A good daughter… and a bad daughter

2014.02 heartI got tired of being subtle… I volunteered to take my mother to see her mother. I can’t say the words, “You need to see your mother in case the worst happens.” I can’t tell her that she needs to see her mother before she dies, in case she dies. The words just will not erupt from my mouth. There’s a kind of block between what I want to say and the words themselves.

A visit to my mother’s hometown is not on my list of things I want to do. I am well acquainted with my inner selfish tendencies; I have long since accepted my inner voice. In this case it’s telling me that the timing is all wrong… I won’t enjoy the visit at all… I don’t have close emotional ties to that part of my family… I can’t afford the trip… I will be the only person there to provide emotional support (which isn’t my best thing)… I know, in advance I know, that I’m going to regret the trip.

The list of things running through my mind is endless. I hear each and every reason why I don’t want to go, very clearly. I just don’t say them out loud.

It was my idea. I’ve known for weeks that this trip has to happen. I’ve known that my mother won’t go on her own, that I can’t send her by herself. I know that I have to make sure that she goes. I volunteered. It was my idea.

I’m not a bad person for acknowledging that I don’t want to make the trip. But I never considered not making it. I never thought even for a moment that I wouldn’t go. I always knew that I was going to make this trip.

There is a part of me that knows that I want to make the trip for me too… in case the worst happens.

Wrinkle-Free Clothes Without an Iron (video)

I like to share infographics and videos that are helpful, or just because I looked at them and thought “pretty!” Today’s is supposed to be useful; of course I don’t actually own an iron, so I may be doing this at home too.

This video is from the Sonia’s Travels Youtube channel:

Sonia Gil shares here travels tips on another Travel Tips Thursday. Sonia shows you how a blow dryer can substitute as an iron when traveling.

More about the show:

Watch more of my Adventures:
Travel Tips: How to Avoid Packing Hell: http://goo.gl/wyYgQP
Travel Tips: TSA Packing Tips: http://goo.gl/KRKkfF
Travel Tips: How to Avoid Wrinkles: http://goo.gl/No7PqV
Travel Playlist: Packing: http://goo.gl/A09ynm

Let me know if you have any other travel tips to share.

Tips for Driving in Mexico

Trans-America Journey has a great post with some tips on car trips in Mexico. I didn’t see anything here about safety, but there are some good points.

I would have added some info from the US Consulate in Mexico for information on taking your car into Mexico, etc. I might have mentioned don’t drive at night, stay on main roads, check in frequently, and let people know where you’re going. I also might add ‘DON’T GO unless you have to.”

But for those making the trip for the very first time, this is what was covered in the Trans-America post:

  • Fuel is cheaper in Mexico than it is in the US
  • There is only one gas station chain in Mexico
  • All gas stations are full service in Mexico
  • You can use a GPS in Mexico–sort of
  • Better yet, buy a Guia Roji
  • Pay  Highway vs. Free Roads
  • The Green Angels make AAA look like a racket
  • Topes are a bitch
  • Hoy no circula!
  • Shakedown breakdown
  • Mexicans are not bad drivers (they just have some wacky habits)
  • Not all Mexican auto insurance is created equal
  • You can’t beat a Mexican car wash


going home

Well, this is gonna have to last until the first week of June. I’m going to Mexico this weekend to visit my grandparents. I’m doing the whole Memorial Day weekend thing where a group of friends get together and go away. Only this time I’m taking them home with me. Then I’m going to San Francisco for almost a week and won’t be back until June 1.

It’s always difficult to explain to people why I feel that San Pedro is my home. I was born in Detroit; of all the places I’ve lived I’ve spent the most amount of time in Houston; and I definitely love Atlanta. But Mexico is home. I could feel this way because I spent my formative years there — my parents moved me and my sisters there just before my tenth birthday and I moved away right after I turned 17. It’s where I started to date, where I graduated from high school, where my parents and their parents were born. It’s the place my family goes on holidays and other special occasions. It’s where we have our house and our roots — it’s home.

It’s also home because I can relax. Spanish envelopes me from morning ’til night. The food gives me comfort, the customs give me pause and the people give me warmth. It’s familiar and intimate and mine in a way that Houston and Atlanta and Detroit and Denver and all those other places never were. It’s where I am me without pretense and without shame. It’s where my skin color means nothing and my exuberant ways are common. It’s where my love of life and my taste in music and my hopeless romanticism are accepted without question. It is where I can sit down and feel like I belong.

So, then, why am I living in Houston? Because everybody leaves home eventually. Just because you love it there doesn’t mean that you’re supposed to stay there always. We grow up, we move away and we make our mark somewhere else. And every once in a while, we go home and feel the nostalgia and the sadness and all that other stuff I’m sure to feel this weekend.

Talk to all of you soon.

Fiestas Patrias

I’m going to San Antonio this weekend for the kickoff of Fiestas Patrias. My sisters and I go every year. We get a group of friends together, rent as few hotel rooms as we can get away with, and go and have fun.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to commemorate Cinco de Mayo. When I used to live in México that particular holiday was all but ignored. I’ve always found it funny how big a deal it is in the States. Anyway, getting back to the subject, I’m not going to San Antonio in some sort of cultural pilgrimage to celebrate the Batalla de Puebla. I’m going for the Fiestas part.

San Antonio is a tourist city. It’s a quaint little place where you can park your car in downtown and walk or take the trolley to most areas of interest. A place you go to hang out. A city to visit. And let me tell you, this city comes alive for Fiestas Patrias. Parades, shows, and special events draw tourists from all over. Hotels have been booked for months. It’s going to be a blast.

I have to admit, however, that I go to San Antonio to spend time even when there isn’t an event. There’s something about the city, with the Spanish everywhere and the distinctive architectural touches and the incredible Spanish radio stations and the delicious Mexican restaurants, that has always appealed to me. A home away from home, maybe. A more concentrated version of the things that I love about my hometown (Houston). Even the name, San Antonio, has a comforting sound to my bilingual ears.

Anyway, I’ll be away for the weekend. I’ll try to have fun and forget about work and my last disastrous date and all that other mundane stuff. And I’ll try to stay out of trouble. In the meantime, check out this week’s posts — yes, I actually updated on time this week — and let me know how you’ve spent your weekend.

Hasta luego, gente.