Category Archives: Doc’s Pub & Resort

Ensenada Bar Hop August

Have been in my monastic mode for several weeks and most are happy that I have not darkened their doorway.  But, I got a surprise barhopping buddy to escort me on an Ensenada hop adventure last Saturday.

Cerveceria Cinqo Raices(5 roots) is a brewpub that is just over 1 year old and has been on my to do list.  We started here in late afternoon to check out the scene.  Service was good this slow afternoon, as there were only 3 other tables with patrons.

The scene is wood pallet and metal industrial.  This ain’t no fern bar.

We chose the IPA and joked with the bar tenders about the Spanglishation of IPA being pronounced in English fashion by many in Mexico.  “EE-PAH” is also properly used throughout Baja.  Order either way and I doubt you will be surprised with a Porter or a Coors Light.

I very much enjoy when a pub is confident enough to also share other brewers’ beers.  Notice the Wendlandt logo on the board with that brewpub’s 2 beers guesting here.

Menu is basic brew pub with burgers, wings and fries.  We chose the “88” sauce, which the menu described as medium hot.  The wings were meaty and the fries were crisp.  We just needed a snack so did not get into anything heaver.  Saw a few burgers headed to other tables and they smelled and looked very good.

Next stop was our favorite brewery, Transpeninsular.  This team serves the best beer in Baja and also has the best atmosphere with several different views and seating options.

We kept our IPA roll flowing here.

On a perfect August evening, we hung out on the smoking deck(upstairs, right turn) to check out the yachts at Coral Marina and the waves.

People watching is always fun at Trans.  Young, old, Mex, Mericano, tats, prom queens, 8″ heels and flip flops are all welcome here.

We agreed to keep this an easy and early night so headed south toward home at sunset.

Lookie here what snagged us off of Hwy 1.  Tacos Original is one of a handful of iconic taco shops in Ensenada.  The Adobada stack here is my favorite.  Check out those peppers on the flat top.

Music?  On a Saturday night you will easily find music in Baja.  But, this guy may have been the worst singer ever.  He was easily overshadowed by the veg buffet next to him.  Gotta luv a guy hustling for some change.

Someone on our team has a sweet tooth.  The Lusty Napkin usually avoids desserts that aren’t clearly labeled “Red Wine”.  But, this little shop next to Tacos Original had a good display of approx 10 big honkin cakes.  Chocolate interior cake was the goal and we asked our friendly server what was her favorite.  She pointed out “pingüino”as the description on a cake.

A big challenge for a foreigner learning the language is local slang, culture and brands.  My buddy bought the pingüino cake and reported on its quality the next day.  I asked our server to write down the name as I wanted to figger out WTH that was.

Now we know.

For variety, service, value, culture, views and comfort, we’ll award ourselves four(out of five possible) bar stools for our August 18 Saturday adventures.

Oh, and didjaknow why Mexicans set their horseshoes open end down?(see the El Original logo).  It is to keep out the bad luck.  We Mericans display horseshoes open end up to keep in the good luck.  Any sideways votes?

And lucky we were as my rodeo buddy lost his phone this night.  After a whole lot of hustling, tracking it online and following it, he was able to recover his phone hours later.  Though it was dropped at our table, someone “protected it” a few blocks away.

Here are links and locations of our bar hop:

Cinqo Raices is located on Av Pedro Loyola(in between and parallels Costero and Reforma), just south of Hwy 3, west side of street.  Opens at 4PM.

TP, Trans, Transpeninsular is located one door south of Hotel Coral on Ensenada’s north side.  Noon open.

Tacos El Original is on south side, maybe 200 yards south of the airport southern edge on South Reforma (aka Hwy 1).  West side of highway.  Guessing opens approx noon, but says they stay open until 5AM.

Pasteleria Delicia is two doors south of Tacos El Original


Frig Wars 3

by staff appliance repair editor, Maynard Maytag 

This is a real photo of my frig.  The view is of the coil that has frozen over because of a faulty fan not circulating air.  It is odd that more frost here actually creates a warm frig chamber, while the freezer section cools properly.

Had the same issue last summer and was fortunate to find a technician who knew how to fix it quickly.  That tech warned me that he was installing a used fan and that it would work for short term.  I should buy a new one asap was his advisory

This is the little guy(approx 4″ x 4″) that fits in the space just above the iced coil(see 3 black rubber pegs).  Ordered it last July.

Have been traveling a lot recently, but, noticed my frig temp warming slightly 2 weeks ago.  Upon return from my trip frig temp was all the way up to 48F.

Great news is that I had served my frig repair apprenticeship last summer.  Boiling water and a hair dryer are key tools for this fix.

Had to figger out a way to rig in the new fan as it did not come with the black rubber connectors.  Pipe cleaners, used for wine glass personal markers, are always a handy household tool and were perfect for attaching the little fan in its tight compartment.

Brimming with machismo I plugged the fan into its wiring socket and…hmmmm.  No hum, no whirling blade, nada!  After 90 minutes of work defrosting and my ez fix is not working?

After a few deep breaths, I plugged in the old fan.  Nada!  WTF?  Did I detach or crush a wire during my ice crushing?

Patience is an amazing thing.  It took the frig a couple of minutes to cycle and the whirring fan blades were a happy sight.

What a great excuse this was to clean my frig shelves and drawers.  But, it did ruin a hair dryer.

One of the most frustrating little details of my frig is reinstalling the two veg/fruit drawers.  What a mouse trap contraption to assemble.

Thrilled to see my interior thermometer read 45F after a few minutes and settling down to 40F after about a half hour.


Spirit Airlines

by Staff Senior Travel Editor, Otto Overbooked 

When I plug in my flight searches on Google Flights, I have most often deleted Spirit Airlines from the search due to their a la carte pricing menu confusion.

But, my recent flight date and time needs just happened to fit Spirit’s schedule on a coast to coast trip.  So down the tarmac we danced with Spirit.

Spirit’s “bare bones” fees exclude! a checked bag, a normal 20″ carry on bag, peanuts, beverages, seat assignments and these add on fees change if you don’t plan ahead or make a mistake.  My favorite add on is printing a boarding pass, costing them less than 10 cents, will cost you $10 at the airport.

After reading several reviews and packing lightly, I only had one bag to check as my only add-on fee this flight.  What is confusing is that the fee can be several different prices.  A pre flight online checked bag fee, a “bad passenger needs to check it at airport” fee or a join our Spirit “club” for a discounted fee are on the menu.  Most loyalty clubs are more painful and email SPAMful than are worthwhile, so I paid the $30 fee.

I did not have time for golf on this Florida trip, so I did not need to pay the $100 fee each way for my golf clubs, ouchee! Other checked bag fees also add on to that $30 fee I paid, depending on how heavy your bag is up to add $100, wheee!

Downloaded the Spirit APP and set my alarm for 24 hours before my flight to checkin.  Did not want to pay the $20 seating fee(x 2 for the two flight legs) so I guessed that earliest checkins get the better seats.

I did not get my seat assignments until I hit the customer experience counter at Orlando Int’l terminal B. Found my window seat and aisle seats for my two flights. So my logic on early checkin was solid or possibly just a random stroke of luck.

BTW, what is with MCO(Orlando Int’l Airport) having digital signs at passenger drop that read out “United Airlines” half the time, then “Do not leave your vehicle unattended” half the time.  If you are driving by while the digital readout give you the “unattended” script, howtf do you know where your airline checkin counter is along that 1/4 mile strip of choices at passenger drop-off.

Special thanks to my 07:00 limo team for excellent service to the MCO airport.

Back to Spirit, I get into the line that says “Equipaje Documentado” and hope I’m in the right line.  At counter, produced my Spirit app boarding pass and ID.  Bonus non-fee is that Spirit includes a receipt for your checked bag and verbal instructions on the gate assignment.

Am I the only one that often does not remember the verbal gate assignment?  30 seconds after that, I’m always looking for a outgoing flight monitor to tell me what gate I need. I’m usually short on caffeine most travel mornings and my senses are a bit agitated about the whole airport/TSA adventure.

Orlando TSA is always packed.  Fortunately, I successfully got my SENTRI(aka trusted traveler) # to register with Spirit, giving me TSA PRE ✔ access.  “Belts ON, Shoes ON, Laptops IN, no metal, empty your pockets…!!!”.

Flight was on time with the big yellow Airbus 319 waiting at the jetway.  Boarding was confusing because the Carib Island gate clerk had poor enunciation and low volume with everyone asking which boarding group was up.  Prefer the airlines that display which group is boarding on a monitor.

Please don’t be the passenger that hovers for the next boarding group in the boarding line.  Are you in the line, or are you super shy about being close to the preceding passenger, or are you waiting, or are you confused like me?

Got to my 18F window seat.  I’m not a big guy, but, subjectively, Spirit seats do seem a bit tighter than my American, Southwest and United flights.  Seat backs have a strap containing safety documents. If you need to get some work done on your laptop, that little tray, that looks like a cigarette container, is approx 5″ x 12″ to test your balancing and keyboarding skills.

You will not get a magazine with the CEO praising himself, cosmetic surgery centers or the best steakhouses in America.  But, a barf bag is included at no extra fee.

Spirit seats do not lean back.  Longer flights might want you to walk the aisle to ease your discomfort.

Thankfully, there was no flight attendant skit or stand-up comedy attempt.  Some may like that cuteness factor.  I just want to be left alone in peace with minimal crew interaction or them barking something at me.

Instead of the seat kicking kid, I got the couple that enjoys playing a video with enough volume to share that enterainment with the nearest 20 passengers.  I turned around and gave them the hairy eyeball look between the seat opening.  I believe she convinced him that they might just be a bit irritating and the volume came down to a whisper, thanks.

Arrived at DFW on time and in a peaceful attitude.  This was easier than expected.

Heard a new city name while waiting at DFW for next flight.  “Passengers on the ‘Alanna’ flight…”?  That is Atlanta for you northern Yankees.

One glitch hit me on the Spirit app.  The boarding pass kept refreshing so that I had to enter first name, last name and Confirmation #.  Hate confirmation #s passionately.  Why not my email addy or phone #?  C’mon technology geeks.  But, the boarding pass tried loading and continued to fail.

My customer experience sweats broke out as I envisioned combat mode argument about Spirit taking a lousy $10 away from me for printing the stoopid boarding pass.  No prob, showed them the app fail and they gleefully printed my pass.  Will do a screen shot next time.

That $10 could have purchased a Boar’s Head sammich at DFW terminal E, that was disguised as 2 oversized slabs of bread with a thin line of mystery meat and lettuce somewhere between.  No thanks.

DFW-SAN Diego flight was also easy and on time.  Got a gray color Airbus this time. Bag arrived easily and I exited the San Diego terminal 20 minutes after flight wheels banged the concrete.  I am very fortunate to have a smallish airport to use in San Diego.


We award Spirit Airlines with 3 out of 5 air sickness receptacles for doing mostly what they promised at a good overall value.  Saved me $100 this travel day, did not harass me and got me to my destination about the same as any other carrier.

Pack light, be light, fly short flights and study bag fees diligently on Spirit.

Best Fun of 2017

Last week, wrote about my Best of Baja food and beverage experiences of 2017.  In so many ways, this past year was a renaissance of my spirit with family, friends and fun. Here are some of my Best Fun of 2017 highlights:

Attitude adjustment and house remodel(front side photo above) were my best improvements for 2017, with new entry, curtains, paint color and outlook heading into my new adventures.

Best Sign of the Apocolypse: Rosarito fire in October

Best workout: Bodyweight workout followed by legs/chest/arms weights followed by intervals on this hill

Best Love Thy Neighbor Advice

Best Sunrise

Best Sunset

Best Optimism

Best Movie:  Hidden Figures  (I video my movies, as I have not been out to a flick since 2004), Thanks W, for the reminder.

Best Car Rental: CPE Isuzu Trooper Rent-A-Car, gracias!

Best Unfair Fight, Four on 1

Best Home Dinner: chili verde

Best Street Performer: No fire, no tricks, no assistants, no juggling…just a man and his bottle….Wowzers

Best Street Performer with Fire: The Silver Man Clan, Tramo de Muerte

Best Green Flash: Edgar Lima

Best Jail

Best Alternative Workout Studio: Angie’s Pole Fitness

Best Road Trip: Reno to Ensenada, September, was my first trip through the Sierra Nevada mountains.  Can’t wait to return and spend more time soaking in the scenery.

Best Christmas Decoration

Best Birds and Bees Do It Photo

Best Happy Hour: l’chaim

Best Wine & Food Pairing: Bocelli Sangiovese and cauliflower crust pizza.

Best Bubbles

Best Bubbles Saluting Flag

Best Mom


Best music: Jean-Luc Ponty, “Renaissance”

Best Photo: Owl in my front yard.  Certainly not a great composition, but, it was fascinating to share the moon with this little guy perched on top of a pvc pole lot marker.

Best Moments with family and friends, thank you.  Cheers to our adventures and new friends this year.  Ring my bell soon.


Perfect Thanksgiving Weather

3 Months of Training

Celebrating completion of 3 months of consistently tough workouts in my gym and on the hills here.

The lower scar in above photo is what I call “Tuscany Trail”, as an hommage to my Tuscan neighbors whose home hovers above it.

After my chest and arm work, hit this hill for 16 intervals of 45 seconds each with a 90 second walking rest interval.  It was the most difficult workout of the year and I passed the test.

Thoroughly enjoyed a thick piña colada shake as my reward.

For the 92 days, I missed 9 days of workouts.  That’s the 90% workout day goal I have been trying to reach.

Also moving my diet to a more ketogenic diet has been a big help.  Nope, I’m not a keto perfectionist and far from it.  I enjoy beer and wine way too much.  But, adjusting my food intake toward green veggies and protein is easy.

Chicken, bacon, walnut, avocado, cucumber, roasted red pepper, gala apple and romaine salad with a cheap Malbec from Argentina was Thursday’s late dinner

My snacks are almonds, cheese and celery.  Hummus and greek yogurt provide excellent dipping variety.

I also have an 11-12 hour “fasting”  window between my last food intake at night and my late breakfast after workout.  That breakfast is my protein shake of whey powder and a variety of frozen fruit that I keep in the freezer.  EZ on fruit intake if you want to lose fat.

How much weight have I lost?  Guessing I’ve lost 12 pounds of fat, but, I don’t have a scale and have always recommended that a scale is a terrible tool for fat loss.  Most people’s weight fluctuates +/- 5 lbs daily, so what good is a scale to measure your progress?

My three categories of exercise are weight resistance, bodyweight exercise and hiking/running.  I rarely do the same exercise in any given week as variety is good for training as well as keeping a fresh attitude.

A business mentor of mine taught me about incrementalism.  The idea is to ease in to your healthy lifestyle.  Applied to diet and exercise, most people go absurdly overboard in the beginning.  Which leads to a quick end.  Try incrementally adding days of exercise, a  few naked salads and some protein shakes to your week.

I enjoy the mental and physical benefits of challenging workouts as I age gracefully.  And I’m writing this at 6:20PM, so it is time I had the first beer of the night.  SALUDOS.

30 bodyweight exercises

Planes, Trains, Autos

7 days, four airplanes, 2 trains, 2 Uber rides, 2 shuttle buses, 2 municipal buses, 10 road tolls, 1 rental car, a hike at midnight and a peaceful dawn drive from Newport Beach to Ensenada this Sunday morning were among my methods of commuting from left coast to right coast and return.

For those of you living in urban communities, ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft are regular services.  I happened to be in a very rural part of Florida this week and Uber is ein geist(a ghost).

Called a taxi service about scheduling a ride in early morning of approximately 12 miles.  “We don’t pickup in that city!”.  It was three miles from the city center in which their office is located.  And the dispatch dude made certain he gave me attitude in smacking me down for my persistence with my request for help.  Imagine that happening between Newport Beach and Costa Mesa, two adjacent cities in SoCal?

Denny’s at 1AM…zzz

So a hike under the stars got me to my destination just after midnight.

Why do airports look like shopping malls?  This was my second visit to Charlotte airport in 12 months.  Yes, when I travel, I always have a hankering for diamonds, furs and leather boots, oooh!

On my last second flight from Orlando through Charlotte to LAX, was able to sneak into window seating. Yep, I’m the window guy, using my pillow against the pillar to catch up on needed sleep.

eastbound path in red, westbound is green

LAX airport is one compressed sea of humanity, bags, taxis, shuttles, cultures, strip clubs and stuff.  The horseshoe design is a traffic shock, even for L.A.

Getting a ride escape from LAX after landing is easy, but, can be expensive. For example, Uber from Newport Beach to LAX is $50.  But, Uber LAX to NB is $125.  Guessing the ride to the airport is cheaper because that driver will easily gain another customer quickly at LAX.

There is a bus from LAX to Union Station that will connect you with Amtrak trains as an option for approx $10 bus and $20 train .

There is also a Disney Shuttle from LAX if that is your direction for approx $30.

The best option is to have a very good friend who will fight the freeway and LAX traffic battle.  Thanks to Pablo and Arenalita, I swindled them into my commute to LAX.

But, even great friends can be asked to do too much, so I chose old school “Super Shuttle” for my return trip from LAX to Newport Beach.  At $50, it was a solid value, plus I scored a promo $20 rebate.  Super Shuttle also texted me when my flight arrived on which vehicle # would be greeting me, nice.

If those good friends also provide blue fin tuna sammiches with roasted red peppers to greet you, you are one lucky leprechaun.

Woke up rested and ready to rock south to Ensenada this calm, clear Sunday morning and caught a beautiful sunrise in top photo.  The spot is El Mirador at K84, north of Ensenada.  Above photo is from a few years ago that barely show my neighborhood on the hill above the ship in the harbor.

What trip through Ensenada could be complete without witnessing an accident at Tramo de Muerto, just north of Maneadero?  This was 7:30 this morning.

Now enjoying a peaceful Sunday in my paradise.

fotos por Bajadock




Thanks Friends

Happy to announce that my home, aka Dockerty’s Pub, is officially reopened to guests.

Thanks to Chuy and Jorge, plus their teams, my new walls, entries, lighting and doors will be welcoming Pub friends and family for beverages, food and more fun memories.

My bachelor mess, construction zone and dust bowl have dominated the past 2 months.  But, I have hosed down the entire house and cleared out the big chunks of debris and stagnant props for a simplified and peaceful setting.

My pantry and wine frig enjoy nearly the same abundance as my Irish luck and appreciation of those of you who have helped me recently.  Looking forward to sharing it all with you.

H, PS, S, D and BL are at the top of a long list deserving my appreciation and thanks.  If I did not mention you by initial or name, just drop in for the beverage of your choice.  Newly positioned door bell provides the new password for your VIP visit.

Salud, Amor y Paz de la Pub.


Workout Success

No wonder that so many give up so early on their new exercise plan.

The first day, the first week and the first month is full of pain, little success and lots of frustration.  Sore muscles tell you “just fuggeddaboutit!”.  Injuries say “what were you thinking?”.  Your tortured mind tells you that the upcoming workout should be procrastinated at all costs.

No, I had not let myself go to complete flab this year.  But, I was likely up 10-12 pounds at one point due to travel, weak mind and other distractions. Exercise and fitness goals are a huge part of my soul.

Waitaminute, we thought you did not own a scale and don’t believe in weighing yourself as a good measurement of fitness, right?  Right!  But, they way I feel, look and clothes fit tells me exactly how many weeks of serious effort are needed to correct my conditioning.

August 8 began my recent workout discipline.  I started with an easy chest and arms weight workout and a light 2 mile hike. The photo of my neighborhood above is my outdoor gymnasium.  Only required additives needed to these hills are good shoes and good attitude.

Today marks the 8th week completed of my path.  Out of 56 days, I missed only 8 for an 85% success rate.  More importantly, was that at week 2, I began throwing in some serious hill interval workouts to kick my bunz into puddles of protoplasm.

Today’s 12 repeat sprints of a 200 yard hill(approx 8% grade) followed by chest and arms weight session was a winner.  My new sofa grabbed me hard for a spontaneous nap today after this morning’s punishment.

About my diet, I slightly moderated the amount and type of food enjoyed.  Added fat with avocados, olive oil, coconut oil.  Preferring veggies and salads over rice, pasta and spuds.

Last night’s spaghetti dinner modification example including 1/3 the normal pasta serving.  The other 2/3 was zucchini and spinach.  Those 2 veggies go great with my red sauce and Italian sausage.

Cucumber, tom, apple, avocado, chicken salad with olive oil, lime and Tajin dressing

Yep, I like my beer, wine and occasional starch sinning.  But, I’m guessing my diet only changed approx 20%.  Biggest change was focus on adding veg intake.  In calorie terms, guessing I’m devouring 10-20% more than before due to the intensity of my workouts. Like my no scale rule, I don’t count calories.

It is fun to be in a place that I can eat virtually as much as I want.  Other than my beer and wine fixes, I’m lucky not to own a sweet tooth. Well, I need an ice cream score on occasion, so I load up my daily protein smoothies with ice, so that I have to spoon it.

Smoothies, salads, fish(not fried) tacos, stews/soups, pork/chicken/seafood, nuts, broccoli.  Nope, I’m not perfect on these, but, my trend with these fresh foods is my friend.

Food tastes better, my mind thinks more clearly and sexual performance and enjoyment are improved, youbetcha!

Sharing my success as encouragement for you and yours to find a way to improved health.  If you only walk around your block, that is better than sitting in your Barcalounger.

Bajadock’s 5 tips for long term exercise success:

  1. Find an exercise activity that you might enjoy. Hey, I don’t completely enjoy all of my types of different workouts, but, I enjoy taking on the challenge and the satisfaction of achievement.
  2. Set an exercise schedule, add a buddy if that helps you and get it done in 30-60 minutes.  A 10 minute high intensity interval workout is better than going out for a 1 hour walk.  Quality  and consistency win over quantity.
  3. Modify your diet.  Unless you are working out with intensity for 2 or more hours a day, you will not outwork a bad diet.  Find vegetables that you enjoy.  Do a one day per week “cheat” day to take care of your cravings.  Modify, don’t try anything crazy, because that won’t last long.
  4. A little bit of fruit , especially berries, in a smoothie(I like whey protein) is good.  Fruit juices and a whole lot of fruit might look healthy, but the sugar content will defeat your plan.  OJ in your morning is a weight loss killer!
  5. Extra bonus:  Until you reach some little point of success, weight loss, % of planned days executed, keep it your little secret.  I hear many announce their new plan or buy the shiny new equipment and discuss their purchase with 20 friends.  Shhhh, JUSTDOIT, exercise and wait until you have health news worthy of a press conference.  Thanks for reading mine, CHEERS.

Baja Peasant Food

My diet is fairly healthy with little pre-prepared food.  But, once in a while, I indulge in something that is full of fun like this week’s chili fries.

I’m all about peasant food or “comida campesina”.  Fresh, local ingredients prepared and cooked family style are my pleasures.

As mentioned before, lots of swirlies, splashies, sprinkles and flowers on plates are warning signs.  If “elevated cuisine” is simply plate decorations, enjoy the above example for your next hot date.

Hey, Doc, isn’t that a splashie decorated on your  chili fries plate?  Um, that is a spill from my ladle.

Salads, tacos, soups, stews and ceviches comprise 90% of my food intake.  But, the chili fries thing was because I had a carbohydrate itch that needed scratching.

Yep, I like my fries cooked medium-well, so they get a few extra minutes in the oven for the crunch factor.

Chili recipe was a slight new twist adding mole sauce to the mix of pork, black beans, poblano chiles, celery,  zucchini, tomatoes, onion, cumin, oregano and chili powder.  With cooler weather here, this cauldron of bubbly goodness poured over crispy fries is a good evening.

Poblano or pasilla?

Only thing I omitted that could have pumped up the decadence factor on my chili fries is some gooey cheese.

What wine to pair with this seductive dish?  That would be “vino ambar”, aka cerveza!

Next up?  I think I’ll be exploring a seafood poutine, thanks for my friends in the other BC, British Columbia.

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