Friday, April 23, 2010

More, please!

We made it. We’re back in America. The first difference I noticed? The floor! The floor here in the Phoenix airport is cleaner, I’m sure, than the floor in our house in Colorado. It’s cleaner than our kitchen counter in Mexico. It’s a good thing, too, since as we waited for our turn to go through immigration, Brynn was literally down on her hands and knees, eyeball to the carpet, examining the “pattern in the carpet.” Which would be fine, maybe, if she had gotten up when we asked her to.

“Hey, he’s calling you,” the lady behind us said of the immigration officer. At that point, Scott was able to pry Brynn off the floor. I think she realized she wasn’t making a very good choice by being on the floor and, thus embarrassed, resisted getting up. She needed to save face.

Saving face is something I try to have the patience to allow my kids to do, but more often than not I think they end up feeling ashamed and small rather than internalizing what they did and figuring out, within themselves, how to do better next time. It’s something I need to work on.

We made it out of customs and immigration, speed-walked to a gate where a Chicago-bound flight was boarding, only to get through security and halfway to the gate before finding out the flight was closed. It wasn’t the flight we were scheduled to be on, but since it was leaving four hours earlier than our scheduled flight, we figured it was worth a try. As we walked back toward security in search of brunch, Brynn asked Scott, “So, now do we have to go back to Mexico? Since we missed that flight?” Apparently we hadn’t taken the time to explain to her why we were running between terminals.

As soon as we re-emerged on the unsecure side of airport security, an Einstein Brothers Bagels appeared in the distance and we made a b-line for it. At that moment, nothing sounded better to me than a REAL bagel. All of the bagels we have found in Mexico are glorified bread. Bread in the shape of a circle but with the texture of…Wonder Bread. Bleh.

Ooh…is that a mosquito? No. A fly. Ahh, so easily distracted by bugs these days.

Anyway, where was I? Bagels. So, we paid $24 (now there’s a shock!) for four bagels, a bottle of water, and a large latte. While my veggie bagel sandwich was worth every penny I paid for it, I realized halfway through that I would like another. And then I remembered that this was no taco stand and I couldn’t just order another. And another. And another, like we have grown accustomed to doing. Within minutes of those thoughts, Brynn echoed my sentiments. “Mom, are these bagels cheap?” Um, no. Actually, they’re pretty expensive. “Oh, that’s too bad. I was going to order another one.”

Like mother, like daughter, right?

Our favorite taco stand in San Pancho is called Tacos con Amor. We’ve been eating there for months but just figured out the name this week. They offer tacos and quesadillas on handmade tortillas, filled with pork roasted on a spit (al pastor), chicken, beef, shrimp, chorizo, or mushrooms. The al pastor is addicting and Brynn has been known to order one giant quesadilla with al pastor and two tacos with chorizo. One normal adult would eat one of these quesadillas and feel full, but not Brynn. The quesadillas and tacos both come with chopped cilantro and onions in them, and then you take your plastic bag-wrapped plate up to the counter to add your choice of salsas, guacamole, cucumbers, and pinto beans. The guacamole is taco-stand style, smooth and runny. My kids always add too much and their quesadillas inevitably fall apart which has helped them learn the word for “fork.” ¿Un tenedor por favor?

Beyond the great taste of the food at Tacos con Amor and the fact that you can bring your own beverage of choice (beer, wine, margaritas, shots of tequila…your choice), our favorite thing is the price. Although we’re still not clear, we think that the tacos go for twelve pesos each and the quesadillas for twenty. That’s about a dollar and a dollar fifty American. When we eat there, we stuff the whole family for under two hundred pesos, or about $20 American. Hard to beat. Easy to take for granted, until you get to the Phoenix airport and spend $24 on four bagels, a water, and a latte. And walk away wanting more.

So…here’s to hoping that the cost of food in America won’t get in the way of us enjoying the rest of our trip to America! Because, we'd like more.

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