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Another great trip to Los Algodones

It rained for three whole days and three whole nights here in Mexicali. Huge thunderclaps shook our casa. We had some roof leaks—nothing drastic, but they will have to be fixed soon.

We were all cooped up at home with the downpour. When it stopped, to cure cabin fever, we hopped into our truck and off we went to Los Algodones, a beautiful 45 minute drive from Mexicali through corn and cotton fields. Algodones is the Spanish word for “cotton.”

October is the beginning of the tourist season in Los Algodones, and there were many Americans shopping and stocking up on medicine, eye glasses, getting their teeth fixed, and what have you.

What a great place Algodones is! With the high costs of prescription drugs in America, and Medicare not working too well, Algodones is a great health care option for Americans and Canadians.

El Pueblo Veijo

The first order of the day for us was to visit our favorite restaurant, El Pueblo Veijo.

We stepped inside. There was a two-man band, one guy on the keyboard and the other on the guitar, playing great music.

“Start spreading the news, I am leaving today…I want to be a part of it, New York New York!” kick, step, kick step!!!” sang the guitarist. He sounded just like Frank Sinatra!

We sat down, and started ordering.  The place was filling up with people drinking margaritas and Coronas, and tapping to the beat of the great music!

It looked like it was going to be another fun day for the three of us in Los Algodones!

Beef chimichangas (deep fried burritos covered with cheese) all around, plus a Corona for Jim, tea for Matthew, and a fresh lemonade for me!

Great music at El Pueblo Veijo!

Great music at El Pueblo Veijo!

We started chatting with two couples that were sitting at the next table.

“We’ve just arrived! Parked our RV on the other side of the border and rode our bicycles into Los Algodones for some great food!” said Al, a red-faced chubby man with a friendly disposition.

“This is our favorite restaurant too!” smiled Jim.

Al’s wife, Judy, said “You know, we came all the way down from Washington State, and we’ll spend 6 months here – stock up on everything. Al needs glasses, I’ve got to get implants for my teeth, and my friend here… Betty and this here is her husband, Dick…we all need to stock up on our prescription stuff! It is just too expensive over in America now.”

“Where you folks from?” asked Al.

“Mexicali; this here’s my brother, Matthew, and the little lady is my wife, MaryAnn!” laughed Jim, emptying his third Corona.

“Well, I’ll be darned, did you hear that Judy!” Al tapped Judy’s shoulder.

“I’m not deaf, Al. That’s wonderful. So how did you get down here?” asked Judy?

“We just took the road, a beautiful highway from Mexicali, and came straight down to Algodones, it’s great. We always come down here for the great food and MaryAnn’s favorite drink!” smiled a red-faced Jim.

“Well, you have to excuse my husband Jim, he’s on his third Corona—Jim, I am not your little lady,” I said.

“We like to stock up on Southern Comfort, and Tequilas, when we get down here,” chipped in Dick.

“We get out our to-do list, and I tick off everything that we have to do during the six months we are here, right Dick?” said a concerned Judy.

“Relax honey! We do this every year, and you worry about every little thing. Here have a sip of my beer,” said Dick.

Al and Jim were both getting on so well that they both agreed that, after lunch, we would all head off together to the other drinking hole, El Paraiso.

El Paraiso!

El Paraiso!

“I tell you, there’s nothing like good music, cold beer, and a pretty woman—is there Jim?” laughed Al smiling at his wife, Judy.

“Here’s to the lovely ladies at our table!” toasted Jim, on his fourth bottle of Corona.

It was a short distance to El Paraiso. We all walked, and the October sun was not blaring too hot.

Outdoor dining and drinking at El Paraiso

Outdoor dining and drinking at El Paraiso

We took a big table and Lupita, the lady who runs place came over to greet us enthusiastically. After hugs and handshakes, she took our order.

“You folks seem to know everyone here,” said Dick.

“Yes, we do; we come here very often,” said a quiet Matthew, looking down at his hands.

“What’s wrong Matthew?” I asked.

“Oh nothing, I eh—forgot to bring my gloves,” whispered Matthew.

“Well, so what?” I said.

“Oh wait! I see a big bottle of disinfectant on the bar—I’m going to get it!” said Matthew.

“Everything OK?” asked Al

“Naw, my brother-in-law needs to disinfect his hands, after the H1N1 flu scare, he’s never been quite the same,” I said.

“I made an appointment with my dentist here; Al promised me new implants! Ya know—movie star teeth,” said an excited Judy.

“Yeah, yeah, just don’t make the teeth the size of a horse!” laughed Al.

El Paraiso back door
El Paraiso back door

“You know what, Judy; I’m going to go with you as well. Maybe your dentist can bleach my teeth as well?” said Betty giving Dick a glance.

“Well, how much is that gonna cost me?” laughed Dick.

“I’ll check, can’t be nearly as expensive as Judy’s implants!” replied Betty smiling a bit too sweetly at Judy.

“Here let’s have another round of drinks!” said Al, “Lupita!”

“Just lemonade for me, I’m driving,” I said.

“Every time we come out here, we just love it. With all that Washington rain and snow, ugh, I love this weather here,” said Al.

“Yeah, we’re neighbors, Al and me,” said Dick.

“We all live in an RV camp in Washington, called Lighthouse by the Bay—real nice, and it’s great for traveling folks like us. We just hitch up and go wherever we want!” smiled Al.

“Yes, we sure do,” nodded Judy excitedly.

“You just can’t beat that!” said Betty.

“What’s it like in Mexicali?” asked Al, “I mean, is it safe?”

“Why sure, just like any major city in the US, it’s safe!” I answered.

Lupita at the bar
Lupita at the bar

“One of these days you guys will have to visit us in Mexicali,” said Jim, who, by now, was drinking a cup of black coffee with two aspirins.

“We look forward to that invitation!” you know where to find us, we will be across the border at the Quechan Casino, playing the slots —I love playing the slots!” smiled Judy.

We exchanged addresses and phone numbers. The check was split between us all.

It was time to say good-bye to our new friends from Washington State.  They walked off to do their shopping and we to do ours.

After a bit of shopping we headed back for the truck in the parking lot.

I was the designated driver for the ride home.

It was 5.30pm.

While we were on the road, Jim, who was slouched in the back seat, said, “Remember, Edward Chrisman and his grandson, Gary Chrisman Jr., those American guys who were arrested here in Los Algodones?”

“Barely,” I answered.

Jim continued, “Remember how they released Edward Chrisman back on March 14, 2009?”

“How can you remember the date?” asked Matthew.

“Dunno,” answered Jim, “His grandson is still in jail—heard he’s gettin’ out soon.”

“What’s that got to do with the price of eggs?” I asked.

“Drive careful,” answered Jim.

“Hey! Who’s the drunk in the truck?” I asked.

No answer. I looked back at Jim—he had already dozed off and was beginning to snore.

Matthew paid no attention to all this. He was in the front seat next to me and he had just found an extra pair of his white gloves in the glove compartment (now I know why they call it that).

I had purchased two bottles of Kahlua, and some great looking beaded bracelets—just like the rich folks wear.

What a wonderful day we had in Los Algodones!

2 comments to Another great trip to Los Algodones

  • Linda Pelletier

    Get well soon Freddy we love you xxx

  • gill cooper

    Hi I just want to send best wishes and a big get well soon to my dear friend freddy, the guy playing the guitar, he is the most wonderful person and I love him dearly.

    God bless freddy

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