Some times the best hikes are not the smartest hikes and
sometimes these become the best adventures.
Next Exit Gas Food Laughter is a journey of my adventures
through the trails and streams of Southern california. Some times I trail run,
some times I hike mountains and some times I just relax with a fishing pole in
my hand.
One way or another adventures always seem to happen and they
are quite constantly hilarious.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Take off that ridiculous Hat!

     Border patrol agents world wide hate me.
     I don't know what it is about me. I always approach, passport in hand, smile on my face and say " yes sir or mame" maybe it's that I'm so nice after waiting in line for three hours that makes them yell at me every damn time.
     Years ago I was traveling abroad, flying London to Munich and wearing a colorful wool winter hat. It was winter and about twenty four degrees outside and pretty damn cold!
      I didn't think about taking off my hat as we went through passport control; I had beer and german chocolates on my mind!
     My friends still laugh at me to this day that the passport control dude yelled at me
     "Take off that ridiculous hat!"
     It was the same thing leaving Mexico.
     We waited in the border check line for three hours, this was Thanksgiving weekend, and we were pretty damn exhausted by the time we could actually see San Diego behind the gates of the border.
     Everything seemed fine as we handed over our passports, than the border agent yelled at us to take our sunglasses off! Okay I never realized that you should take off your sunglasses going through border patrol. It's Southern California! I mean my sunglasses are basically part if my face!
     At least I wasn't wearing a ridiculous hat this time.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Traffic Circle Hell; Lost in Tijuana

     If you ask my dad about Mexico he will rant and race about the traffic circles of Tijuana and you do not ever want to get caught in a traffic circle in Tijuana.
     Last week I learned why.
     For the second time in my life I got lost in Tijuana, Mexico.
     The weird thing is, Tijuana really wasn't that bad!
      I mean, yes, I feel like we were in the nice area of TJ when we got lost at ten A.M. On a Sunday morning, but this could have almost been a nice neighborhood in San Diego.
      I mean besides the traffic circles.
They are just hellish.
      Especially when you are imagining all the nineties Chevy astro vans coming at you have no auto insurance.
       But we survived, and after a three hour wait at the border we eventually made it back to San Diego.
       Adios amigos!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

El Nido

     You wouldn't expect to go to the best steakhouse of your life while traveling in Baja California. I would expect fantastic margaritas, lobster and delicious fish tacos but rabbit, quail and the most amazing venison I've ever had came as a surprise.

      The incredibly nice photographer even offered to go to his house and being us back some El Diable chilis from his garden for us to smuggle back!
       We had to explain that we live in a mountain town at over six thousand feet and the chili plants would not survive the winter.
       So no illegally delicious chilis for us, on this trip anyways.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Jalapeno Skinny Margaritas

    A few rules for a vacation in Mexico...
    Don't forget to eat as many lobsters as you can at Puerto Nuevo.
    It's worth sitting in a car for five hours to pet a baby lion name Jasmine.
   When in Baja you are never to old to dance at Papas and Beer.
    A six mile run on the beach is always a good idea after a night of drinking margaritas.
    After digesting all those rules for a great Mexican adventure vacation try making these amazing Skinny Jalapeño Margaritas!
     When we met our new Rosarito friends for the first time we were drinking these amazing Jalapeño Margaritas in the hotel bar.
     This is the skinny version, as apparently they don't DO skinny margaritas in Mexico.
Jalapeño Skinny Margaritas
1 jalapeño, seeded, unless you like it super spicy
1/2 cup sparkling mineral water
1 shot Down Julio Tequila
1 tsp agave nectar

Juice of one lime
Combine all in a nutri bullet for a blended skinny jalapeño margarita!

That One Time I Played with a Lion

       They are going to throw a lion at me
I'm going to take a few pictures and we are out of there!"
        I probably have that crazy chipmunk look in my eyes again as I shout these words toward my boyfriend, jumping out of the car and speed walking towards La Bufadora.
       Now where are those damn cute lions?
       The drive to Ensenada took forever along the old highway one through the mountains of northern Baja.
       The twisting turning journey was made even slower by the constant line of slow vehicles in front of us.
       When we finally, finally made it to Ensenada the city traffic was god awful and I was so sick and tired of driving.
      But I wanted to pet a lion.
      When else in my life would I be able to pet a lion?!
When we finally, finally made it to La Bufadora ( the blowhole) the entire shopping area was kind of mesmerizing and I was a little bummed we didn't have more time to walk around and check it all out.
But we had also done a little shopping on the way to La Bufadora and I was tired of haggling and we just wanted to pet some  lions and head back to the hotel before it got to dark.
The original plan was to get back to the hotel in time to watch the sunset from our balcony over the ocean.
The drive to La Bufadora would have taken forty five minutes if the toll road had been open. Going the long way though the mountains took twice that time but it was a gorgeous drive where we learned a lot about driving in Mexico.
Like I am the only safe driver in Mexico.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Well, That's Just Mexico

     "How was Mexico?" My friends have been asking.
      It was like a video game.
      If you are not dodging stray dogs and people running stop signs than you are trying to decide if the speed limit is 40 k or 80 k or 60 k, in between trying to decide do I get ten points for not hitting a random dog, cyclist or pedestrian on the freeway.
        Plus the whole time you are panicking that you are speeding and a federale will catch you, but if you are not driving at least twenty miles over the speed limit you are holding up traffic.
       I don't know how many times on this trip I saw things that were unbelievable or just crazy and every time we just blew it off and said
      "Well that's Mexico"
      This vacation was beyond great and so different.
       Planning this trip we were kind of worried about going to a sketchy third world country and the crime but really we felt completely safe the entire time we were traveling in Baja.
      Okay, well not really on the back road mountain highways, but the rest of the time Mexico felt completely safe.
       We spent all day Saturday driving all over the back roads of Baja. The toll road was destroyed in an earth quake a while back. I had taken many road trips to Mexico when I was younger and always traveled down the toll road down south. Taking the back roads through the country side and over the mountains was a complete adventure, kind of scary at times as I seem to be the most safe driver in all of Mexico.
      Seriously, if you are not tailgating in this country than there must be something wrong with you. 
      Another thing that is weird to get used to, in Baja you can pass any one, any where, and every one does. Especially when you are a white girl not tail gating the people in front of you. Than you get passed a lot.
      We took a side trip to Puerto Nuevo on the way to Ensenada because we needed to eat some Baja style lobsters ( and I needed a break from being tail gated) 

       We found delicious lobsters as well as the biggest oysters I had ever seen in my life. After enjoying our lunch outside on a veranda over looking the Pacific Ocean we did a little Christmas shopping and haggling along the dirt boulevards. I bought a giant coconut ( seriously, it was bigger than my head!) than made my boyfriend carry it all over the streets of Puerto Nuevo as we shopped. ( this made the street merchants believe we would buy absolutely anything, I mean we bought a damn coconut! So they tried to sell us things none stop) I purchased a gorgeous blanket for my living room and a painting for my mom for Christmas and off we went, back on the road for Ensenada again.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Donkeys, Beaches and Getting Lost in Mexico for a Day

      I'm sitting by a pool over looking the ocean in Baja California on Thanksgiving weekend. The pool is deserted as is this entire massive, expansive resort.
      It just blows me away that I feel like my boyfriend and I are the only guests in this whole place.
      Everyone has been warning us to expect a four hour wait to cross the border going back to California on Sunday afternoon even though our resort gave us a fast track for the border crossing, but its so dead here, I can't imagine it could possibly take that long!
       My boyfriend was playing golf for the day at Bajamar golf resort so my plan was to go to the spa, get a sports massage and relax by the pool.
        After my massage and some sauna time I was ready to just relax and read a book and enjoy the beautiful sunny afternoon. Yes it's the day after Thanksgiving, almost December, and here in Baja it was eighty degrees, pool weather!
     The road to arriving at Bajamar was a pain in the ass. A earthquake destroyed part of the toll road that Bajamar sits on so we had to take a detour down the old highway. This was a detour that took is forty five miles out of the way and we ended up going the wrong way anyways and having to double back.
       Once we reached this golf resort we were absolutely stunned by how beautiful it was, sitting right on the ocean.
       Getting lost on vacation is never fun but on this little detour we got to discover the mountain roads of Mexico ( and the realization that their curvy mountain roads have no guard rails!) and I saw a donkey wandering on a beach.
       I mean, come on! Where else on earth would you see a donkey just chilling by himself on the beach!
       Only in Mexico