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AaronAmor

Buenas noches

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AaronAmor

New member and I'm overwhelmed by how much great information is available here. Really diggin' it! My questions will likely be answered as I read through the various threads but, just thinking out loud, here's what I'm researching / wondering at the moment...

  • What's the best (and fastest) way to get across the border and back without driving my car? I used to drive all the time when I had a POS car, but luckily I got a better job and that has now changed. I always felt safe using the top level of the parking structure at Norte Brewery, but I no longer want to risk it. Would love to hear some veteran tips for rapid crossing techniques - especially getting back across quickly, since that was always a major pain when driving. (Coming from LA so will be driving at least to SD / SY.)
     
  • I've done the HK thing many times, love it, and will certainly go back there again and again. But what's the best source of info on ordering room service to my hotel? I have not done that before in this city and I would really like to try it. Before I dive in to that scene, I want to make sure I am using a good reliable source to identify the best talent. In LA, I know exactly where to go and who to text. South of the border, not so much.
     
  • Speaking of hotels, I often stay at Ticuan but I'm wondering if there are better options. Any recommendations that are nice, clean, safe, discreet, friendly and less $$$? I sometimes stay overnight, so that's a consideration. Can't be right on top of a loud disco that goes all night. (Ticuan's west wing is quiet enough, for example. Never will stay in the east wing again.) Parking was always fine here as well, but of course that won't be an issue without the car to worry about.

That's about it. Thanks in advance. Very happy to be here. I fully expect to find a wealth of information on these and many other topics, so "just keep reading dude" is a totally acceptable answer!

-- My name is not Aaron Amor but I like the way it sounds. B|

 

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Carlafan

So you're, what, using a fake handle? Get OUT. I actually changed my name to Carlafan. Lol. You'll find all your answers as you go along in tbe website. Have fun. Go Dodgers!!!

(There's a ton that I miss about L.A....the clubs, playing guitar around town, Melrose Ave. , Amoeba, the women, etc. But I don't at all miss the traffic)

Edited by Carlafan
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PhordPhan

Get SENTRI. That's your best bet for quick crossing in any fashion.

There are plenty of nice hotels, none of them near Centro or Zona Norte, except for Ticuan. If you're bringing in escorts, most will be fine. Grand Hotel has it's adherents, the Hyatt is nice. For less money than Ticuan I like Palacio Azteca and Hacienda del Rio, although the latter only has twin queen beds in their rooms. 

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AaronAmor
2 hours ago, Carlafan said:

So you're, what, using a fake handle? Get OUT. I actually changed my name to Carlafan. Lol. You'll find all your answers as you go along in tbe website. Have fun. Go Dodgers!!!

(There's a ton that I miss about L.A....the clubs, playing guitar around town, Melrose Ave. , Amoeba, the women, etc. But I don't at all miss the traffic)

And the traffic gets worse every day. Dodgers, USC football, and K-girls are the only things that keep me here.

 

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AaronAmor
2 hours ago, PhordPhan said:

Get SENTRI. That's your best bet for quick crossing in any fashion.

There are plenty of nice hotels, none of them near Centro or Zona Norte, except for Ticuan. If you're bringing in escorts, most will be fine. Grand Hotel has it's adherents, the Hyatt is nice. For less money than Ticuan I like Palacio Azteca and Hacienda del Rio, although the latter only has twin queen beds in their rooms. 

Will check 'em out, thanks!

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Reuben

Parking at Border Parking Station is expensive - $25+/day and you have to be out by 10am, last I checked.  There are a few other options around the area but in short supply and all nearly as expensive.  If you're coming down for just a night, you could park at one of the southern trolley lots - Iris Ave, H Street, Palm Ave, and leave your car overnight there.  No charge at any of those for 24 hours and then you take the trolley for 2.50 down to the border.  You might also consider taking Amtrak from LA down to San Diego Station then hopping on Blue Line down to SY to walk across the border.

There are a number of "takeout" services available in TJ..... CuminTJ, Mexico Lindo Bar, Grays, and Hot and Sexy Latinas are well-established.

Villa de Zaragoza is another option for a hotel - more on the Motel 6 level than mid-tier Sheraton - but usually about $60/night rather than 80-100.  It's located off Revo near Ricardo's Restaurant.

For quick crossing back on foot, it's all about timing.  Don't cross between 5am - 8am during the week.  Sundays are bad in general.  SENTRI/Global Entry is a godsend if you're walking or driving.  Generally no wait at all for walking and less than 30 minutes if driving.

If you don't have a passport, get one now.  Get the passport card, too, because it's easier to carry than the whole book.

There are threads on all this stuff here - happy reading!

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Bubby
1 hour ago, Reuben said:

 For quick crossing back on foot, it's all about timing.  Don't cross between 5am - 8am during the week.  Sundays are bad in general.  SENTRI/Global Entry is a godsend if you're walking or driving.  Generally no wait at all for walking and less than 30 minutes if driving.

Reuben is correct.

Crossing back into the US is an absolute crapshoot. I follow the FB page Como Esta La Linea all the time just to keep up with things, whether I am crossing soon or not. Over 100,000 people cross every day from Tijuana. This page has over 300,000 members. Posts are all in Spanish, usually in slang with humor, but it's a good way to gauge border traffic.

I don't have Sentri or Global Entry. We have guys here that cross in the pedestrian lines all the time, and they can correct me if I'm wrong, but IME, PedWest/ Chaparral is almost always faster than PedEast for Normal or Ready Lane. Sentri is practically zero wait at both.

I had a 11 AM flight this past Wednesday 7/10. Out of an abundance of caution, I woke up at 5 AM and got to PedWest at 6:15. They didn't have any "Ready Lane" or "Normal" signs lit, but there were no lines until I got into the building, where there were 2 lines with about 20 people in each. There were 8 CBP stations open and I was through in 5 minutes. There is just no sure way to know.

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PhordPhan
23 hours ago, Bubby said:

Crossing back into the US is an absolute crapshoot. I follow the FB page Como Esta La Linea all the time just to keep up with things, whether I am crossing soon or not. Over 100,000 people cross every day from Tijuana. This page has over 300,000 members. Posts are all in Spanish, usually in slang with humor, but it's a good way to gauge border traffic.

Do you know if that FB page is any more accurate than the abysmal Border Wait Time app flogged by Uncle Sam? I swear the BWT app uses random numbers. It'll say 10 minutes and it will be 1 minute. Or 10 minutes and it will be a half hour. Or 30 minutes and it's 5. Or double. It's to the point where I can no longer decide where to cross (SY or Otay) because there's no good way to judge the crossing time.

PS - This is by car, not on foot, and using SENTRI.

Edited by PhordPhan

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PhordPhan

One way to avoid exorbitant SY-area parking fees is to park at Otay. IIRC it's around $10/24 hours. Yes, there are transportation fees, but if you use Uber they really aren't bad. Bonus is that the crossing times are almost always shorter than SY.

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Bubby
1 hour ago, PhordPhan said:

Do you know if that FB page is any more accurate than the abysmal Border Wait Time app flogged by Uncle Sam? I swear the BWT app uses random numbers. It'll say 10 minutes and it will be 1 minute. Or 10 minutes and it will be a half hour. Or 30 minutes and it's 5. Or double. It's to the point where I can no longer decide where to cross (SY or Otay) because there's no good way to judge the crossing time.

PS - This is by car, not on foot, and using SENTRI.

I would say it's more accurate, but the actual wait time can be difficult to figure out.

Users usually use fotos to show where the line begins, and it can be tough to figure out where exactly that is from the foto. Then someone will ask "como avanza" and the response might be "bien". This doesn't really tell you information about wait times. Occasionally someone will post a foto of the CBP station and say how long it took them to get there.

They use landmarks and shorthand to say where the line starts, like Hospital General, Parque d Quinceneras, CFE, or Nissan. If you don't know the order of where these places are on the Via Rapida, it can be confusing.

Every once in a while, someone will post erroneous info on purpose. The page is very active, so if this happens, the poster is usually called out right away.

Also, the Otay and San Ysidro ped and car posts will all show in the feed at random, so you have to kind of scroll around to find the type and place you want to cross.

In short, it's accurate , but has a lot of challenging aspects. It would be much better if they used a standard way of inputting info on the posts, but I still find it to be valuable anyway.

I agree that the Border Wait Times from CBP are complete bullshit, and I never look at them anymore.

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Carlafan

That effing border app...DO not take its word. I checked it at 10:30 this morning for SY...said 50 minutes. Checked it 20 min later...said 10 min wait. Got there...long ass line but was in U.S. in 40 minutes.

I looked towards PedWest as I crossed the bridge. Though I don't cross there, I use it as a gauge. 

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AaronAmor

Thanks all for the crossing tips. Really appreciate it. That's actually my biggest concern. Now that I'll be walking instead of driving, if I get stuck standing in a 2-hour line, I think I'd lose my mind. It's bad enough waiting in a car, but at least you've got the radio, air conditioning, and whatever food you brought along to pass the time.

Any thoughts about crossing back on a Saturday afternoon? Is that usually a good or bad time? My normal routine is to leave LA on Friday morning, cross over Friday afternoon, have fun Friday night, and then cross back into SY on Saturday afternoon.

 

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Carlafan

What time were you looking to cross on Saturday? I cross about 12:30pm or earlier. The lines are deceptively long. I remember when the same length line that used to 2 hours is now 40-45 min max. CBP got more efficient crossing back. 

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AaronAmor
26 minutes ago, Carlafan said:

What time were you looking to cross on Saturday? I cross about 12:30pm or earlier. The lines are deceptively long. I remember when the same length line that used to 2 hours is now 40-45 min max. CBP got more efficient crossing back. 

Definitely later than 12:30. After the Friday night festivities, I'm usually sleeping on Saturday until 11 am or so. Check out of the hotel, eat lunch somewhere, and then head for the border crossing. So it's usually 2 or 3 pm before I'm ready to cross. I could always push that to a later time, as well, if makes any difference. If I can get through in 20 minutes or less, I'd consider that a huge win.

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Carlafan

You should be fine crossing on Saturdays at that time. I dunno for sure how long sat lines are atvthat time. But you'll be fine.

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PhordPhan
2 hours ago, AaronAmor said:

Definitely later than 12:30. After the Friday night festivities, I'm usually sleeping on Saturday until 11 am or so. Check out of the hotel, eat lunch somewhere, and then head for the border crossing. So it's usually 2 or 3 pm before I'm ready to cross. I could always push that to a later time, as well, if makes any difference. If I can get through in 20 minutes or less, I'd consider that a huge win.

I've noticed that Saturday evenings, say anywhere after 5pm, tend to be fairly light. The workers have crossed, lots of the partiers are coming the other direction. Just avoid Sunday afternoons at all costs.

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Bubby
7 hours ago, Carlafan said:

You should be fine crossing on Saturdays at that time. I dunno for sure how long sat lines are atvthat time. But you'll be fine.

 

5 hours ago, PhordPhan said:

I've noticed that Saturday evenings, say anywhere after 5pm, tend to be fairly light. The workers have crossed, lots of the partiers are coming the other direction. Just avoid Sunday afternoons at all costs.

I agree that you should be fine for going back at these times, especially at PedWest/Chaparral. 

If you were driving, I wouldn't be as confident. Last Saturday afternoon we were driving on Via Rapida from Los Alamos towards Playas. The Ready Lane was backed up to Hospital General, which is a long way, and is about where it might start on a weekday morning. Those people probably had a 2+ hour wait.

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AaronAmor

Yeah, I've waited in the car line 3+ hours more times than I care to remember. But I've never applied for SENTRI, so that's now on my to-do list.

Any thoughts on Hotel Hacienda del Rio? I checked the hotel discussion board and didn't see much in there. Looks like a nice area. I like the surroundings, as far as I can tell on Google maps. And the price is good - $75 on Friday night.

They are hobby friendly, right? Does anyone know if they check the ladies' ID? I just read in another thread that Ticuan does that. I had no idea, but that's a great service! :smiley_says_hello:

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sampson

I would hope they check ID's.  It is a nice place and is in a good neighborhood.

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PhordPhan
2 hours ago, AaronAmor said:

Yeah, I've waited in the car line 3+ hours more times than I care to remember. But I've never applied for SENTRI, so that's now on my to-do list.

Any thoughts on Hotel Hacienda del Rio? I checked the hotel discussion board and didn't see much in there. Looks like a nice area. I like the surroundings, as far as I can tell on Google maps. And the price is good - $75 on Friday night.

They are hobby friendly, right? Does anyone know if they check the ladies' ID? I just read in another thread that Ticuan does that. I had no idea, but that's a great service! :smiley_says_hello:

HdR is a nice place. They get a lot of tourists and families. They are laid out kind of like an old US Motel, in that the rooms are accessed by exterior "hallways" and the rooms can be accessed without having to go through the lobby. So, I suppose you could sneak in a crack ho, or two. But it's not near any hooker areas, so unless you can pull a civvie from Cheers, you'll be better off with an escort or OTC BG. It's in a nice area, and there are several good restaurants and clubs in the area.

The rooms are comfortable, but they all have double queen beds. I know of no rooms with a single King. IIRC, they have a decent pool behind the place.

My only complaint, last time I stayed there, was that you got a lot of noise from Cheers, until the wee hours. So, sleep may be difficult for some. BTW, Cheers is a nice place to party with young locals. 

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Carlafan

Cheers-cause sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name, and they're always glad you came.

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sampson
3 hours ago, Carlafan said:

Cheers-cause sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name, and they're always glad you came.

Nikki's was like that.  Larry was Sam Malone. I was Norm. :)

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Haus
On 7/11/2019 at 10:06 AM, Reuben said:

Parking at Border Parking Station is expensive

 

     Expensive? Yes...but certainly convenient.

 

parking.jpg.a8e30f3036576779119b47e697d0e6eb.jpg

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spikebites
30 minutes ago, Haus said:

 

     Expensive? Yes...but certainly convenient.

 

parking.jpg.a8e30f3036576779119b47e697d0e6eb.jpg

how much is parking over on this side?  the parking behind jack in the box on weekdays $8 for 8hrs.

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Reuben

@spikebites - for weekends, I think it's $35/day, weekdays is $30.  YMMV.

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