Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. ~Philippians 4:8~


Sunday, June 7, 2009

El Valle

In my never ending search for a particular vintage apron and dress pattern, I stumbled across a pattern web site that somehow infected my computer with a virus. So yes, apparently you can pick up nasty bugs just by visiting seemingly innocent sites. The problem is I visited so many sites, I'm not certain which one was the last one that presented the problem. So, while the computer was working, I was afraid to visit even blogs for fear of infecting those sites myself. I decided to stay away from using the computer until we took it to the shop for a good cleaning. I also took the time to try and catch up with work around the house. I must confess that web surfing takes up an awful lot of time which could be spent better doing chores around the house. So this brings me to now.

Yesterday we took a trip to the 'valley', which is the southernmost part of Texas. For us it's about a three and a half hour drive. Once you arrive in the area, all the towns and cities seem to be linked together one right next to the other. There's Pharr, La Joya, Mission, Rio Grande City, Mcallen, Mercedes, Weslaco....... In the Winter you can really appreciate the citrus groves dotting the countryside. It is a beautiful area to visit. It reminds me a little bit of the citrus area in Florida. We didn't quite make it to the farthest city on the tip of Texas- Brownsville- because that would have been an even longer drive, and we would have had to stay overnight. But it would've been nice to visit the beaches and enjoy the Gulf of Mexico.
The reason for out trip? Plants! And fruit! Lots of them and at very good prices. Where else can you buy a case of a dozen mangos for $2? And a pineapple for $1? Or sweet as honey and delectable huge honeydew melons for $1? Cantaloupe, papayas, and watermelons all for no more than $2 a piece. I should mention these fantastic buys can be had at the numerous flea markets all along the valley. We didn't find oranges or grapefruit, but if you visit in late Winter or early Spring, you will be able to find whole bags of the precious Vitamin C's for about $2. The same thing with plants. Being a gardener, this is a goldmine for finding exotic plants at very reasonable prices. Most of the specimens will run around $3 if they're in a small pot, around a gallon size. Kapok trees, or Ceibas as they're known in Mexico and points south, will run around $15-35, depending on the size. I have found many unusual plants which I normally don't find in my hometown. I am always amazed at how 'ungreedy' these vendors are. I suppose it's because they have no overhead expenses and they work for themselves. Where I live fruit and vegetables are pretty expensive. I commented to my Sweetie that if we could find those prices here, we would probably eat a lot healthier than we currently do. An example: Chayotes, which are similar to a squash, but have a far better taste, cost around $2.79 a pound in our local store. When they're good sized, just one will weigh around a pound. "En el valle", I was able to purchase them 4 for a $1!

So as far as remarkable items to found at the flea markets, I would have to say, fruits and plants are the main attraction. I didn't see much else in the way of 'things'. Probably far less than at most flea markets. I was looking out for vintage linens and patterns, but didn't see any. We visited about 4 flea markets in the area. We were also told that there are usually more vendors on Sundays.

I had a wonderful time. The only thing I regret is that I didn't take my camera. Pictures are the best way to illustrate a message. I need to get in the habit of carrying it with me wherever I go. Perhaps next time I can bring back some pictures to share.

It was good to get away from the ordinary. Interestingly, another thing I noticed, was that people just seemed friendlier than where we live. It's a good area to visit. It's also a prime destination for 'Winter Snowbirds' as retirees are often called. It's also a great area for birders, as there are some wonderful bird watching havens and routes as well. So next time you're in Texas, make plans to visit El Valle. It's Texas best kept secret!


glorv1 said...

That sounds like it was a lot of fun and you seem to have gotten a lot of deals. Now that you have chayote, plant two of them and try to grow your own. Ours are coming out. We had to plant two more because one died, but the other was there and so far so good. How sad when you visit blogs and you end up getting virus because of it. I know I visited a site not to long aga, an art site that I like and then my computer got stuck, all kinds of tabs were being opened up and before long I was stuck, couldn't close down. It makes me so mad. Well yaya, what's a blogger to do. I'm glad you are back though. It gets lonely when you aren't around. Thx for you nice comment on my apron. How cool, huh. Take care and try to stay out of "infected" houses.:D

YayaOrchid said...

Hi, Gloria! Where I got the virus was not a blog, it was in one of those sites that sell patterns. I've only once ever picked up a virus from a blog, a long time ago. I don't think it's the actual blogger or sales company that tries to infect visitors. I think there are just programs out there that attack and attach themselves without the host knowing it.

glorv1 said...

Yaya, yes you do need a trellis or something for the chayote to grow on. Once it starts growing you don't want the leaves and branches on the ground because they may rot. I hope you get some and me too. I've been cutting nopales and eating them too. That was a good post about your travels.

Clever Karen said...

Sorry to hear your computer got a virus! I have a mac, so I haven't had to face that. Sounds like a fun excursion - I love mangos - can't believe those prices!

YayaOrchid said...

Karen, I should probably look into a Mac for our next computer, but they are so $$! I'm sure it's worth it in not having these types of problems though.

Amy said...

Hi Yaya....I love a good day trip. Glad you had a good time. I started carrying my camera with me when I started blogging, but seldom remember to take pictures when I'm out. One step at a time, I guess. Have a blessed week.


Persuaded said...

my goodness, and i always thought of vintage pattern sites as fairly innocuous places to visit... i suppose you never can tell, sadly enough.

and those produce prices are beyond wonderful.. wouldn't it be nice to have access to such prices all the time♥ we'd all be skinny minnies;)

Renee said...

Oh yes Yaya I love being a grandma. They are magic and heaven sent.

I hope you go back there soon and take pictures. I love pictures and need the visuals.

I couldn't believe the prices. Here we pay more than 2 dollars for one mango.

Love Renee xoxoxo

YayaOrchid said...

Amy, I'd carry mine around, but it's a bit bulky. I'll have to get a small thin one.

Diane, you made me smile with that term 'skinny minnies', LOL! I can't even imagine being called that! LOL!

Renee, oh my goodness! $2 for a mango! I guess that's why they say it's best to buy locally grown fruits and veggies, cause shipping ups the prices so much! Ouch!


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