Well. after more than two weeks on the road, we are in Albany, NY, ready to arrive back in Maine tomorrow for our long summer visit. Our trip north so far has been fairly uneventful, which is good. Being back in the United States, though, has been an adustment, however, from our simple, dusty life in Mexico. Everything is so organized and clean! The roads have such wide shoulders and are so clearly marked. they tell us about the exit coming up starting several miles ahead of the exit. In Mexico, the traffic signs are sometimes blocked by trees and difficult to see. And the notice that we have to exit the highway often appears only a few meters from the actual exit point. People in the US follow the rules very carefully and are not as casual about the rule of law as the Mexicans sometimes are.
Sticker shock is another adjustment we have to make. Prices seem so high here, especially when we have been spoiled not only by the lower prices in Mexico, but have been spoiled by the devaluations of the Mexican peso (now 13.6 pesos to the US dollar) which have made our money go even further. I can see we'll have to watch ourpennies carefully this summer!
We have been having a strange problem with our 2007 RAV4. For about a year, whenever we took a right turn we would hear a loud "thump" coming from the rear of the vehicle. Additionally, for almost the entire trip, we have had a "4WD" warning light onthe dash. In Muncie, Indiana, where we stopped to visit our son Eric and his family, we took the vehicle to the local Toyota dealership (there are Toyota dealerships in Mexico, but the warranty is not honored on a vehicle purchased in the US!). Well they discovered the problem: whenI had the right rear tire replaced in Mexico, they put on a tire the wrong size; about 2 inches short. As a result, when we took a right turn, the axle was sensing that the car needed to engage the all-wheel drive, and tried, unsuccessfully to engage. Thus the thump, and the warning light. New tire, problem solved.
At any rate, we had a lovely visit in Indiana and spending time with our grand daughter, Isabelle, who is now 16 month old. Here are some more photos:
So tomorrow we'll be arriving at our friends' Curt and Judy Webbers house for the next five weeks. They have been to visit us twice at Lake Chapala, and were very generous to offer their house for us to use as a home base while we are in Maine. We will be busy spending time with old friends and family. We will head back to Muncie in the middle of August and be back home in Mexico by the end of August. Maine has been experiencing cold, rainy weather during June and early July. We hope to bring the warm Mexican sun when we arrive!