First visit to Nuevo Progreso

Friday, January 30, 2009

Some friends here in Retama Village, Kathy & Phil, knew we wanted to visit Nuevo Progreso, Mexico. I needed to get some medication, find a dentist and just peruse the "stuff" for sale. They offered to escort us in and take us to the pharmacy they used. We set a date for Thursday, hoping to miss the cold & rain that was in the forecast.

The rainy day came & went...and it never did rain, in fact it turned into a very nice, sunny day. LOL! Thursday we woke to temps in the upper 40's and it was all the way up to the mid 50's by the time we were ready to head out. We often ride in temps that cool but since we wanted to run errands afterward, we opted to take Freddie (our Freightliner). Kathy & Phil picked up another guest, Yvonne, and off we went. We took mostly back roads rather than the Interstate...nice ride. Took almost an hour (at least it seemed that way).

The entry into Progreso was costs 25 cents per person (and 30 cents to return to the US). There are change machines and an ATM but you know me...always the good Girl Scout ("be prepared"), so I had the change....LOL!

Since this was our first trip into Progreso we figured we'd be doing a lot more browsing than the we immediately headed to the pharmacy and then we went our separate ways. I got one of my two meds at the first pharmacy and got the other later in the day at a different one.

Shops and street vendors abound...leather, jewelry, purses, sunglasses, clothes and pottery are everywhere. But there are also a lot of more unusual chairs/hammocks, pinatas were big as were the cloth friendship bracelets with your name on them and the suction cup mesh sunscreens for your car/RV. We got a silk scarf for me, sunglasses for Stu, friendship bracelets and the larger sunscreens for Freddie's side windows.

We walked for about 3 hours with a stop at the SPOT for a drink (Corona for Stu and Diet Coke for me). Here's some snaps...neat place, bet it's hopping at night. Just after leaving that we ran into a couple of other RVing friends, Hank & Patti Landry and 2 of their friends. We had just seen them earlier in the week at the Class of 2007 lunch!

The other stop was for lunch...we found Arturo's and were extremely pleased. Definitely high quality...on par with the better restaurants we ate at in Cancun. The service was impeccable...I carried in half a bottle of Diet Coke and when I opted out of a drink, they brought me a tall glass of ice for my Coke. The food was delicious and not priced bad either. We'd both eat there again. (I had beef tips with green peppers & onions, served with rice & refried beans...needless to say, I had mixed it all together before remembering to take the photo...LOL!) Stu had a combo plate.)

Since my first visit to a Mexican Border town was Los Algodones outside Yuma, that was all I had to compare it to.....and Progreso wins on the quality of things to buy. Both had beggers, children as young as 6-7 selling things, way more to buy than anyone needed, less liquor stores in Progreso, about the same in dental/pharmacy/optical and I felt the flavor in Algodones was a little more party-like. The little town square/park in Algodones would have been appreciated in Progreso though...

All in all, it was a good day. We'll go back on Monday for my first dental appointment. Probably won't do much shopping...but then again, who know what the kids/grandkids might ask about....LOL!

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna & Stu

A more serious topic....

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I follow many different blogs...most are written by other RVers, some by motorcyclists, others keep me up to date with computers/cameras/software, some let me enjoy others hobbies and a few help keep me focused on simplifying my life.

Today's blog entry from one of the latter jumped out at me today. I emailed it to some family members and several friends and got a lot of positive feedback so I thought I would pass it along here. If you enjoy it, I hope you will continue to pass it along to your family & friends. I would recommend adding the site to your daily read....not all are pertinent to everyone but enough are that I feel it's one of my favorites.

The blog is Zen Habits and today's entry was "What Would You Do If You Only Had a Short Time to Live?".

While on a serious note, I wanted to pass along another page - this one can be printed out and referred to (and passed along) as needed. We all need a little reminder now and then: Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center discusses Cancer Screening Tips ~ formatted for printing

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna & Stu

Diaz Diner, Mission TX

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

After the debacle at Pepe's on the River, Donna and I were very hungry (famished is more like it). We started down the road back into Mission. I plugged "Diner" into the GPS and headed for the first selection that popped up...Diaz Diner.

A very clean, pleasant place where we were greeted as we came in. We had drinks at the table in less then 5 minutes along with homemade tortilla chips and salsa. mmmm gooood! Our lunch (dinner) selection arrived on a warm plate about 10 minutes later. It smelled delightful, partly because we were so hungry and mostly because it was. I had a plate that consisted of a taco, enchilada and a burrito, it was named the Diaz Mexican Plate. Donna had the Diaz Chicken Monterrey which was grilled chicken (with some type of delicious seasoning) topped with white cheese and green peppers. It was served along with rice, refried beans & two tortillas on the side.

Service was great, food was great, price was very reasonable. The entire check was less then $20 and Donna took a doggy bag home that will make a least 2 more meals for us. We decided we would go back and try the breakfast on the day we leave for San Antonio for our fight to Orlando.

Once again, the diner rules!

Keep rolling...we will...

Sometimes you win and sometimes you don't

The Escapees Class of 2007 had a small reunion of sorts today. About 20+/- members met at a local eatery called Pepes on the River. It was a cool setting, under a grass thatch roof, open to the air with a view to Mexico over the Rio Grand River. As Donna and I rode in we both thought it was probably very popular with bikers. Sure enough, there were about a dozen bikes parked around the side. The beer was cold and the Bar service efficient. There was even a small band playing the kind of music you would expect here...a little country, some Texas Two step stuff and some oldies here and there. We had lots of conversations about traveling, our rigs and some of the usual RV banter you might expect from a crowd like this. [more pics at SmugMug]

That's where it ended. Everyone arrived at about noon and we were seated about 12:30 after some meet and greets etc. Our lunch order was taken and we continued our conversations. The menu was short, but to be expected as this place was set up for large groups and quantity servings. Donna and I ordered a quesadilla each and the waitress went around the table getting all the other orders. I went for my second beer. More chatting and a third beer. A trip to the bathroom and finally some of the food had arrived, it was now around 1;45. The bathroom trip did not appease the food gods for about 6 of us. I went for beer number 4.

Finally the waitress returned and asked if we had received our food, answer: no. She retook the order and disappeared to the kitchen. At about 2:30 she returned and gave us some lame excuses for the delay...the kitchen lost the order...blah blah blah... Donna asked when it would be ready. Answer: there are 2 tables ahead of you so I'm not sure. Could she move our order to the top since we'd been waiting almost 2 hours? No, she wasn't going to fight the kitchen. We said good bye. No explanation or apologies were offered and no sign of a manager or a supervisor. We felt as if they really didn't care.

It's too bad, because the atmosphere was terrific and it seemed like the place could be a lot of fun. There certainly was a crowd there for mid-week. I got the idea that this was business as usual for the place. Oh well, we left and found a great little diner in the center of town and got our fill of good Mexican food. More on that in the next posting.

Keep rolling...we will...

Beer & a great meal....

Sunday, January 25, 2009

What more could you want on a cool Saturday afternoon. Once again we were out running errands, picking up stuff for Stu's current project...the refitting of BRAT our motorcycle trailer. We stopped at a local hardware store and picked up some stainless steel nuts, bolts, washers (okay, so not all of them ended up being stainless). We also nabbed a small wire cart that we are going to try in the closet for Stu's t-shirts. We'll post a photo after we've tried it out...

We also made a quick Wally World stop where I added a few more plates & bowls to our stash. Stu had the polycarbonate ones and while virtually indestructible (and expensive), I prefer the breakable ones. In my old rig I had Corelle but this time around I chose the clear glass ones that you see in many restaurants. A nice change...I'm buying them by the piece since we don't need the coffee cups. At .73-1.00 each piece, it's inexpensive to pick up what I want and WAY cheaper than the Corele.

From a website that sells the brand: "Durable Arcoroc tempered glass usually does not break or chip when dropped. Break and chip-resistant & microwave safe pressed glass dinnerware." Here is a picture of what we got as well as two other patterns that I had for years in my houses.

When we finished running around it was approaching early dinner time and neither of us had taken time for lunch. We decided to stop at a restaurant/brewery we had seen earlier - BJ's Brewery. Anyone who has followed our blog for a while knows that as we travel we enjoy trying out new local beers at various beer pubs. I did grab a couple shots inside, including Stu with the 4 tasters in front of him, but forgot to take them of the food. I had the Jambalya with chicken, shrimp & sausage - absolutely delicious! Stu had fish tacos (Pacific Cod) and said the same. I boxed up half my dinner (and all the shrimp) for home and we shared a dessert. It was apple crisp with rolled oats covered with brown sugar & cinnamon, topped with two scoops of vanilla bean ice cream. We made a big dent it in but there was no way we could finish. LOL!

Four 5 oz tasters for under $6.00...we both liked the NUTTY BREWNETTE®, my favorite was the HARVEST HEFEWEIZEN® and Stu's other favorite was BJ'S BREWHOUSE BLONDE™ (which I didn't like at all). Neither of us particularly liked the PIRANHA® PALE ALE. You can see all the brews & their descriptions on their website...appears that they are actually a rather large chain. LOL!

Oh, almost forgot....Pat & Mike McFall stopped by and we finally got our Pressure Pro system installed on the rig (truck & trailer). Took a little finagling to get the sensors on some of the truck tires but after that it was a breeze. I know we'll both feel more comfortable being able to easily monitor our tire pressure both before we hit the road and while traveling. I know I really appreciated it on my Class C and car.

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna & Stu

Day to day....just STUFF!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Not much action here....Stu's been busy working on BRAT, getting it rewired and all new lights installed. He finished it up some real cleaning & inside coating and we should be ready for a test run.

Picking up the parts has had us running all over town but we have taken a little time to hit some local Harley-Davidson dealers. One was here local and the other about an hour away. Nice ride..the weather has been great (a little wind, but nothing to worry about).

We did find a little local spot for dinner, besides Pizza Hut...our first dinner out....LOL! It's City Cafe in McAllen. Neat atmosphere, great service, 50's/60's music and wonderful food. I snapped a few shots with my iPhone so no laughing at them. Stu had Quesadilla's and I had a pasta, Italian sausage & marinara dish.

We have a lunch planned at Pepe's on the River with the Class of 2007 next week and we will probably take our first trip into Mexico (Progresso). I've been doing some web site catch up work and will continue on that. Otherwise, not much new to pass along.

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna & Stu

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