I love Tecate.
Steve and Denise let me show them around my favorite quaint border town.
There is apprehension for those traveling to Mexico for the first time since Mexico became populated with drug cartels. Fears based on the media and other people's strong anti-Mexico travel opinions aren't easy to ignore.
There is nothing to fear.
It is just that you don't know until you go.
We have had these plans for months. Who knew it would be so cold?! Luckily my Tahoe friends are used to weather.
It was in the 40s, nothing to complain about when you compare it to other parts of the US.
There is so much history in Tecate.
Even the walls have stories that cannot help but spill out of the stucco.
Our first stop on our Tecate tour was the Tecate brewery. Although we missed the brewery tour that day (the recorrido time is inconsistent) we got a free beer, and enjoyed the beer garden and the souvenir shop.
The Tecate brewery (la cervecería) was founded in 1944. It has been a symbol of Tecate since this time. Although it has been sold and is currently a subsidiary of Heineken (and is no longer manufactured in Tecate) it still has tours and a tranquil beer garden.
La Iglesia Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe is just one block from Parque Hidalgo. It is a beautiful church inside and out, and is humble rather than ornate.
Parque Hidalgo, much like parks in Spain and all over colonized Latin America, is usually packed with couples, kids and older people chatting on benches, taking a stroll, getting their shoes shined, shopping, eating, listening to mariachi, or playing chess. Today it was cold and rainy so the crowds had dissipated.
Después de una cerveza we headed to El Mejor Pan. It is an incredible bakery, very possibly one of the best in the world.
The baked treats change every day, and are never in the same location. It is like a delicious treasure hunt.
The Tecate Community museum is welcoming and informative.
Steve and Denise, who are museum volunteer experts, understand my appreciation for the museum.
The railroad/brewery portion of the museum frequently highlights the Tecate train station in photographs, which was completed in 1915. Denise saw it on the museum map so we set out to find it.
It has been impeccably preserved.
John Spreckels had the building designed to resemble Frank Lloyd Wright's work. It matches the style of Tecate perfectly.
Spreckels spearheaded and funded the project, driving in the golden spike in 1919. It took over ten years to complete, and cost three times the original estimate. He died seven years later and his heirs sold their shares. The San Diego and Arizona Railway was a difficult project to construct and even more difficult to manage. It had nothing but issues with floods, fires, and revolutionary sabotage.
Mexican food seems an obvious choice for lunch (or as they call it, food). Los Panchos is right next to "la línea". It was my first time at the popular taqueria.
Wow. This place is amazing.
Denise and I ordered vegetarian (una quesadilla con cebolla y guacamole). Steve couldn't resist ordering a carne asada taco too.
They served grilled green onions and grilled jalapeños.
Mexican food in the US can't possibly mimic their entire culinary style.
You don't know until you go.
After a visit to Tecate it is impossible to be as influenced by the media and other Mexico travel opposition. Tecate has great things to offer with a 'mi casa es su casa' warmth.
What it lacks is its previous numbers of US tourists, who began coming to Tecate during the prohibition era.
All one can hope is that people stop being so intimidated.