Saturday, December 25, 2021

This Is What Happened Next And . . . Christmas Day

GoFundMe:  The donations were cut short by an error on my part.  I opened the GoFundMePage from Mexico but using my U.S. address and the glitch began and GFM wouldn't let me withdraw funds or make changes.  Once I discovered the error I didn't post it on social media.  Thus, only a couple donations were made and the funds could not be withdrawn because of my error with countries.  The funds will automatically be refunded to the donors after December 28th.  In the end, "M" was helped by us, friends, and family, and the issue was resolved.  

I took this in the morning, Christmas Day, at 10:30 a.m.  

I haven't posted since we arrived in Matehuala because we've been busy running around.  We left Matehuala Tuesday morning around 8:30 a.m.  A late start for us but we had some difficulty leaving the Oasis Hotel.  The paisanos (Mexicans living in the U.S. who visit at Christmas) with their loaded pickup trucks and cargo trailers, decided to box us in.  They wanted to park near the hotel office so the guard could keep an eye on things.  After they left there was still one more.  We couldn't wait any longer and he was parked directly in front of us bumper to bumper.  Juan went to the office and they hunted the guy down. He was very nice and apparently had been up for hours.  

Off we went.  Well, almost.  I had a small accident that I had been wishing for many years.   As we left I didn't wait for my guide and as I pulled out of the gate I smacked the rear awning arm.  There it was, dangling in my side mirror.  I've hated that thing from day one.  It's always in the way and like most travel trailers, no matter what you do, the slightest breeze will cause it to rattle and bang the side of the trailer just enough to keep you from sleeping or napping.  We wired it up and headed down the road.

We had the Glamping park set as our place to keep the trailer but one call the Hotel San Ramon changed that.  That gave us a very good storage rate and parking on the concrete area.  It worked out perfectly and is just five minutes from our house.  Well, just about everything in SMA is five minutes from our house.  We asked one of the workers if he could remove the awning.  He lowered his price after I told him he could keep the awning.  Good riddance!  I first smacked that awning backing the trailer into the driveway 12 years ago and several times since then.  Free at last!

I've done some painting and hanging of temporary curtains, some paint removal from the bathroom tile,  The patio wall was heavily stained around the top from water so I bought a liter of basic white, which matched, and covered it all up for now.  Looks good to me!  

We went to the Parroquia last night for the Christmas celebration.  We participated in the traditional posada ushering in Mary, Joseph, and the baby.  We walked from our house.  Walking at a normal speed with conversation took us 20 minutes from the house.  Good exercise.  People weren't out in droves but more than enough to make it festive.  

We will be celebrating the 40th wedding anniversary of our friends Michael and Carol on Wednesday with a lunch out.  Thursday Barbara wants to have happy hour in the trailer so we will spend the night in the RV park and then head home on Friday.  It's been a busy week but we got a lot done.  Still, no refrigerator although we have come close.  White is just not in fashion.  The ice chest has worked out well and we are making most of our meals at home although a quesadilla in passing is always a good thing.  

Last night on the way home I felt my phone vibrating.  I missed the call and decided to wait until we got home.  I called back and was so excited.  It was Peter and Linda from Canada.  They live in Ajijic and we met them eight years ago in Valle de Juarez.  We talked for quite a bit catching up on what we are all doing.  She said she decided to start calling friends she hadn't seen or heard from in a while.  Made me very happy. 

We hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and stays safe.  Even though I am enjoying my time here I look forward to taking the trailer to Guadalcazar next week and boondocking somewhere. 

Monday, December 20, 2021

On The Road Again - Christmas Trip

Parked at the Oasis Hotel in Matehuala!  First full-fledged rv trip in two years.  The SUV performed beautifully going over the mountains.  The fan clutch change out did its job.  I'll keep it short but we left at 8:15 a.m. and arrived at the Oasis at 2 p.m.  We took our time as the roads were still wet from the weekend rains and the fog over the mountains slowed us down.  We weren't in any hurry.

I'll upload the blue fog we saw today.  I've never seen anything like it.  The bluest blue you've ever seen.

Me siento como pez en el agua.

We here in the RV getting ready for a celebratory dinner out at Las Palmas.  So many great rving memories of rvers from all over the world that we've met.  We bought some new furniture for the house in Santiago so we brought the living room chairs with us for the SMA house.  Wow, they are great in the RV.  Wish we had room for them and get rid of that POS standard jack knife sofa. 

Being back in the RV makes us so happy.  You can only imagine.  Get ready for Christmas because Santa is definitely coming1

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Cheddar Cheese and Canadian Butter - It's That Time Of Year
Rvers are slowly tricking back into Mexico.  The forums and Facebook are buzzing with questions about permits, best crossing points, a first-night stay location, and of course, the most important, "What foods can I bring?

It's all good and whatever makes you happy.  Everyone has their reason for heading to Mexico in their rv.  For some, it's about staying put in one spot and enjoying the weather meeting up yearly with other ex-pats.  Others like to travel around and learn more about different places. 

Food is always an issue.  I've found several lists of what foods to bring, what you can't bring (supposedly), and then those that bring the whole house.  And that too is okay but you miss out on so much.  Mexican cooking doesn't turn out right using Canadian butter and cheddar cheese, it just doesn't.  Some don't like Mexican food either or that it's too spicy.  We spoke with some friends in San Miguel de Allende who could fit some of the descriptions above that thought all of Central and South American food was hot and spicy served with tortillas.  Nope, only in Mexico.  Cross the border into Guatemala and within an hour's drive, the tortilla disappears.  Chile peppers, no way.  Bland is as bland can be.

Oh and don't get me started on looking for imported items such as graham cracker crumbs.  Find a good substitute.  I make cheesecakes with Honey Kraker Bran and they turn out even better.  Take a course on Mexican cuisine while you're here or spend a day in the life of a Mexican woman who sells enchiladas.

Last night we were invited to our friend Suzanna's house.  She and another teacher, Jenny work with Juan and they are good friends.  We cooked on the grill, five of us, Jenny's boyfriend was the grill master.  Funny speaking about food, there was nothing on the table that wasn't Mexican.  Steaks, the most tender and flavorful we have ever had and I challenge anyone to tell us otherwise, came from 60 km down the road.  Guacamole, veggies, wine, and the cake, all were Mexican.  No Canadian butter or cheddar cheese to be found.  

It just seems like an obsession with so much time wasted hunting down things that, sure you might eventually find, but to what end. 

We went to McAllen for a booster.  Mexico will start a booster program for 65 and over this next week.  Of course, our Secretary of Health says it's not necessary as the Omicron variant will just make you stronger.  Good for him.  The border was much easier than we expected.  They only had one lane open to the bridge and we entered the like at 11:52.  Once you get across the bridge to the border agent booths then the line fans out into different lanes.

That was at 12:52 and the agent asked to see our vaccination records, passports, and visa permit.  Off we went not 300 yards and at the commercial strip mall on the left known as the Mercado de Los Chinos they had the vaccination tents set up.  We filled out the forms and no questions were asked.  

A little tense on the toll highway at two inspection checkpoints they had set up.  It appears they had been hit several times.  Spikes were strewn over the shoulders and the one blocked lane.  The soldiers kept moving traffic back and forth from one lane to another each time dragging spike changes to cut off the cordoned off lane.  Lots of shattered glass and car parks scattered about.

Yesterday's headlines in El Norte say that we now have five cartels operating in Nuevo Leon.  As I stated in a blog post or two ago, they're back and in full force.  Well, all we can do is work around them and hope for the best.

It was a fun trip though as it had been two years since we had been to McAllen.  We picked up a few things for family members and friends, nothing for us.  One SIL wanted a Fry Baby and Juan's little brother wanted some socks and underwear.  I'm not sure what the difference is between Walmart underwear in McAllen and underwear in Walmart Mexico is but he was happy.  

They look like hog troughs, don't they?

We drove all the way out to La Feria for some TexMex food at Don Beto's.  It was our favorite place when we were staying at the Kenwood RV park.  We got there and good old Don B didn't survive the pandemic.  In fact, La Feria looks like a ghost town.   Se we settled on a Chinese palace buffet and, well, we won't do that again either.  

As for the house in SMA, doors, closets and trim are all painted and rehung.  Looks great and we can't wait to get back there.  We have one Christmas party on the 18th and then we want to be out of here taking a couple of days on the way down stopping in Matehuala, Guadalcazar and maybe Santa Maria del Rio.

Took the cover off the trailer, cleaned out the fresh and black water tanks.

Got the cover bundled up just about the time a neighbor came by.  With a concerned look on his face he asked, "And what's that you got wrapped up?".  It did look a bit suspicious. 

We were looking for a place to store the rv for a week while we are at the house.  I posted on a SMA Facebook page and got a reply from Villa Zen Zonte.  They are outside town just a couple km from San Ramon Hotel and Rv Park.  She offered us a deal since we won't be staying.  Still checking around though but I had not heard of the place.  They offer glamping tents and other amenities.  You can check them out by clicking on the link.  Rvs are 400 pesos a night for two persons.