The rest of our summer is a tangle of five jobs, four summer school classes, three trips in Texas, two summer camps and one graduation. – so we figured we had best scurry down to Nuevo Progreso while we could. Note to friends who think we are insane to shop in Mexico: We love it. Yes, there is border violence, and no (sadly), we no longer shop in Laredo. We shared a Brownsville Residence Inn hot tub Friday night with two federal agents who return bad guys to Mexico. What they said, “If you go looking for trouble, you’ll find it.” We don’t look for trouble. We go early in the day, jostle all the snow birds who’ve not returned north yet and cross back by 4 p.m. Though Keith was offered a “special massage” this trip, we’ve never felt threatened.
Elevated Texas highways often feature beautiful stone inlays of local scenery – like these near-the-coast palm trees and birds.
I’ve got one of these shots going back many years. The girls just sight and know to pose by the boundary sign. “Let’s get this over with.”
I understand these “Slaps” candies are all the rage. Basically, you peel away their paper then “slap” them in the air to create a tropical-flavored lollipop. A young entrepreneur at Julia’s middle school sells them for $.75@. In Progreso – $.75 for a pack of 20.
My brilliant niece Sarah wanted us to bring her vanilla – always a bargain.
Pinatas everywhere. Disney princesses and Spiderman seemed most prevalent. Expected to see a Godzilla, but didn’t.
Gotta keep those fluids up! These pineapples were a treat, but all of us know to keep slurping the bottled agua. The sidewalk vendors often block any kind of breeze, and really, it’s hot. Cool bottled water is cheap and always available.
Pewter was way more “normal” this year. Lots of pretty, practical designs, and tons of Christmas-theme pieces. Some years, it’s been too much weirdness like horse heads, or golf clubs. I saw some gorgeous little bowls with peppers on the edges I would have loved to have had for salsa, but truthfully, I’ve no place to store them. As much as I love dishes (and I do!), I need to be thinning ours out, not acquiring more. I struggle with my dish addiction.
It’s hard to tell how pretty this pitcher and glass set are from this picture. Just beautiful little multicolored bubbles on heavy clear glass. Lois and I both found the set enchanting. Neither of us (her with a 450-sq-ft student apartment) have a place to put it. But when she has a real home of her own – it’s coming across the border, baby.
We don’t buy street food other than candied pecans, which all of us love. Six bags of about one cup each = $10. This year Julia was entrusted to carry/spend her own money without Mom’s interference.
Far and away my favorite place this time – a rock store. I didn’t even want to go in, but Lois did, so I went with her. Fascinating. She really stretched her birthday-gift-buying dollars here. There’s nothing she’d get at Target comparable to these gorgeous necklaces for $12. They have beautiful stones, sliced and ready to be custom-wired (copper or silver) for necklaces. They also had (far more expensive) chunks of amber, and other stones such as…..
…magnetic hematite balls, which Keith played with incessantly. What happened to our “no toys at the table” rule??
Lunch at Angels – oh so good! Keith always orders Casadilla Flambeco as an appetizer, which the rest of us share. This year I took Rachel’s advice as got the beef tacos, which were awesome. Their salsa is served warm and has a deceiving kick at the end. A very lavish lunch for six – $78. Keith reviewed them last year on Trip Advisor. Don’t let the “above the jewelry store” appearance deceive you. This place rocks.
We crossed back Sunday for mani/pedis. When the esthetician was scraping Keith’s calluses, Rachel quipped, “That’s what snow in h*ll looks like.” He tipped that poor girl generously.
Six heavenly pedicures and three lovely manicures = $96 total. “Manicure-pedicure-wax” and “Special price for you, lady” are long-standing family mantras.
My favorite find of the trip: a tablecloth. Yes, that sounds ridiculous, but we have my mom’s rock maple dining room table with two leaves, and it’s really hard to find tablecloths long enough. Keith spotted these and we snapped up the colorful one behind the “table cloth” sign. Omigosh, I love it! So pretty. And perfect for Hannah’s “Graduation Fiesta” coming up next weekend. I imagine other than Christmas (for which we do have some tablecloths long enough), this will brighten up our dining room year-round. Makes me happy to look at it.
The girls are already talking about “next year’s trip,” and I hope we have one.
In the meantime – I’ll just go stare at my tablecloth. And mourn the pewter salsa bowls.