March 6th

        Moving day. Not a long drive today – should be easy. The drive out of Corpus Christi was going smooth right up until we missed our exit. Oh well, plan B. Even Plan B was not bad and we were on our way. There was a large amount of road construction near Harlingen TX. The freeway was down to two lanes with concrete walls on both sides. Not bad in the Jeep but it can be very nerve racking in the camper. If you don't run right on the dividing line you feel like you are going to scrape the wall. This went on for what seemed like miles. We got off in Brownsville in what seemed to be a very busy shopping area. Lots of traffic. After a few miles things slowed down and we found our campground – Paul's RV Park/Resort. We were put in a temporary site that had only 30 amp service. The park offered wireless internet so I was good to go. We had supper at a place called Big O's before settling in to watch Deadwood and Carnivale.
 

March 7th

        Our main goal for today was to get moved to the 50amp site. We didn't know what time they would be ready for us so we were ready early. The guy that was leaving our new spot eventually drove by on his way out so we expected to get a visit at any time. I eventually got tired of waiting and went to the office. "We were just coming to get you". The remainder of the move was without incident. Next project – mail the taxes. This should be easy, all we have to do is go to the post office. The only problem was that the place was clear across town. Best I could tell there was only one post office in town. Seemed everyone went to Mail Centers instead. These were UPS places. The closest one was out of business and the next closest one was near the post office. We were told the lines would be very long at the post office (maybe they should have more of them) so we went to the UPS store. After many miles of extremely busy streets, we eventually found the place and went in. They offered USPS items as well as UPS and other carriers. I selected a USPS Flat Rate Express envelope and jammed the tax stuff inside. I like the Flat Rate Express pack because it is one cost to mail any amount of stuff you can fit in the envelope. Something like $10.95. After addressing the package I handed it over the counter to the helpful man. He promptly weighed the package. I said "It says Flat Rate on it".  His thoughtful response "We still have to weigh it, that will be $6.00". I paid the fee and left with my fingers crossed that my tax papers would actually get to Rita’s brother back in Wisconsin. Back at the campground we signed up for two Mexico trips that were offered by the campground and retired to the camper. Way too hot to be outside – we even had the A/C on. Rita took the opportunity to do some laundry.
 

March 8th

        The people going on the trip to Progreso Mexico were to meet in the recreation building at 8AM to travel to a second campground by 8:45AM where we would join more people for the trip. Since 8AM is early by our standards we walked into the building late. It didn't mater as people were standing around waiting for the 'leader' to show up. About 8:40 we sent someone to the office to check on his whereabouts. He had gone to a 'breakfast' at the other campground and we were to meet over there. We car pooled over with another couple from the campground – Jim and Wendy. Very nice people. After leaving the second campground we traveled about 40 miles to a parking lot near the Mexican border. We parked there and walked across the bridge to Mexico. The only thing we needed for entrance to Mexico was a quarter for the turnstile. No, it won't take two dimes and a nickel. Progreso was right on the other side of the bridge. The streets were crowded with cars and people. We shopped junk stores for about two hours before meeting up with the group again for an excellent lunch at Pitayos Hotel, Pharmacy and Restaurant. It seemed like every other place was a pharmacy. An awful lot of people must go to Mexico to get their prescriptions filled. None of these places looked as trustworthy as a drug store back home. While at lunch we heard of a place called The Cactus Bar located a little further down the street. There was really only one street with shops on it so there would be no problem finding the place. After lunch we shopped with The Cactus Bar as our goal. By the time we got there some of the others from our group had gotten a table so we joined them. The place sold colorful hand painted mugs for $6 and that included having them filled with any drink you wanted. We selected two and had them filled with pina colada. After we sat down to enjoy them the waiter came around with the liquor bottle to make sure our drinks were strong enough. They were plenty strong already. A little later we discovered that refills were $3 and they were just as strong. The time to meet up for the trip back was near as we headed back through the street to meet the group. We hurriedly walked amongst the cars in the street to avoid the crowds on the sidewalk – we were running late as usual. Meeting up with the group we walked across the bridge. The requirement to get back into the US was a quarter and nickel for the turnstile and a picture ID. The ride back to the campground passed quickly and we were back at the camper. Something we ate or drank in Mexico wasn't sitting well with Rita's internals so we had a light supper and retired early.
 

March 9th

        Our second trip to Mexico. At least we didn't have to meet as early today. We still weren't ready on time. We got there on time but then I had to go back to the camper for the camera and then back a second time for Rita's sunglasses. We rode with Jim and Wendy again today. The first stop was the Duty Free store at the border. You could buy liquor, perfume etc at lower rates. No interest to us. After you buy some liquor they export it to Mexico, you pick it up on the other side of the border and then carry it back into the US. Too much hassle for me. We paid our $.50, two quarters in the turnstile, and walked across the bridge into Mexico. We gathered at a place called Garcia’s and got on a bus to go to the market. The bus was pretty bare but did provide transportation – very fast and wild transportation. The merchants in the market were aggressive marketers. Each trying to outdo the other and drag you into their store. We got tired of this fast and went to Las Dos Repuplicas to wait for the remainder of the group and the ride back. We had some nachos and a couple of Dos Equis XX while we waited. Even there people would wander in singing or whatever and want money. Eventually the group was all there and we walked out to find a bus back to the border. At the bus loading place I think there was some miscommunication. One of the drivers thought we should have gotten on his bus when we got on a different one. He was pissed. As we drove away he followed close behind. At each stop he would come speeding up behind our bus and stop about an inch from our bumper. Then there was the racing through the streets. So close side by side that our mirrors were hitting each other. We arrived alive and much entertained. The bridge back to the US and safety had a $.30 turnstile. Enough excitement for one day.
 

March 10th

        After two days of travel into Mexico it felt good to spend a day around the camper. We did a trip to Wal-Mart, some project work around the camper and sat outside drinking beer. It was about 80 today. A great day for an ice cold beer.
 

March 11th

        Since we were near the end of our stay in Brownsville we took this day to explore South Padre Island. It was just a couple of days before Texas Week and already the kids had started to gather. Most of the TX colleges have their spring break during the same week and many of the kids head to South Padre. They are expecting about 100,000 kids this year. We drove through the very busy areas and out to the beach area. The road went on for miles with nothing but beach on both sides. Kids, cars, bikes and dune buggies were everywhere. It looked like a great place to have a party. We eventually turned back to town and then took a back road that went behind all the noise of the main area. There we found a quiet little bar called the WaHoo Salon. They were ready for Spring Break but the crowd had not found them yet. After a cold beer we returned to the mainland and the peace and quiet of the camper.
 

March 12th

        We went to the pizza buffet place called CiCi's today for lunch. They have some really good pizza and a wide variety to choose from. We found one we really liked but we have no idea what it is called. It had a creamy white garlic sauce and lots of veggies – hard to describe. From there we followed the first half of the route we would be taking with the camper tomorrow to see if the road construction would cause us a problem. The route seemed OK but for variety we took an alternate route back toward the camper. This road took us right along the Rio Grande and the Mexican border. In many areas the border was less than 50 yards from the road. Border guards were always in evidence and all of the homes we passed were fenced against intruders. Light towers were all along the border but all in all it was a nice drive. Tomorrow we move. We will be going by the main route rather than the alternate.

Pictures