Our Mottos

‎"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go..."
— Dr. Seuss (Oh, the Places You'll Go!)

"It is good to have an end to journey towards, but it is the journey that matters in the end." - Ursula LeGuin

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Smiling in Sonora

I have been battling a toothache for several weeks. I kept hoping it would get better on its own so I tried to ignore it. I don't have insurance and knew it would cost tons of money to go to a dentist. Well, last week it became unbearable. I was totally miserable and knew it was time to do something. I guess it was time to bite the bullet (however, it was so painful, there was no way I could.)

I did some research and looked into dentists in Nogales Mexico. I have heard good things about going across the border for any type of medical treatment. I found one online and he looked good so I called. They have an Arizona phone number so I didn't have to make an international call. I called them Monday morning and set an appointment for Tuesday afternoon. I asked for a ballpark figure and they said it would cost no more than $150.00 for an extraction.

Nogales is about 90 minutes south of us. It is an easy drive and we figured if nothing else, it would be another adventure. Getting into Mexico is really easy. There are lots of parking lots on this side of the border. You just walk across the border. No check points or lines or anything. Very easy. You almost don't even realize you have crossed into another country. There was no worry about safety. The only issue is all the guys trying to help you or get you to go into their shops.

We found the office fairly easy. It was very nice, modern and clean. Everybody was extremely friendly and helpful in the office. They gave me an antibiotic pill then took me back and put me in the chair. It was all state of the art. I had a really nice LCD TV over me and was able to watch TV while laying there. The dentist came in and looked at my tooth and agreed that the best course was extraction. He explained everything that would be done.

The first thing they did was numb the area so it wouldn't hurt while he was probing the tooth. He then said they would take X-rays to see how it looked. After the X-rays, they took impressions of my teeth in case I wanted to ever come back and get an implant. After that they cleaned my teeth to prevent infection. Then they pulled the tooth. The whole process took about an hour. Total cost of all that work? $100.00. Unbelievable!!!!! They gave me a prescription for antibiotics and pain killers. The cost for those was $11.00.

I can't stress enough how thoroughly impressed I was. They had better equipment than my expensive American dentist had. They were professional, caring, and gentle. And best of all, they were dirt cheap.

I am so glad I decided to brave it. I will have no qualms about going again for dental work or any other medical treatment. It was definitely worth the trip.

And by the way, 24 hours later, I am pain free and feeling good.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Our Trip to Hell (Or Was It Laughlin?)

We just got back from a few days in Hell....or was it Laughlin, NV? There are so many ways to confuse both of them. It was not our favorite trip ever but it wasn't completely horrible.

One of my coworkers turned 50 last week and wanted to celebrate by taking a girls' trip to Laughlin, NV. There were 5 of us that went. Now, we are not gamblers and when we decided to go along, we found there was a great state park nearby that looked interesting. We figured while the gamblers were gambling, we would explore the park and the Colorado River. We aren't a close bunch of friends, just work friends. 

There was lots of drama leading up to the trip but I won't bore you with all those ugly details. There were many times I wished we weren't going. The one thing that made it bearable was we were able to drive ourselves there so we could sight see along the way. That was a really big area of contention among the group. The birthday girl wanted to do everything together all the time.

Scenic stop on the road.

We decided to take a longer route that took us past the London Bridge. It was on my bucket list of things to see in Arizona. 
 There it is in all its glory.
Some shops in the area.

The bad news was it was at least 113 degrees outside. It was so hot it felt like our shoes were melting to the pavement. So we took some quick photos, walked a few feet then got back into the air conditioned car. Now we are used to 107 degrees but once you hit 110, its a totally different ballgame. It was oppressive to say the least.

Laughlin was just as hot so any outdoor activities were out of the question.
Views from our hotel room.

We were right on the Colorado River. The views were stunning.

We spent the first evening hitting up the casino. We had a good time without spending lots of money. We didn't hit it big, but we played all evening with our original money. There was one machine that really seemed to like me. It was called Hot Flash. Go figure! It treated me very well.

The next morning, the group got up and had breakfast. Then we decided to walk the river walk before it got too hot. It was horrible. We would go in to the various casinos to cool off then head out again. Once we got to the end, we took the river taxi back to our hotel. 

We spent the rest of the day holed up in our room recovering from the walk. After 9 pm, the pool at the hotel is adults only a few of us decided to go check it out. It was a good time to go. The water was warm but enjoyable. There was no way it would be fun to be there during the day. It was just too hot.

Brenda and I got up Wednesday morning at had no idea what we were going to do. The original plan was to stay until Thursday. Since we don't really get into gambling for hours on end and it was too hot for outdoor activities, we decided to tell the group we were going to head home a day early.

So that's what we did. I was so glad we bucked the group and went with what we wanted to do. When we got back home to Tucson, the temps had really dropped. We were so glad to be home. I would love to go back another time just to check out the state park and play in the river. 

As the plans are for now, this was our last road trip without the RV. We will be spending our time and resources getting it ready for the big move. We still want to get it ready with enough time to take some smaller trips with it to get more comfortable driving it and learning about it.