Quick Stop in Tijuana

(Note: The post was updated in 2019.)

A quick stop in Tijuana

Our last border crossing before heading home.

On our last vacation day, rather than hanging out with the parents, we decided to add one more stamp to the passports and head to Mexico. Kelly decided she would rather hang with her grandparents, so Steve and I grabbed our passports and headed south to get one more international stop in on our round the world trip. Here’s how we spent a quick stop in Tijuana.

Having grown up in San Diego, I had been to Tijuana many times. When my sister and I were small, my dad would take us for the day. He’d give us each $5 and send us out to pet the donkey zebra and shop while he enjoyed Hussongs. I’m sorry to say that Tijuana is no longer as safe and local, but it wasn’t going to stop the hubs and me from a good time in my most favorite country of them all.

Steve and I hopped on the Amtrak Coaster and then the San Diego trolley. About an hour later, we walked across the border to the same smells I remembered as a kid. There are some things that never change! We grabbed a cab to Revolucion for shopping and lunch. The shopping was terrible–you used to be able to find great jewelry, ornaments, and unique Mexican crafts. Now it’s full of tacky serapes and tequila shot glasses. Yet, we found some delicious street tacos where you guess the meat.

Finding Zebra Donkey

A quick stop in Tijuana

My beloved zebra donkey, Jose.

After lunch, I had to find my beloved zebra donkey, Jose.

As a child, I was convinced zebras retired to Tijuana for a life of love standing on the streets posing pictures with tourists. As an adult, the fairy dust of this fantasy blew away. None the less, when I came across my beloved zebra donkey, I blew him a kiss, took his picture, and silently hoped his retirement was right around the corner. Yes, I know this is probably not the animal of my childhood, and I should know better as an adult, but found childhood memories fade hard.

Shopping El Mercado

In Tijuana, there are four things to do. Eat, drink, shop and buy medicine. We didn’t have a need to buy medicine, and we had accomplished eating and drinking cerveza. I knew we could do better than serapes and tequila glasses on Revolucion Ave. So I strapped on my best Spanish and asked around. There’s a new (15 years old) mercado a few blocks off Revolucion. There I finally picked up the tin star light I’ve priced for years in the States. Imported, they cost $150, but hand carried they cost $22. Yeah!!! We added a couple of glass-blown items, bypassed pinatas, and quickly found ourselves out of time again. With a sad Hasta Luego, we walked across the boarder and grabbed the San Diego trolley north.

After a quick stop in Tijuana, the next morning, we packed our bags for the last time, said good-bye to the parents and headed out for our last leg home. We didn’t know it at the time, but it would be the last time Kelly would see her granddaddy. Next up, final thoughts on our RTW trip.



  1. Living a Month Mexico City – Eat Walk Learn - […] love affair has continued through frequent trips across the border from San Diego, spring break adventures to Mazatlan, and…
  2. The Best Things in the World – Eat Walk Learn - […] Happiest day: Speaking Spanish to my beloved donkey-zebra in Tijuana […]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


handsome hiking couple

Chris and Steve, the empty-nesting nomads, travel the world, one month at a time, housesitting and Airbnbing along the way. We uncover urban walks, great hikes, and vegan/vegetarian eats that other guide books miss. And we throw in a bit about Forex trading along the way.

More about Chris and Steve

Signup for our newsletter

Get the latest trip reports, and be the first to know about upcoming walking adventures!

Get your copy of Two Carry-Ons and a Plan: Retiring as Full-Time Nomads

Get your copy of Travel Magic Postcards!


Sponsors In order to underwrite this blog, there may be sponsored posts, advertising, or affiliate marketing. See disclosures here.