Friday, October 16, 2015

Days 11 - 16: Still Healing in Tijuana, But Now Ready to Go

So, we've spent the rest of this week waiting for Bruce to heal up on his dental work and getting the finishing touches. We went back to the dentist on Monday thinking he was going to get his upper plate adjusted, some fillings, and the partial bottoms. Instead, they hadn't taken impression of the bottoms, yet. It's all good, though. They did the fillings on the lower teeth he's keeping and took the impressions. We were supposed to go get his lowers put in on Wednesday, but the dentist's office called before we left to tell us they weren't ready. So Thursday - and at the end of this post. We've been moved to a room further down the hall from the bar, and we don't even hear them anymore! And, hotel management has been really nice and accomodating to us.

Somebody asked in a comment before what the hotel rooms look like in Tijuana. We're not paying 5-star prices, but this is our room that we pay 580 pesos a night for (about 36 USD), including tax. It includes free wifi, cable TV (in Spanish), and no surcharge for room service. Much better than some of the hotels we've stayed in in some places in the states for more than twice or even three times the price!

We're not in downtown Tijuana, but out in one of the barios, away from the tourist traffic. This is some of the stuff around us.

The front of the hotel (Hotel Astor - I highly recommend it, but don't get room 140!)

The church up on the hill makes me think of Rio.

There's a lovely park with a water slide just down the street.

The entrepreneur set up on the corner

A building we passed while we weren't quite sure where we were

And the local Walmart Supercenter (which was on the way to KFC for some papas pure for the one who is having difficulty chewing!)  Notice the Office Depot just behind it. There's a Costco and Home Depot here, too! Plus Burger King, TGI Fridays, Chilis, McDonalds, and IHOP. And, you can't miss the 7-Eleven on just about every corner. And, those are just the ones we've gone past in our limited trips around here, while Bruce hasn't really felt like moving around much. For a wild and dangerous border town, Tijuana reminds me a lot of Anytown, USA!

I did take one day while Bruce was healing and left him alone so I could do some sightseeing and tourist stuff. Since I wanted to do tourist stuff, where else could I go besides Avenida Revolucion! And, yes -- I did the cheezy picture on the painted donkey. I did choose the donkey that was well fed, well taken care of and appeared happy. She's a little filly, and she wanted ineractions with people. She had good food in her bin, and her owners had water stashed for her that they brought out periodically. Instead of standing with her head down when she wasn't being photographed, she was braying at folks, seeming to ask for attention. She snuggled her head up against me and acted like many of my own spoiled-rotten horses used to do. She didn't like it when they moved her head into position, but if she was left alone, she was quite happy to smile for the camera!

Mario (the owner) wanted to come back to Ecuador with me. He suggested that I not eat the seafood on the street here, but that Bruce maybe could. Jaja!!

Avenida Revolucion is definitely a tourist trap. Notice the ponchos with NFL team logos! Loads of pharmacies on the street.

The arch was neat - including the big screen TV so nobody missed the soccer match!

There are some neat statues along the avenida, too.

And the theater/opera house is lovely!

Well, they called just before we were getting ready to leave to tell us Bruce's bottom teeth weren't ready again. So, that was a wasted day. The day had gone on too long for us to really be able to do anything else, so we just stayed in the room. Got up this morning (Thursday) preparing for another day of waiting. Bianca called from the dentist's office to tell us they were ready!! Yay!! We had to hurry and get ready to go, because Sylvia in Jim's office called and said Sara was on her way to pick us up.

We got there, and Dr. HM was ready for us. He just took Bruce right on back and started working on him. In the meantime, I got a Fast Pass for crossing the border! (Kinda like Disney, I think!!) It's supposed to send us through faster lanes without much traffic (so bypassing a few hours potentially). We'll see tomorrow. We plan to leave early in the morning and take in that zoo we missed for the rain!! Then, we'll be on our way.

And now, for the moment you've all been waiting for. BRUCE WITH TEETH!!

He's gotten so used to not opening his mouth when he smiles, I had to tell him to open it so we could see his teeth! I have lots of shots like this:

And, here is the whole team: Jim (the facilitator who showed up the first and last days), Bruce (of course), Dr. HM (the awesome dentist), Alex (the doctor's assistant), Bianca (the doctor's other assistant), and Sara (our driver while we were here). Anybody who wants Dr. HM's contact info, just let me know. We fully recommend him, as did the countless other people (mostly from the US) who were in and out of the office while we were there. We talked to many patients and didn't hear a single complaint. Many of them have been coming from relatively significant distances (such as Northern California, not just across the border in San Diego) to get their dental care from Dr. HM, and I can definitely understand why.

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