Heaven is a Place in Mexico

By: Megan Foster

I didn't think it would be that easy. It was a silly idea between my best friend and me, that mushroomed into something else. Let's take a trip. Get lost in Mexico. And we giggled like school girls as we planned on sunning ourselves on pristine beaches, sipping on pina coladas, and the occasional (not!) Bloody Mary.

Then miraculously, both our schedules at work cleared up. We had three days free to make our impromptu vacation a reality! You wouldn't believe the excitement that spilled over from us as we set out to prepare for our trip. Since we have been hearing nothing but good things about Baja California, we decided to spend our unexpected vacation at Rosarito in Baja California, Mexico.

So we took Diane's trusty Beetle, loaded it up with our stuff and took the hour-long drive to paradise. Needless to say, we were as excited as two college students out on summer vacation.

As soon as we got to Rosarito, we immediately looked around for a hotel to stay in. We drove around town for a while, then found it. It looked like a beacon in the desert. It was a couple of yards from the beach and it was bustling with life. Diane and I turned to each other and smiled. This was it - The Festival Plaza Hotel. This was the perfect place to rest after our adventures on the beach. We immediately got ourselves a room at the hotel. Fortunately, it was the off-season, so we didn't have a difficult time getting rooms. We were happy we chose this particular hotel. From the outside, we could see that it was located near commercial establishments. The bars and restaurants situated near the hotel were familiar from all the stories we've been hearing from co-workers and other friends. We made a mental note to try authentic Mexican tacos over at Rock and Roll Taco, which looked to be a fun place to hang out in. We could actually hear lively Mexican music blaring from the restaurant as we passed by with the Beetle's windows rolled down.

The ocean smell was invigorating. We couldn't wait to take a dip in the pristine waters. From our room balcony (room with an ocean view, natch), we could see the glittering seas and immaculate beaches. We immediately donned our bikinis and trooped to the beach.

The beach was a wonder. There were few people dotting the shores that fine Friday morning. We spread out our towels, slathered on some sunscreen and proceeded to bask in the perfect Mexican sun.

After about half an hour of tanning, Diane and I decided we needed a drink. So we walked to the nearest bar and ordered drinks, as we looked out on the vast seas. A little Mexican boy approached us and showed us a crude sign written on a piece of cardboard: Surfing Lessons, ask for Luisito. Diane looked at me with a twinkle in her eye, and told the boy in her faltering Spanish where to find Luisito. The boy eagerly nodded his head and ran to a small shack a few feet from the bar. He ran inside and a few seconds later, a man emerged from the shack. Thankfully, he was fluent in English. Diane arranged for us to have surfing lessons, and we jumped right into it immediately.

If there was one word that would describe those lessons, it would have to be: exhausting. I wiped out more times than I could recall, and paddling in the open seas on my surf board was extremely tiring for my arms. But I had the greatest time ever. The waves were just right. The weather was fine, and the company was perfect, since we took lessons with a group, and got introduced to a few locals and other vacationers.

After that, our surfing "class" met up to party the night away. We went from one bar to another and tried out the amazing Mexican cuisine. Needless to say, the calories we burned while learning to surf were replenished with our food and alcohol binges every night.

It was the most fun Diane and I have had in a long time. By the time we were heading back to California, we were sorry our vacation at Rosarito was going to end. But we were happy. We were glad we made this impulsive vacation happen, because those are three days in heaven worth experiencing over and over again.

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