Saturday, May 28, 2011

Day Trip To Laredo

We woke up early this morning around 5:30, coffee was ready and we watched a little news from the U.S.  Local news here doesn't begin until 7 a.m. on weekends.   Showered and hit the road for Laredo, Tx.   Going across town was a quick trip and before we knew it we were on the autopista to Laredo. We had purchased some tacos on the way out of town to eat on the road.  Man were they good.  I had the following; picadillo, nopalitos, papas con chorizo, and salchicha, all on flour tortillas with beans and salsa.  A bit apprehensive at first but we found out that everyone else was going to Laredo too to do a little weekend shopping.

Lots of traffic and the toll booth was without much of a line but the roadside pit stop was full.   Passed an accident between two tractor-trailers, one had clipped the rear end of another and headed off the road and into the median catching on fire.   The fire was out when we got there and the federales were taking the report.  Another trailer had arrived to start moving what material had not been burned in the fire.

At the km 26 we were waved through by the  military and we headed to Laredo through downtown to the original bridge number 1.   We hadn't used that bridge in years and didn't know what to expect.   The downtown area is business as usual, the hustle and bustle of a border crossing town.  Guys on the corners selling newspapers, cleaning windshields looking for a peso or two (it's Saturday and they need the money for their birongas).   Arriving to the bridge we had a wait of about 20 minutes.  Not bad considering it was a Saturday morning.   The walk line was forever long and we needed to turn in an expired permit.  Keeping our fingers crossed we approached the bridge to what appeared to be a very hard-nosed border guard.  He didn't say a word for minutes as he tapped his finger on the computer keyboard waiting for a response on our license plates.   He finally turned and  spoke to us in Spanish until I handed him my American passport.   He looked us over pretty good and I guess realized we were two old bags going shopping.  He asked me to get out and open the trunk and we started a conversation.  He said things were bad on the Texas side but had calmed down on the Mexico side.  I agreed based on what I had heard the week before.

He started to wave us on until I stopped him and asked him about the expired permit.  He said it should have been turned in before the 11th of May but he didn't see a problem.  Juan offered to go into the office and face the consequences and he said not to worry, he would cancel it himself and it was a "no issue".

Off we went.  Walmart, Office Depot, HEB, Eye Mart (contact lenses),  lunch at HEB and we bought a few personal items.  I wanted batteries for the trailer but unbeknownst to me there is no CostCo in Laredo.  We snuck into Sam's Club and by the time you add all the b.s. taxes for batteries it was the same price here at home and we could return them if we have an issue without driving 175 miles.   Oh and the contact lenses, you have to have a prescription and it's "puro chili".  They wanted to charge 109 dollars for an eye exam.  I can order the damn things on line for less than half of what they wanted for the lenses.  I had a free exam at  CostCo in Monterrey plus a free trail pair.  

After that we went back to Office Depot where I had seen a nice Toshiba laptop.  I wanted to think on it for awhile and I did.  Back we went and I got it.  What a deal.  I hope to get it up and running tomorrow.  The one I have now works okay, but it broke into two pieces and you have to prop it up.   Apart from that, it continually changes keyboard setups on its own and no one can figure it out, plus the dam mouse pad is just not right.  You brush across it and you wipe out everything you've written.  Time for a new one.  

Off we headed for the border.  Not a problem on the highway, not a peep out of any one; police, transito, federale, bad guy.  We arrived home safe and sound around 6 p.m.  A great day shopping at the border.


  1. Sounds like a nice trip to Laredo! I hope the batteries in MX are the same. I guess they would be as they are all made in MX anyway.

    Too bad about the contacts but you should have guessed they would be cheaper at home. I broke my frames in New Mexico and Sams charged me over $100 to put my lenses in new frames. This was right in front of a sign advertising complete glasses for $39.

  2. Bironga? I had to look that one up...slang for cerveza?

    Hey, are you not going to enter my contest? I thought the new trailer could use a cover...?

  3. Would love to but how would I ever get the cover if I won? Hmmm, now you have me thinking . . .

  4. Chris, it could be shipped to your place in San Antonio, and you could pick it up there. That is, if you won!