Double Date Tour Success – I Should Have Brought My Camera

I’m still continuing to give tours, I’m just not really calling them tours. The tours I give are usually much different than the rest of the other tour guides. I tend to befriend everyone that goes on my tours and it just doesn’t feel like I’m a tour guide. That’s why I say I’m not doing them anymore. I don’t know what to call them…

I had a blast yesterday in a sort-of double date tour.

I have done this before. A couple wants to tour around Tijuana and wants someone to show them where to go. The problem is that just as one tour guide is that I don’t want to be third-wheeling. It would be really awkward. So whenever I am presented with this circumstance, I invite a lady friend with all expenses covered to go out. This time, I asked a friend, who I just found out that she is my neighbor, to join us in this Tijuana Adventure.

We met Ryan and his wife Meara right under the arch on 1st street. Ryan and Meara have been married for 8 years (or was it 18?) have been together since their college years. Ryan from Minnesota, Meara from Oregon, they have lived all over the USA and have traveled quite a bit from all the stories they told me. And since they are keen of traveling, they have been to Tijuana more than just a few times sans my help (they even have Global Entry).

My friend/date, works retail up in Hillcrest, so she is used to crossing everyday and living the border lifestyle. However, she had never been to some of the places I took the tour on.  And what fancy feast did we have (not the cat food).

Since Ryan and Meara have been to Tijuana a few times, they already knew my favorite breweries, so they wanted to see much more than craft beer besides Plaza Fiesta and Norte. This made me venture into new territory as well, keeping the name of this website to a real ADVENTURE.

First stop was Nelson bar, a Tijuana classic and one of the oldest bars in the city (also, the first building to have a working elevator). They wanted to see what cocktails Tijuana offers so this was a must stop. Nelson’s is known for having Especial, a simple drink that consists of light and dark rum, splash of sprite and coke (on a highball glass with salted rim).

We hit up La Justina next for a bite to eat and more cocktails. I always get the Snake Oil here, which is bourbon, fernet, coke and two roasted marshmallows (in your hipster mason jar glass). We sampled some of the menu including tacos de lengua, there steam buns (which are amazing), oysters, and a tostada served on a bean sauce.

After a short walk, I showed them Bresca (that resembles North Park to my taste), and Colectivo 9. But we were looking for cocktails, so we went to El Tinieblo, the bar behind la Cevicheria Nais. The Mezcalitas here are amazing (margaritas but made with mezcal). I know they have other drinks that are great, but they haven’t upgraded their menu and I always forget to ask for the ones that are not in there.

We then took the long walk to Teléfonica Gastro Truck Park. No cocktails here, but we enjoyed a few craft beers and Ryan and Meara split a hot dog from Humo. After that, we enjoyed another long walk through the maze of La Cacho towards CazaClub, a restaurant that I knew about, but had never been inside (I used to live across the street from there). Cocktails here were good, but way too sweet. I got the “Homenaje” (Homage) which was bourbon with basel and tobacco leaves and honey. I expected a smokey taste, all I got was sweetness. The other drink I tried was the Coco-rosa, a pink frosty drink that tasted like a piña colada/Brandy Alexander but without the grated nutmeg (and if I’m going to have a girly drink, put some nutmeg please, I love that touch on girly drinks).

We did heavy walking through the eve, because after that, we walked to Plaza Fiesta. I took them to the newest craft beer tap room, El Sauzal. They had some DJ playing good dancy music but too loud for us to enjoy a conversation. Here I tried their Bob Barley beer, but I was also already pretty drunk, details are fuzzy, all I can say is that it was good.

We stopped by the other new tap room from Rosarito, Los Reyes Brew. Both Ryan and myself opted for their double IPA while the girls chose water. I had a glass of water as well and… well… it was really nice good cucumber water. About the double IPA… it didn’t taste like an IPA. It was too syrupy and had no hoppiness to it. If an IPA is not hoppy, I’m not happy (especially a double). Still fairly drinkable.

And for the last stop… Paralelo 28. I had Silenus’ Xanthos IPA and like I mentioned on the beer guide, it is one of my favorite beers in Tijuana. We parted ways after that, taking an Uber home and Ryan and Meara to the border.

When I got home, my neighbor had a party going. I stopped by for one drink (some random wine in a plastic cup cuz my neighbor got mad after grabbing a glass). The party went until 5:30 a.m. I didn’t. Wine kills me and it did it’s job fine. I went to bed and did not hear the roaring party.

FOR THIS WHOLE ADVENTURE, I didn’t have my camera. I thought about carrying it everywhere, but for some reason, I opted against it. Not going to happen anymore, next time I’ll bring my camera with me so this is not just a wall of text.

The only picture I have is of this morning. The small community patio of the apartment building woke up like this. I can only imagine what my neighbor’s apartment looks like (apparently it got vandalized… )

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My cousin says I should be a new form of Anthony Bourdain. And that’s kinda what I’m going for. I don’t know how much Anthony Bourdain would charge to join him in an adventure, but I would like to think it’s nothing. I am still going to give tours, but tours are reserved for awesome people that don’t cancel on  me.

I have also invited other writers to share their Tijuana Adventures to give this blog diversity and include everything that what Tijuana can be. Another friend is also designing a logo, so far he only provided this:

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It’s better than what I have done, but I think it can still be way better.

Let’s see how this goes!

Thanks for reading and let me know if you like the new Tijuana Adventure.

Matingas

Changes Are Coming – Tijuana Adventure Is Not About Tours No More

So….

I haven’t posted in this blog in ages. I have been posting on my regular blog of Matingas.com every Monday of every week. The idea now is that I will post in Tijuana Adventure every Tuesday of every week and also maybe make a weekly podcast. What am I going to post about? Well… about my Tijuana Adventures! I have invited other friends/writers to do the same.

I also created a couple logos yesterday. I am not a designer or a webmaster, so bare with me as changes to the page are made slowly.
Option 1:
new logoOption 2:new logo?

^or something similar. I might talk to friends to make an actual new logo.

Now tours…

I’ve been doing a lot of tours and I am a bit tired of them. Not because I do not enjoy them, but because my inability to run a business. I never like to charge my clients, because most of them turn to friends a short time into the tour. I always feel like I am robbing them, even though I know I am providing a service. It happened the same way when I was teaching guitar, I had a few students, and I always felt weird charging them since I had fun teaching. They always paid me extra (even gave me gifts), but felt so strange to make money from something I enjoy.

I am also very bad at organizing events and trying to make a large group happen. I always knew I didn’t want to do large tours anyway, I hate being a shepherd of drunks. I rather know everyone personally and give more than just follow me to random places. Also, I hate cancellations. They ruin my plan for the day. If I am not doing tours in Tijuana, I am working on freelance writing mostly for the San Diego Reader.

For that reason, tours are going to be sidelined. The intention of this page is to act like a guide for those that do not know Tijuana. Not only for foreigners, but for locals. New places open every week and there is almost no one covering them (especially for beer). I know there aren’t many outlets out there for me to write about beer, so I decided to make this blog active and for the tours to be secondary.

I will still be giving tours, I’ll just be way more picky. New rule as well, $100 gets you my attention for 6+ hours, everything else is extra. I will try to get this as a paypal or other sort of payment, to make sure cancellations don’t become the norm.

This summer the webpage and myself will be doing a lot of changes.

Expect this page to become more active as a blog. Sharing information of new breweries, restaurants, concerts, culture, border life and more!

—Matingas

Next Tour Event – Mezcal and Tacos – December 26th

The last Saturday of every month I will be organizing public tours open to everyone. Saturday, December 26th, the day after Christmas, it’s time for an all inclusive Posada Adventure!

For $60 you get 4 tacos, 4 mezcales in 4 different locations and more!
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Tour starts at 3:00 pm at the meeting spot/border pickup. From there to Kokopelli for tacos and mezcal. Mamut is next for mezcal and optional beers. Cevicheria Naiz for more tacos and mezcal and finish off at popular bar La Mezcalera for more mezcal and crickets!
All included, only $60!

You can’t make it that Saturday? Book me for a private tour! Or wait until the last Saturday of every month for a different event!

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One of The Best TJ Adventures So Far

This is an excerpt from my other blog, Matingas.com where you can read more about not only as a tour guide, but my present life as a writer/journalist and my past life as a paparazzo.

“Not only did I have success on the writing world, but after a few weeks of email planning, I had one of the most amazing Tijuana Adventure ever. Compared to June, where many tours were planned but all ended up being canceled, this one actually happened and it was amazing. It actually started wrong, since one of the tourists crossed to Mexico by accident, the other two made it in time, but the other two were 3 hours behind, making the beginning of the tour.

After we all finally found each other in La Cevichería Naiz, the adventure was well under way. I reserved the restaurant Mision 19 for dinner, the fanciest place in Tijuana, since the tour was a bachelor party. Dinner was beyond excellent and like always, I befriended every single client on my tour (and like always, they were all very awesome people to hang out with). After fancy eatings, we went to La Mezcalera for some mezcal shots, and what happened after that will remain in the dark, not only because we were already wasted, but because what happens in a bachelor party is not meant to be shared.

The TJ adventure did not end until breakfast…. but mine continued until Monday morning.

I did not sleep all of Friday and was a zombie on Saturday. I met with the guys to see if they wanted lunch before going to America, but they decided that they were too tired and it was time to go home. I had a blast with them and then got paid (which always makes me feel guilty, but hey… it is a business!)”

I have been concentrating much more in my writing career than promoting or caring about my tours, but finally, there was an awesome Tijuana Adventure. It was a bachelor party, but it involved much more than just XXX. No doubt more bachelor parties will occur after this one, if people keep recommending me.

Soon the Brewery and Street Food tour will be setup! Please be patient as I still work my other life before I give more tours. In the mean time, if you want a personal tour/hang out or need anything from Tijuana, shoot me an email through the contact page.

Always wanting to give more tours and show the amazing city of Tijuana!
Matingas!

There’s more than just XXX! New tours coming soon!

I haven’t posted on the Tijuana Adventure blog in forever that it seems like I am not even giving tours anymore…

Quite the opposite. Since the last post, I have had more than 10 tours. Many involving Zona Norte (XXX tours), in fact, many of the emails I receive are inquiring about that though I deleted the tour from my webpage. Tijuana is much more than just a place to get naked girls. But I need to give people what they want, the XXX tours are back, but we don’t go directly just there, I’ll show you the whole city before is sinning time.

I had several one on one tours that were a blast and customers keep telling me I charge to little. I had a bachelor party that went pretty wild. I had a couple of brewery tours and a few international tours. Apparently a hostel has been recommending my service and it has brought me people around the world.

Here is one of the many tours I had… and the only one I took pictures:

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I got really busy between my part time job, freelance writing and giving tours that I simply had no time to update this blog. But I have quit my part time job to dedicate more time to giving tours!

Not only that, I will introduce a new tour every Saturday! Brew hopping and street food!

Introducing The Brew Hop and Baja Med Tour:

8 to 12 people – Saturdays from 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm $40 will get you:

  1. Walking tour of the city visiting landmarks, art galleries, street art, cafes, shops, etc.
  2. 4 breweries wtih a free flight of beers or a full pour in each stop.
  3. 2 street food stops
  4. Ride back to the border

Poster of this and more updates on the page will come soon.

Also, I had a brief talk with Uber, so I might be getting my own promo code and will be using UberXl to move around the city!

In the meantime, my friend from college, Drew, is visiting. And we are having Tijuana Adventures of our own.

drew

Book your tour now here:
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Follow Tijuana Adventure on Instagram here:

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Tijuana Adventure for 2015…. Sorry, I’ve been busy

My last post was back in September….

I was going to post that I was taking a break in October, but that never happened. My college roommate from Minnesota visit me at the end of the month and we hung out for a week straight in Tijuana. We had plenty of adventures, but we also learned that we can’t drink as much as we did in college.

This happened on Halloween night in Tijuana:

I’ve been very busy, no time to party all night and write about it the next day. I got a regular job in retail at a soccer store in San Diego to have a more steady income and to get a van for the tours.

I keep getting emails for Tijuana Adventures… I’ve been having all sorts of adventures but no time to post about it and I keep forgetting to take pictures.

I had an important tour some months back with a group of 10 (5 married couples). Before meeting them, I took a nap in a co-workers car in the parking lot outside work.

I’ve had plenty of 1 on 1 tours all over the place. All very much fun, I even received this email thanking me for the tour:

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And in 2015 I have already had two adventures!!!

I had one booked since last year for a Veggie and Brewery tour that is coming up next Saturday (will post about it later). But out of nowhere I got two last minute tours that ended up being really awesome.

The first one of the year had to be an XXX tour with a programmer from Los Angeles. We ate at Cevicheria Naiz, drank at Mamut, talked about videogames and then headed to the XXX world for unrated fun…. Haven’t done those tours in a long time… they uhh.. renovated some areas of the clubs, the usual dirty business remained the same. He emailed me the next day:
Mark review Through the tour he kept thanking me, it was a wonderful time.

The second one was with friends of friends. A guy from Alabama (Ed) and one from Minnesota (Chris) were roommates in France, Chris visited Ed to Los Angeles where he currently lives and they came down to Tijuana. We went on a classic Tj Adventure party blender with live music shows by Innerds and Octagrape at Mous Tache, street tacos and plenty of drinks.

Here we are eating at Cevicheria Naiz before partying until 4 am:
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And we had breakfast tacos at the king, Tacos el Rey, before saying our hungover goodbyes:
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2015 seems promising for a lot of tours! If I am lucky, I might be able to quit my job and party with tourists for a living…. make my dream come true… come party… come have a Tijuana Adventure!

It’s been a year of Tijuana Adventure and there’s much more to come!

Tijuana Adventure turns one year old
It has been a wild ride. I have met people from Canada, Australia, UK, Argentina and all over the USA. I had 5 adventures for the past two weeks and I am booked for the next weekends. Apparently I’ve been recommended on TripAdvisor which has helped on getting a few more adventurers. I haven’t really made money from my tours and I don’t really care. From the start my tours have been heavily improvised, going to places I like and having a lot of fun with incredible awesome “clients,” many that have become friends (and now I have a place to stay in several cities).
Don’t be a tourist, party with a local.

With Aussies
With Aussies at Playas

I spent Sunday and Monday (of the last week of August) with 3 Australians going from taco shop to bar, rinse and repeat. It was awesome times. I’ve been spending every weekend with a different group of people for the past month or more.

My main focus has always been to get people comfortable with Tijuana so they can come back without any assistance. This is a huge complicated city that many fear, but in reality it is one of the most fun and diverse cities (if you know your way around). The direction of TJ adventure is changing, not sure what to, but it has to evolve.
Tours will be free of charge as long as the group is paying for my food/drinks, I’ll take you anywhere your heart desires (tipping your tour guide is encouraged…). Events will happen once a month if possible. With many side jobs besides being a tour guide, I am keeping TJ adventure as casual as I can.
TJ adventure is your opportunity to tour the city with a journalist for the San Diego Reader, who also happens to be a musician and a photographer (that’s me). Contact me to set up a tour and let’s have fun!