Dentistry, Optometry, Puppies and Sand – A few Days in Mexico and California

A few weeks ago we took the recommendations of friends and drove the three hours towards Mexico for some dental work that Jim needed done.

It all began a week earlier with a trip to a local dentist (also recommended by friends) to get an annual check-up, cleaning and x-rays, which we both got done for one-eighth of what it would cost us at home. This was an immaculate office with state-of-the-art equipment. I was particularly impressed with the ease and speed of getting the x-rays done. Because of the shape of the floor of my mouth, these are usually quite painful. I was even more impressed when a tiny camera was used to record the nooks and crannies of my mouth, and I was able to see the images on the computer screen in front of me.

We had learned that, because we have spent more than three months in this Cal-Am Resort, we could visit any other one for a week, free-of-charge, so we took the motor home to Fortuna De Oro in Yuma, not far from the Mexican/California border and our destination of Algodones, where Jim had an appointment set up with Amazing Dental Care. Because there was no transportation to the border we had to take our rented car along with us. We arrived mid-afternoon and had time to explore the resort and get in a pickle ball practice before bedtime.

Sunset at Fortuna De Oro

Sunset at Fortuna De Oro

Early the next morning we took the car to the parking lot provided at the border, and then we walked across to Algodones Mexico. We were greeted by vendors already setting up their shops along the sidewalks, and advertisers for the various dental offices, eye doctors and pharmacies who were anxious to place business cards into our hands or even lead us to their employer’s place of business. But we knew where we were going and managed to stay on track as we walked the few blocks.


Algodones Shops

IMG_9973Jim required a couple of crowns, and a new upper denture, which would cost him less than a quarter of what it would have cost him at home, or even in Arizona. This office, too, was clean and modern. Jim was impressed. They even had free internet so I could take care of emails while I waited.

The dental work was a three-day project so there was a lot of waiting time. We made the trip across the border three times, without any hassles. During the waiting we decided to get our eyes checked and purchase new glasses. We chose the shop next door to the dentist office. The prices and frame selections were good, but the promise of same-day service didn’t happen. It took as long to get the correct glasses as it did to get the dentures and crowns done, and I will still be visiting my ophthalmologist when I get home. My prescription doesn’t seem right. We wouldn’t recommend this place, even though they seemed to be trying hard, and we were entertained by this sweet puppy named Monica. She was the only thing I wanted to buy and bring home with me.



When Jim finally had his new teeth and we both had our glasses, we went back across the border and got lunch at the Quechen Casino before driving a few miles down the road to the Imperial Sand Dunes, located in the south east corner of California.

We didn’t plan far enough ahead to rent dune buggies so had to be content with climbing up the huge mounds and watching, while filling our shoes with sand. Despite several dumpings, I still find sand between my toes after wearing those shoes.

Walking the Sand Dunes

Walking the Sand Dunes

A party of dune buggies

A party of dune buggies

dune buggy

Looks like fun!

shoe sand

shoe sand

shoe sandIt was a worthwhile trip. Sadly, we couldn’t bring Monica back home with us.

6 thoughts on “Dentistry, Optometry, Puppies and Sand – A few Days in Mexico and California

  1. Hi Judy,

    I’m just catching up with email and found this blog post was long overdue for reading. You two sure get into some interesting adventures. I’m not sure I would have risked major dental work so far from home, but am very glad it worked out for Jim. Too bad you weren’t so lucky.

    The owner probably has a whole kennel of sweet pups he’d be happy to sell. I think you made the right choice 🙂

    All the best to both of you.


    • The dentist comes with high recommendations, and gets to present to us right here in the park, so we had no qualms. The office is top notch and modern.

      As for the puppy, I felt something wasn’t right, besides not knowing what the rules were to take her across two borders, but then I thought she might have needed rescuing too. She seemed to want to stay with me. Who knows.


  2. You’ve mentioned the leads you had to getting dental work done while you were away, so I’m glad it worked out. Sorry the eye appointments didn’t work out as well. If you have any sand to bring back, I could add it to our collection of “souvenir sand.” Monica is a cute puppy, but I’m sure you’re glad that you didn’t bring her back with you. Where would she sit on the bike? (I suppose you could get a sidecar. :} )


    • Well I have a nice pair of frames that were relatively inexpensive and I can use them when I get my new prescription back home. As for Monica, she was so small that she could fit in a saddle bag! And there are actually little dog carriers that sit on the bike tank. We saw some at New Liskeard Rally.The logistics of getting her across two borders, and the honesty of her owner were the deterrents.


  3. What an interesting experience which I would not even know was able to Canadians. You made it even more engaging by including Monica. How sweet she is!


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