The last time I was in Los Angeles – where we celebrated my dear friend Nicole (read about the Bridal Shower!)- I went from LA to the Rancho Valencia Resort just outside of San Diego, to fly out of Tijuana (YES) and a stop for lunch in Rosarito! It was such a colorful medley of a trip. I loved it!
Instead of renting a car and driving from LA to Rancho Santa Fe, I tried the Pacific Surfliner, an Amtrak train that goes from LA to different locations throughout San Diego. This train is genius- def the way to go. It’s inexpensive and so quick and easy. There is a spectacular ocean view for most of your ride and no traffic. An ocean view and no traffic?! The best thing ever. You can buy tickets here.
TIP: When you get on the train, definitely ask which side you should sit on so you can see the ocean! You do not want to miss!!
It took me almost directly to my destination to meet my boo- the heavenly Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa. I just hopped out of the train and called an Uber, and I was there in about 20 minutes.
The Rancho Valencia Resort is uber comfortable and so super lush! You feel like you are tucked away in a pristine little neighborhood of gorgeous villas. It’s so peaceful. I loved all the stripes, floral arrangements, tropical greenery, and was definitely a sucker for the thoughtful details, like the freshly squeezed juice left at your door every morning. The gym is huge and fabulous, and the poolside cabanas super chic and the food delicious.
Side note: You can be a member to enjoy the amenities (I would LOVE that!), and one of the other guests told me that Obama had recently stayed there.
Everything was so perfect I was feeling an almost Palm Beach vibe. A super dreamy getaway!
Quick change from luxurious resort to… TIJUANA, MEXICO!! The Tijuana airport is just about an hour away from Rancho Santa Fe, so we actually planned our flight home to Mexico City to leave from there. I am clearly a fan of Mexico, but never had the desire to go to TJ. Although I don’t like to admit this, I am sure I am not alone when I say it has a bit of a seedy and dangerous stigma in my head, just based on stories I have heard over the years.
So seeing it in person would be a good thing because I would be able to judge for myself!
First things first, crossing the border. I was not excited about this at all. I pictured long lines in the hot sun waiting our turn to be interrogated toll booths with gun-happy security guards. It was quite the opposite! We breezed through the clean and modern building in air conditioned bliss. Very easy and fuss free! There was hardly even a line!
When we arrived, we hadn’t planned on seeing much of Tijuana, and just rented a car very close to the border control building. Since we had the whole day until our flight we decided to go to lunch in nearby Rosarito. After the highway in TJ, the streets began winding along the sparkling ocean- super picturesque! My boyfriend is generally the navigator, and he planned this all out for us. We arrived in Rosarito to a little haven of countless oceanfront restaurants. We chose one with the best view and ordered lobster, served with giant freshly made flour tortillas (do not be gluten free this day!!) and creamy refried beans. It was honestly one of my favorite meals ever, rustic, delicious and with such a romantic gorgeous view.
Ok, so our day was amazing, but we left at sunset and navigating Tijuana at night was not so cute. The streets were a bit…let’s just say not ideal and I didn’t feel safe. That said, we didn’t really know the area and I am sure it’s not all like that. So, go enjoy Rosarito during the day and get to your next destination before nightfall. Lobster tacos ocean front and then hopping on our flight was perfect! I snoozed with sweet dreams of my trip all the way home :).
TRAVEL TIP: If you are not familiar with an area, it’s always better to travel by daylight regardless of where you are.
I hope you enjoyed my little colorful adventure! Please comment and share, and definitely send me any questions!!
Danielle – la-Güera