The Border Crossing: San Diego to Tijuana (Before New Years Eve!)

This is a replay of our month-long trip to Mexico earlier this year (which was the inspiration for our current  plans to leave for the Pan American Highway as soon as we can).

This was the second post, originally posted around 12-31-11 on my now-retired travel blog. We had left the Bay Area and were headed from San Diego to the Border Crossing. We had, as I left you saying, intended to leave for the Border at the crack of dawn.


 We did wake up, as intended, at the crack of dawn. But, unintended, so did our kids. That kind of slowed things down, so dawn was well over by the time we had packed our Beast and taken leave of our Gracious Hosts.

 We were nervous. Crossing on the very last day of 2011, we had a potentially long wait at the border. We had absolutely no idea of how much traffic there would be. No idea of what throngs there might be, just itching to get into Tijuana. What we did know was that we had our passports, had our cash for our tourist cards,

Had a baby that was zonked out from her 4am rising. Ha, ha.



As we drove down the exceedingly broad i-5 (which we had grown to rather loathe), we grew perky. For one, we were actually about to cross the border. For two, the road looked awfully bare which boded well for slim lines. For three, we were really well rested and that always makes for a better mood, doesn’t it?

My One True Darling and I were happy dancing at this point: THERE! THERE! THAT’S MEXICO OVER THERE! And there! Lovely emptiness in place of what could be a line from HELL is actually a vision of HEAVENLY grace.

Be still, oh my border-crossing heart.

Yes! Only one car ahead of us! It was pretty smooth. Thank God we left the drugs at home –



We were in and out of it all in under 5 minutes. Drove through, and then My One True Darling and I were like, ‘HUH? What about our tourist cards and passports and all that?

And so. We had to drive back, park, get out and ask the rather stern-faced personnel. They pointed us out to a little office, Mikey stepped out and ran on over. We waited. The baby was still sleeping. Little Man had woken from his own catnap.

And waited.


It took quite a while – an endless hour, it seemed to my full bladder. FINALLY he came back and said that he needed me to go there because he was using my debit card and they needed my signature. I was delighted to comply – the bathroom was right next to that little office. We took Moxie (now awake) and went on over. Signed, sealed, ready.

Border: Crossed!

Part Two of the Day Plan: drive through to San Quintin, perhaps with a stop in Porto Nuevo, famed for its lobster. Oh, why not? Why-ever would anyone not stop in a Mexican town famous for lobster?


The lines going the other way, into San Diego:




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is a deaf blogger, global nomad, tech-junkie, cat-lover, Trekkie, Celto-Teutonic-peasant-handed mom of 3 (one with Down syndrome and one gifted 2E).
She likes her coffee black and hot.
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  • I just love the way you guys travel! (I could NEVER do that with two kids on tow) it reminds me of my parents, when my sister and I were little we went from Colombia all the way to Peru!!!! By car, not plane! CRAZY!! I have very good memories from those trips! I’m glad my parents were quite the easy travelers like you guys!

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