Thursday, September 12, 2013

Coming "Home" to Mexico

It has been almost 6 weeks since we left Mexico to spend some time back in the States. When we drove ­across the border from Arizona into Mexico yesterday it really felt like a homecoming. Although Mike has a house in Washington where my daughter Danielle lives and I have­ a house in Massachusetts where my daughter Stephanie lives, wherever the boat is feels like home to me and I felt a little surge of joy as we drove into Nogales.

Getting to the States entailed a ten and a half hour bus trip from Guaymas to Phoenix to catch our flight to Seattle. We could have flown from Tucson, saving 2 hours of bus time, but the Phoenix flight was nonstop and the Tucson flight involved a layover. The bus had huge plush recliner seats and we left at 11:30pm so we were able to sleep most of the way. Twice we all had to get off the bus and send our luggage through x-ray while the bus itself was thoroughly inspected inside and out. The first was at a military check point in Mexico at 3:30am and the second at 6am at the border crossing .I’m glad that I’ve learned a little Spanish or it might have been scary when the soldiers with machine guns got onto the bus and started barking orders at us. Although the bus was nearly full, it looked like we were the only non-Mexican passengers and there was no one to translate. One interesting thing I’ve noticed in Mexico is that most waiters, waitresses, and sales clerks who work in tourist areas speak English. Most government officials and people involved with public transportation do not.
Seattle was awesome as always. I was able to spend time with my daughters and grandchildren, do some recreational shopping, and visit with friends. It was gorgeous and warm and sunny almost every day. Seattle has to be the most beautiful city in the world when the sun is shining and still looks pretty good even in the rain. While in Seattle we needed to buy replacements parts for the boat including a new outboard motor, not the sort of thing you can pack into a carry-on. So, rather than fly back to Mexico, we drove my car stuffed full with parts and tools as well as our luggage and a few grocery items that we can’t easily find here in Mexico. Whether or not it was cost effective is debatable but we made a fun road trip out of it including 2 days in Las Vegas

and a trip to Hoover Dam. Hoover Dam was, by the way, the only place our car was pulled over and inspected.

Because we already have our Mexican tourist visas and requisite Mexican auto insurance, we drove right through the Mexican customs check point at Nogales and the Mexican immigration check point several miles down the road. At either place we could have been randomly chosen for inspection, but were lucky to get green lights at both places and drove on without even having to show our passports. I was, as usual, prepared for the worst but it was a breeze and we were back home in San Carlos in time to catch the end of the USA vs. Mexico soccer match over dinner in a local restaurant.

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