We are driving out of Rio Dulce toward Mexico. It seems a little surreal to be back on the road. Just 3 days ago we were still mired in indecision about how to solve our many issues. We were having trouble selling the RPod, and getting documentation for the boat. Our boat visa runs out in August, but we don’t really want to go sailing in hurricane season. The weather was hot, muggy, and almost every evening it rained.
Then someone told us the late fee for overstaying our boat visa would only be about 75 cents per day. We checked into it. This opened up some options. Instead of paying someone to drive the trailer back to the states where we could sell it, we might as well drive it up ourselves.
We have to be in Cleveland in October for Matt’s sister’s wedding, so we might as well go up early. We can camp out in someone’s driveway and Matt can earn money working for his dad. Besides, we have been talking about spending a chunk of time with Matt’s family for years. Then, after the wedding, we will fly back down to the boat and finally go sailing when the hurricanes are over and the weather is better.
So, 3 days ago, we began packing up the trailer and putting away sails. We made arrangements for someone to watch the boat, had one last dinner at Sundog with friends, and drove away.
We are traveling much lighter this time. Fewer clothes, books, tools, toys, and kitchen stuff. Everything keeps falling off the shelves when we drive because it isn’t packed in so tightly. We realize that we forgot a clothesline, but other than that, we don’t miss the extra stuff. The trailer pulls better and it’s easier to find things.
We get to the Mexican border the second day. It takes a full 2 hours to finish all our paperwork clearing out of Guatemala and into Mexico. They take away our paté and cream cheese, but we are very relieved to cross that hurdle. Mexico seems more put-together compared to Guatemala. The roads are better, the trees bigger, and even the concrete houses are better kept.
The lowlands are hot so we head for the cooler weather and better roads in the highlands. After a few long days, we make it to San Miguel de Allende, where our friends the Kortmans are staying. The weather is perfect and the kids are so happy to have other kids to play with so we stay a few days.
We reluctantly push onward to get to Louisiana to visit Matt’s sister and her family by the weekend. After two and a half more very long, hot days, we pull into their driveway. The boys are excited to see their cousins, some of whom they have never met. They play on a large blow-up water slide and eat shrimp like it is going out of style. Graysen declares that he LOVES seafood.
After a few nights, we are on our way again, on our final push of this extremely long road trip. We promise the kids that when we get to Cleveland we won’t do any more long drives. It helps that they are excited to see everybody, especially Grandpa, who we normally stay with. We are all ready to be off the road and stationary for a while, and to spend time with family.
Matt has a hunch his dad might be working on his new house, so we drive by the building site. Sure enough, his dad gives us an incredulous look as when Matt yells something out the window driving by.
“What in the heck are you guys doing here?” he asks when we walk up.
“I thought you might need help on your house.” Matt answers. “And these guys missed you,” he adds, pointing to Graysen and Rylan. Yes, we all did. And we are so happy to be here!