Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Trip Progress

May 30: We made it! The border crossing was easy; we were able to bring in our carload of stuff without paying any duty, and we were able to obtain our car import sticker with no problem. Everyone was kind and helpful. The 750 mile trip down through Mexico was both stunningly beautiful and heartwrenchingly sad. The conditions under which the very poor Mexicans live is unimaginable to those of us who have lived in such a prosperous country. In any event, we made it to Ajijic yesterday afternoon, exhausted after 3550 miles but full of gratitude to be here. Our little dog Maggie loves all the new sounds and smells. Our house is not ready for another day or so, so we are staying at the B&B with our landlord. Once we get into the house, I'll post some new photos and observations. I'll try to make future posts a bit more interesting and not just a list of what we're doing like this trip log has been. Please email and keep in touch. You can add comments to the blog, but remember, everyone can read them :})

May 27: Crossing tomorrow morning. Will be off line for a few days. Will post next from Ajijic!

May 26: We visited our family in Port Aransas, on the Gulf coast, including my very special Aunt Alice. We enjoyed some succulent gulf shrimp expertly prepared by Gerry. Tomorrow we head down to Harlingen to prepare for our border crossing. I hope we have all our documents in order!

May 25: Still in Texas about 100 miles north of Corpus Christi. Driving through Texas is tedious...lots of BIG Baptist churches and BBQ pits. East Texas is greener than we had imagined. Will drive down to Port Aransas near Corpus Christi today to visit my cousin Martha, her husband Gerry, and my Aunt Alice who is visiting from Indianapolis. Then tomorrow we finish our drive through Texas to Harlingen TX near the border for an early morning crossing Monday at the Los Indios crossing.

May 24: We have arrived in Texas after a long drive through Arkansas. We stopped to see Bill Clinton's birthplace, Hope, Arkansas. Tomorrow we'll head directly south on some back roads on our way towards Corpus Christi.

May 23: After enjoying a wonderful four days with Eric and Crystal, we had a long drive today (450 miles) and arrived in Arkansas this evening. Tomorrow we're hoping to cross over into Texas.

May 21: We've been enjoying some wonderful Hoosier hospitality and some R and R with Eric and Crystal. Finally, some warm weather too. We have been hearing from some of our Maine friends and family. We're off on Wednesday morning to Texas to visit my cousin Martha, and plan to cross the border on May 28 or 29.

May 19: Arrived safely in Muncie, Indiana to visit our son, Eric, and daughter-in-law Crystal.

May 18: Great visit with my friend from Brown, Dennis Sykes and his wife Deb and their son, Craig at their Centerburg, Ohio home. Dennis is still the Mayor of Centerburg, and Deb the resident piano teacher.

May 17: Visit to Niagara Falls, NY. Pixie had never seen the falls. They were impressive; I was surprised how economically depressed the area is.

May 16: In Seneca Falls, NY: the National Women's Rights Historical Museum, and Wesleyan Chapel, site of the first Women's Rights Conference in 1848.

May 15: Hyde Park , New York: Site of the FDR Presidential Library and Museum, FDR's home, and Val Kill, Eleanor's residence. FDR and Eleanor are our heroes!

May 14: Leave Maine after a lifetime of memories!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Ready to Depart

To everyone's relief, we are finally on the brink of actually leaving for our new life in Mexico. We have had a wonderful couple of weeks with almost every day busy with some "send-off" activity of some sort. We are a bit overwhelmed with the love and support expressed by all our dear friends and family, and we carry all of you in our hearts as we take this new step. Thank you all!

Our colleagues from the Humanities Department, Lucy, Ethel and John, feted us with a trip to New York City for the day on April 28. We enjoyed a beautiful spring day taking in the Frick Collection (my special request), wandering around Central Park, and seeing the John Lennon memorial in Strawberry Fields across from the Dakota, and finishing up our day with a gourmet meal at an outdoor Brazilian Restaurant.

On April 29, Claire and Mary Kay hosted a dinner for us at their house with other members of our small fellowship group.

On May 4th, our dear friends from the UU church in Auburn gathered at John and Paulette Brooks' house, decked out with numerous fiesta decorations, to enjoy an evening together. About thirty of our closest church friends attended, and we ended the evening with a rather raucous music jam, singing and making music together in our UU tradition.

This last week or so, we've enjoyed dinners and breakfasts with many other friends who want to say a special goodbye to us.

We said a final goodbye to all our friends at CMCC at the commencement on May 11. We are now officially retired, although that part has not sunk in yet...but I am sure it will in the coming months!

Today our daughters, Wendy and Cassie, and Wendy's boyfriend Troy, are hosting one last goodbye/Mother's Day celebration. This will be a very special day as we prepare to head out tomorrow!

THANK YOU EVERYONE...OUR FAMILY, OUR WORK COLLEAGUES, OUR UU FRIENDS, MY YMCA FRIENDS....EVERYONE WHO HAS MADE US FEEL SPECIAL AND LOVED! After all, we have a good life here. We are moving on to a new life but plan to stay very much connected with the old.

We've just about got the car packed with all our remaining possessions. It's amazing what you can fit into every nook and cranny of a vehicle when you need to. We have a "rain bag" packed on top, and even a little pillow for our little dog Maggie to sleep on during the long ride south. I feel a bit like the Joads in
Grapes of Wrath!

We'll try to post a bit on the way down, as we have access to the Internet. Hopefully everything will go smoothly. And we're leaving with the Red Sox in first place with a comfortable lead over the Yankees! Enjoy that while we can!