Our Travel Blog
 
 
We waited for the 12 midnight bus in an all-you-can-eat buffet in Monterrey. We stayed the day, as the staff said we could, and had both lunch and dinner there. Around 21:00, Ivan looking at his mexican tourist visa slip, noticed that it indicated an amount to be paid at the very bottom. The fine print stated that we could only pay it at a bank and would require a bank stamp on the paper prior to leaving Mexico. Realizing that we could not do this on Friday night, we decided to reschedule our bus until 11:00 the next day. That would leave enough time to go to the bank, pay the fee and get our papers stamped. After spending the night in the bus station lounge, Ivan headed out to the bank first to change a traveler cheque (as we had finished all our mexican money) and then to pay the requested fee only to find out that out of the few banks open, none would change a traveler cheque on Saturdays (the change offices in town wouldn't either) and that anyway they would not issue the required stamp on the tourist visa slip that day either. A bit ticked off, we decided to just take a chance and go with our 11:00 bus without having the paperwork requirements fulfilled, thinking that at the mexican border checkpoint they would be comprehensive...
 
Several hours of bus ride and traffic later, we arrived at the Mexican/USA border station. To our surprise, the first checkpoint we crossed was the US one !! Here we were asked to take our luggage through an x-ray machine (but not any single body check) and Ivan had to queue to get his I-94 permit card, not without difficulties, in order to enter the USA. For him, that was the first time he was asked to pay ($6 USD) to enter the USA. Nothing was asked about our Mexican papers or proof of payment with a bank stamp. Our passports, for the second time we crossed that border, haven't been checked by any mexican authority. What a porous border it is !!
 
We arrived late at the bus station in San Antonio where our next hospitalityclub.org hosts, Sebastian and Jenn, came to pick us up. Sebastian is originally from Germany from a german father and an american mother and has been studying and now working in the USA for a few years. Jenn is originally from the north east state of Maine in the USA and works also in San Antonio. They met each other when they were both studying in Louisville, Kentucky before moving to San Antonio for work. They have two beautiful cats, Gracie and Mr. Dante, and one very energetic, foot licking, sweet dog named Phœnix. (see pictures here!)
 
Sebastian, Jenn and Phœnix took us out the day after our arrival to Guadaloupe River State Park which was very beautiful and it was nice to be back in nature. We then went to get some groceries at Costco, where they sell everything in huge quantities - we are working on finishing our bag of 48 wheat tortillas to this day! The remainder of our days were filled with doing errands and waiting for a package to arrive in the post before heading out to Houston.
 
Early Thursday morning, Jenn sacrificed some sleep time to drive us to a spot from where we could hitch hike to Houston. Thank you Jenn! We waited about one hour before we got picked up by a truck driver headed directly to Houston. It only took about 3 1/2 hours and he dropped us off exactly where we needed to be. Tim, our new hospitalityclub.org host came to pick us up to take us to his place. He is a night owl, works nights, has an interest and an implication in unions and has traveled recently to Uzbekistan, Russia, Germany and the Netherlands. We talked and ate together and he drove us to finish some last minute errands as well as to the airport the next morning. Thank you Tim! ... we had a very short, but nice time to visit.
 
We flew this morning to the JFK airport in New York and are waiting for our flight which leaves tomorrow for INDIA !!!!! Stay tuned to this site for more news to come soon....
 
(By the way, we've added some pictures to the bottom our December page from our visit to the Museum of Anthropology when we were in Mexico city. Click here to see them.)
 
Bye bye the Americas !! Soon : the Asia continent !!
 
 
Saturday, January 13, 2007
San Antonio Returned !
 
Guadaloupe River State Park in Texas, USA.

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