early evening, because Monday was our scheduled day of departure.
Monday morning’s rays of sunshine brighten our day’s beginning. We fixed breakfast and sat under the palm trees and enjoyed our last day looking out over the beautiful blue water of the Pacific ocean. It finally came time to say our final goodbyes to the gorgeous villa and make our way back to the US border. It was a very relaxing four days and hopefully we will have the opportunity to return.
We made our way to the border but not before we pasted underneath the seventy-five foot statue of Christ of the Sacred Heart. It gives its blessing to the communities below as they look up at its open arms. We stood in line at the border crossing waiting for the US customs to approve our visas. Once we were stateside, we headed back to our familiar comforts of home.