Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Eight is Enough for Los Algodones, Mexico

I was up and out the door on Tuesday, Jan. 8th by 7:10 after prepping our Keurig. It was a calm morning around 50F and the sky was clear. It should be a nice day for a trip to Mexico. We had bacon and eggs with our coffee and tea after I returned from my walk. Rob and Pat picked Marlene and Benno up in their truck and we picked Nancy and Ken up in ours at 9 am.

Our morning sky before Madame Sunshine rose
And then after she was up in her full glory
We drove past the Quechan casino and parked in the lot for $6. Eight of us walked over together and stuck together throughout the morning hours. We shopped, laughed and had a great time together. It was the first time for our friends to visit Los Algodones and I can tell that both couples are anxious to go back. Everyone was very appreciative that Rob, Pat, Bill and I took them over for the first time. It can be intimidating if you go the first time alone.

A pretty courtyard - we should eat here one day
There is something about returning to this town and meeting up with some of the same friendly Mexicans we’ve seen on each visit. Benno and Ken laughed as 4 of us shook hands and hugged Andy and Jr. These guys have helped us find things and have always been the perfect gentlemen when we turned down their offers to locate a ‘dentist, optometrist or pharmacy’. We already have our own and yet each time they greet us like 4 amigos.

Snowbirds Alley - that's Jr. on the left
The first place we headed was to Snowbird Alley where they paint signs. Mexican Marlon ‘Brando’ as he fondly calls himself was happy to demonstrate his talent as he painted a sign for us from scratch. Most had seen this before but I’ve always missed it. We were enthralled with his ability to turn a piece of board into a work of art. We weren’t there to buy a sign but we watched from beginning to end. His technique that I’d like to have fun with during the summers.

Introducing to Marlon 'Brando'
From the beginning of a painting to the end
He is amazing! It took 15 minutes
We walked around until 11:00 when we got a table in the Open Courtyard for lunch. We ordered our drinks and meals at the same time. I neglected to get a picture of my blended lime margarita and vegetable soup but they were both very good. I needed some ice cubes from Marlene’s glass to cool down the hot soup. Not spicy hot, just hot. When we left there at 12:15, we said goodbye to Rob, Pat, Marlene and Benno while Bill, Ken, Nancy and I walked to see Dr. Eva Urena.

Benno seems very serious but he is truly quite hilarious
This is his Mariachi pose
Ken had an appointment to see our dentist after losing a filling on Sunday night. When we left there, we stopped around to pick up a couple of our purchases being held and to pick up Nancy’s new glasses. Where can you buy glasses and pick them up in 2 hours? She got a nice pair of progressive lenses, new frames and eye test for a mere $160. She was very pleased. We headed back to the Purple Pharmacy and Nancy had a quick walk through to check out a medication before we walked to the line for exit.

Lots of beautiful things to see and buy

Optometrist on the left while Nancy chooses glasses
with Maira and Ken, Benno and Marlene check things out
Middle - do you need a beer holster?
On the right - metal garden sculptures

A gecko on the tree behind our table
Stopping for a snack with friends
Nancy, Rob, Pat, me, Marlene, Benno, Bill and Ken
Bill and Nancy wait in the dentist's courtyard
Prettiest dental office in town!
Dr. Eva Urena
Boy! Were we surprised to see the longest line we’ve ever seen. We were sure we’d be 2 hours at the very least since the line up was past the canal, past 2 streets and all the way up the hill. The weather was conducive to such a line though, not hot, not cold and we chatted with others in front and back of us. From the beginning of our wait, it was an hour and 40 minutes before we were back in the truck. It is what it is and there isn’t anything you can do about it, but wait.

Walking to the end of the line, I turned around to check on Ken and Nancy

Past the canal and the barbed fencing
We all made it back shy of 2 hours
Back home, I was so happy to take my running shoes and socks off. We had texted Pat and Rob about Clemson once we got in line but they had already returned and rescued the little bum. We knew we needn’t have worried. By the time we reached the truck, he had been fed, watered and walked. He was well looked after. When we returned home, we joined them for a rum and Coke and chatted about the great day we all had.

Fish and chips for supper

The sky was performing again last night
I was glad to be in attendance
For supper, I’d planned fish filets and fries so started preheating the air fryer. With the lateness of our return, I’m glad I hadn’t planned anything more complicated. It all turned out very good and we had a small dish of my Jell-O for dessert. Yummy!
It was a great day today and although longer than we’d first thought, we were very happy to have shown our friends a new experience.

Sometimes, it doesn't matter if you see the actual sunset
Thank you for stopping in today. If you’d like to comment, I’d love to hear from you.


  1. Always fun times when wandering about there in Algodones, chatting with the locals , getting some deals and a tasty lunch with friends. That line coming through customs can get very long after 11 am especially at this time of year, Glad it moved rather quickly. As you know one time we spent over 3 hours years ago, before they had the shelter for shade. Continue enjoying your time there.

    1. That's right. always a fun time in Mexico. Hola!
      The line went pretty quick for the number of people.

  2. Those border lines can be so long, Skip has two appointments Friday, so we will be in a long line for sure. We have never seen Snowbird Alley maybe we will check it out while we are there.

    1. Snowbird Alley is where they paint things and very few vendors. Check it out!

  3. Looks like a great time in Mexico and getting glasses and a dental appt out of the way. Nice. Too bad the crossing was so long back, but seems you take it in stride, what else can you do. Beautiful sunset!

    1. We almost have too much fun in Mexico, the locals are getting to know us!! :)

  4. Looks like a fun day. The wait is what it is and nothing you can do. Lovely sunset last night for sure. Glad you had a good day.

    1. Thanks Deb and Riley. Life is about a good time so we all do our very best, don't we?

  5. Nice to see you guys out and about. Maybe the long line had something to do with the feds shut down. Maybe you are lucky they let you back. :O)
    What's your cooking method to get those fry's to look so good. Mine don't in my air cooker.

    1. Thanks, there were only 2 guards working the booths and one was being very particular. Perhaps he was not happy to be there and did it on purpose. The other one was much quicker and more pleasant.
      No trick to the fries. They are store bought ones, half are the seasoned and the other half plain. They are the thin ones not the thick ones. I cook for 10 or 12 minutes, shaking the pan half way through.

  6. Glad you have become comfortable in Algodones. We have been to Algodones twice in the past year. We go very early ,pick up a years supply of blood pressure meds ( $21.00 for a years worth ) no prescription needed, get a 4 dollar haircut, early lunch and head back before noon . Both times we were the only people at the crossing building going home. How sweet is that? Ironically the same blood pressure medications in the states but made in India last week were recalled as being cancer causing.

    1. We do love going to Algodones. We probably go 3 times when we are down for the winter. The medications are so cheap compared to Canada's prices especially for things that aren't covered by our insurance. Haircut, meds, booze if you desire once a month, dental, eyecare and food. What else do we need? :)
      Hope your meds are okay. yikes!

  7. The line-ups have been long in Algodones this year and will only get longer as more snowbirds arrive. You really should try what I call "The Yellow Courtyard". We found the food was much better than El Paraiso.

    1. Yes, they were nothing a couple of days before Christmas but now more people are here. That's okay.
      We will try the Yellow Courtyard in February. It might have more choices on the menu to try. El Paraiso .......... thank you! I didn't know what that place was actually called. :)