Day 91-94: Chilling Out in Fredericksburg, Texas

We decided to take some time off in a second Fredericksburg, this time in Texas rather than Virginia, due to complete exhaustion and the first Motel 6 that didn’t get horrible reviews. It actually managed to get 4 out 5 for several reviews on TripAdvisor and it deserves them. It’s simple, but clean and safe and still very cheap, as is the point of a Motel 6.

Here’s a brief video of our time there:

Here’s another video of Chris talking about something that makes Texas different:

We did this in part instead of going into Mexico. We had really wanted to go because I speak Spanish but have spent almost no time in Mexico (just half of a torrentially rainy afternoon during cruise called Rock Boat – we basically just had lunch) and Chris had always wanted to cross a border in a car. I think we might go with Canada later in the trip if possible instead. We have heard some truly chilling stories about what happens on that border.

On day 90 in the Frio river, Chris met a man who had both worked in rough parts of Brazil doing charity work and in US prisons who said he would no longer cross the border. He said no place on the border is safe to cross. He used to do it all the time until about 15 years ago. He basically told us not to if we wanted to live.

We met some people here in our hotel in Fredericksberg who echoed his sentiments. A woman from Corpus Christi said that she also used to go all the time, as did her local friends, but even if you lived to return, many cops and border guards had been bought out by the cartels or were just corrupt. They would extort people by asking for all their money to allow them to return to the US. She said she had seen beheaded dead bodies by the side of the road the last time she went into Mexico by car. She said she got stopped by the police as well trying to return. They completely took her car apart down to removing the seats because drugs can get planted in your car while you are in a hotel or restaurant and that the cartel will come and find you on the other side to get them back. She also said even Cancun wasn’t especially safe even being a major destination for American tourists. The last time she went to Mexico had been for her son’s wedding and she said that would be her last time in Mexico ever.

She also said the border drugs problem was definitely not contained in Mexico. She said there were elderly people in her area who owned land and Mexican cartels would threaten to kill them if they didn’t allow them to traffic drugs on their property. She said the only reason she still lived there was family.

We also met a biker who lives in Abilene in the pool who said he had Mexican American friends who spoke fluent Mexican Spanish who had gone to Mexico for the day and even they were extorted. They would be asked 500 dollars for a basic meal and not be allowed to leave unless they coughed up, so it’s not like the problem even seemed contained to white tourists.

Either way, we would have been obvious white tourists, so we aren’t going in any time soon unless we hear something much better about the New Mexico, Arizona or California crossing. If anyone has any information on this, please do let us know.

For our first day and a half in Fredericksburg, we didn’t go any further than Walmart. We felt quite tapped out on experiencing new things, and didn’t want to waste the city proper on our fatigued brains. We stopped here in part to be able to take Austin properly seriously as well, as it has been so highly recommended to us by so many people as a great place to live and a serious tech hub.

There is very little footage because we even took a break from our Instagram. We had two whole post free days where we took no footage or photos of any kind. It’s not to say we don’t love what we’re doing, but there is good reason some days have been split into two or even three posts and videos. They were like living two to three days, if no more, with constant novelty.

We are hoping to be well rested and have actually decided to extend our stay to a third and fourth day in Fredericksburg, which is the longest we’ve stayed in any given hotel or motel.

The down time gave us a chance to try some more interesting things with the car cooker, for instance, Chris successfully made fajitas twice.

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Fredricksburg is also known for being central to the Texas wine region and wine tasting and their Walmart was by far the best stocked in local wines of any I’ve seen, so I tried this:

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It was a little sweeter than I usually like wine, but it was honestly quite good, like honey.

Some of our extension was also due to trying to sort the social security number out, which unfortunately involved a round trip of an hour to Kerrville without a happy ending, though by our last full day in Fredericksburg, it was looking up.

A plus for this region is that humidity is starting to drop. Even at 90 degrees Fahrenheit, sitting with the window open is comfortable as humidity is less than 50 percent. A downside is the giant, vicious wasps.

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