So it’s that time again. February 18th! That means two things: my birthday and time to travel! And we all know how much I LOVE to travel for my birthday!
So last year I traveled to Mazatlan, Mexico with my roommate Todd, and we stayed at an all-inclusive resort. That was nice. But, of course, as soon as we returned we were hit with Covid.
So as we slowly return back to normal, I knew that my trip this year needed to be more scaled back. So I decided to take my birthday trip to Rosarito. It is easy to get to. It is actually closer to drive to than Las Vegas; it’s Mexico so it is still international; and I heard that it was beautiful – so it seemed like the perfect verdict.
So let the planning begin!
I researched AirBNB and found an awesome and affordable room just out of Tijuana and right before Rosarito in San Antonio Del Mar. It was a lovely arrangement. On the 3rd floor of this house. It faced the beach so I could watch the sunset every evening – and it was secluded. It really was amazing!
It is part of a guarded community; private beach access; and includes pool and tennis court access – and it comes with a parking spot!
Also, the host Alfredo is very kind and very, very helpful.
Check out the room here on AirBNB.
So the trip down to Baja, California was quite lovely. The weather was very nice. Getting through the border was very easy – and I had some trouble with my phone at first switching over to the Mexican phone system. Luckily I was able to call/text and Alfredo knows the area very well and was able to guide me to the apartment.
So with a nice tour of the apartment, I was ready to enjoy my birthday. The view is gorgeous from the balcony. You literally see everything for miles! Perfect place to just grab a bottle of wine and sit and relax!
He also has this adorable cat, Sofia, that lives on the second floor balcony, and likes to stop by every morning and say hi!
So now that I was all settled, it was time to explore. Alfredo had told me where the restaurants were at; within walking distance, of course. There was a pizza place; a sushi restaurant; and a brewery. Well, if you know me, brewery is the magic word.
So I followed the main road, taking in the scenery. There is a wonderful park in the community as well. I mean, this location is definitely good for families as well.
So I found the brewery; called Fluid Brewery. I walked inside and was greeted by Robyn – a sweet lady, who owned the bar with her partner Andrew. Such a lovely couple. Up until this point I was not aware that the area was filled with so many American expats. But I get it. The weather is lovely; it’s quiet; affordable!
I sat down in the bar, met the owners, grabbed a beer and just sat and enjoyed my birthday. I ordered a burger because Andrew was grilling. It was very good and paired well with my cerveza.
Eventually a few more customers came in and I was elated to share my evening with more people. [This is similar to how I celebrated my birthday in London when I stumbled upon this awesome Irish Pub up the street from my AirBNB.]
After paying my bill [in American dollars] I decided to head back to the room and watch the sunset! I was eager to enjoy my first evening on my birthday road trip.
By the way, if you stay at Alfredo’s AirBNB and you head to Fluid Brewery, tell them that Michael sent you!
The following morning I had breakfast at Cafe Conrado, which has a lovely balcony as well overlooking the ocean. So I had chilaquiles and a hot cup of coffee while enjoy the fresh sea air and watching the waves crash.
Definitely a good birthday trip so far!
So now I needed to explore the area!
I took a jaunt through the neighborhood, down the cobble stone streets! Just enjoying the houses. They are all so uniquely different – and I always love the colors they use to decorate them.
I also found the road that led to the beach. So we were nestled on a cliff, so you had to walk about 4 blocks to get to the path that lead down to the water. This was awesome. So right at the top of the batch, to the right was the pool and the tennis courts….but to the left was a beautifully vibrant bright pet park overlooking the ocean. It was so mesmerizing. It resembled an art installation – and you know i never explore a new area without my camera!
Also, one note – in some areas there are abandoned buildings. I have a strange fascination with abandoned buildings. I think it’s because they look like they have such a tragic story – and as a photographer [and story teller] I want to capture that!
So while doing my research about Rosarito, I kept seeing photos of this big Jesus statue on a hill [Christ of the Sacred Heart] so I mentioned to Alfredo that I would love to find it and take photos!
It is actually accessible from the freeway. And on a separate tour the following day, we drove up to the statue. It is very large and sits like literally on the edge of the cliff!
But the cool thing is that Alfredo mentions to me ‘have you heard of the Devil’s Castle?’ Naturally has a photographer AND a horror fan this piqued my curiosity.
The Devil’s Castle [Castillo del Diablo] is an Oceanfront Gothic Castle. It is truly a sight that one has to experience. I mean, I have no words to describe it (which is why I took photos) but knowing that it is available for photoshoots and filming makes me excited. I literally want to do a photoshoot there!
The second day ended with a nice pizza from the local pizza place and more beers and Fluid brewery and yet another fantastic sunset! I find that sunsets really help me feel balanced. Sunsets are like a beautiful handshake designed by God to say good bye to the day and hello to the evening.
My last full day in Mexico started with another lovely breakfast at Cafe Conrado and then a private tour in Rosarito.
One cool thing I have to mention is this: Alfredo has a friend, Armando, who is a taxi driver. You can hire him to pick you up at the AirBNB and drive around, especially into Rosarito, which is really about 15 minutes away. It isn’t expensive to begin with but this guy gives a discount, speaks good english, and is just a really nice guy. Plus after my tour I was able to call him back and he came and picked me up. There is something to be said about that kind of service.
So if you find yourself in Rosarito, give Armando a call and tell him you got his number from Michael. [I promised him I would help spread the word about his service.]
I took a nice stroll through Puerto Nuevo as well. This city is great for shopping. Tons of shopping. And Lobster. The city is known for the lobster, so definitely check out some of the local eateries…and of course, well, the cheap cerveza. That is the best part of vacation!
For those living in California, I really suggest a trip to Rosarito. It is so quick and easy and there is so much to do…and it’s beautiful. And everyone is so nice. Everyone thinks it is unsafe, but you know what, I never once felt unsafe at all. Of course, don’t do anything stupid – but that goes for being at home in your own neighborhood!
Now, I just need to figure out where to go for my birthday next year, knowing that we should well past the pandemic. The sky is the limit!