Three Miles to Mexico

pyramid of rice in Nile flood

I love vacations, birthdays, and imaginary deadly diseases. Birthdays are great but they only happen once a year – for some people. I associate birthdays with gifts and the present so any day that I have laughed until I cried or tried something new or taken a great photo is a birthday to me. Vacations are just as great. Any night not spent at home is usually a vacation, unless it’s prison, than I’d rather stay at home. I added the last one to the list for most people most of the time, but I know that time will come for me one day when I can blow my whole retirement, not going to be much, on a crazy trip to (insert anywhere here) and engage in some death-defying stunt because at that point I won’t have any excuses not to: rent, religion, bills. Good thing I don’t plan on a casket anyways!

Far from my birthday and no diseases yet, unless you count travelitis, this trip was another vacation. Even cooler was that it felt like I was having multiple vacations back-to-back. I went on a coast-to-coast vacation with Sparky, then we stopped for a week-long vacation with my Dad, and now another five-day vacation with Caleb. After this it will be another month of vacation as we make our way back to the Atlantic coast. This week would be spent mostly in the sand and near dining establishments between San Diego and Imperial Beach.

plastic pedestrian

Caleb had a friend that was familiar with the area and recommended we visit Old Town, San Diego and visit Cafe Coyote when we get hungry. We would know it was the right place if there were Mexican Tortilla Ladies out front making tortillas by hand. We showed up hungry, as did the birds, determined to eat. We ordered plates of burritos, fajitas, enchiladas, and ordered some more chips and salsa while we waited. The waitress watching my water get low offered to bring me a more refreshing drink – I accepted.

Oops, there must be some mistake. That doesn’t look like lemonade, but perhaps the waitress is bringing me a fish-bowl special – I’m vegetarian. Turns out, the waitress thought I was thirsty so she brought me the largest margarita available. So much for being hungry. We packed the rest of my food to go while I sat and attempted to finish at least half of this icy beverage. Thankfully Caleb was thirsty too or that would’ve been the end of our day. After hours more of walking, I needed a bathroom and we just so happened to pass by Clayton’s Coffee shop with pies, floats, and 80s music.

I ordered a slice of each pie from the menu while I ogled their register that had been around since the 60’s. More walking before calling it a night. I would have pie for breakfast and we were back out exploring. I wanted to go to Mexico but we don’t have passports – yet and Caleb would have to fill out a lot of paperwork when we get the chance. Three miles from the border was close enough to see the traffic and still have time to turn around and see the Welcome to California sign. Then we saw another sign more local to the area.

CAUTION - Running Families

Some people can’t believe I pulled over to take this picture; I can’t believe this sign actually exists. I thought it was used in a comedy once, but this sign can be seen going north from Mexico on I-5. Finding signs like this gives me insight into the unique situations that people of different areas find more common in their daily routine. We missed the chance to get any active pedestrians to go with the sign but it made for safer driving to the Gaslamp Quarter where soon I would be hungry again.

This time we stopped at La Fiesta and I had fried cheesecake with strawberries and whipped cream. Sparky was with us and the serving crew said he was fine outside as long as he sat on the other side of the fence for health-code reasons. That would’ve been fine if he couldn’t fit through the fence and he was scared of the visitors that he seemed to draw near. California never seems short of entertainment with street performers, live bands, and humorous homeless.

Another day in the city would bring more lights – day and night, music – cafes and boomboxes, art – museums and street corners, entertainment – people watching and window wishing, nature – green stuff, and food – lots of it. It’s great when I can visit somewhere and be immersed in culture and a medley of decades but I also enjoy being somewhere consumed completely with the time period or regional distinctions.

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