We left American Home this morning under some stress and tense moments but did get on the road with all packed and happy kids.
Husband very nervous about border crossing. No Problemo! We literally hit the green light (random car check trigger) and we were over in 5 minutes at most.
We miss the turn to complete Immigration and Car Registration (that is right after border crossing.) We drive around and around and around for 30 minutes. Finally we find a place that looks right. Husband leaves us in a parking lot and sets out on foot. Kids have good time playing in dirt and rocks. Husband returns. Wrong place. This is place for Mexican Cars.
We return to border get to proper location. We get through steps 1, 2, 3, 4 in about 45 minutes. We pay $100 in immigration fees and leave a $300 credit card deposit to guarantee we will bring car back into USA.
On the road to Monterrey!
I get on phone and make reservation at hotel recommended by friend and AAA travel book. Friendly Hotel Person gives me "clear" driving directions. It is kinda pricey but we are excited to be in Mexico so why not? Drive goes very smoothly. We enter Monterrey, make 1st designated turn but end up in the mountain, literally. Turn around, make another bad turn. Get on right road. We are about 45 minutes being lost now. Going fine until we are supposed to turn on Major Highway. Here are highlights:
- End up at airport (20 minutes wrong way)
- Complete race car turn on Major Highway (scary) - I think this is when bike rack broke
- After many failed attempts, I figure out we did not need long distance code of 01 when calling in the city - Versus when I had called hours earlier and used the 01
- Talk with Friendly Hotel Person off and on for about an hour trying figure where the h-ll we are
- Husband yells at Friendly Hotel Person and hangs up on her - you know it is bad when I am the calm one
- End up in apartment complex parking lot and can not get out without race car maneuvering
- Find nice Police Person and thrust phone to him to talk to Friendly Hotel Person
- Follow Police Person to hotel which includes taking us up a ramp the wrong way with his lights flashing
- Arrive sheepishly at hotel to face Friendly Hotel Person
We have been lost for 3 hours. All this driving done with the Pop-up Camper on back.
I think this qualifies for a memorable first day in our year abroad.
P.S. Hotel is spectacular