South of the Border

Thursday

Hard to believe that it is Christmas Eve.  The temperature everywhere is way above normal.  This morning we were off to Nueva Progreso a Mexican Border town.  Here is the bridge to Mexico.

IMG_3912The parking lot was right at the start of the bridge.  We paid our 50 cents at the turnstile and started across the short bridge.  Pretty quick we were at the middle of the Rio Grande and at the border.

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As we approached the Mexican side we could hear voices and then arms came sticking through the holes in the bridge side.  Could not understand what they were saying but am sure they would take anything you gave them.  At the very end the holes are blocked off with steel plates.  Mexican customs was a breeze just a quick welcome to Mexico.  The town and shops start at the end of the bridge.

There are children and woman everywhere begging or selling gum, back scratchers, and other trinkets.  Plus the sidewalk is lined with vendors doing the same with a lot of people just begging.  I did not feel uncomfortable but I really don’t like that environment.  It took me back to my Navy days and I often would skip liberty to stay away from it.

Bonnie had her directions to a good pharmacy and made a beeline for it to pickup some antibiotics for future use.  It was noon by this time and it was around 90 degrees and humid.  We walked way down the street and in and out of several shops.

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Lots of stuff to look at.  No idea if the deals were good or bad.  Lots of people even wanted to clean my dirty sneakers for $1.00.  Finally we started down the other side.  There are dentists, doctors, and beauticians galore.  Each with one or more people out front trying to get you in.  We were looking for an air conditioned place to eat and a man on the corner led us to a good place.  Not sure of the name of it but we all ate a good size meal for less than $20.00.  If it had been cooler we might have tried one of the stands across the street.

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One last store for Alexus and we headed back across the bridge, this time only 25 cents.  We cleared US customs and immigration and I was happy to see the car was still there.  The car cooled down fast and we were on our way.  The speed limit is 70 or 65 but it is still not fast enough for the many aggressive drivers down here.  We made it home safely and the girls headed for the pool.  I have not felt good all day and now needed some liquid, so poured a big glass of lemonade.  Then laid down for a nap.

Now its time to head to chruch for the Christmas Eve service so need a quick shower.

The service was amazing they did a really great job and packed a lot into the service and the Pastor’s message clearly told the Christmas Story.  We got home and relaxed a little before heading to bed.


Christmas

Merry Christmas to all.  Our first Christmas in the coach went well.  We knew most of the gifts we were getting but there were a few surprises.  What could this be.

IMG_3917 Bonnie’s own pet Beaver

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Then she also got a new cover for her laptop.

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Finally she got her own Instant Pot and joined the newly formed Instant Pot group here at Retama.

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Bonnie got busy then and made a double batch of corn spoon bread to take to the community lunch.  We found A Christmas Story on TBS and we were able to watch it as is our tradition.

We also got to FaceTime with our daughter and son’s family and the corn spoon bread was done right on time.  We packed up and headed up to the clubhouse to share dinner with everyone.  Right inside the door I was greeted by David McGavic, we knew them from Escapee’s Bootcamp.  He and his wife Judy have bought a house here.

IMG_3926 Then we joined a table with two other couples and had a good time getting to know them and sharing a meal with them.

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It got pretty hot and humid in the clubhouse and people started leaving so we headed back to the coach where it was a bit cooler.

Alexus did some laundry as she leaves tomorrow, Bonnie did some reading, and I got a nap.  Then Alexus and I watched a movie.


Saturday

Lots of wind when we got up this morning and it continued and got windier during the day and evening.  We all got up and got ready to head to the airport. Pretty sad around here but I know Alexus is also looking forward to getting home.  We got to the airport in plenty of time and even had time to take a selfie.

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We also got a snack for Alexus and a drink for me.  Then before we knew it she needed to go through security and off to the gate.  Not too many people in line.

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Really, the line was short but the TSA lady was pretty slow.

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Guess she is hard to see but she is back at the desk checking all the documents.

So she waved good by and she was gone.

We headed back to Retama, boy its windy, glad we are not in the Coach on the road.  Once back I started tracking the flights and everything was on time and going well.  I watched some football it was snowing in El Paso wow.  And it looks like the wind and weather is causing problems.

Alexus’s flight was 45 minutes late leaving Dallas, actually longer.  So that meant she would miss her flight out of Charlotte unless it was late.  Well it was not.  It took a little while but she was able to rebook on the next (last) flight tonight.  So its only two hours longer, all part of the adventure and she learned how to handle a missed flight.

She is on the flight now and should be in Buffalo before midnight.

Sounds like we have a lot of new Instant Pots in Retama Village, they have formed a new group and 14 already have signed up.


Sunday

So Alexus was finally home shortly after midnight and safe in her own bed.

We had a rough night with a strong wind out of the south buffeting the motorhome all night.  Several of the home owners here in the village offered their guest rooms to anyone that did not feel safe in their RV.  We did get some sleep and it stayed warm all night.  By morning it was still 75 but by the time we left for church it was 58 and the wind had shifted around so it is out of the North now.  Its still a good stiff wind.

The youth pastor preached the sermon today.  It was about our responsibility as parents and grandparents to be aware of what our young ones are watching on the internet.  Think about it their phones, tablets, kindles, playstation, and computers all are connected to the internet.  While there is much good material on the web a quick search or a careless click on a link can lead to big trouble.  I would encourage you to take the time to listen to the short sermon and see what you can learn.  I know I learned some interesting things.  Here is the link Palm Valley Church.

After church we headed to the H.E.B. for some groceries and then home.  Bonnie made a nice salad and we had chicken.  Then we were able to watch the Bills beat Dallas.  The rest of the day we pretty much took it easy.

I did end up breaking out the electric heater to take the chill off late this afternoon.  We like the cooler temps but will be happy when the clouds clear out and it gets sunny again.  If you check out the Texas forecast you will see lots of snow and other types of bad weather we are just in an area of brisk winds so we should be fine.

Thats it for this week.  Thanks For Checking In!