Walk across the border: After landing in Tijuana, we caught a taxi to "la linea" (the line) and watched an amazing variety of people moving slowly towards the American border.
La Linea--Crossing the border in Tijuana.
Ride the trolley to Santee, California: When we popped out on the U.S. side of the frontier, there was the trolley car waiting to take us to our children's home in Santee. A few hours later we were picked up and whisked off to meet Evia Jean, our newest grandchild who was born while we were in the Senior Mission Training Center.
|San Diego Trolley|
|Evia Jean, six weeks|
Play with grandchildren: Evia Jean was appropriately beautiful, charming, engaging, and adorable with her tiny red toenails. Raolins was rambunctious, full of things to tell us, perfectly two and determined to be in charge.
Eat stuff you can't get in Mexico: Phil’s BBQ (www.philsbbq.net) and P.F. Chang's were a delightful change of pace from our south-of-the-border fare.
See Evia get a name and a blessing: Wearing her mother's baby blessing dress, Evia received a beautiful blessing from her devoted dad and her mom spoke of eternal families. What a sweet day.
|Raols, Tito, Nae, Evia, Nana, Papa|
Skype with Utah kids and kidlets: Complete chaos on both ends when the big kids and the little kids try to all talk at once--so much crazy fun! We loved every moment, especially Spencer making faces at himself in the “Skype Mirror” while everyone else laughed hysterically.
|Mr., AJ, Mita, Sir, Jules, Rita|
Fly back to Monterrey: (see "Mormon Moments" below).
|Guilt Fritillary Butterfly|
|Squirrel at Feeder|
View from Chipinque Park (The Sierra Madre mountain range) of La Silla mountain and La Huasteca mountains:
And a view of the two old missionaries celebrating Christmas with a Poinsettia tree:
Wash the car at Walmart: Our parking space is underneath a power line that is home to some very healthy pigeons. Washing the car is an important part of our routine :-). A complete inside/outside detail of the car costs about $8.00--the best bargain found down here yet!
Put up the Christmas tree: Some kind missionary couple from long, long ago and far, far away left us a shelf full of Christmas trimmings. The tree is truly Mexican. The directions promise: "Un Hermoso Arbol En Solo 4 Pasos" (A beautiful tree in only 4 steps)! After fighting with trees for many years, we are very grateful to have only "4 steps" whether or not it is beautiful.
The Mormon moments just kept coming during our trip. It began with the customs agent in Tijuana looking up at me, surveying my missionary tag and asking: "Where is Jesus?" He was holding my passport two feet from "freedom" and I had to figure out what to say to that question! He said that he had family members who were Mormons. He had taken them to the "church" in San Diego, which was closed and they wouldn't let them in. It turns out that they had gone to the temple on a Monday.