January 20, 2017

Take Me Down to Mexico

"Take Me Down to Mexico, Rosarito San Felipe, Baja California..."
- Rosarito, Long Beach Dub Allstars

Frank and I took a quick jaunt south of the border. We left on Sunday, we weren't sure when Frank would get out of work - Playoff Games - so I booked a night at the Quality Inn El Centro on Hotwire. We lucked out a bit and hit the road earlier than expected and no traffic was to be found. We clocked in at four hours. Our first choice for dinner was not open, but thankfully, we found Jalisco Grill just before it closed for the evening. The combo plate and chimichanga hit the spot and the frosty Tecate was refreshing. Back at the hotel, we finished binging Sneaky Pete. The hotel was worn, but clean. I am not sure why it warranted a 'Love it' from Hotwire, but it met our needs.

With a full tank (Mexico stopped subsidizing their gas prices at the first of the year), we made one stop at Starbucks before we headed for the border. Thick smog covered the sky and it didn't let up until we were well past Mexicali. The border crossing into Mexico was undergoing construction. There was no waiting about 8am and we were able to pass without saying a word or showing any documentation. The highway to San Felipe is in great condition (way better than those in California), it's easy to navigate and the views are pretty scenic. After 2.5 hours we spotted the Rockadile which marks the turn off to El Dorado Ranch.

Frank's uncle and aunt have a house and a couple solar lots in that community. They escape the Chicago winter every year in January. This trip, they invited Frank's mom to join them. They also invited us down. We were welcome to stay at their place, but we opted to rent a beach bunglalow in Victors RV via Airbnb. If I can afford beachfront, I'll choose it every time. But before we checked in, we met up with them for a brief tour. They have a lovely two bed two bath house that sits between the Sea of Cortez and the Mountains. As an added bonus, there is a rooftop deck that offers panoramic views. The community has a couple pools, clubhouse with activities, private beach access and a couple of restaurants. There is a small market and gas station nearby so the set up is very convenient. It's easy to see why they enjoy it. The house is available for rent the rest of the year.

Solar lots in El Dorado Ranch are raw land without electricity. Many park RVs on these lots. Though there are a few homes with solar and/or wind.

The pools near their place are newer. The other is in La Ventana del Mar which is closer to the beach. There are luxury condos on that side surrounding the golf course that are modern day ruins. When the real estate market in the states went bust, San Felipe was severely impacted. Houses, condos, hotels all remain unfinished. Folks had big dreams, but now only the skeletons remain. But I digress, the pool area is large with a lap pool, lounge pool and large hot tub.

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