Thursday, March 30, 2023

Car Trip - Monterrey to Kansas City

It was epic and it was long but we did it.  It wasn't easy getting to the United States.  We left on time, 6:15 a.m. with Dallas as our destination   We chose to drive through Monterrey to save about 30 minutes.  It was early and traffic was still very light.  As we approached the first toll that takes us to the Monterrey airport and Cadereyta there was a huge bottleneck.  Shift changes at 7:00 a.m.?  Are you serious?  That was 15 minutes sitting in one of 8 lanes.  

On the toll highway, there were three different checkpoints, all of which delayed us by 15 to 30 minutes.  We arrived in Reynosa and sat on the bridge for another hour.  As you can see we were delayed by bureaucratic systems rather than traffic.  Juan had copies of all his necessary papers to obtain his tourist pass for six months.  Six months of pension check stubs, telephone bills to prove his residency, ID cards, etc. 

We pulled up to the booth on the U.S. side and the guy who was CBP agent was nothing less than a real dick.  I speak Spanish very well but he decided to challenge me by speaking only in Spanish and as fast as he could.  He insisted I had never crossed the Hidalgo bridge with our VW Gol.  I had to prove him wrong after 15 minutes by pulling out our vaccination cards and pointing to the strip mall on the other side where they gave us the shots.  He finally gave up and sent us to inspection.  There, the panorama changed 100%.  The agent greeted us, asked Juan to go into the office, and said I could accompany him.  In the office, the agent said she didn't need his papers just his visa card.  She swiped it, asked for the address of our destination, handed him his card and wished him well.  That has never happened before.

Dallas bound we kept our fingers crossed on the way to the infamous Falfurrias, Tx checkpoint.  They are always stopping people with Mexican plates.  I kept to the speed limit and stayed with the traffic.  All good.  We made a couple of stops to eat our breakfast and lunch we had packed and gave into the road at Temple, Tx.  That was enough for one day.

We stayed at the La Quinta which has a nice senior discount.  We went across the street to get a Whataburger to split when I realized I had lost my credit card.  Juan stayed for the food and I went back to the hotel.  The desk clerk was coming out the door with my card in her hand.  She had forgotten to take it out of the terminal and my bad for rushing off. 

A quiet night and up early the next morning.  Off to Oklahoma and the great state of Kansas.  A lot of talk radio, and more road construction than I have ever seen before bringing traffic to a complete halt at times and causing more delays.  

Taking the Kansas turnpike I was about to say "it's time to stop" but we had a reservation at an Airbnb.  We pulled into Kansas City, Mo., and found the place right off.  The easiest check-in ever.  The lock box was hanging on the rail, I entered the code, took out the key and we were in.  This is another one of our top five Airbnbs.  You want for nothing.  Most in town are around $100 a night.  This one was $61 with a 15% discount and the owner waived the authorization fee.  There are some Airbnbs that now require you to pay a $35 fee to do a check on the renter.  B.S. on that one.

We spent the evening watching a good movie and eating a great pizza from Haha's Pizza on Main St. and 37th.  Yesterday, we spent most of the day with my oldest nephew, his wife, and his son.  A great time was had by all.