Monday, March 22, 2010's good to be back in the U.S. 3.22.10

Yeah! We're back! The trip up from Mazatlan was beautiful. Rolling hills, beautiful blooming trees & flowers, and clear sailing through the border. The entire trip was great, the traffic was light, the temperature perfect, and no vehicle troubles.

All the corn being grown in Mexico

We breezed through most of the checkpoints - being stopped at only one for a secondary check. One Military checkpoint was especially fun. We were pulled over for the secondary inspection and the guard asked if we spoke Spanish and one thing I've learned over the years of traveling Mexico, my Spanish is horrible when it comes to understanding mainland Mexico Spanish. We've been stopped at several checkpoints where we have a hard time understanding what we're being asked! They seem to talk at warp speed and don't enunciate clearly enough for me to understand what they're asking. Anyway, the soldier asked if we understood Spanish, we said we spoke a little. What helps me a lot is when a question is being asked, I translate it into English and say it out loud - it helps Michael too. So they guy kept asking us questions in Spanish and I would translate them into English. We got out of the vehicle while the soldier inspected the vehicle, looking for drugs & guns. While I was standing outside, two other guards came over and began asking me if I understood Spanish. They told me they were learning English and would I help them translate some phrases into English. Sure, why not! Haha... They would give me a phrase in Spanish, I would translate into English. Simple things like "Open the trunk", "Where are you going", "Where have you been", and even "I'm looking for drugs and guns". There were about 15 phrases they wanted translated. One of the guys even pulled out a piece of paper and I wrote down the phrases in English, then he practiced it in English, then he wrote it down phonetically below the english translation. What a riot! Standing in a military checkpoint while my vehicle was being gone through, trying to help non-english speakers say words correctly. The Spanish language doesn't have the same sounds as the English language, especially the W's and Y's so we tried and tried to get the correct pronunciation of 'you' (would come out 'ju'), 'work' (not guerke), 'what' (not ghwat), and 'where' (not guere). I was working with the two soldiers while Michael was following the guy who was searching the vehicle. At one point I was so cold I was shivering so the guy let me back inside the vehicle and let me use my blanket to warm up. The one searching the vehicle found our English/Spanish dictionary & workbooks we take with us everywhere we go and seemed entranced with one book in particular that had a lot of everyday phrases listed in both English and Spanish. After he was finished searching the vehicle, I gave him the book as a gift, hopefully it'll help him and his buddies! He was thrilled but a little hesitant - maybe they aren't supposed to take gifts. The whole ordeal was positive - they were very respectful, cordial, & kind. They were young guys just doing their job and trying their best to make it easier to communicate with us.

We made it to Hermosillo and found a very cool hotel in the downtown part of town that we stayed for the night. The hotel was first built in 1861 and was fascinating. It was built in a U type shape, with the open area of the U hosting a garden & lobby. Two large trees were growing up through the glass roof and up taller than the 3 flights of rooms. The hallways wound up & around the entire building with crazy staircases & passageways everywhere. They had pictures of the original building (with little buds of trees growing in the exact same spot they still were), copies of the building receipts, and old relics from the early 1900's displayed all around the lobby & along the walls of the hotel. It was a great place to stay and the best part (I thought) was those trees were home to some beautiful songbirds so in the evening and early morning, the birds were singing away just outside our door. When we pulled into the parking lot, I noticed a cage on wheels with two tigers inside!

Two tigers in the parking lot at our hotel in Hermosillo

We asked the security guard & found out that there was a performer that just finished up his shows of what I think translates into a show like Siegfried & Roy - magic & tigers. They were beautiful cats and the security guard even got close enough to touch one of them.

Sunrise in Hermosillo Mexico

We were up early Sunday morning and headed for the border in Nogales. There were many cars ahead of us and we spent about an hour in line at the U.S. Border. We made it through the border around noon or so and stopped for lunch in Tucson - Arby's! Oh....I do miss Arby's. haha!! We zoomed on through Arizona, stopping in Yuma for the night.'s good to be back!



Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home