I put the words "day off" in quotation marks because it was non-stop from early morning until late night! And I was definitely exhausted by the time I made it back to my hotel on South Padre Island, but it was worth it.
The day kicked off with a meet-up with Nicholas Stein, series producer for National Geographic Channel's "Border Wars" series - and good friend - and Farrah Fazal, a reporter for the local KRGV Channel 5 news station, and also a good friend. She interviewed me on camera for a couple of news stories, then interviewed Nick because he and his crew are filming in south Texas for the next few weeks.
After that, I went on my border tour with the US Border Patrol! It was neat because a few months ago, I did a ride-along with them in the San Diego sector, and it was so interesting to see the vast differences in terrain and challenges between the two opposite ends of our border with Mexico.
Next, I met up with IlDefonso Ortiz, a reporter for the local paper The Monitor. We had a great lunch, discussing the drug war and his perspective as someone who routinely crosses into Mexico and sees the violence and the suffering of the Mexican people firsthand. He also interviewed me for a story, and it was cool to be able to do an interview in person instead of over the phone or Skype, which is the norm for me being so far away from the border.
Then I headed over to the KRGV TV studios to meet up with Farrah again. I got a great tour of the station, and met all the great reporters, anchors, and crew that work there. Best yet, I got to sit in the control room during their 4pm broadcast and watch all the behind-the-scenes stuff that goes on during a newscast! That was a real treat. Afterwards, I had a lovely dinner with Farrah at La Playa in Harlingen, where I had the surreal experience of hanging out with a local celebrity. It really was cool to see so many people recognizing Farrah and telling her how much they love her newscasts. She deserves it! Finally, I made the long and dark drive back to my hotel on South Padre Island to prep for my presentation and book signing the following day.
Causes Sylvia Longmire Supports
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
The Wounded Warrior Project