Adventures are piling up!!!

The first month since I created Tijuana Adventure has ended and towards the end of the month work piled up unexpectedly. It started on Tuesday, September 15th with Bryan, an online co-worker from Los Angeles that I have never met previous to the adventure. Bryan, a 20-year-old decided to move to Tijuana without knowing much about it. He booked me for a tour of the city and as friends, I naturally did it for free as long as he paid for all food and drinks.

I went a bit hardcore right away and took him to Adelita Bar, which happened to be his first bar and first strip club. Cheap drinks and naked ladies everywhere, Bryan was going a bit insane and bought the first girl that sat next to him a drink. Girl? I didn’t mean girl, I meant old lady hooker. She was probably over 40, wearing nothing but fishnets and a thong, on the plus side, but still a decent body. She was perfect for a first timer as she was the nicest she could be and did not pressure the poor guy. When we were done with our drinks, I decided to change trajectories towards a completely different type of hardcore place.

We went to a shitty dive bar, with a name I cannot mention since it is a common space for drug dealing. The beer is cheaper than stores there and Bryan was again shocked by the place, one beer there and we were out. With not much going around in town and with not much money to spend, we went to my favorite dive bar, Chips. There I met with friends and introduce the new Tijuana citizen to the locals, since Bryan moved down for good.

Ulysses and Nick at Chips
Bryan, Nick and the Sirens at Chips Bar around 3 a.m.

That same week, my friend Nick from college who was working near Fresno, CA. wanted to have an adventure of his own. I offered him a place to stay for the weekend and the whole tour for free as long as he paid for all food and drinks. As we are both beeraholics, it was a weekend of almost all beer.

Nick parked in one of the most expensive parking lots near the border, and I met him there near the Burger King. We crossed the border together and he was disappointed that when you enter Mexico there’s no one to stamp your passport or anything. The first stop after walking to downtown was to the new microbrewery in Tijuana, Mamut. There we enjoyed a couple of their new brews and then head back to my place so he could drop his stuff. On his way down from Fresno, Nick stopped by Stone Brewery and got a Growler of there “Enjoy By,” we drank it before going out again. It was one of the best IPAs I’ve ever tasted in my life as we both got a good buzz from the 10% beer. We then head down to Sexta street where the local nightlife goes wild. Barhopped around and ended in my favorite dive bar again where we called it an early night at around 3 a.m.

The next day I took Nick to Kokopelli Tacos, some of the best fish tacos in the world, then walked all over Tijuana towards my favorite coffee shop. On our way back to my place we picked up a cuban cigar and head down to Mamut brewery to have a couple of their delicious beer. I walked him through Zona Norte as he was curious how it would compare to Amsterdam, but we did not enter any brothel. Near sundown we cabbed to the beach where a local house party was going down with live bands. We arrived to the party and they were just setting up, so we went down to the boardwalk and to the border wall on the beach. There, we lit up the cigar, enjoying a Cuban the closest you can to the USA, Cuban smoked made it past the border, take that ‘Murica!

We head back to the party for the crazy live punk bands as we drank and drank. Bryan somehow made it to the party by himself without getting lost, so both of I ended up hanging out with my two TJ adventure clients. The house party ended a bit after 1 a.m. and we grabbed a cab back to downtown. Back in town, the party was just starting, we bar hopped for a while and ended in Chips again. Without being able to drink much more beer, we called it an early night again at around 3 a.m. Tijuana Adventure was over…. but there was more to come.

On Sunday, I accompanied Nick to the border and super grateful for this TJ experience, he wanted to buy me a beer at Stone Brewery up in Escondido, Ca. It was my first time in like a year that I have gone further up from San Diego to have an adventure of my own. We went to Lost Abbey and Port Brewing company up in San Marcos for a couple of beers, then to Jack in the Box and finally to Stone. Nick paid for everything still and he even bought me some beer as an appreciation token for his Tijuana Adventure.

Growler filled with "Self-Righteous Ale" and a bottle of Enjoy By from Stone Brewery
My reward: Growler filled with “Self-Righteous Ale” and a bottle of Enjoy By from Stone Brewery
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About Matingas

Matthew Suarez, a.k.a. Matingas, is a writer, musician and photographer who worked in Los Angeles as paparazzo for Bauer-Griffin and National Photo Group (2007-2011). His celebrity pictures printed in newspapers and magazines all over the world. As a writer, Matthew contributes to the San Diego Reader with stories about Tijuana, the border, Baja and music reviews. He is in charge of two blogs: My Life and the Adventure Blog in TJ. He has also written for different sources and now contributes writing in Spanish to b1mas4.com. As a musician, he holds a BA degree in classical guitar under the tutelage of O. Nicholas Ratts from Saint John’s University. He has performed in weddings, upscale dining restaurants and more. He’s available for hiring. He is also part of several music projects, including his own band Donkey Chow and a sub guitarist/bassist for San Diego’s oldest big band, RockinJazzBigBand. Matingas is the creator of Tijuana Adventure, nighttime tours of TJ. He also gives private guitar lessons and gives photojournalism courses, re-telling his experiences in Los Angeles.

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