Dec 18, 2019
Today was finally the day we were going to head out. I was a bit nervous, as today was the day we were actually starting to head towards Mexico. Everything up to now was really just practice and preparation. Before we weren’t going to Mexico, we were just taking the scenic route to Texas to establish our residency. Going through California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas, the landscape changed but we were still in the US where we could understand the language and generally knew how things worked. We had never driven in another country and the signs will be in Spanish. I didn’t think we would have any unusual problems and we were prepared about as well as we could but once we crossed the border we would be going into the unknown.
We said goodbye to the other families and pulled out of Rainbow’s End around 9:30 AM. With a destination of Corpus Christi, about four hours drive away. Our first stop was going to be Houston Chinatown to eat Dim Sum one more time and stock up on Chinese foods that might be hard to get in Mexico. On the way down we stopped by Costco for gas and hit a new low price of $1.91 a gallon. It has been great that gas prices have been steadily dropping filling up our 40 gallon tank would cost us just over $76 compared to $164 in our last fill up in California where it cost $4.10 a gallon. Almost $100 savings per fill up helps our budget a lot especially when you are only getting 9 or 10 miles a gallon.
We got to Houston and went to the Ocean Palace restaurant for lunch. It was a pretty fancy place with nice aquariums with live lobster and crabs. This is pretty standard for fancy Chinese restaurants but one thing that was unusual was that the Ocean Palace had two tanks with live Alaskan King Crab. Most restaurants will have a tank of snow or Dungeness crabs but this was the first time I had seen a live King Crab. It was huge, probably three or four feet across if you were to stretch out it’s legs and stood over a foot and a half high. They also had lobsters with claws bigger than my hands.
For those who might not know, Dim Sum is a southern Chinese style of cooking consisting of many different types small dishes such as dumplings, buns, and other bite sized dishes and is usually eaten for brunch or lunch. Often it comes on carts pushed around by servers and you just point at what you want but since it was a weekday we had to order off the menu. We ordered a standard array of Dim Sum and it was OK, but not as good as in California and at $45 we could have almost gone to that 75 Hot Pot place we liked last time.
After lunch we went to the Asian supermarket next door but it turned out to be a Vietnamese supermarket so we opted to drive 45 minutes to the Sugarland Ranch 99 Market. There we went a little crazy and bought over $200 worth of foods, most of it things with a long expiration date that did not need to be refrigerated. We hoped that we would not have any problems getting all that food into Mexico. By the time we got done shopping it was past 4 pm and it was clear we were not going to get to Corpus Christi.
Holly wanted to get something at Lulumon so we went to the nearby First Colony Mall in Sugarland. I took Olivia to the play area while Holly went shopping. While watching Olivia I did some more research and found that Port Aransas and South Padre Island were worth visiting too. Holly got her stuff from Lulumon, bought a pair of convertible roller skate shoes for Olivia’s Christmas present and a rather pricey track suit for me. We had dinner in the mall parking lot and it was a good thing we did because I tried out the track suit and didn’t like the pants so Holly was able to exchange the pants for a different pair I like better. We didn’t leave the Mall parking lot until almost 10pm. We went to a nearby Cracker Barrel to sleep for the night. This particular Cracker Barrel did not have designated RV Parking spaces but that was OK as we are able to fit just fine in a regular parking space.