The Oven That is Laredo

I hadn’t even been in the office for a week from my vacation, when my boss came up to me and asked if I’d like to do some more traveling. One of the bridges for the Laredo Port of Entry’s (POE) internet was down. The other POE bridge never had internet, but needed it installed with the new Verizon cell routers we had purchased.

Of course I’m up for another road trip to get out of the office. I had just driven back from RockUSA a couple days before, so what was a few hundred more miles? Now since I have come back, it seems the temps in Austin increased about 10 degrees. When I left it was hitting the low 90’s every day. Now it is hitting the high 90’s to low 100’s. I guess that’s late July weather in Texas for you.

I hit the road early. I was to work by 5:30am and on the road by 6. It was still close to 10 by the time I made it to the bridge. I found the modem was shot so I made an appointment with Time Warner. By then it was about 11 and they had given me a window of 1-5. To make the best use of my time, I headed to the other bridge. I flashed my TABC badge to get in the back Customs parking lot and got my parking spot between 2 customs vans.

I then spoke with the port supervisor and he escorted through the Custom’s building to the booth. He told the border guards that I’d be going back and forth with equipment. I then did just that, went back and forth with equipment. I got everything installed to the point it was functional, when I knew I needed to get back to wait for Time Warner. I made my way back, but since I was hungry, stopped by the Stripes gas station and got a Chicken Fajita meal. They have the Laredo Taco Company in each of these gas stations and I wish there was a Stripes near Austin, because the food was amazing.

I sat there and waited for Time Warner. It was the same flow of cars like the last time I was there. As time went on, the temps kept rising and I was thankful for being in the air conditioned booth. The interesting thing about this booth is it is so close to the Mexican border, my phone was actually picking up the weather for Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. When everything was said and done, the temp got to be 105. I think the heat indexes were around 110-115.

After Time Warner came and got everything working, I verified nobody else had computer issues. I then headed back to the other bridge to clean up the wiring of what I had done. Getting everything to look nice and pretty was my last thing to do. Once I got that done, I started carrying the toolbox back to the car. This time a (new shift) border guard looked at me like, “What are you doing here?” I flashed him my TABC badge and he nodded his head and let me pass. As of lately, border crossings have been becoming easier unlike the past, but I wish a border crossing was as easy as flashing a badge like I did. It was starting to get late and I wanted to get something quick to eat. I stopped by another Stripes gas station by my hotel to get round 2 of their Mexican food, but found they shut down that part for the day. I settled for an Avacado Bacon Burger from Whataburger.

I stayed at the same hotel as last time, on the same floor, and I think I was 1 or 2 rooms down. I woke up early in the morning to get an early start. The TABC usually uses is La Quinta.  While they all have breakfast in the morning and even a happy hour at night, I have found they vary in how they do those things. At this specific La Quinta what is amazing about the breakfast is the salsa verde they have to put on top of your eggs.

I made it back to Austin in the late morning and then went back to normal office work. While it is not as hot as Laredo, it’s still hot as heck with it hitting the high 90’s and low 100’s. I still do chuckle when people would ask me at RockUSA, “How can you wear jeans in 85 degrees!?” If they only knew what lugging equipment around in the hot sun at 105 is like…

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