Waking up in a tent placed on top of rolling sand dunes with views of the Pacific Ocean to the North and the West made for dream like camping conditions this week. Nova got to bathe daily in the ocean and wake up every day in a sandbox and since it was a festival he also got to dance, he was surely in his element down in Mexico, we all were!
South of Ensenada near the small town of Santa Tomas nearly 400 folks gathered for a festival called Genius Loci. The festival was designed to celebrate surfing, yoga, music and camping and is one of the most high spirited events I’ve ever attended. Alex and I attended the first Genius Loci three years ago and skipped last year due to Nova’s birth. This year I discovered that camping and attending a festival with a toddler is “not so easy street” but still worth all of the effort! Although to make the trip a little easier next time I will be sure to book a one night stay at a boutique hotel on our way back home.
For our adventure I packed a well stocked cooler full of family favorites. Nova mostly nommed on blueberries, cereal, tortillas, guacamole, coconut water, hummus and cous cous. Meanwhile Alex and I enjoyed homemade gluten free peanut butter fudge brownies (I will surely be sharing this recipe in the very near future, another reason why you’ll want to be subscribed) and a simple peanut butter cookie recipe that I made from Chole Coscarelli’s cook book. For savory bites we loved our kale and lentil salads, fresh fruit and the occasional classic pbj’s. We ate well and nearly finished everything in our cooler with the exception of a mango that we accidentally forgot was still in our car when crossing the border (oooooops). Luckily, we didn’t get fined as we suspect Nova worked his baby charm once again… I say again because 20 minutes before reaching the border we got pulled over by a cop who said we ran a stop sign. In Mexico you have to go to the police station to get issued the ticket so we knew we had to try to beg our way out of the situation. Besides we also knew we did ‘t run a single stop sign, as we were very cautious to abide by all traffic laws. Alex and I could both feel that Nova was going to get cranky at any moment, it was hot in the car and my ac was broken. Alex said, “please officer my son is going to start crying any second, can we just go, we didn’t do anything wrong” Que Nova, he began to wail. The officer hears his cry and says okay you can go (baby magic)! Nova immediately stops crying and we continue our trip back home. For a moment it felt as if Nova knew exactly what he was doing, helping out his familia!
In an effort to avoid rush hour traffic from San Diego to Los Angeles we stopped at an REI and bought a Steri Pen to bring to Indonesia next week. We got this great tip from a traveler we met while at the festival and look froward to clean drinking water and no plastic bottles.
After REI we grabbed a bite to eat at a delicious Lebanese and Mediterranean restaurant in La Jolla called Amardeen and anytime I am road tripping through the area with a craving for fresh, healthy, flavorful food I’ll surely be stopping by again. For $22 the three of us split the vegetarian Mezza Platter and I ordered an inspiring and refreshing drink made of dates, rosewater and pine nuts called Jallab. This meal was the perfect fuel to get us back to Venice Beach!
This adventure made great practice for what’s to come next on our voyage to Indonesia and for the many more camping adventures I hope to share with my two favorite fellas. Looking forward to taking you along on the journey and sharing the experience together!
Oh and I almost forgot to share that I created a large interactive pyramid tee-pee, inspired by the one I built for Nova’s first birthday, at Genius Loci Fest with the loving help of Alex and friends- check it out!