Mexico Road Trip - Late 1980's
Back in the late 1980's, post college... but not too post college, me and six buddies decided to make a day trip down to Rosarito Beach Mexico from Orange County CA. One of my pals owned a 1960 Dodge Seneca that he had made into a convertible by cutting the roof off. It was cherry red, with white leatherette seats. A large family could easily fit inside. My buddy Lance and I were roommates when he bought it in 1984. It was a big white beast at the time, which I had christened "The Land Shark". The name was shorted to "The Shark", and many stories could be told about it… this is just one. We figured to ride to Rosarito would be about an hour and half from the OC. Six of us piled in to the Shark and hit the grocery store for “roadies”.
Since it was Lance’s car, he drove. Once we hit Tijuana, it made sense to hit “Calle de Revolution” for cerveza’s at the Long Bar, and to pick up some leather souvenirs along the way. We made a run for Rosarito, already feeling “Bueno” and ready for inexpensive lobsters and more cerveza’s!
The several hours in Rosarito became fairly blurry quickly… there are photo’s as evidence, and then dark. Dark as in nightfall, and we needed to get back to the US. After a few too many strong Mexican drinks, it was a potentially dangerous scenario for driving back. Of all the potential drivers, I was the least drunk, and therefore the best option. All eight of us piled into the Shark. Wait… eight? I thought there were six? Well yes, we brought back two gals for the ride home (32 years later I still cannot figure out how they got there, but we took them back to San Diego). Now, a couple of things. One, I had never driven the Shark before. Two, we had eight passengers, and not enough (or any) seatbelts. Three, we were in Mexico on the coast, so at least the ocean could guide me, sort of. So off we left Rosarito. On Mexico Highway, there is a fork in the road with signs that both say Tijuana but with something after it that I did not know the meaning. I asked the “Magnificent Seven” which one I should choose… they weren’t much help. So I choose one that ended up being the coastal route. We were home free…. Or not. At one point far in the rear view mirror, I could see the red flashing lights of a police car some distance behind us. Knowing the shark would not outrun the federales, I was starting to wonder how we were going escape serving time in a Mexican prison. Between the cerverza’s, and 8 passenger joy ride, I thought our real problem was going to be the US Border! The Mexican federales did in fact catch up to us, and then… sped right on by us! To the collective relief of all!