Settling in

In Arkansas with Dail and Nancy, March 8

Wow – it seems like we have been here much longer than a week! We are getting settled and really enjoying ourselves. I love the process of “nesting” and can’t wait till our own stuff gets here to really make it feel like home.

Due to Mexican holidays on Monday, Thursday and Friday, we only worked two days this week, and even then much of our work was getting settled at home – getting the alarm system, internet, etc. set up.

We’ve spent some amount of time in El Paso shopping – prices are better and it’s so easy to bop over the border and be at Sam’s Club in 20 minutes. We also had lunch in E.P. today at a great restaurant near the University (UTEP), Mesa Street Grill. I had one of the best salads I’ve ever had: greens topped with brisket, Jack cheese, red onion, green chilies and avocado, tossed in a vinaigrette. Their dinner menu looks great, too, so we’ll definitely be going back there.

My favorite thing so far are the weekly car washes at the house on Saturdays. The young guys who work in the neighborhood wash the cars, take the trash down to the bins at the end of the street and wash out the tile garage for us – love it! As soon as I find a housekeeper, I’ll be set.

John and I drove into New Mexico on Thursday, just to explore a little. By coincidence, we ended up near Ruidoso at the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino where we had lunch and John played a couple of hands of blackjack. Driving up there was really like being on the moon – long stretches of desolate highways, then craggy mountains, then climbing to 7600 feet elevation.

Our biggest excitement this week was getting pulled over by the police for making an illegal turn. Since it was a holiday, there was no traffic, but they were pretty hard-nosed. After much discussion and a bit of a wave of a diplomatic passport, they let us go, thank goodness – we were more relieved just because we wouldn’t have to deal with the mechanics of paying a fine and getting our driver’s license back (yes, they confiscate it). It cracks me up that the transit cops are so vigilant…when there are multiple murders each week – some in broad daylight and in “good” neighborhoods – that go unsolved (primarily between drug gangs). Oh, well.

So, here’s a photo taken from the Volvo driving behind John through west Texas on the way out here. It got pretty boring…!

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