Back when border crossings were easy

While growing up in San Diego, California in the late 50’s & 60’s, I have fond memories of visiting Tijuana, MX just about every other weekend to visit my Dad’s father – Big Tata.

His sister, brothers and their families would all meet and we would have a great time -me playing hide n’ seek late at night with my many cousins.

I haven’t visited “TJ” in many years but I remember like it was yesterday.

Crossing was a breeze, border guards would just waive you through, no issues, no problems.

In fact, later when I was in my late teens, crammed in a buddy’s car laughing and joking late in the evening, again, they just waived us through.

The times I remember the most were traveling with my family, stopping at my parents’ favorite restaurant “Cocos” to order combination plates, beef burritos with rice and beans. It seemed like a very large place at the time and I have faint memories being able to order and either eating inside the place or in your vehicle!

After we ate, we would ride to a local park where us kids would get Raspados (snow cones) or ice cream which for some strange reason my brother and I called “Nieve” which means snow.

On our way out, I can envision the young street peddlers enticing us to buy ceramic statues, velvet paintings, peanuts and even fireworks. I can still see that young boy with a half carton of “Chiclets” chewing gum looking right at me while I’m thinking he had the best job in the world.

I wish entering and exiting was that carefree and easy nowadays.


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