We woke up at 2 am and were ready to go. I had a quick cup of coffee while Alisa made some last minute preparations. We gathered our bags and loaded up into the car. Our niece Emily was nice enough to give us a ride to the airport, but her grandmother decided that she should not go alone, so the four of use were off at about 2:37 in the morning.
The airport was quiet and peaceful. It was really nice to walk through it without a large crowd in every corner. The TSA were rude as always; I do not know if it was the fact that I was tired, but I did not have the energy to deal with them this day. Oh well…
We boarded our plane at 4:50 a.m. and were promptly off at 5:30 for a two hour flight to Los Angeles. We arrived, deplaned, and boarded the next one which would take us directly to Guadalajara. Both flights were really uncomfortable. We normally have a really hard time falling asleep on a plane, but this time it was a lot worse for me. I was dead tired but could not manage to get a minute of sleep. I alternated between closing my eyes and reading two or three pages in my book. I repeated this process for the entirety of the trip.
Landing in Guadalajara was not too tough. The airport is a lot smaller than the one in Mexico City, so we were able to navigate and get through customs pretty easily. It felt really good to add another stamp to our passports, and we look forward to adding a lot more in the coming year. Once we were in the main terminal (T1), we were a little lost. We both have Verizon cell service and before we left, we were told by one of the agents that we would have complete unlimited service while we traveled. This, however, was not the case. I was able to connect to a local provider called MoviStar. While it appeared that I could send and receive calls, I could not use the internet. Alisa had better luck and was able to use her data at a snail’s pace. We decided that we were going to take an Uber instead of a Taxi or bus. The bus would have been cheaper, but we were so tired that we wanted the most direct route possible.
First, I talked to an agent at one of the Taxi kiosks. I gave him the address to our AirBnB, and he told me that it would cost about 375 pesos ($18.93 U.S.). When we used the Uber app, we found out that the same ride would only cost us about 97 pesos ($4.90 U.S.), so we chose that option.
We had a really hard time finding a place suitable for the Uber to pick us up. The app said that we needed to meet the driver at the arrivals gate, but when we exited customs, we were at the departure gate. We walked around for about 20 minutes until we realized that it was all the same. We moved to the far end of the airport drop-off section and ordered the Uber. Once we were on our way, I talked to the driver and found out a lot of information about the city and things that would be going on that week. I swear that you can do all the research about a city that you want, but nothing is better than just talking to a local.
We met our host Rodrigo at the main gate of what appeared to be a random building. We said our hellos and entered the complex. After going through a long dark hallway we entered an open narrow corridor that has about 20 small apartments or condominiums. It really has that Latin American charm that Alisa and I really enjoy. Rodrigo was really nice, and his English was spot on. However, it seemed like he preferred to speak in Spanish. He gave us a quick tour of the Apartment and gave us some tips for getting groceries and just generally getting around town.
We took a few minutes to get settled in to our new home for the next eight days, and then we headed out to explore our surroundings. We decided to head to a main street called Chaputapec because we were told that there were a lot of restaurants and generally a lot of things to do. The walk was long and very hot. I think I might have gotten a little sun burned. Alisa took advantage of the long walk to take pictures of the street art that covers nearly every corner of this neighborhood.
Once we got to the main street we were a little disappointed as the majority of the restaurants looked like outdoor clubs. I do not really have a problem with that, but they seemed like they were really targeted to a very young drinking crowed that was more interested in partying above all else. We walked about seven or eight blocks and we were greeted with the same type of establishments. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that I am above going into these places. In fact, I normally would go just for a new experience, but the music was too loud. Look at me, I am starting to sound like an old man…ouch.
We decided to turn down a small street which lead a great walk by some old mansions that were converted into office buildings as well as restaurants. After a short while, we found a Mediterranean restaurant called Rumba where we had a light lunch before returning to our apartment. I think we turned in around around eight o’ clock that evening.