Off to Mexico!

Austin Travel Blog

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Isak, the Universal Translator!

This blog is a little different than my other blogs on TravBuddy -- this trip had a business purpose but we managed to have a lot of fun along the way.  My good friend Foo asked me to go with her to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico to look into opening a Thai restaurant in San Miguel.  Foo owns the best Thai restaurant in Austin and is a world-class and world-renowned chef.  The twist on this trip was that she was going to be driving down to San Miguel with the sister of her former cook -- who was already in Mexico and had opened his own Thai restaurant in a neighboring town, Dolores Hidalgo.

I have visited San Miguel previously -- but had never driven that far into Mexico -- it was always by plane before!  The distance from Austin to San Miguel is 680 miles (1,095 kilometers) and with border crossing, fuel, food and other pit stops, the trip would take up to 15 hours!  The plan was to drive straight through without stopping to spend the night along the way.

My friend, Foo
  I was a little nervous about the plan for several reasons.  First, there is reportedly a fair amount of violence in the Laredo/Nuevo Laredo area, which has siginificantly affected tourism in the area.  Second, it's summer and can be hot as hell driving during the day, particularly across South Texas and Northern Mexico.  In order to beat the heat (and some of the traffic, particularly the border crossing delay at Laredo), we left at 8pm on Friday night.  That was planned to get us to the border at midnight or a little after, when the lines to cross are shorter.

We drove down with the sister of Foo's former chef, Maria and her son, Isak.  Maria was going down to see her family in Dolores Hidalgo and to celebrate her birthday.

Maria making some miles.
  Isak was so excited to see his Grandmother, Uncle Juan and his cousins.  He is 6 years old, fluent in English and Spanish, and was an absolute delight on the trip.  I was so amazed that he was not complaining about the length of the trip, needing to eat, etc.  He was very sweet and was a real help with some translation issues!

Maria and I took turns driving.  She drove to San Antonio and then I drove to the border at Laredo.  Maria took over again to get us across the border since she owned the car.  We had absolutely no issues crossing into Mexico -- in fact, it may have been one of the easiest border crossings ever.  

Africancrab says:
Beautiful blog as always Tim
Posted on: Aug 25, 2008
YantiSoeparno says:
15 hours? Wow... I ever had a 12 hours and it was tiring... Actually it should took about 8 hours but I met several bad traffic jammed.

Waiting for the continuation of this blog...
Congrats on being featured :D
Posted on: Aug 22, 2008
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Isak, the Universal Translator!
Isak, the Universal Translator!
My friend, Foo
My friend, Foo
Maria making some miles.
Maria making some miles.
Austin
photo by: cabotono