Fear and Wine Tasting in Mexico

In nine hours we went from an underground jazz club to glamping in a vineyard just northeast of Ensenada, Mexico.  Nine hours after that, I wasn’t 100% sure I would be able to return back to the US with my wife.


Friday night we danced the night away on my friend’s 30th birthday in a speakeasy jazz-club in the Gaslamp District. The next morning we checked-out of the Solamar Hotel, in downtown San Diego, to continue our celebration. We met our 13 friends and piled in a 15 passenger van to begin our road-trip.  

We were on the road to Valle de Guadalupe (Guadalupe Valley) to go glamping and to do a bit of wine tasting.  We crossed the border and drove along the wall covered with razor wire that defined the US/Mexico border. As we traversed alongside the snake-like structure I thought about how lucky we were to be born on the side of that wall, that gave us the privilege to cross with relative ease.

Wine tasting in Mexico is about big pours, large tasting rooms, good food, and taking selfies.  It was so much fun visiting the various tasting rooms and I was blown away with what they had to offer. The wines were comparable to wines found at good Malibu and Temecula wineries.  I wished the wines had a more distinguished style, but the wines here were made to appeal to groups of people like us.  A diverse group of friends that were looking for a more sophisticated way of experiencing drinking coronas on the beach.  There wasn’t a spittoon in sight to discard any of the four full-glass pours during the tastings, keep in mind, 4 glasses of wine is roughly one bottle.

We rushed back to the the resort we were glamping at, Cuatro Cuatros, to go to their cliff-side bar with the a view of the sun setting over the endless Pacific. It resembled a sunset I once saw on the docks in Oia, on the crescent moon shaped island of Santorini, Greece. The tastings, led to dinner and dinner turned into a night of dancing.




When we logged on to the Wifi that morning my wife was struck by fear as she checked her social media feed.  This was the weekend President Trump had used an executive order to initiate a ban on immigration.

I can only imagine the confusion of someone getting this information without the law degree, or friends at the ACLU like my wife did — and even she was terrified.  There were thousands of people affected by this who were overcome with grief, anxiety, and confusion from this one executive order.

Reasons for Fear.

  1. Our first shock was due to her dual citizenship with one of the countries listed on the ban, and we were in Mexico.  We were concerned that she could be detained at the border like we read about her college professor that was detained that morning in New York.  
  2. Secondly, her parents just bought tickets to visit her grandparents in one of those banned countries and we feared that they would not be able to return if they took the trip.  
  3. Third, her aunt had been petitioning for 13 years to get her green card and had just received it a few months ago. We cringed at the thought that after all that time the rights she work so hard to obtain could be instantly taken away.



That morning was a sharp contrast to the previous day where we freely crossed the border with no hesitation.

That swift executive action focused my attention to the fragility of this freedom.  Nothing is truly free and we must continue to participate to maintain the type of freedom we want to receive.


After my wife did all the possible research she could we took a walk around the property, past the horses grazing between the vines.  We then loaded our van and began to make our way  through Tijuana to return home. We crossed without incident. The silence only broken at the prospects of Churros, and it  was smiles on the street vendors faces allowed me to regain my perspective of gratitude.  


It was a luxury to be in the position we were in.  We have one of the most powerful passports allowing us to travel freely to most of the world.  Just based where our parents happend to be standing when we are born makes it more or less difficult to travel and see the world. My friends and I are lucky that way and I am thankful.

Please pass this along to anyone who might have experienced something similar. I would love to hear your story, feel free to email me.

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