Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Before I take you to Guadalajara (on the most miserable bus ride ever), here are some parting shots from El Grullo:
This is Dona Chayo. She was Edgar's first grade teacher at La Escuela Las Pilas (the same school Edgar's mom and Lili went to). Dona Chayo is retired, but she picks her grand kids up from school every day. She stopped me and asked Edgar's name. She taught for 30 years. When I told her I was surprised at how big the class sizes are in Mexico, she said, "Oh, this is nothing! I used to teach 50 or 60 at a time!" I wondered how she would remember Edgar out of all that. He says he caused a lot of trouble. (Lili's looking a little like her aunt Thelma. :))
On my journey up to the Capilla, I encountered the tile that Edgar's family donated when the Capilla was dedicated. They paid for that stair.
I love these flowers. They were all along my hike up to the Capilla.
My view from the top.
The first sunset I saw in El Grullo. I had to hike up to see it.

Our bus ride from El Grullo to Guadalajara was probably the hardest part of our whole trip. I found our bus driver before we even got on the bus to ask if we could watch an appropriate movie. Between puffs on his cigarette he told he had no control over what movies came on--that it was all controlled from Guadalajara. I don't know if I believe him or not, but there was nothing more I could do. The movie was a violent one, followed by one with sex scenes. Ay, Mexico! I kept covering Lili's eyes. We both felt queasy--and not just because of the movie. The road is so windy. The most difficult thing, though, was Marcos and his incessant crying. We had been so busy packing up and running here and there, that Marcos had missed his nap. I read in Parent's magazine years ago that before traveling, one should still have one's child nap, and not just assume said child will sleep on the trip. They were right. Marcos was so exhausted and he wouldn't sleep. I bet he cried for 2 hours. I know everyone on the bus hated us. I decided it was their punishment for wanting a trashy movie. That didn't make me feel much better though. At one point, a little old lady said, "Senor!" (Edgar was holding Marcos at the time.) "What is wrong with that child? GIVE HIM TO ME!" Edgar handled it well. I wouldn't have known what to say. Edgar said, "He's just tired." We kept passing Marcos back and forth. At one point Edgar looked pretty desperate and I suggested taking the little lady up on her offer. Edgar finally got Marcos to sleep by standing up with him and holding on tightly as the bus swayed him around the curves. Edgar was holding sleeping Marcos when Ruben started throwing up on Edgar. Again Edgar had the worst of it all.

Fortunately, there was a happy end in sight: The Hotel San Francisco Plaza. It's a "historic" hotel that gave us a good deal--the third night was free. It is very old, but I liked it. They didn't have an elevator, so we made the wise choice (considering all our luggage) to bunk on the bottom floor. We were usually the only people in the lobby, which was right outside our room:

The kids loved the birds in the lobby. I liked them too, but there was an old boiled egg in their cage that made me feel sick whenever we walked by.
Our room had a wonderful, HOT shower with a lot of water pressure and the shower head was taller than I am! I loved it so much I took a shower that night and the next morning. We all slept great that night too--even Marcos. The next morning, we met the Sorensens for breakfast. That afternoon we took our kids to their house. They had arranged babysitters for us so we could all go to the temple together.
(Yes, dear reader, I am pregnant. My figure is not just the result of too many taquitos.)
The Sorensens back yard.

Marian told us a lovely story about the temple. There are pigeons everywhere in Guadalajara. They are always making a mess on the statues downtown. The Angel Moroni on the temple, though, never gets dirty. There are night hawks that scare the other birds away. Recently they took the Angel Moroni down to re-gold him. There were no bird droppings on him. She said that even the animals respect the Lord's house. It was so great to be with the Sorensens.
The Mariachi Square in Guadalajara. We never did get to hear the mariachis there. We saw them, but you have to pay to get them to play. I was hoping someone else would pay and we could get a free concert. It didn't happen.
Saturday Edgar's Tia Lupe and cousin Gaby took us all around downtown Guadalajara. This is a theater.

The Cathedral

We bought some souvenirs that day and walked A LOT. We got back to our room at about 8:00. We packed everything up, set our alarm for 3 am and went to bed. Our poor children had a hard time getting up, but they were cheerful about it.
They weren't so cheerful at 4:00 when we got to the airport and found out our flight had been canceled and that we would be waiting FIVE HOURS until our flight.

Marcos was perky for awhile. We fed everybody and then took up residence in a dark corner of the airport Burger King. Liliana fell asleep on a booth, I got Marcos to sleep in the stroller, and Ruben fell asleep on Edgar. I put my head down on the table and fell asleep. Poor Edgar's the only one that didn't sleep. The good news was that we got a direct Mexicana flight. It was a nicer airline. They served breakfast and didn't charge us to check luggage. If only we'd known we were flying with them, we could have enjoyed 4 more hours of sleep at our hotel. We got to Las Vegas around 1:00. By the time we got our car, ate, and drove all the way home, it was 9:00. We were thrilled to be home. We unpacked that night. Marcos helped:
He carefully arranged the stuff from our bathroom bag into the toilet. (As if I haven't put enough about toilets and toilet paper in this travelogue!)

So now we are home. We are loving the reliable plumbing, having the kids in their own rooms again, having our queen size bed back (we are far too large for the double bed we were using in El Grullo), having more than one bathroom, hot water spontaneously coming out of the tap, and our washer and dryer!

Looking at these pictures, though, I already miss Mexico a little. As Lili said, "It's our country too!" The kids are now dual citizens.


Jennifer said...

What adventures you had! I'm so glad you're home though. Tonight when I looked out and saw your lights, I felt relieved and happy. I know that sounds silly, but it's true. We missed you.

Thelma said...

I'm glad you're home too. Even though it doesn't mean I get to see you any more. It's nice to have you more phone accessible.

I will miss your blog posts though. Keep them coming.

Marcos and the toilet thing made me laugh. That's a picture to show him someday if he ever complains about the antics of his own children.

Robert Johnson said...

I'm amazed that you would have the foresight to take that toilet picture. I'm so glad you're back. Love, M

Clint n Britta's tribe said...

I'm glad you're home too! Sorry we didn't get to see you as you passed through LV.
I loved all your posts and hope to continue seeing them.(I know life gets busy).
I love the pic. of Lili and Ruben's faces at the airport. I probably would've looked like that too.
Also love the toilet one too. It made me laugh.
Love you and your sweet family!

Leigh said...

You're pregnant!! Oh, congratulations!

I didn't think it was possible, but now I am even MORE impressed with your adventurous spirit and your endurance of some of the more "interesting" parts of living in a foreign county knowing that you were pregnant during it. Wishing you a healthy and smooth duration!