At the first of the New Year I reved into 2018 by having my passport over nighted to me in California and spontaneously added onto a Dirty Thirty birthday bash with a few new friends.
There was much debate Wednesday night in regards to what time we were to hit the road in route to Encenada, Baja, Mexico. We wanted to take full advantage of our three days away so as dawn broke Friday morning, three cars filled with dudes & divas equipped with supplies to ensure that no one would go thirsty hit the road.
It was quite an easy two hour road trip, heading out from Dana Point, California and crossing the boarder in Tijuna. Our first stop erupted our senses with a big ol’ Mexico Welcome! As we walked in the restaurant there was fresh flowers intoxicating the air. You had to walk past the tequila bar and a woman making homemade tortillas to get a seat by the wood burning fire. As the sun warmed the ocean breeze we moved to the patio for tequila sunrises and huevos rancheros.
Immediately following breakfast, the first of multiple wave hunts began. We scoped out the best surf for the gentleman accompanied by inviting sand for the sun bathers of the group. Much to my pleasent surprise, Verizon Wireless now has Mexico in the normal unlimited plan. I was able to shop for clients with one hand and sip Henry’s Spiked Water in the other.
With any adventure there is always going to be some things the universe throws your way. Sparing you the details, allow me to share our lessons learned early on in the first day …
- Stay on the North side of Ensenada, closer to the main part of town or the harbor is best.
- Street food seems like a great idea, but proceed with caution.
- If you have food allergies. Bring snacks over the border with you.
We checked into our Air B&B which was owned by a very handsome kind gentleman (wink wink Ladies, you will love Carlos). It was right by the marina, which felt like a great location relative to the surf spots we frequented, the wineries and was still close enough for an easy uber ride into the main part of town.
The air B&B was actually a small hut type structor built inside a gated RV park. It had brilliant amenities aka hot tub and a pool. Most of the RV park residents where retired folks living a life of simplicity and joy. They had great insight to the town and were a treat to chat with. We definently felt safe at this location. For our group of 8 we rented two huts next door to each other. Each with two bedrooms and one bathroom. It was a return visit for some in our party and for the rest of us we all look forward to staying there again.
Lets pause the travel commentary for a moment and get to the goods. Unfortunately no time was available on this trip to shop, but considering I had no clue Mexico was on my itinerary when originally traveling to California, check out what I pulled together from my suitcase for the trip. It totally gave me a new perspective on how I would like to pack for travel to Mexico in January.
A denim jacket became my go to beach layer paired with my sarong. I rocked the swim suit as a crop top and just went with it. Viva La Mexico right. The denim kept me warm while on the beach, even with the sun out, it was chilly when you got out of that brisk 65 degree water. The Glossier sunscreen was being passed around, but we recommend reapplying that baby. The sarong has been my swimsuit mate since I was gifted the one I am wearing in the pic a few years back. It is due to be replaced and the one I linked below is what I am replacing it with. I love a cotton (MAJOR FABRIC KEY ALERT) sarong because it is more absorbent to use as not only a sarong, but a towel as well. This item goes where ever my swim suits take me.
I was obviously totally stressed out not having proper Mexico night time attire. Being my first time to travel with the crew I had to be mindful in the amount I brought. I could not be THAT girl that just brings it ALL just in case. The cashmere dress was my saving grace. It was warm, yet showed off my legs and during that gap period, you know the one where the temperature drops after the sun goes down yet the booze have not totally kicked in yet, well the cashmere was thin enough to layer my denim with it. I wanted to jazz the simple look up a bit by pairing a bandana and necklace combo with it. After a day on the beach, the cozieness of the cashmere was comforting, yet I still felt appropriate for the ocean side winery. Keep on reading to hear about that marvelous part of the trip.
Saturday, our second full day there, included exploring, beach time which we had to hike down to and a delicious lunch over looking the water. I rocked my swim suit as a body suit and could not have felt more prepared. Sneakers may have been a more practical choice for the hike, but the outfit needed the bootie to compliment the jacket for the time exploring and lunching. I felt good about wearing a soft denim with my body suit. Anything with too much spandex in the fabric would have created atrocious panty lines. Of course the denim had to have a bit of dramatic affect, lets be serious if you are going to commit to a swim suit and braids to hike in Mexico in, you need some fringe for those around you to enjoy.
I have this weird thing with flip flops. I am more of a slides gal myself, but not having brought any with me to California I had limited options as to what shoes I wore in Mexico. It turned into me wearing these booties with every look. The neutral olive/ gray color paired back with all of my outfits and as beautifully fun as this trip was, the beaches were not your typical white manicured sand beaches. I was happy to have sturdy protection for my tootsies. I would recommend when selecting a beach bootie to avoid suedes, go for more weather deterrent fabrics.
Now back to our adventures …..
Although a spontaneous adventure for myself, the agenda of the trip was left up to the honorary birthday boy. Which translated into mucho tiempo de surf. We found this spot that had been privately owned by an American developer for years and had just reopened to the public. There was not another sole out there and the waves were generous. It was quite a hike to the beach and it cost $10 per person, but was beyond worth it for the guys. Next time more cocktails,snacks and magazines would be appreciated by the beach loungers.
After a strenuous day of laying on the beach and surfing we went to a winery about 15 minutes from our air b&b. We were in the prime drinking season, rather than picking season on the vineyard as the trees were bear, but we had no issue with that. The cocktail open air lounge consisted of phenomenal Spotify playlists by the chef, haybarils covered in cloth as chairs and an ocean view that took your breath away. The wine was delicious and the chartrutary board equally as notable. It was challenging to snap photos, but after the lounge we were shuttled back to our car and drove to another area of the winery. There were massive Noah’s arc looking ships converted into a tiny bar on the inside. Tiny as in just big enough for our group of 8 plus 4 others. According to the Captain of our crew, the ships were not at any way possibly real, but it was fun to imagine they had time on the ocean in their prime.
Rejuvenation. That is why we want to share our travels with you. New experiences stretch your soul and when your soul is stretched you grow. Take a moment to pause. Think about how you are recharged. What fills your tank. As our to-do list increases, responsibilities deepen, how are you taking time to love the life you are living. It does not have to be strenuous on your bank account. It does not need to be complex. Simply step out of your norm with people that make you smile and go let loose. I have been blessed with many travels in my life time and I look forward to sharing more of these adventures with you along the way.
Major thank you to my friends for the collection of rad photos and doing dope photogenic things so naturally. I look forward to many more adventures to come!