Saturday, May 1, 2010

San Antonio Trip

On Thursday April 22nd, Greg, Lina and I head out at 6:00 in the morning to begin our 17 hour driving trip to San Antonio Texas. Lina is our Spanish teacher and she was going to visit her kids. Greg and I needed to leave Mexico to renew our six month visitor's permit and our car permit.
We passed through several Mexican states of which I can only remember some. We live in Jalisco, next came Aguas Calientes and then San Luis Potosi and Nueva Leone. That's enough geography. The Sierra Madre mountain range was stark and beautiful. We watched the vegetation change and Lina taught and reviewed our Spanish which was an added lessons. We only got stopped by one policia....a state cop in the state of Nueva Leone. He took Greg's licence and said we'd have to back track to the town which was two hours back towards home and go to court the next day to pay the ticket. I felt sick. Lina turned on her charm and of course the fact that she speaks fluent Spanish helped too. The outcome was a good one. He let us go. By the way, we offered to bribe him, but he said he was a new breed of police and that they were working hard to change the image and he didn't take bribes....refreshing.

We got to the border at Nueva Laredo in daylight which was an important goal. Border towns are notoriously dangerous, especially at night. There have been many Narco-trafficking incidents in Nueva Laredo. They made us take off our car sticker and we crossed into the United States without incident. Life changed immediately on the other side. Two totally different worlds with just an imaginary line separating them. Actually they are separated by a river called the Rio Grande on the Texan side and the Rio Bravo on the Mexican side. I have to admit my heart did a little flip at the sight of "more" familiar signs displayed on fast food restaurants and everything written in English!
After the border we still had a three hour drive north to get to San Antonio. We arrived at our Comfort Inn at around 10 p.m. We were sweaty and exhausted. Lina's friend picked her up at the hotel and Greg and I headed to bed.

We couldn't wait to get to the MALL the next morning.....The Gap, Old Navy, Macy's and T.J. Max. We both bought some new shmatas to wear in the heat of Ajijic and sated our need for some good old home style retail therapy. We spent the next couple of days on the famous San Antonio River Walk, truly candy for the eye with beautiful hotels, shops and restaurants all along the banks of the San Antonio River. We took an informative boat tour, we ate, we ogled, we walked and we were delighted by this incredibly beautiful part of the city. Everyone who has never been needs to put it on their "Bucket List."
We also visited the Alamo, had a very lovely reunion with Greg's old working buddy Cindy Leeming who now lives in Florida but happened to see my facebook blurb about going to San Antonio and was going to be there with her beau Ed Womble. Two lovely people. We brunched together and had drinks on the River Walk. Lina took us for a lovely dinner at her daughter's restaurant.

We left the grand town of San Antonio late Sunday morning. We arrived at the border and renewed everything without too much great to have a fluent Spanish speaker in tow. We drove until just before nightfall and stopped in Saltillo (they mine salt there) Mexico for the night. We stayed near the square at an old Colonial Hotel.....very different from the Comfort Inn. We got up at 6 a.m and headed out arriving in Ajijic at around 2 in the afternoon. Mission accomplished.

I went for a walk one Sunday morning and just took pictures around town and of the Spring flowers. I've broken them into two albums.

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