SAN YSIDRO, Calif. (KGTV) -- Memorial Day weekend is wrapping up, and many families waited until the last minute to get back home. Near record-breaking gas prices and hours-long bumper-to-bumper traffic at the border did not stop many travelers from traveling dar for their long-awaited vacations.
Beautiful music, delicious wine, and perfect weather made for an unforgettable Memorial Day weekend vacation for Johanna Zuniga.
"We've all been vaccinated, so we were very excited about that," Zuniga said.
She and her relatives made the 200-mile drive from Long Beach to the wineries in Valle de Guadalupe.
"We are Mexican Americans, so we're like, 'Let's go back to our hometown!'" Zuniga said.
US Customs and Border Protection has limited inbound land border crossings, only to essential travel until June 21, 2021. But with it being the first holiday weekend since many COVID-19 restrictions were loosened, travelers could not help themselves. According to CBP, wait times at the San Ysidro port of entry never dipped below three hours after 1 PM. Zuniga was right in the middle of it.
"I was like, 'Wait, when I used to come, it was like 40 minutes, like 30 minutes, and now three hours? It was tough. It was a long, long wait," Zuniga said.
After the long wait at the border, at the Valero gas station near the border, several people waited in another line. This time, for the restroom. Despite being fully vaccinated, Zuniga and her family made sure to take safety precautions.
"Before we step in the car, let's just spray spray spray [Lysol] to try to disinfect a little to make sure that we are being safe," Zuniga laughed.
She has had to refuel multiple times at multiple pumps during her trip. According to AAA, the average price of self-serve gas in San Diego County is the second highest in Memorial Day history at $4.19, only behind the record set in 2012 at $4.28. Prices have been steadily increasing, $0.12 more than last month and $1.25 more than last year. Still, Zuniga said it was all worth it.
"Being together for the first time in a while, it was really great," Zuniga said.