Thursday, January 20, 2005

My Amazing Race ... Day Two

(No, Andrea, I didn't get Mickey's autograph.  Just the photo.)

So.  Midnight.  Chula Vista.  We were in a small, but clean, hotel room, where I got about 8 hours of sleep (only occasionally interrupted by people arguing outside the room and the faucet dripping in our bathtub).

In the morning, we had the complimentary breakfast, checked out, piled in the car, and got back on the freeway for the four miles to the "Last Exit in USA."  We pulled into the Border Station Parking Lot, just missing the 10:00 a.m. shuttle to Tijuana.  We made the 10:20, though, which was key, because we needed to make an 11:00 connection.  The shuttle took about a half hour, leaving us with ten whole minutes to experience all the tacky merchandise Tijuana had to offer.  Conveniently, it was all gathered in the bus station:

We connected to the 11:00 shuttle to Rosarito Beach, and at 11:45, we finally made it to our actual destination:  Foxploration.

I had only learned about Foxploration about a month ago.  Here's the deal.  Way down in Baja, there's Fox Studios Baja.  Movie studio conveniently located right on the Pacific Ocean.  They filmed Titanic there.  And Master and Commander.  And people kept coming by trying to peek over the wall and ask, "Dude, what's going on over there?"  (Except they'd ask it in Spanish, since this is Mexico.)  And the nice people at Fox thought, "Hey, we can build a place where we show people what we're doing here."  (Well, that's what their materials say.  Truth is, they probably thought something about "good PR" and maybe even "making a few bucks.")

Actually, I can't believe they're making money with it.  It only cost $12 to get in (the bus there cost more) and the place was damn near deserted.  Can't remember the last time I walked into a theme park or studio tour and felt like I was the only person there.

But the place was way cool.  The highlight is a tour of the Titanic sets. 

Although, to tell you the truth, it was as much an education about the Titanic itself -- because James Cameron had been so astonishingly anal about recreating it exactly.  So, our tour took us into the set of the Smoking Lounge, and told us about how James Cameron had contacted the company that made the carpet for the Titanic, and recreated the actual weave and pattern for the sets.  And we're standing on it while he's saying this.  Total bonus, I guess, of Foxploration not getting a whole lot of traffic -- they actually let you touch some of this stuff. 

We took the 2:00 bus back to Tijuana (they didn't run all that frequently), so our whole voyage down to Mexico was really only for just over 2 hours in Foxploration.

Back in Tijuana, we connected to the bus back to the States -- it's slower this way because you have to go through the Customs building.  (The agent asks me, "Where are you going?"  I look at him like he's an idiot and say, "Home?")  We get back to the Border Parking Lot around 4:30 and stop for a late lunch before driving home.  Oddly, the only restaurant we can find is Chinese Food.

We start driving North, but we're not done for the day.  (Heck no!)

On the way back, the sunset is lovely over the ocean.  Without looking, I snapped this photo out my car window. 

Not bad for just vaguely aiming out the window, huh?

We continue North, all the way back to...


This time, we go to California Adventure.  (Thank goodness for the two-parks-for-the-price-of-one ticket we'd bought the day before.)  California Adventure is hosting an exhibit of differently decorated statues of Mickey.  They got different celebrities and artists to design Mickeys, and they're all displayed around the park.  This was our favorite -- guess who designed it:

California Adventure closes at 9:00, although we somehow didn't get back to the car until 10:00.  (I don't think they take their closing time all that seriously.)

Drove home and hit the hay.  Of course, it was a three-day weekend, so we had a teensy bit of adventure left to go...


tammyg22 said...

Somehow, I just cannot imagine *you* in TJ!  The image just doesn't compute.

blondepennierae said...

Where the heck did you get all the energy!  Sounds like a great adventure.  Pennie

andreakingme said...

"California Adventure is hosting an exhibit of differently decorated statues of Mickey.  They got different celebrities and artists to design Mickeys, and they're all displayed around the park.  This was our favorite -- guess who designed it:"

Um. Ellen Degeneres?

I dunno! Give us a clue.