Progresso Mexico, and other stuff

This morning Randy R drove us to Progresso, Mexico. He has been here several times before and knows the ropes, which is always an advantage when visiting Mexico. Like Los Aldogones, the part closest to the border is a tourist town, and like Los Algodones, it is not generally advised to go beyond this touristic part. But it is clear that these folks appreciate their US guests: 
There is a little turnstile put up at the entrance into town, and we each paid our 50 cents. Our first stop was to watch a guy paint pictures with spray paint. His only tools are what he called a "Mexican paintbrush", which was a wadded up plastic bag, and a torn piece of cardboard. This art form is common in Mexico, but this guy seems to be better than most. 
He was good enough that we brought a piece, to remember our Texas and Mexico adventures by. 
But we were really here for breakfast! Randy, Kris and Aaron are return visitors here so they know the good spots. For breakfast we stopped at Rene's, where te trays at the front of the restaurant is full of fresh-baked goodies. The cinnamon rolls were surprisingly light and fluffy, and we wished we bought two! Before our meal arrived the waiter brought complimentary chips, drizzled with two kinds of cheeses, and toppings of salsa, jalapenos and relish.
The rest of the meal was just as good. And the venue was fun - the place was full of people, mostly older than us and all louder than us, plus a mariachi band roaming around, and a guy carrying trays of more bakery goodies cutting through it all.
After breakfast we went out into the rest of the town. There is a unlimited amount of pottery, jewelry, clothes, etc for sale here. And there are some large stores, which gives them an opportunity to get more of the same stuff packed into one area.
And there are dentists, manicurists and plastic surgeons everywhere.
There is some lovely old architecture here, although now it's background for street vendors.
These old structures hold up better than some of the newer ones!
Randy and I ended up with alcohol, jewelry, medicine, cooking pans, honey and little caramel suckers. We all finished the day by going through another large store, just in case we had missed something. We ended up in the attached bar, sipping Cokes and watching people a lot older than us dancing to the live music. Then we paid another 25 cents to leave Progresso, and learned we have to pay a Texas tax on alcohol bought in Progresso.

On the way back, Randy R. took us to another big store, just a few miles on this side of the border. This store sells lots and lots of Talavera pottery,
but their best wares are big, Texas-sized bedroom suites. You'd need a Texas-sized house for these!
One more stop on the way home, at an old, abandoned church. This is "Our Lady of Visitation Catholic Church", built in 1880. It's got perfect proportions and lovely lines, but it's probably not going to be around much longer if someone doesn't get busy saving it.
If I won the lottery, I would try to save this little Gothic Revival building. Such pretty details!
Somehow this long day of shopping made us all tired. For dinner we went to Padre Rita's for oysters for Aaron and us, and burgers for Randy and Kris. Good food! Outside one of the beautiful South Padre Island sunsets was going on.

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