Podcast #198 – Marc Gives You a Day by Day Replay of His Trip Back to Texas Along with Observations Along the Way
We normally travel back to Austin every six months to take care of things like renewing the car registration, picking up nutritional products, taking care of some medical stuff, and to do some shopping. We were unable to make the trip back in April when the car registration expired due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
These last few weeks looked like the best time to make a quick trip, take care of important business, and get back to Mexico.
I give you a day by day replay and some of my observations along the way.
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Now on to the podcast…
Wednesday, September 23
Google maps led us astray due to a setting to keep us off toll roads. This put us on a beautiful road but was very winding and slow.
We arrive late into Monterey but before sunset and stay on the Northside of Monterrey by the airport.
Thursday, September 24
We leave early but not too early. We try a different route but deviated back to the toll roads and lost some time.
Drove on the toll roads until we hit the 21-mile mark which is the real border. We take highway 2 west to the Columbia Solidarity bridge. We ran into a major traffic jam with trucks backed up as far as the eye could see. Ms. Google found a detour around this traffic jam.
It took an hour to cross the bridge and get through US customs.
My wife drove from this point forward. She has not driven for a year.
Driving up I-35 was a bit strange. For more on this drive check out my post, Reactions to Our Temporary Return to the United States.
We arrive in Austin at about 7 PM. We stayed at an Airbnb and made a quick run to Whole Food Market. I discuss the incredible inconsistency in the COVID process in Texas.
Friday, September 25th
We drove to a north suburb of Austin to pick up a year’s worth of nutritional products.
Stopped by our friend’s house to pick up mail and packages.
I had made appointments around Noon at Tarrytown Pharmacy to get COVID-19 tested. Tarrytown Pharmacy had a very streamlined process to get tested. I was very impressed.
Subaru goes in for an oil change, inspection, and recall. This takes longer than expected. 2 O clock appointment but I do not get out of there until almost 6 PM.
We go to dinner downtown Friday night. Everyone is young which is contrasted with so many of my peers who rarely go out.
Saturday and Sunday
Was mostly filled with shopping, visiting with several friends, and getting a feel for what it was like to be back in Austin.
Coffee with Thom Singer at Mozarts and the crowd of mostly very young adults.
Monday, September 28th
Dropped off my wife for her appointment with her audiologist. I went to the Domain – which is the new 2nd downtown.
I went to the Apple store to pick up a new Apple mouse and recycle a smashed iPhone. I once again had extremely inconsistent experiences at stores in the Domain on how they were handling COVID-19.
My wife dropped me off at my periodontitis.
Tuesday, September 26th and the Rest of the Week
On Tuesday I went to the Travis County tax office to renew registration. The Travis county employees left me totally impressed with how they were herding cats.
The rest of the week was running errands like recycling used batteries, getting a battery for my iPhone, buying new Vibrams, recycling print cartridges.
I had an appointment with my chiropractor who I have been with since 1992.
Met with our property manager to inspect our condo that is being rented out.
I will be eligible for Medicare in 2021 and we will likely sell our condo in 2021 due to capital gains tax implications.
The real estate market in Austin is booming.
We dropped off our vote from abroad mail-in ballots which was a very pleasant experience.
Friday and Saturday, October 2nd
We visited with our friend Donna. Picked up a bunch of paperback books. Left for Nacogdoches which is in a very conservative area of east Texas.
Once in Nacogdoches my wife was discouraged from wearing a mask by relatives but the University students were mostly wearing masks.
Sunday, October 3rd
We start our journey home driving through Houston to arrive in Laredo.
Monday, October 4th Cross bridge at 8:15 AM
We cross the bridge into Mexico and was immediately stopped by the Aduana (Mexican Customs). We successfully cleared customs.
We headed on our way around 8:40 AM. Drive on toll roads and filling up with gas every couple of hours. One of the highlights was a Tesla charging station in the middle of nowhere.
We stayed at the Las Palmas Midway Inn in Matehuala and ate dinner at the hotel restaurant.
Left the next morning again bringing all of our food with us.
Arrive back late afternoon and quarantined for about 7 days.
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