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Mexicali Summer

Mexicali - Peter Piper Pizza

Mexicali - Peter Piper Pizza

We have had a very busy summer.

First off, the lease on our house was up – time to renew our one year contract.

When we went to pay our rent for the last month of our prior contract, Jim and I met with our landlord.

We were a bit anxious, because we love our place, and moving would be difficult (in spite of the fact that, with the recession, there are lots of rentals available in Mexicali).

After the usual and pleasant small talk, our landlord got down to business.  He said, “No más contratos de alquiler, te invitamos a vivir para siempre en mi casa por quinientos dolares al mes. Le damos la bienvenida.

Which meant: “No more rental contracts, you are welcome to live forever in my casa for $500.00 a month. We welcome you!” That was it!

Well, that was a great piece of news! We would not have to fret about the price of our rental home now! We could all grow old knowing we had a roof over our heads for as long as we wanted. We were now trusted and accepted by our landlord – almost like being a part of his family.

In the meantime, our daughter Heather and her husband Spike decided that our granddaughter, Savannah, would spend a week with us in Mexicali.

We would pick Savannah up at the San Diego Airport, as she flew in from San Jose.

All three of us were excited about Savannah’s Mexicali trip.  She was now 15, and we figured she could learn a few good things by spending her vacation time with us in Mexicali.

Autoservicio Argentina

Autoservicio Argentina

Jim got ready for the trip up to San Diego by having our truck checked out and fined-tuned.  Jim’s go-to car guy in Mexicali was an excellent car mechanic, Carlos Contreras, who had a nearby place on Av. Argentina No. 154, called Autoservicio “Argentina.” Jim found Carlos’ garage one day, when he went for a walk, and stopped by to chat with Carlos and his assistants.   According to Jim, Carlos’ prices were “unbeatable, and Carlos really knows his stuff, by golly.”

Jim liked Carlos, because he was good at what he did and spoke English. “Never gonna learn all that car part stuff in Spanish – no way José,” said Jim.

Jim asked me to put Carlos’ card on our website – so there it is!

It also helped that our favorite pastry shop, run by Diego was just up the road.  Diego had all sorts of pastries and stuff from scones, to cream cones, Danish pastries, croissants, hot tamales, and fresh made flour and corn tortillas!  Matthew would visit Diego’s often, and we always had a selection of delicious pastries in our home.

When we picked up Savannah at the San Diego airport we saw that our 15 year old granddaughter had grown up into a tall beautiful young lady.  She had to be taller than me. How children grow up so quick! Once in the truck, Savannah whipped out her cell phone, and said, “Call Dad.” The cell phone voice responded, “Calling Dad.” In an instant, we heard Spike say, “Hi.”

“I am here with grandma, grandpa and Uncle Matthew. Talk to you later, Dad…” Short and sweet.

Matthew looked at Savannah’s phone, and asked: “Is that one of those iPhone things?”

“Yeah, I wanted one for Christmas, and Dad got it for me; it’s a 3GS, the latest. See, I can take pictures, videos, check e-mails, surf the Internet, I can even text my friends, cool huh?”

“Ya mean you just say Dad to the thing and it calls him?” asked Jim.

Savanna giggled and said, “Yes, Grandpa.”

“How much did your folks pay for that thing – must have cost a bundle,” said Jim.

“No idea Grandpa; it was a present.”

“Geez, my folks never bought me anything like that,” laughed Jim.

“No,” I answered, “When you were a kid folks were crankin phones.”

“Well yeah, if you lived on a farm like I did,” replied Jim.

Jim and I had a whole itinerary planned for Savannah.  Once we got home to Mexicali, and gave Savannah time to settle in, we thought it would be nice to take her for a delicious meal at Carvao’s.

Savannah had other ideas.  “Grandma, can I have pizza, and then go see a movie?”

“Sure, Savannah,” I answered, “We got Peter Piper right down at the San Pedro mall, and the movie place is right there, too.” Jim gave me a look.

After downing two huge pepperoni pizzas, washed down with cokes, we were off to Cinépolis, to take in a movie. There’s a large choice at Cinépolis, like a dozen, and most of them are in English.

Jim said, “G.I. Joe sounds really good. I like war stuff.”

Matthew said, “What about Igor.”

Jim gave him a look, and said, “That’s a cartoon – for kids – you’re no kid.”

I finally broke in and said, “Let’s let Savannah choose – she’s the guest here.”

Bradley Cooper

Bradley Cooper

Savannah was very happy to get to pick the movie. “I want to see The Hangover. It’s got Bradley Cooper – he’s so cute!”

“Bradley Cooper? Never heard of him,” said Jim.

“Jim, just go buy the tickets – let’s see the Bradley Cooper thing,” I said.

While waiting in line for Bradley Cooper, Savannah managed to make two new friends, Carla and her older sister, Maria – they both spoke perfect English, and were crazy abut Bradley Cooper. They decided to meet up with Savannah after the movie.

Jim slept the whole way through the movie, and at the end didn’t know any more about Bradley Cooper than when we arrived.

We were very happy that Savannah was able to make new friends, but there were rules to follow.  The usual list of what and where the girls were doing, going and how to speak to their parents. Maria led Carla and Savannah out to a huge white Ford Excursion, which she said belonged to her Dad.

Like a good girl, Savannah returned home by midnight. We were all pooped by the excitement of the day, so it was lights out.

The next day, Jim and I decided to drive Savannah to shop for clothes in Calexico, and then drive into the mountains on the US side to have lunch at a beautiful town called Jacumba – only a 48 mile drive west from Mexicali.

Hot Springs Hotel - Jacumba, CA

Hot Springs Hotel - Jacumba, CA

Jacumba is a great place. It used to be for fancy Hollywood people way back when, as it has hot springs. It still has a beautiful hotel with two swimming pools. It’s run by a Swiss lady – who would have thought? I’ll be writing more about Jacumba in the future.

After one week in Mexicali, it was time for Savannah to return home to San Jose. We were thrilled that she had a wonderful time with us and hanging out with girls her age. She was even speaking some Spanish!

It was time to send our granddaughter home. She has grown up into an intelligent and beautiful young lady.  Her exposure to Mexicali, thru her friends, we think, had a positive effect on her.  She had met her two friends’ parents, and had even stayed over at their home.

As we said our goodbyes, Savannah gave each of us a hug, and said: “I really had a great time with you in Mexicali, and I want to come back again.  I love you all!”

Matthew wiped away a tear with his white glove.

We all had a great time, but we were pooped out when we got back home to Mexicali. It has been a lovely, but hot, summer for all of us.

2 comments to Mexicali Summer

  • Carlos:

    Good advice and thanks.

    We know and trust our landlord, so we went with the deal. Even when we did have a contract, we did all the repairs ourselves – it is kind of an unwritten law in Mexico.

    Of course, our landlord could throw us out, and that would be difficult. Jim agrees with you on this.

    The good part is that there is a ton of houses for rent in Mexicali.
    Your heads-up is good, we appreciate it and we are going to include it in a page on our blog.

    Your place in history is now secure!

    God Bless,
    MaryAnn

  • Carlos

    Hi guys
    About your contract, I understand that you feel relieved about the non-contract mode, BUT, remember that a contract is issued to protect ALL the sides involved. You need to be careful in Mexico about these things.
    CASE 1-With NO home rental contract:
    Your landlord has all the rights to kick you out WITHOUT NOTICE and YOU MUST COMPLY. Also your landlord is supposed to the fixes for your house:leakings, peelings, etc, but without a contract HE’S NOT OBLIGATED.

    CASE 2-WITH home rental contract:
    If an eviction is to be issued by your landlord (to you) he must make it with a THREE MONTH NOTICE, by law, that way you’re able to look for another house, you can go to court (“conciliacion y arbitraje”) to be protected in this case and the ONLY document to backup your inquiry it’s your rent bill. Also, with a contract, your landlord has the obligation to make the repairements (leakings, electrical, plumbing,etc).

    Just a heads up!

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