There. It’s done. We have finally crossed the border into Mexico and, once again, managed to avoid all of the horrible things that people warn us about. We weren’t bribed, beaten by the police, shot, sold drugs, or overcome by explosive diarrhea. We navigated the passage easily enough, paid our fees to have a permission sticker for our car, and went to the bus station to wait for our nephew Jorge and his girlfriend Yazmin. They would have gotten there about 11:30 except for the earlier bus from Guadalajara, the one they had originally decided to take, crashed horribly on the road. So, Mexico hasn’t changed.
We left my brothers house around 5:30 this morning, he was in rare form and I laughed until I cried as we pulled away. I consoled myself with a cup of the world’s weakest coffee and some of the best buttermilk doughnuts that money (or love) can buy. Just before we left, Violet finally lost one of her front teeth; one that has been hanging on by only the barest memory of a physical connection. Pepe put it in his pocket so that we could put it under her pillow for the tooth fairy when my brother suggested, not unreasonably, that Pepe might not want to cross the border with a little girl’s tooth in his pocket.
The trip to the border was completely uneventful. After finally managing to collect our family, we spent 6 hours driving to Matehuala in San Luis Potosi where we almost always stay when we are driving through. Actually 100% of the time we have stayed there and at a hotel called Las Palmas. This time, we were almost out of luck because some sort of massive volleyball event is occurring in the not just sleepy, but positively narcoleptic town. There was one room left, it had not been rented because there is a leak in the ceiling. However, the leak is not over the beds and so...here we are. We like this hotel because the rooms are large and clean, there is a very nice pool, it is directly on the road we travel on (and yet quiet!) has a restaurant and a fantastic playground. We ate way too much while the kids played on the playground equipment and made new friends.
For dinner, Violet, as usual, ate nothing. Jack and Pepe had ceviche. I ordered fajitas but ate so much of this really good appetizer that we ordered that I was barely able to eat the food at all. It was something called 'cabuche a la Mexicana' with cabuche being the flower of the cactus. It had a wonderful smokey flavor to it with a hint of bitter. I ate more than I should and washed it down with an ice cold Negra Modela. In other words, it was a success.
The kids are bedded down on an air mattress while the adults enjoy the luxury of actual beds; that's the price they pay for so brazenly flaunting their youth.
Tomorrow, we will make the rest of the drive to Guadalajara.
I am exhausted. Pictures will have to wait until I have a better internet connection...