Along the Natchez Trace

Monday, December 29, 2014

South of the Border....

It rained a lot yesterday...  and turned cold.  I think it was 42 degrees most of yesterday morning but it did get up to 50 by late afternoon.  This morning wasn't as cold...  but early morning was so foggy that visibility was practically nil.  It has gotten up to 60 now at 4pm.

I needed to grocery shop so we left early to the H.E.B. up in Pharr.  It's a bigger store than the H.E.B. here in Alamo and does have some things that the closer one doesn't, but I just like shopping at different stores.  We thought that one might have a bulk food section for dry cereals etc,...  it didn't but the cashier told us about Sprouts, a grocery on 10th St in McAllen.  It was a bit of a drive but worth it as Bill found many kinds of cereals and I found a few treasures as well.

It was around 10:00 when we got back home so as soon as we put the groceries away we headed to Mexico.  Sounds like a huge adventure, but it's not quite as exciting as all that.  Especially when my main purpose was to go to the dentist.

As many of you know, it's very easy to make a trip into Nuevo Progresso.  You just drive to a parking lot on the USA side, pay your $2.00 to park all day, head for the sidewalk/bridge that spans the Rio Grande, put your 50c in the turnstile kiosk and just walk across the bridge into the city.

Like I wrote, my main goal was to get my teeth cleaned...
No appointment is needed and even though the waiting room was full, I had to wait only about a half hour to get in.  Since I'd been here a few times in the past, they pulled my file right up on the computer and in no time at all I was in the chair.

The equipment is every bit as modern and up-to-date as you'd find in the States and the dental hygienists wear gloves, masks etc.  A person does not have to worry they are getting a cut-rate service even though the prices are more than reasonable.  I had a thorough cleaning, and the dentist came in and checked out my teeth when the girl was done...  probably took 40 minutes in all...  for $25.00.  The dentist did recommend that I have the fillings removed from 2 of my molars and have crowns put on...  (no root canal needed)...  and this would cost $200 a tooth, or $400.00.  There isn't anything wrong with either tooth, it would be more as a precaution against brittleness...  but since we're here for just a few more weeks I probably won't get that done now.

Another thing I do while across the border is pick up drugs.  Nah... nothing illegal, and my prescription plan is pretty good, but Zyrtex (same as Clariton) is over-the-counter at Walmart, but I can buy 100 tablets for under $20.00.  I bought 2 bottles, 200 days worth, for about $35.00.  

We always go to the same drugstore...  Jessica's....  and while I don't know the name of the pharmacist, I always get a hug and Bill a handshake.  (I know...  so does everyone else)... But he always makes us feel like a friend.  Now..  here's the funny part...  while you're waiting for your prescriptions to be filled, you walk across the hall to the bar and are served a free margarita...
No kidding!  That's a Margarita dispenser in the upper right photo...  in the lower right, the man is dipping the glass rim in salt, then he fills it up with the drink.  Kind of like a fountain coke, huh?  After many years of imbibing, I figured out that I really don't like margaritas...  they just aren't worth the calories they contain.  Besides that, I was driving... (but I doubt these drinks have much alcohol in them anyway).

Bill likes to get his shoes polished....
There are all kinds of shoe-shine stands along the streets and sidewalks.  This guy did a fantastic job on Bill's shoes and only charged a dollar.  Bill tipped him well.

Of course after the dentist and the shoe shine and the drug purchase we had to stop for lunch...
The Red Snapper is our favorite restaurant here...
I skipped my usual Chile Rellenos this time and got fried shrimp.
They were good, but I kind of wished I'd gotten the chiles.  That's a lemonade Bill is drinking...  I got an iced tea.  I think most folks order sweet tea (which tastes like syrup to me) and when I said plain tea, the waiter brought me a little dish of lime slices and several packages of sugar or sugar substitute.  I drank it plain.

There was a big party going on in the back corner of the restaurant... back where the live music was and even some dancing.  It was fun to watch and hear this group having such a good time.

After lunch we headed back to the bridge...  paid our 30c each at the turnstile (interesting that it costs 50c to enter and only 30c to leave)...  got in the line to head through customs (yes, we remembered to take our passports)...  and back to the parking lot and the short drive back to the RV park.

We'll have to go back again so I can order the chile rellenos!

That's All For Today!


  1. Speaking of dentists--my dentist once told me about a margarita vending machine his wife encountered at the beach while he was at a conference. When the dentists found their wives still at the beach at the dinner hour, they found a bunch of very intoxicated women.

  2. I'm just not comfortable going into Mexico by myself. I'm trying to talk someone here into going with me so I can get a new filling in a molar. The dentist in Casa Grande wanted to do all kinds of caps and such to the tune of three grand. I just want a filling replaced for Pete's sake! If I hadn't of eaten that caramel in July, I wouldn't have this problem. ;)

  3. Gotta love going into Mexico, such a fun time. We always enjoy it too. Love the chiles too.

  4. Oh wow!!! I just love chile rellenos. Now you got me hungry.

  5. Interesting advise about the installation of crowns to replace fillings. I could have used some of that advise back in Vienna, but probably wouldn't have taken it anyway. Ended up breaking a tooth one evening. Broke right at the old filling. I was lucky, as the dentist was able to put on a crown. Looks better than ever.

  6. Mustre is who we go to. I am so glad to have an HEB close by.

  7. I do not have medical insurance so I too go to Mexico to see doctors, dentists and would also buy my medication there. I must say I have never been offered a margarita while I waited...heck I would make it a point to go back to that one drugstore if they did :D

    I enjoyed your write-up and impressions of your visit to Mexico.