• Five Foods in Rosarito

    Baja Mexico, or Mexico in general is known for some excellent food. To be honest, Mexican food is one of my favorite cuisines! Needless to say, I was ready to devour everything in sight! The food in Rosarito was delightful and exactly what I thought it would be. Although you can’t go wrong with popular Mexican dishes, here are my 5 food recommendations for you when in Baja or Rosarito.

    1. Seafood
    Oysters, Stone Crab, Lobster & Beer

    Oysters, Stone Crab, Lobster & Beer

    Since Baja is right on the coast, they have access to some fresh and CHEAP seafood. I’m talking oysters, crabs and their signature Lobsters!! In the picture above, all of that along with 6 delicious Sol beers costs only $60. That is chump change compared to what it would cost in Las Vegas. My biggest mistake while in Rosarito was that I only ate at this restaurant, Vince’s, only one time. If I ever find my way back to Rosarito, I will live in this restaurant.

    2. Eat Deer not Tacos
    Beautiful restaurant and Venison Machaca

    Beautiful restaurant and Venison Machaca

    Ok, I mean you don’t have to avoid tacos…because the tacos are indeed delicious. BUT! Save room for Venison Machaca. It’s shredded deer meat slow cooked with chili and onions and it is amazing. It can actually be used to fill tortillas… so it’s basically a taco! There you go. Two birds with one stone. The best place for this treat is at El Nido. Do note, that they have a sister property just down the street called Los Pelicanos. Don’t go there. Sister properties don’t mean equals. Go to El Nido.

    3. Pineapple Beach Side Snack
    Pinas frutas

    Pinas frutas

    Rosarito Beach is swimming with beach vendors armed with a variety of snacks. I’m talking churros, corn, tamales, ice cream and chips, coconuts and the item of feature… Pinas Frutas or pineapple fruits. A hollowed out pineapple filled with mangos, cucumber, pineapples and watermelon. The added entertainment is they make it fresh in front of you! All for the low LOW cost of $8!! Can’t beat that. There is also a cocoloko which is a hollowed out coconut with cucumber but that is a more savory item since it has chili peanuts and pork. Weird right? It wasn’t for me, so I just stick to the fruits.

    4. Drink Wine

    RosaritoWine

    Just outside of Rosarito is Valle de Guadalupe. Baja’s wine country. Now, I didn’t travel out to that area but there was a wine tasting room just 10 minutes away from my hotel. I had the opportunity to taste 4 local wines for only $5!! You can get wine wasted at a tasting and definitely stay under $20 if you wanted to. The wine above is from a local wine company called L.A Cetto. It’s a sweet white and I could drink the whole bottle in one seating. If you can’t find this exact wine, just drink wine in general. It’s cheap, it’s local and it’s a nice break from beer. 😉

    5. Sweet Empanadas
    Dolce de leche Empanada Cookies

    Dolce de leche Empanada Cookies

    If you follow my blog, you will know that I am obsessed with Porto’s Dolce De Leche Kisses !! Don’t know what those are? You better click that link and find out! But that is besides the point. This sweet empanadas are just like them, except a little bit lighter. I was so stocked to find these in a local bakery. Normally, a box of cookies from Portos costs about $5 but these sweet empanadas can be bought for about $2.50. Again, another food win. These are what I decided to bring back over the border with me as a reminder of my food travels in Baja Mexico. I would go back just for these… Maybe I will!

  • What no one told me about Baja Mexico

    Rosarito1

    I’ve never spent more than about an hour or two over the Mexican border until recently. I was inspired by my proximity to it. Since I was in the San Diego area as well as the pictures I have seen on social media and this longing desire I have to go on a Mexican cruise. With all that said, I figured it would be a grand ol’ time! Which it was. My mediocre Spanish was being well received, the food scene was awesome and the people are super friendly. Also, the beach side views I had from my hotel room were beyond relaxing. At face value it was everything that I was expecting from a border town. Although, there were a few things I wish I would have known ahead of time.

    Rosarito3

    Translation: Through this door pass the most beautiful women in the world

    They take American Dollars however have plenty of change
    The nice thing about Baja is that they are very used to American’s coming through. Most places accept USD and you are better off actually using cash than debit or credit, since most places are cash only. Great tip though is to have many small bills like $5s and $1s since sometimes they are unable to make change.

    Beaches in in Baja are PACKED
    To be honest, I don’t like to go to the beach during peak times in the United States. I don’t like crowds, I enjoy being able to layout on a beach and relax or frolick as I see fit. You can’t really do that in Rosarito. There are people, horses, ATVs, food vendors and some police vehicles everywhere. It’s best to enjoy the water from your room, the pier, or early in the morning before everyone and their mother shows up.

    Stay close to the beach so you can easily walk to it in the morning or see it from your room.

    Stay close to the beach so you can easily walk to it in the morning or see it from your room.

    The police carry some big ol’ guns
    I understand that I am in a foreign country, but I guess I’m used to visiting the peace loving nations who view the USA to be too extreme with their guns. This is not Mexico. Mexico does not give a F**K about guns. Their police walk around with what look like ARs and it’s a little intimidating. Although I imagine they are just there to help…I can’t imagine why there would ever be a riot when they have those bad boys on patrol.

    Intimidation, much?

    Intimidation, much?

    You can walk right into Mexico with no problems, but getting back into the USA sucks.
    The car lines can take hours. The pedestrian lines can take hours. Neither sound overall very pleasant. However, I discovered a nice loophole! If you walk into Mexico, on your way out pay $10 to take a bus to the boarder. You only end up waiting about 1 hour in the traffic line and then hop out and form your own pedestrian line. From there is only about 30 more minutes before you are in front of customs. It still sounds like a terribly long time, but it is so superior to the potential 3 – 7 hours you could have spent waiting.

    Pedestrian walkway from San Diego

    Pedestrian walkway from San Diego

    In general, it was still an enjoyable experience and I’m glad I went. All of these little “no one told me” or “good to knows” will only make my next visit to Mexico that much more enjoyable. Hasta luego!

    Rosarito6

  • 20 Spanish Phrases When Traveling

    Spanish Speaking FlagsSadly, I do not speak another language fluently. However, I am great at memorizing key phrases. My time in Europe taught me that having a few phrases memorized will go a long way when traveling in a foreign land. My focus lately has been on Spanish since I have plans on going to Mexico in the near future! Of course, Spanish is not only found in Mexico. You can use it all over the world in places like Spain, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. That was just to name a few.

    Foreign Language meme

    So, let us get straight to the point. The 20 Phrases I believe will help you out in any Spanish speaking country are:

    1. Hola , hablas Inglés ? / Hello, do you speak English?

    This is my #1 favorite foreign phrase, because you can literally just keep asking this question until someone says yes.

    2. Mi nombre es ______ / My name is ______

    Introducing yourself is just polite and you will find that many people will ask simple questions and it’s nice to be able to answer them.

    3. Soy de _____ / I am from _______

    Let’s be honest. Your accent or lack of Spanish accent will give away that you are not a local. Let them know where you are from!

    4. Encantada de conocerte. / Nice to meet you.

    End your conversations in a friendly way. Don’t forget to smile 🙂

    foreign language meme5

    5. Hablo muy poco español / I speak very little Spanish

    It’s ok to let someone know that you don’t speak the language fluently. They will understand and hopefully be sympathetic towards your current language struggle.

    6. Habla despacio , por favor. / Speak slowly, please.

    This is a favorite of mine. Even if you understand the language, it can be difficult if someone is talking very fast. If asked in a friendly way, people are more than willing to cooperate with this simple request.

    7. No entiendo. / I do not understand.

    When all else fails, you may have to tell someone you just don’t get it. Ideally, they will be able to communicate their message in another for you, or, you both just move on with you lives to something else.

    Foregin language meme3

    8. ¿Dónde está el baño? / Where is the bathroom?

    Classic. You will need to know this, and when you need to know this, you will want to know how to say it. Just knowing how to say “Where is…” is useful all on it’s own, but the bathroom is crucial.

    9. ¿Me Puedes decir dónde está el ______? / Can you show me where ______ is?

    I like the specifics of this question (versus a simple “where is…”) because it allows you to point to a map versus just hearing the answer out loud, which can be difficult if you don’t understand too much Spanish.

    10. Quiero comida , quiero un restaurante. / I want food, I want a restaurant.

    Because who doesn’t go on vacation to eat?!

    11. Quiero una bebida. Quiero agua / café / té / cerveza. / I want a drink. I want water/coffee/tea/beer.

    And who doesn’t want to drink? You will probably need a wide assortment of these beverages when on a trip. Feel free to also learn “uno mas” which means, “one more” just in case you are REALLY thirsty. 🙂

    Foreign Language meme6

    12. El cheque por favor. / The check, please.

    Don’t forget to pay for your meals.

    13. ¿Cuánto cuesta esto ? ¿Cuál es el costo? / How much is this? What is the cost?

    Asking the price is useful for many portions of a vacation. You can use it while dining, shopping, or evening transportation.

    14. Quiero eso . Quiero esto. / I want that. I want this.

    Another useful phrase that can be used to point to items on a menu or in a store.

    15. ¿Dónde se encuentra el taxi / tren / autobús? / Where is the taxi/train/bus?

    In case your destination is a little too far to walk.

    16. Para / Stop

    I use this when asking taxis to stop in certain in locations as needed, in case something catches my attention.

    17. Necesito ayuda. / I need help.

    When all else fails, ask for help! Try not to look too panic stricken when doing so.

    Forein language meme2

    18. Estoy Perdida / I am lost.

    You can string this together with “I need help” to clarify what you need help with. (I usually get lost, so this was a MUST for me.)

    19. Lo siento , perdón / I’m sorry, excuse me.

    It’s important to be polite wherever you go. It’s amazing how much more receptive a local can be when you are kind and polite.

    20. Adiós , gracias! / Goodbye, thank you!

    It’s been a great trip, but I am going home. Adiós!

    Foreign language meme4

    Of course these aren’t necessarily the ONLY words you will need to know in Spanish, but it’s a start. If time permits, I encourage everyone to become familiar with as many words and phrases as possible. I also suggest travelers take time to listen to podcasts or Youtube videos showcasing learning other languages. Having it play in the background helps more than you probably realize. I also enjoy watching my favorite Disney movies that I know line by line in Spanish. Hope this was helpful to everyone and wish me luck in Mexico!