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Published: March 19th 2008
Sleepy Little Girls
We had an expectedly long wait in the Guadalajara International Airport. At least my girls are able to sleep in any situation.
It was a very long night as we waited to board our flight in Tijuana. The plane was scheduled to depart at 12:55AM. The gate (or sala) as it is called there was starting to get crowded as we continued to wait the several hours. As the time got closer, they made some announcement that I could not understand and everyone started to line up. I had thought that we would board based on groups or seating but we got into line like a herd of cows, monkey see monkey do seems to work in any country. As we finally got up to the front of the line, all the attendant did was check off the number on our ticket and we all milled around waiting once again. Don't ask me the purpose of this because I thought that was what check-in was for in the first place. Then they finally started to board us by first class and then from back to front. I was smart enough to buy tickets towards the front of the plane so we were also one of the last to board. The seat that I had originally purchased for Kara was now occupied by a
Some New Friends
From left to right; Cecilia, Erika and Paola
gentleman a few years my senior. Due to the hour of our flight, Erika soon fell asleep and was leaning her head against the man's arm. I went to move her so she leaned on me but he waved me away and indicated that she was just fine. The baby finally fell asleep but she fussed a little at first. The plane wasn't completely full so I don't understand why they sold our third seat again when there were open rows they could have placed the gentleman in.
When the plane landed in Guadalajara, the airport chaos began once again. We made our way to baggage claim and snagged a luggage cart which was free. After grabbing my two suitcases and Mia's carseat, I had it all stacked up on top of the luggage cart and the very sleepy children in tow. Everyone was now bottlenecked as a woman was checking our luggage. Nobody explained that you have to detach those luggage claim tickets and hand it to the lady. As I stood there at the side of the gate with my tickets in hand with the claim tickets still stapled, she ignored me for a good 10 minutes
Carved Table with Calla Lilies
I specifically went window shopping in the hopes of finding a dining set that was carved with a calla lily motif and here it is!
while letting everyone else pass by me and the baby begins crying. Finally she walks over and rips the claim tickets off my papers and waves me past. The next stop is a sign telling you that the luggage carts belong to the airport and that you now have to unload them before proceeding forward. Now mind you, we've moved a whole 200 yards in this whole process so what's the damn point in getting the luggage cart in the first place?? After I managed to reload everything so I can haul it all myself, we walk down the hall to the arrivals area and I start searching for my ex-husband Fernando.
Surprise, he's not here!! After waiting for an hour in the airport lobby by the front doors, I finally figure out how to use my cell phone to call a local phone number. When you are in the United States, you have to dial 011 and then 52 and then the local number. When you're in country, it's a whole different story. I don't even want to see my phone bill when I get home. By this time, Mia is sound asleep in her car seat, Erika
Sun setting over Guadalajara
Fernando took me up to the Cerro de Nuestra Reina so I could get a good view of the city and the temple at the top.
has laid down on the floor and propped her head up on Mia's carseat and fallen fast asleep. It's a two hour time difference from the US to the state of Jalisco so we've arrived at approximately 3:35AM our time (5:35AM local time). I finally manage to call Fernando's house and his father wakes him up. When I ask him if he wasn't going to come and pick us up, he apologizes and says that he'll be here in another 45 minutes. At this point, I'm upset, stressed out, and just want to get back on the plane and go home. I try numerous times to call Jose's cell phone and I keep getting a message that it's disconnected, out of number, or just shit outta luck and I should check my number and try calling again. I've had better days believe me! An airport security woman comes over and tells us that we aren't allowed to sit on the ground. I haven't noticed a sitting area yet but she points to an area behind some vendors where there are chairs set up. There is one free seat in the whole area and I drag all our crap towards it.
Cerro de la Reina
Description: Previously called hill of the Navel, natural mirador 2.500 mts. from height, where one could admire the city from Guadalajara, the gorge of the Santiago River and the immense plateau of the Highs of Jalisco. It is also key point for the observation of astronomical phenomenon's like the eclipses of sun and the Halley comet; it in the top of this hill is the monument to the Cihualpilli queen and the stone chapel dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe also you can see the biggest Mexican Fly on the Jalisco State. Hill of the Queen is called for that upon arriving the Spaniards to Tonalá governed the town the Cihualpilli cacique that had her temple in this hill.
Info taken from http://vive.guadalajara.gob.mx/puntos/puntosi.asp?which=212
I ask the woman seated next to it if it's occupied and she gives me a rude look and makes a comment I don't understand. So I sit down with the baby on the floor in front of me and Erika sleeping in my lap. Then I notice the woman's husband walking back towards her and the other couple. Two more seats free up so I move all our stuff over to it and get us situated again. Then all four of them get up and the lady makes a rude comment about not even saying Thank You! Yup, if I had the money, my ass would have been buying a plane ticket back home. Fernando finally showed up looking very sleepy and loaded us all up into the Ford Ranger that he had been able to borrow from a friend.
The apartment that he had located for me to rent is located in Colonia Rinconada San Francisco and it's in one of the poorer areas of Guadalajara but then again, I'm not sure if they have any middle class sections. Most of the houses have tall metal fences around them and locking gates so their front yard is
Climbing Up to the Reina
There were quite a few steps leading up to the Cerro de la Reina and of course, Fernando chose to park at the bottom of the hill!
basically their parking section. I tried to get some sleep but it was difficult. I think I got a couple hours and then the kids were up and ready to start the day. Fernando ran out to get some food while we were sleeping. He brought back some fruit and sandwich fixings; bread, ham, and sour cream. Yes, they don't use mayo on sandwiches, that is reserved for when they get hot dogs. It didn't actually taste bad at all but I think I'll stick to my Best Foods when I'm at home. In the afternoon, he took us to meet his best friend's family. They have two daughters that are 4 and 6 years old. Erika had a blast playing with them and didn't want to leave when we were ready to head out for some window shopping. When she asked if she could stay, I explained to her that they didn't speak any English so if she had any issues, she would have to work it out or wait until we came back. She was fine though and they could call Fernando's cell phone if any major issues arose. I think she feels more comfortable now that she attends Spanish Immersion Preschool and she's used to hearing it and knows enough words to get across her point.
Fernando took me to the suburb of Tonala to go window shopping for calla lily furniture, etc. I have been really wanting to decorate my kitchen and dining room with a calla lily theme. There were thousands of gorgeous things to look at but I didn't want to buy anything yet, just get some ideas of what is out there and what's available or for custom orders. There were lots of horse things that Erika would have loved. I located the table of my dreams towards the end of the afternoon. The table and chairs are all carved with long stems and calla lilies and the top of the table you inset with thick glass and the wood can be painted in whatever style you like or leave it natural. There was also this slick bar in a pool/cabana style that I really liked too, just what I need when I build my hacienda and have the pool out back, ha ha. Afterwards, he took me up to the Cerro de la Reina which is basically like a tall butte where we could see out over all the lights of Guadalajara. At the top there is a church with statues at each corner of the courtyard. It was really pretty but there sure were a lot of steps to get up to it. I brought Mia's baby carrier so that I could get around faster with her and Erika and it works but my back does kill me after climbing a hill for example. Our last stop was to pick up Erika and we stayed to have dinner with them, quesadillas. Everytime Erika eats or drinks anything, she asks me if it has bugs in it. I could really kill my mother for the stuff she filled poor Erika's head with because it is very difficult to counterbalance the aftermath of her "good intentions."
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