Sunday, March 1, 2009

Saturday February 28, 2008

Stella and I got up this morning and drank our coffee in the trailer. We had decided to go to the park breakfast about 8:30 this morning, thinking that the breakfast would be served until 9 like last weekend's was, but we were wrong. Last weekend's was a special breakfast buffet but this one was only served until 8:30, so most of the food was already gone. We did get some pancakes and eggs and they threw in some tater tots on my plate, so we had a decent breakfast for about $4.50. It was a good thing we had already had our coffee, because the park coffee would float a horshshoe.

We all wanted to go to the flea market at Don-Wes, which stands for Donna-Weslaco. We cameback to our trailers to get ready to go in a light rain and while walking over to Ted's truck, the cool front came in. The temperature dropped ten degrees in about fifteen minutes, so by the time we got to the flea market grounds, it was raining and much colder. Most of the outside booths had not opened today, so we only shopped in the covered building. Ted wanted to have his outside sign refinished and dropped it off at the guy's booth ans piked it up in about an hour, all repainted and sanded smooth again. Stella bought a couple of games at one of the booths, and we went across the street to a combination flea/farmer's market. Stella bought some clothes at one of the booths and I bought a decal for the front door, and we stocked up on vegatables and grapefruit before we left. 0we brought all our goodies back to the trailers and changed into warmer clothes.

We loaded back up in Ted's truck and drove over to the border crossing at Progresso. This was our first time to cross the border here. Stella crossed one time at Laredo and I have crossed at Brownsville. Both of our prior crossings were much different than today's. Stella said Laredo was much dirtier than Progresso and I observed that Brownsville was cleaner but didn't have the street booths or beggars that we saw in Progresso. The conditions are very bad over there and there is a huge military presence with armed Humvees, sandbagged gun emplacements and lots of military officers with automatic weapons walking around on patrol at the crossing. It was pretty unnerving but very necessary to keep any violence away. There have been so many problems at other border crossings with drug cartels and violent drug gangs that have kept many people away from Mexico, and I'm sure the Mexican businessmen have felt the effect on their stores.

The biggest thing that we bought was at a pharmacy. We went into one of the first ones we came to, called the Almost Free Pharmacy. Stella and I bought at least a three-month supply of our medications and spent a lot of money, but it's worth it. We saved at least six hundred dollars and won't have to buy more for at least three months, and Stella for ten months.

We then went to two liquor stores where we bought two bottles fo liquor. Another great savings! We got a one liter bottle of Absolut vodka and one liter of coconut rum for a total of $25.50 ($28.00 with the tax). When the clerk rang it up, it showed 376.00 but that is in pesos. It freaked me out to see that until I realized what had happened.

We left Mexico, ignoring the beggars and bridge trolls who were begging for nickles. The Customs checkpoint was way backed up but all we had to do was show our driver's licenses and birth certificates. After June, a passpport will be required. The Customs officer asked me how many liquor bottles I had but didn't ask Stella anything about our medicines. I stopped and paid the liquor tax at the TABC booth and we were good to go.

We drove around for a bit and went to a furniture store that was having a sale on Lazy Boy recliners before returning to the park. After putting our purchaces away, we went to eat at Martha's. After supper, we stopped off at the Rec hall to play bingo. I decided not to play and came back to the trailer. I did bring some coffee cups down to the group because coffee was furnished, but no cups.
Ted later got in trouble for banging his bingo card and Donna got in trouble for not wearing her name tag, so I was glad I didn't stay.

Another nice day in the valley.....

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