|Recent pic of the bull fighting ring, it's still there!|
As a child in the early 80's, I remember traveling with my family across the border from El Paso, Texas to Cuidad Juarez, Mexico. We just drove in, no questions asked; no passports or government ID cards were needed to enter and return. It was a hot dry dusty August day. I remember driving down the main thoroughfare with no real destination in mind. It was just the thrilling idea back then of going into Mexico. I remember looking out the dirty, dust covered windows of our sky blue Pontiac Phoenix and seeing a bull fighting stadium in the distance.
Well Adam, John and I were going in and out of shops with Dad trailing behind us. I then looked turned around to show him some art work and he wasn't behind me. I ran out onto the street and he wasn't waiting on the sidewalk! I was seized with fear and ran back in the store to get Adam and John.
|Restaurante Iguana Rana|
John was a little freaked, grabbed our purchases, and we ran out the door to look for Dad.
Mr. Cool, Calm, and Collective (Big Brother Adam) was nonplussed by it all as we ran by him.
"Dad is fine," he said, "he is probably just talking to people again."
We checked the store next door, nothing. We checked the store after that and the store after that. NOTHING! No Dad! There we were, Adam, John, and I, heads spinning looking up and down the main drag in TJ. Finally, we spied Dad across the street in front of a shop, haggling with the owner over a soccer shirt for Westleigh. Adam sighed heavily, rolled his eyes, and muttered "DAD" really loudly.
We crossed the street and there was Dad, proud of his purchase for Westleigh and eager to show it to us, but not before the three of us admonished him for freaking us out! Dad brushed it off, exclaiming "But I got such a great deal Man!" I was just happy we found him quickly. Lunch was at Restaurante Iguana Rana with an old school bus hanging off the second floor balcony. Don't ask me how they got it up there. LOL. The beer and tacos were great.
One last memory of Mexico involved Adam, his wife Teresa, Sheryl, and I. We drove down the Baja coast from Tijuana down to the colorful small fishing port of Puerto Neuvo, the self described "Lobster capital of Baja". We drove past abandoned buildings and houses, followed by wealthy homes and colorful condos. What was finished was beautiful, vibrant, and gorgeous in color and style. What wasn't finished were just shells in various stages of completion. When the money stopped coming in, so did construction, and rather abruptly so it seemed.
Once at Puerto Nuevo, we had a delightful open air lunch at the Lobster House on a balcony overlooking the Pacific Ocean, toasting each other over Coronas and margaritas. But the best part, besides family, was the fried lobster lunch I devoured, Puerto Nuevo style! It was a first and was SO good! Afterwards we shopped at the colorful arts and crafts stores which dotted the town.
My memories of Mexico will keep me coming back there. I know there are problems, I am fully aware of the possible violence and the poverty. But if you travel with friends, keep an eye on each other, and don't become a drunken idiot American, you can have a wonderful afternoon or trip.
Bull fighting stadium pic courtesy of the blog: http://mannypsjournal.blogspot.com/2012/09/a-bullfight-in-juarez-mexico.html
Restaurante Iguana Rana, Tiguana: http://www.dsfrazee.net/2003/2003.11.18.san.diego.html
Lobster House, Peurto Nuevo: http://www.tripadvisor.com.mx/LocationPhotos-g580456-w3-Puerto_Nuevo_Baja_California.html