It was paradise. 

We drove through Tijuana in the dead of night, having been flagged through the border by an uninterested and languid guard. I hadn't thought much to be nervous and Tijuana gave me no reason to be, and we drove through the city surrounded by the quiet bustle of people moving where they needed to be. We were at ease and giddy by the time we made it to the main road, the highway that dots the coastline from TJ to Ensenada. We had no expectations except the hope of sunshine and good food, and while we didn't know it then, we were not to be disappointed.

 
 

I have a strong penchant for arriving places in the darkness; there's something about waking up and being somewhere without knowing what it looks like that excites me.

Arriving at the hotel we went straight for the bar, escorted under a thousand stars and tea lights hidden in the palms. In typical fashion we went straight for the margaritas ($4!) and laid out our goals for the next day. 

 
 

The morning came and we opened the French doors to the balcony and heard the waves before we could see them. It's how I wake up in my dreams; white curtains swaying with the breeze, sea air, tiled courtyards. An amused bellman took us on a golf cart tour of the expansive cliffside property and we held up our cameras like tourists and laughed in spite of ourselves. 

 
 

We left soon after and made our way down the coast to Ensenada. We had our eye on a food truck and while we waited in line I sat down to have my hair braided - when in Rome, right? We ate ourselves silly and strolled through the streets with the brightly colored buildings and I decided there that this was sure to be one of my favorite places.

 
 

The rest of the trip played out like such; leisurely strolls, delectable food, Instagram worthy views. I won't give you a play by play of the rest of the vacation, but if you're interested in more information, leave a comment below.

 
 

PLACES WE STAYED

Hotel Hacienda Bajamar

Los Rosas Hotel & Spa

Encuentro Guadalupe ****

Cuatro Cuatros

Robert's K-38 Surf Motel

PLACES WE ATE

Tacos Jr.

Finca Altozano

Troika

Corazon de Tierra

La Cocina de Dona Esthela

Muelle 3

Charly's Place

THINGS TO DO

Decantos Winery

El Mirador

Eat

Get your hair braided in Ensenada

THINGS YOU NEED

An ATM card - expect to pay cash at restaurants, especially in Valle de Guadalupe. Get pesos in Ensenada

Mexican car insurance which you must* have before you cross the border

Bottles of water