14 July, 2015

Running on Fumes and a Prayer

Guess What?!?!...We Moved! Part 3 of 3
I have been secretive for a while now because I was afraid that announcing that we would be closing La Casa Olvera and moving halfway across the country would hurt the little business flow that we had left...well we did all that!  We HAVE closed La Casa Olvera, loaded everything and then some back into the RV and made a harrowing road trip across deserts and mountains to Baja California where we now reside.  Lulu came with us of course and the newest character to join the Olvera klan is our dear friend Larry.  We are starting a new business!  A Food Truck called Señor Chef.  It is bold and fun and just our style.  Follow along as I divulge the adventures that have brought us to Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico in this three part series!

Now I am unleashing all of the secrets.  If you did not catch part 1 and 2… you may want to check that out first!

Running on Fumes and a Prayer!
It took us no time at all to find a place to live.  We arrived in Ensenada on June 11th as planned.  We had scheduled appointments with Real Estate Agents for the 12th.  We packed the day with appointments and saw over a dozen houses from all ends of town and even in the Guadalupe Valley.  So what do a couple of Gringos do when they move from a small town to a large city?  Coerce the Mexican with them to move to the OUTSKIRTS of town and give them at least a year to adjust to city life.  So that is what we did!  We moved out towards Punta Banda where we found a neighborhood literally on the beach.  It is half a block to being ankle deep in sand in one direction and half a block to a nature preserve and estuary in the opposite direction.  It is an hour away from town and in many ways not the most accessible location… but did I mention that we have a beach?!?! AND A POOL!  We moved in on Monday.

No sooner had we unloaded the car and RV and dumped it all into the garage, no not the house...JUST THE GARAGE, did we cram Boris onto a plane destined for Monterey.  We had been receiving emails that the food truck was ready and they would not hold it much longer.  The plan was to stay Tuesday night in Monterrey and drive through Durango and on to Guaymas where he would load the Truck onto the Thursday Ferry and then drive up the Baja California peninsula returning to Ensenada from the South.  It was a tight time table as the ferry only leaves a few days a week, but it would get him home in record time.  The excitement...the anticipation… our dreams becoming a reality...all the feels!  We were already expecting to open the first weekend in July.  It was all coming together, and so fast!  

Boris arrived in Monterrey and the truck was NOT ready.  The used Bimbo truck that the builders bought for us had been modified to the Bimbo company standards.  This included a governor and incredibly uncomfortable seats, along with many other changes that a girly girl like me could never understand.  First delayed by mechanical issues, and then by receptionist errors in paperwork and he missed the ferry.  Now Boris would have to stay in Guaymas over the weekend with a brief case full of dirty underwear and wait for the next ferry.  But then the ferry did not come… weather issues on the other side apparently.  Mañana they said!  (All my Expat friends are giggling because we all know what Mañana means and “tomorrow” is NOT one of its meanings). Today?... more weather issues.  Finally the ferry arrives and Boris is in line to load the boat...now it cannot leave the dock: weather issues midway across (of course).  This went on for a week.  Boris could not leave as he had already paid for the ferry.  Non-refundable because it had not left due to...yah we know already: WEATHER.  Come to find out the ferry usually only crosses once or twice a week when they have enough paid passengers to fill the boat, blaming weather issues until they do.  Finally over a week in Guaymas, and more shopping for clothes and underwear then he has done in years, the ferry makes the 10 hour trip across the Sea of Cortez.  Boris decides not to stop halfway as planned but to rush home...at a top speed of 50 miles per hour!  Straight as an arrow through blinding desert followed by twists and turns through nail biting mountain roads and an hour from home...the power steering goes out on the truck.  Boris muscles 5 tons of steel to our door.  The end of the longest “see you in a few days honey” ever!

“What else could go wrong?” we asked ourselves.  “It all has to be uphill from here!” we said.  We found a mechanic based on a recommendation from our new best friend the owner of the produce shop down the road.  The mechanic came out and it would take at least a week to fix.  Just enough time for us to get all our permits in order we thought!  Still on schedule.  Still hopeful.  A little razzled from all the travel... but still looking forward!  We are ready to get this show on the road (another cheap pun).  Little did we know but one of the hardest bumps in the road (this one was not intended) of getting this business up and running would be the Mexican equivalent to the DMV.  We cannot start the process of getting permits to operate the Food Truck until we get the proper documentation for the Truck to be on the road.  The Food Truck is licensed with a temporary plate.  Basically permission to transport it to Baja California where it must be plated with a Baja California License Plate.  But you cannot get a Baja California license plate unless you have a Baja California drivers license.  You cannot get a Baja California drivers license until you have lived in the state for 100 days minimum. “Buh...buh… but sir!  We need to open our business.”  “Not. My. Problem”...oh yeah!  This is EXACTLY LIKE THE DMV!

Great news from the Mechanic!  We need a new radiator.... AWESOME!

We are running on fumes and a prayer here.  Who knows what will happen next!!!

We have an incredible opportunity with one of the wineries in the Valle de Guadalupe.  They want us to park beside their place, at the perfect cross roads in the middle of the Valley.  We have the menu.  We have even been testing vendors for items that we will need.  It turns out that our not so centralized, out of town location is the best location for obtaining the freshest produce.  Everything IS going great!  And we are still anxious to get started.  We are just delayed by red tape and bureaucracy which is always to be expected when you plan on selling food!

This story is not done!  Not by a long shot.  But I am back on the blog and will keep you up to date.  No more secrets!  With this new business I want to start a new form of communication with you.  From now on you can expect silly stories, brutal honesty about the good and bad things, and more of our day to day lives.  I think I have finally figured out what this blog is all about...so it can only get better from here.  Right?

To be continued… continuously……….

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