"Aspire not to have more, but to be more"

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Day 3: Corpus Christi, Harlingen, Mexico!, Austin

After I woke up, I left my friend Paul's and got gas at the local Kroger- they were about to change the price as soon as I pulled into the station!

I'm surprised how expensive gas has been- the lowest I saw was $3.29 but that was in Tuscaloosa-- here in Texas the lowest I've seen is $3.39 and as high as $3.75! Anyways, as I pulled into the gas station, I saw the guy at the pump next to me had Maryland tags! I wound up talking to him for a little bit and it turns out he works with my friend Paul that I had stayed with the night before-- he went to Virginia Tech and actually helped Paul get his job in Houston! What a small world.

I then headed to Corpus Christi, hitting a lot of rain on the way. Corpus Christi had a bunch of offices for banks and oil refineries (I passed quite a few on the way into town).

Once I got into town I even saw an aircraft carrier!

Here are some pelicans:

Was only in Corpus Christi for ~30 minutes and then kept heading south. I grabbed a cup of coffee on my way out of town and it was probably one of the best cups of gas station coffee I've ever had!

For lunch I stopped at "Big House BBQ" in Kingsville, TX, right by Texas A&M.

While I was there I had the tastiest brisket sandwich I have ever had (it literally melted in my mouth)-- the meat was from a farm right down the road! A handful of extremely good looking cowboys walked, which made me almost choke on my food. What's up with all of the dreamy guys being this far south?? ;)

After lunch, I continued south to Harlingen, which is a town right on the border of Texas/Mexico. On the way, I passed lots of RV parks and a lot of ranches. There was about a 70 mile stretch of nothing- no gas stations, no nothing. Glad I had music & snacks to keep things exciting!!

One of my professors at Maryland used to live in Harlingen, which is why I visited. I did a lot of research on immigration in college and have always wanted to visit a border town. It was pretty eye opening to say the least. 75 miles outside of the border, Border Patrol had a ton of cameras set up on the road. After that, I realized how unsafe it was. The town itself was pretty sizable city- but the homes were almost identical to those I saw in the Dominican Republic. It's amazing how much poverty there is here in the US! Harlingen has the lowest cost of living of anywhere in the US, too. It's quite the contrast to posh Howard County.

Once I got to Harlingen, I stopped by Auto Zone to pick up windshield washer fluid because when I got my oil changed last week, the dingeses completely "forgot" to top off the windshield washer fluid. Thanks Apple Ford....

I was talking with the cashier at AutoZone and he told me to go across to Mexico at the International Footbridge in Progreso that goes over the Rio Grande River, which was one of the most safe places on the US/Mexico border for Americans. Off I went- paid $2 to park, and $1 round trip to leave and return to the US! There was an older guy with his grandson that I ran into that goes over to Mexico to get manicures and his teeth cleaned-- he bought me a Corona and I bought I dress!

I was in Mexico for 30 minutes max and then headed back over the bridge with my passport !

Then off to Austin.... I hit a ton of rain on the way up North through Texas.

I hit 10,000 miles on my car on the way to Austin and also went to the bathroom in the most disgusting bathroom at a gas station I have ever been to in my entire life! Cops were pulling people over, asking to see their papers and I even had to go through a Border Patrol checkpoint ! At least they had cute dogs!

I got into Austin around 9pm and had the most delicious tacos and one strong margarita! We stopped by the turtle pond on UT Austin's campus afterwards. Boy there are good looking guys here!! Do I have to leave???

Heading west today! Goal is to be in Albuquerque tonight!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Leon St,Austin,United States

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