Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Two days travel.....

Getting home involved two days traveling. On Monday I hopped an ETN bus (super luxury) to Guadalajara. It was like being rocked to sleep in a soft cradle. Most buses have rows of four seats with an aisle. Not ETN. There are two seats on one side, an aisle, then a single seat. It costs $6 more to ride ETN. A movie played but my headphones didn't work. It was an American cartoon so I followed the plot with no trouble.  The rest of the time I worked on my computer and looked out the window at the green countryside. The entire trip took 5 hours. Mexico is quite beautiful this time of year, after all the summer rains, and especially lately with the overflow from the Gulf hurricanes.

I took a taxi to the little hotel where LuLu had promised I didn't need a reservation, but the hotel was full! She had a bunch of construction guys there, staying for the entire month. Mucho trabajo, (lots of work) she said. So she made a couple of phone calls and got me into a much nicer hotel with a pool and the price included a ride to the airport at 6:30 the next morning. It was perfect. Twice the price, but a long cab ride is fairly expensive in Guadalajara. In San Miguel every taxi ride within the city is 25 pesos, about $2. I wandered around Tlaquepaque for a while, got to go into several galleries that had been closed two weeks before. Only two weeks before....seemed like I hadn't been there in a month or more.

Tlaquepaque is an artists haven, lots of galleries, a real touristy place for Mexican tourists, and very high quality work. One artist Rodo Padilla, does these wonderful distorted but amusing figures. The people have proportional arms, head and upper bodies but from the waist down they balloon out like pear-shaped women (and then some!). He also has furniture that is a huge person shape sitting down and you get to sit in their laps. The jewelers are awfully creative too. But I was already loaded up on purchases.

The hotel room was decorated in a very sophisticated Mexican style with tile everywhere, a mosquito netting on the bed, old rustic furniture, leather couches, and a deep tiled tub that wicked the water's heat very quickly. Mental note, don't ever install a tile tub in future construction! The bed was comfy and I got a great night's sleep. Before dawn Victor, the owner, drove me to the airport in his nice new Toyota van. We had a long conversation about Guadalajara, his life as a single guy and owner of two hotels, his vacation shortly to Puerto Vallarta, the fact that he was born in Tlaqupaque and that his parents are disappointed that he's not married yet. But, as he pointed out, he can own the hotels because he's NOT married.

Getting through the customs and other rigamaroll in the US took almost all the time I had between planes, but I managed to get back to Albquerque on time. Yeah! I stopped on the way to Los Alamos to visit with my mother, give her Trini's shawl and some other little presents and then drove home. My son had the house clean, the cat was still alive and a little slimmer (guess he doesn't give her as many snacks as I do) and life is back to normal. Sigh. It's finally over. Oh well, there's always another Mexican trip. I think I'm hooked.