Here's Maria back in her dorm room.
And now ... the rest of the story.
To get Maria to the airport in Laredo, Texas, for her return to college, we made the 3-hour trip from Saltillo to Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, then it's simply a matter of crossing the US/Mexico border and going 3 miles to the airport (there are a couple airports that are closer, but Laredo is much cheaper). But, we didn't realize that 1000s of people who live in the US, but went home to visit Mama for Christmas, would also be trying to cross that very same border on the very same night as we were. When we were 4.5 miles from the border, we saw many stopped vehicles ahead, and a policeman directing traffic. He stopped us and asked if we were going to the US, when we said, "Yes" he said, "Get in line." :-) So, we sat and waited, and inched forward, and read, and did Sudoku, and got out and walked around, and ate the food that we brought for a midnight snack, and drank the drinks we brought in the cooler, which eventually necessitated using the portable (ahem) facilities, that were placed strategically along the road. The way the border runs in that section, we were actually just a few feet from the Rio Grande and you could see the US the entire 7 hours. We could see the US flags, McDonald's, Wendy's, etc. I thought about swimming across, but didn't feel like getting shot by the border patrol. :-) Adding to our angst, is the fact that Nuevo Laredo is one of the most dangerous border towns, and we had purposely left early enough that we wouldn't be there after dark. But, I have to hand it to the town, they had plenty of police and private security, they were allowing people to sell tacos and drinks, and Domino's was there selling pizza. They also had mechanics for those experiencing car trouble and large containers of gasoline in case we ran out of fuel. Fortunately, we had the smarts to go up the night before her plane left, so we didn't need to worry about her missing her flight, although we did bemoan paying for a motel room which we didn't use until 1:30 a.m. Ah, well, we made a memory!