That's right folks. In and out of Mexico in yet another long, hot day....
At the crack of dawn, while it was still a cool 82 degrees, we changed out New Vanna for a Nissan Versa that we dubbed Non-da, short for Non Rhonda, at the Tucson International Airport. Nonda is a lot like a new pet, gotten hastily after the previously-beloved family pet was suddenly put down. Not a replacement. Rather, more of a slap in the face, reminding you of how much you miss Fido, and thus a magnet for the anger emotions in the cycle of grief.
Anyway, we got the rental and the proper ‘driving in Mexico’ insurance which we did not need for Canada, (curiously, we also did not need to leave our car at the border to cross into Canada, so that’s two points Canada… and trust us, we do not just give points away to our northern neighbors.)
After a lap around southern Tucson, we finally pointed the car in the right direction and made our way to the border. The border crossing was quick and easy, though Mike had to explain his laundered passport to the tattooed lady border guard.
It was an uneventful 6-hour drive to San Carlos, with no radio or otherwise entertainment like New Vanna can offer. So, we were reduced to games like ‘spot the narco’ and ‘name that roadside saint.’
Mike met with Shauna’s mom AND (drumroll!) it turns out that Shauna was named after not one but TWO Wheel of Fortune contestants. Shauna was the winner, and Lea, the non-winner was the inspiration for her middle-name. Also, Shauna Lea was nameless for one to two days.
What does this all mean, you ask? Does the lucky of the winner Shauna get cancelled out by the unlucky of the loser Lea? When exactly did the show air and why did the kid go nameless for a few days? Does this mean we have to search for TWO people? And really, Shauna's parents?! Really? Had you really not thought of ANY names ahead of time?
Following the interview, Mike packed in some fresh ceviche and coconut water - not just good for a hangover – and made the long slog back to Tucson.
And here's a question for you, dear readers, what is it about border guards that makes them so humorless? Crossing the border wasn't unpleasant, but is it too much to ask for a "Welcome back?"
Three observances about Mexico:
1. Pemex, like Starbucks in America is literally on every block. Except when you need them, stuck behind a line of semis going 40 (that's km/h!) with the fuel light burning ever-brighter. Sort like slowly falling to sleep, walking in search of your daily caramel latte, to complete the metaphor.
2.Triple 'tope' threats sort of remind us of Total Recall. In either instance, slow down.
3. Chinese-Mexican Food is really everywhere. So is Chinese everything.
7 Reasons New Vanna (Old Rhonda) is better than Nonda:
1. Windshield wipers that don't turn themselves on when its raining (what? I'm supposed to do that?)
2. Headlights that don’t turn themselves on and off (I don't control the sun, why do I have to control the night?)
3. Cruise control that doesn’t slow itself automatically down when it senses another car because there is no cruise control (I might as well be riding a bike.)
4. No seat coolers. Come on, Nonda, this is Mexico. Not Canada. It’s hot here.
5. Roll down my window with a crank like a loser. (What is this, the 70s?)
6. Doors that don’t unlock themselves when I’m near. (Don't you know me by now? That hurts my feelings.)
7. No chrome. Anywhere....Seriously, it's undignified.
Thank you again, Ford, for giving us New Vanna/Rhonda.