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    “The Beast” Next Door

    Written by: Audrey Mischa Kirk

    One of my favorite childhood movies is “The Sandlot”. An absolute classic that I thoroughly enjoy well into my late 20’s. It is a movie about young boys enjoying their childhood. They play baseball, ride bikes, and have fun creating memories. My favorite scene is when one of The Sandlot boys, Benny Rodriguez, is up to bat and hits their ONLY baseball into the backyard of a dog the boys had nicknamed “The Beast”. The boys have heard rumors about not only the terrifying ferocious dog, but also about the dogs terrifying owner. Long story short the Sandlot boys cause quite a ruckus trying to get the baseball while avoiding contact with both “The Beast” and it’s owner. After many failed attempts at salvaging the baseball they decided to face their fears head on. They knocked on the owners front door! To the boys dismay the horrifying stories about not only “The Beast” but it’s owner turned out to be just that… stories. The owner of the dog was a kind old man and the dog a lovable pup. The moral here being that many people will tell you horrifying “stories” about things they know nothing about. You are the only person who can choose to believe these stories and in turn you also have the power to fuel the fire and keep these rumors alive.

    So what does this have to do with traveling? I had let those rumors that I’ve heard scare me from going to a place I love for the last five years. I have missed the coast of Baja but remembered that a girl had once told me a story about how dangerous it was. I remember asking her if she had ever been. Her response, “No”. This past year I have pushed those rumors aside and decided to cross the U.S international border to head South to explore Mexico once again. What I found was incredible! Restaurants where I could get a large decadent lobster and margaritas with a coastline view in a small fishing village called Puerto Nuevo. It was still there, welcoming me with open arms wondering where I have been all these years. The ocean tantalizing. The beers refreshing. I didn’t have to fly to a different country and spend thousands of dollars to get my travel fix, It took us only an hour from San Diego, California to get to Baja Mexico. How fortunate we are to live so close to such a beautiful cultural mecca. It was the perfect getaway.

    Just 45 minutes away from Rosarito there are beautiful vineyards in Ensenada. Encuentro de Guadalupe in Valle Guagalupe is an adorable resort and vineyard that offers accommodations in personal glass boxed villas overlooking the mountainside. We met quite a few bachelorette parties who had gone there to bond with friends and enjoy the regions mediterranean-like climate. This location brings in crowds who enjoy wines produced in Ensenada. Other groups of Americans we met went specifically to Encuentro De Guadalupe to enjoy the restaurants farm-to-table fresh culinary arts experience. This restaurant is using the freshest ingredients. Your tastebuds literally dance with delight at every bite.

    The modern “Sonora” strip of gastro pubs, breweries, and chic restaurants in Tijuana will make your jaw drop. We took a cab to Bodega 8 Steakhouse and saw a gorgeous Bently and Tesla being valeted. The block of restaurants are aesthetically pleasing as they have a high end look to them yet at the same time they feel far from stuffy. There is a relaxed and sexy heir to their vibe. You can enjoy a decadent meal with a vibrant ambiance. After watching an Anthony Bourdain special I am thrilled to check out Mission 19 where world famous chef Javier Plascencia promises a gastronomic experience which is said to awaken your senses. I trust that this restaurant along with many others I plan to discover south of the border will not disappoint, after all, Mexico is known to have invented the Caesar Salad, one of America’s favorite salads!

    I’m not telling everyone to jump into their car and drive across the border, NOW! I am just advising you to make friends with your intuition and to try not to allow the opinions and rumors of others weigh too heavily on your heart. I would have missed out on a lot of things in life had I listened to people throughout my journey. Mexico may or may not be the place for you, but I will definitely be taking more trips. I would love to invite you to ask me questions or even come along if you desire so that we can start our own rumors about our personal experiences and how much we enjoy a little cultural escape right next door.

    Get out of your comfort zone and experience the magical things that will happen.

    Sincerely,

    The Landlocked Mermaid

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    All content and images copyright TheSisterFiles©2015 and cannot be used without expressed permission.

    Photos of Audrey by: Natalia Cruz

    Collage photos and Rosarito photos by: Audrey Kirk

    Audrey’s Swimsuit: Victoria’s Secret

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