Patty was back to feeling sort of OK so we headed further south to the San Diego area on Saturday the 14th of June. We have too missions while here, visit with Marge Lawless and her soon to be husband Doug in La Jolla near San Diego and to visit Tijuana Mexico. We have known Marge since meeting her and her late husband Jim in the Yucatan 13 years ago and have stayed in touch since. And Tijuana has just been sort of a bucket list thing.
We had just 140 miles to travel to get to the Chula Vista KOA Metro RV Park in Chula Vista CA. However, the trip which should have been about 2.5 hours took us a little over 5 hours due to a motorcycle accident near San Diego. Still, this was a Saturday midday and would have never thought there would be this much traffic. The traffic reminded us of going to the beach on the Garden State Parkway (GSP) in NJ on a Saturday morning in summer. Can’t imagine the traffic on a regular work day!
|LA from I-5 heading south to San Diego|
|Pacific Coast on I 5 south of LA|
|Traffic jam on I 5 just before San Diego on a Saturday Afternoon|
We arrived at the RV Park about 4pm, got set up ate some dinner and then crashed for the day. Patty was still recovering, or so we thought, from her hospital stay the day before.
|Our site at the KOA in Chula Vista|
|Our plants love this weather|
The next morning, Sunday, we were going to Marge’s house for lunch and some socializing but Patty was not feeling good at all. Her blood sugar was through the roof again and she was having a hard time controlling it. This just wasn’t right! We now know for sure her insulin pump is not working correctly! Patty got in touch with the pump manufacturer, Medtronic, and they are sending her a new pump, it will be here tomorrow morning. This is one of the reasons we now believe she had so much trouble the past week. So we decided to just vegetate here at the RV and see what happens on Monday.
Now that we knew the pump wasn’t working she started to control her blood sugar with injections only. She doesn’t do this very often so it took a bit to get her sugar level down without going too low. She felt pretty good Monday morning before the pump arrived and even better after she got it! She felt good enough that we finally went to Marge’s house a few miles away.
|Our friends house overlooking the Pacific Ocean|
We hadn’t seen Marge in person for over 10 years but have kept in touch on Facebook. And we had not met her new guy Doug. It’s amazing how FB keeps us all together. It felt just like we had just been here a few months ago instead of years! Marge is still a great friend to hang out with and looks fantastic. Doug seems like the perfect match for her too. We had a little wine (me root beer) before we decided to head out to a local bar and grille Marge and Doug recommended. We had a great time and hope we get together again in the future and not wait over 10 years this time!
|Our friends Doug and Marge|
|A pretty good representation of us|
On Tuesday we went to Tijuana Mexico for our first time. I did some research online before we went so I had some idea where we were going and how the best way was to get across the border on foot. San Diego has a nice light rail line that takes you right to the border in fact just feet from the border. The train has a stop in Chula Vista too with a train every 10-15 minutes! The train is $5 for a day pass and $2 for the reusable card. So the train cost us $14 total for the two of us round trip. There is a parking lot near the border a little farther away and costs just $8 a day. But I read that they have had lots of trouble with break-ins there. So we decided to take the light rail and leave our truck in a nice safe free parking lot near the train and not deal with the traffic at the border.
The train station was about 15 minutes away and very easy to find and get parked, no hassles at all. I bought the tickets and just 5 minutes later the train arrived.
The train took about 15 minutes to arrive at the San Ysidro International Border station. I had downloaded a walking map on to my phone to get us across the border and to the Avenue de Revolucion, the main tourist destination. The distance was about 3.7 miles to walk from the station.
|The San Ysidro Station|
|The walkway to the Mexican passport control|
After leaving the train station, it was a little disorientating as there was construction at the border crossing so my walking map was a little off. However, we were so close that it didn’t take us long to figure it out. This is the first Mexican border crossing that we had to show our passports to get in. Once we were into Mexico the walking map sort of was useful but there was construction on the Mexican side too!
|Along the walk to the passport control area there is a prairie dog city|
|Someone fed them a couple of crackers|
After a little back and forth and trying to look like we knew what we were doing we got to the area with the Libre taxis. These are regulated so we weren’t going to get cheated or worse. We had thought we may walk in but decided that the $3 taxi ride just might be worth it, and it was! The walk would have been about 3 miles and a lot of urban uphill walking while dodging street vendors.
|This is the traffic leaving Mexico in to the US. I would not want to drive in that.|
|This the walkway toward the Avenue de Revolution. Not real inviting|
|This is the taxi you want and not the other unmarked ones|
|The arch is the landmark for the Avenue de Revolution. If you get lost you are to head toward the arch|
|We had lunch at the Hotel Nelson. It was windy and the air was a little cool coming off of the ocean. We wanted to sit outside in the sun but in the sun it was windy|
|Great food! The salsa was so damn hot I could hardly eat it, but I did!|
|We eventually went up to this balcony to have a couple beers. Note the guy waving at us trying to get us to come up for drinks.|
|The streets and sidewalks are extremely clean|
|Some art on the sidewalks|
|It looks like they are milk jugs. I didn't know that until I looked at the pictures|
|This the place we had a couple beers on the balcony. It is a nightclub. This place looks as if it is hopping at night. The border stays open until 10pm here. I wouldn't be afraid to stay in a hotel here either.|
|Having a beer and people watching|
|This is sort of funny. These are a group of Chinese tourists, part of a tour. These musicians only came to play for this group. It was probably billed as "be serenaded by local authentic musicians".|
|If you get in trouble you may end up here at the Tijuana Municipal building.|
After a few hours we were ready to return to the US. That was very easy too! We just had to look at a taxi on the street and they would turn around and park right in front of you. No hailing needed!
Now for the somewhat bad part of exiting Tijuana, the return line at the US Passport office. The line was very long; it took us over an hour to get through. We were here way before the tourist season so we just can’t imagine what it would be like then. All of the passport control booths were open too. It wasn’t like it would be faster if they opened more as they were already open! They do accept Sentri passes and that would take off most of the wait. It looks like if it would cost something like $100 for 3 years to get one. If I was traveling across this border very often it would definitely be worth it to get one.
|Long line leaving Mexico. It took less than a minute to get through Mexican Passport control and over an hour to go through the US control.|
Patty had left a bag at Marge’s house on Monday so after getting back to the truck we headed another 30 minutes to Marge’s house to retrieve it. As we were heading back into San Diego we noticed that the other side of the highway was bumper to bumper with traffic. Ah, rush hour had arrived as it was 5pm!
|This guy got on our train heading back to Chula Vista. He looked just like Patty's son Chas. He only a little looks like him here but to see him in person he really did look like him.|
|These are pictures of our bonus tour of San Diego. This cruse ship does cruises of South America.|
|View of San Diego bay|
|Down town San Diego|
|We couldn't get a better picture but this is the aircraft carrier USS Midway docked in San Diego. It is now a museum. If we are ever here again I would love to visit this.|
|There are some tall ships in the bay too!|
|Very cool San Diego Convention Center|
That was it for the San Diego and Tijuana Mexico visit. Wednesday the 18th of June we are heading toward our next stop, Yuma Arizona on I-8.