Destination Austin, Texas. I’m packing up La Tuga (short for La Tortuga or turtle in Spanish), the 2004 Honda Element EX manual transmission I just bought that will be the car I drive in Mexico. Well, I’m not exactly packing yet. I’m thinking about it. In three days, on December 12, 2013, I will set out to begin the 1,306 mile, almost 22-hour road trip from North Carolina’s Piedmont to south-central Texas, about half-way across the country. Mapquest tells me I will spend a little over $700 in gasoline and at least $49 a night in lodging. Food doesn’t calculate, I guess.
Do you have any suggestions for the route? I’m planning I-85 South past Atlanta, then connecting to I-20 West, through Vicksburg and Shreveport, to Waco, then dropping down to north Austin, where I’ll be staying for a few nights with my cousin Norm, who left his hometown of Chicago years ago, but is loyal still to the Cubs. Then, flying off to Oaxaca.
I’m making a list of what I need to take that I can’t fit in a suitcase.
Anyone have an older model, small bowl Cuisinart food processor in good working condition you’d like to sell and get to me be Wednesday this week? This might come in handy in Oaxaca, I think, for making salsa and chopping lots of onions! Or, if I decide to make a fresh fruit tart and need to whip up a crust, I have a proven Cuisinart crust recipe.
The list also includes:
- wood chopping block
- printer and printer cartridges
- sheets and towels (100% cotton)
- candied ginger
- 6 lbs. undyed merino wool roving for felting
- knitting supplies, especially wood needles
- good used clothing and shoes to distribute
- spackle to repair wall holes where I’ve drilled by mistake
- a few more good books
I can’t think of anything else, can you?
I’m living more simply there. No television! No CD player! I do have a basic kitchen with a good set of knives, blender, plates, utensils, Master Chef cookware, cloth napkins and dishtowels from Camino de los Altos, and Studio Xaquixe recycled drinking glasses! Never mind that the kitchen sink water drains into a large paint bucket that I carry outside each time it fills up so I don’t waste water and have enough to give to thirsty trees and flowers. Jajajajaja.
In Austin, I turn the car over to my agent, Justo, who will drive it the rest of the way to Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca, Mexico. But, first, we will buy Mexican insurance in Austin, then he will legalize the car for Mexico. In fact, that process has already begun.
Admittedly, making this road trip on my own is both exciting and somewhat daunting — a new experience for me — although I fly everywhere independently. I’m open to sharing the driver’s seat with the right person, if anyone dares go with me. I would need to know you or have a great recommendation.
Stay tuned for the next installment. Of course, I won’t have commentary on the Austin to Oaxaca leg. I’ll be at the other end waiting for delivery.