The first leg from Houston to Laredo was fairly easy, and the roads were clear as it was Sunday. Little did we know that we should have utilized the rest stops to their fullest, because as soon as we hit Laredo it was Mexico of the movies- super sketchy. The border crossing took forever- nearly two hours when there were only 5 people in front of us in the line. Somehow we made it across and granola bars and wheat thins had to hold us over till the next stop. The drive was quite picturesque as there were mountains nicely illuminated by the afternoon sun. We made it to just past Monterrey for a dinner stop- the restaurant would have fit in perfectly in an American theme park, it was so typical, but this was the real deal. In Saltillo we stopped in a roadside motel for the night- the room was small but clean, very similar to an Indian guesthouse (down to the bathroom tiles) but about ten times the price. The altitude made for a chilly night, but there wasn't much time to sleep anyway, because we had another long day of driving ahead of us.
driving day 2:
The reason for sleeping in Saltillo was to beat the morning traffic. We had an early breakfast at the motel, and saw our first decorations for the Day of the Dead. After breakfast we hit the road for several hours of driving through the desert. It was a long drive, and littered with tolls. Once we hit Jalisco we made a lunch stop at a famous restaurant; the guys picked up a plate of meat that was chopped up to order. When we arrived in Guadalajara it was evening time, and time for one more fiesta to celebrate the Day of the Dead. So we had a family dinner of pozole (soup with corn kernals, meat and the typical fixings- chili, cheese, lettuce, avocado etc.) and Bread of the Dead with our hosts and several of their closest friends. We learned about Mexican beer, tequila and were introduced to the lifestyle.