"I can't stand surfing with crowds. So pretty much any big swell that's hitting, I hop the border down to Baja. The waves are so much better, more powerful and uncrowded than in San Diego. It's kinda like Hawaii: no stress, no one's rushing, it's slower. My dad lives down there now and I love it."

"Kinda like Hawaii," but with way better Mexican food. Ricky Whitlock settles into his home an hour away from home. Baja. PHOTO: Tom Carey