Eric and I decided to take advantage of the long weekend last week and take a trip down the Baja Penninsula of Mexico. We left Reese with my sister and parents because we were concerned that it wouldn't necessarily be safe for her, nor did we know that we'd be able to find food that she would eat and that wouldn't make her sick. I was SO sad to leave her, I'm VERY attached, but it was a very good idea and allowed us to have a trip without children, which I'm guessing won't be happening for quite sometime again. Plus, Reese had a blast! Daniel, Eric's brother who lives with us, came with us and it was such a fun trip.
We left Wednesday around 3 pm and drove to Vegas. We stayed at Eric's sister Kristen's house and then left from her house early on Thursday morning. We started Hunger Games on our way to Vegas and almost finished it, so we had to make a stop at Wal-mart in Paris, CA to get the 2nd and 3rd books to read on the rest of the trip. I love reading books on roadtrips, it seems to be my only chance to get into a book. I was thinking in Hunger Games language and mindset like the whole trip, it was weird.
We spent a little time in Ensenada, where I got some replacement sandals because the soles in my rainbows finally wore through. We walked through the city and got some delicious tacos and tortas.
We drove to La Bufadora, which is a place where the seawater explodes out of a blowhole in the rocks, but sadly never saw what we went there for, it must only happen when the tide is higher up or something. We did however drive through a street market that was very touristy, but we were the ONLY tourists there so we decided not to stop so we wouldn't be bombarded with people trying to get us to buy their stuff. We did however take a picture from above the market though.
Our destination for Thursday was Erendira, a beach west of San Vicente. We showed up in the evening, talked to some people from CA, who were there to teach a surfing class over the weekend, and then found the owner of the beach, paid him a small amount of money, and he loaded our car up with firewood. I'm so glad Eric speaks Spanish, I really just wouldn't do a trip like that without someone who spoke good Spanish. The owner was this cute old man who didn't care that we pay him anything to stay there, quite the opposite of what I thought we'd encounter.
That night we had a campfire and I got really sick from the lunch we had eaten in Ensenada. Luckily it was quick passing, at one point I thought my water broke, it was that great :) I was nervous I was going to be sick the rest of the time but after an hour or so, I was good as new.
In the morning the guys decided to go out boogie boarding. I decided against it since my belly is rather large. I did however join them to snorkel. The water was FREEZING. At first I was wearing my dad's shorty wetsuit because of my inability to fit into my normal wetsuit. It wasn't cutting it though because the legs, arms, and neck were loose so I had a constant current of ice cold water flowing through. I ended up squeezing into Eric's full body wetsuit with a hood and booties, and then was able to enjoy being out in the water. This was such a different experience for me. I've never snorkeled where the water is murky, there are rather large waves, and it's freezing. Eric and Dan on the other hand are born snorkelers, surfers, etc. They grew up on an island and spent LOTS of time in the ocean exploring. I was nervous, thinking about the hammerheads my sister-in-law had mentioned come around in the fall, so Eric held my hand and then I wasn't so freaked out. I'm a wuss, I know.
Here are my cool little mexican sandals.
And here is our picturesque campsite. There was no one in sight, but sadly I didn't take a pic of the campsite until the fog started to set in.
After snorkeling on Friday we took off to Guerrero Negro, which is quite a long ways away from San Vicente. Especially with all the winding roads and the road work which deverts you onto dirt roads that no 2 wheel drive could make it on. We stopped at the Mercado to get some juice, water, and snacks, and then went to a restaurant where we had delicious food. They started us off with a vegetable soup, then brought out our dinners. Eric had yellowfin, I had chicken tacos, and Dan had fish burritos. I prayed and prayed I wouldn't get sick this time around and thankfully didn't :) We got a hotel for the night and were happy to get showered up, even if there was a little hole in the bathroom ceiling above the shower that made me nervous we were being spyed on.
Did you know that there are frequent military stops on the highways, where you have to stop, the military men have you get out of your car and they check everything for weapons, drugs, and explosives? I was nervous for this, but it ended up being not scary at all. They are more than professional, and totally nice.
On Saturday morning we drove to our final destination: Bahia Concepcion. It didn't let us down. It was beyond beautiful! We drove to some of the different beaches to see where we wanted to stay the most. We decided on Playa El Burro. I would recommend this place if you're headed down that direction. Look how gorgeous!
The campsites are these awesome little palapas with palm roofs. The weather here was SO warm. It was 95-ish and humid, of course. First thing we did was get changed into our swimsuits, gear up with snorkels, masks, and fins and head out into the water. The water was maybe 2 or 3 degrees cooler than the air outside, it was surreal! We headed out into the water, which is completely beautiful and clear and snorkeled for 3 1/2 hours. We saw all kinds of cool tropical fish. We saw rays, starfish, Dori from finding Nemo, tons of different kinds of colorful fish, and many other kinds of cool sea life. Like I previously said, I haven't spent much time in an ocean and this totally blew me away. There were no waves, the water was warm and clear, and there were all kinds of cool things to see, who wouldn't be impressed?
After the above mentioned 3 1/2 hours of snorkeling we decided we were hungry. There is a restaurant at the beach called Bertha's Restaurant. A totally chef-looking, hospitable woman, Bertha, runs it. She cooks, waits, hosts, and cleans up after you. We LOVED her! She even brought a fan over to our table when she saw I was pregnant. She made us the BEST fish and shrimp tacos EVER! We had to get a second round after we were already stuffed because who knows when the next time we eat there will be.
After eating we went back out and snorkled for a couple more hours and collected shells for Reese. Tell you what, that is a lot of fun, especially when there are exotic looking shells.
The plan was to stay overnight, but Bertha told us that it would be just as hot at night so I probably wouldn't be able to sleep very well. We decided to get changed and just start driving, since we had a long drive ahead of us to get back home. We stopped at the Mercado in Guerrero Negro once again to get some more juice and snacks and then we cooked some Johnsonville Brats out in the parking lot. One night we thought it might be fun to buy stuff at the market and make our own dinner. But then I saw the meat section of the grocery store. EW! Totally bloody, warm, and flies all over. We brought the brats along with us from the USA, no worries :)
Eric drove through the night, I stayed awake with him, while Daniel slept maybe 18 hours straight :) We got through the 2nd book "Catching Fire" and part way through the 3rd, "Mockingjay". We took a couple of breaks to sleep for an hour or two. I was grateful for the military checkpoints, because it gave us a chance to get out of the car, walk around, and get a little joking in with the military men. One of them even asked me, in Spanish, if we were carrying any "armas" or in english, guns. I picked up on what he was saying and joked that we didn't have any except my muscles. He told me to flex again and then he felt my muscles. Yep, I felt cool, because I joked with someone who didn't speak the same language as me ;) But like I said earlier, these military checkpoints weren't scary at all.
On our way back to the border we stopped at a town that had a huge swap meet going on. It seriously was HUGE. We walked through it for about an hour. I was hoping to find something for Reese, but it was filled with people's old clothes and then Aeropostale, American Eagle, etc brand clothing. It was fun to walk through though and see what everyone was trying to get rid of.
We decided to take the scenic route from Ensenada to Tijuana. It is the no toll road, and way prettier than the one you have to pay to drive on. We had some mangos in the cooler we had picked up at one of the fruit stands and took a break to eat them before we got to the border.
We stopped in Vegas Sunday evening, hoping to stay at Kristen and Bryan's house again, but they were still gone on vacation and their house was all locked up. So we drove to St. George and stayed at this hotel called the Sands Hotel that we've for some reason always wanted to stay at. We got dominos and just relaxed for the evening, we knew we wouldn't make it to Provo so sleep deprived.
Monday morning we had a hard time pulling ourselves out of bed but were excited to get the driving over with. We stopped at Meadow hotsprings on the way home and snorkled. Not at all close to as cool as what we were doing 1 1/2 days prior. We got back to Provo in the early afternoon on Monday. I was SO excited to see Reese. She was out with my parents shopping when we got to their house, so I anxiously waited until they got home. When they drove up the driveway I ran out to my dad's truck and opened the door next to her carseat. She just stared at me with a huge smile and big eyes. I was so glad to see she hadn't forgotten me and was excited to see me. She even wanted me to just hold her for a few minutes before she was off to dig in the dirt in my parents' backyard.