Before leaving Hacienda Contreras, I wandered down to Whiskey's tree. I had mentioned a couple of days ago that a bloom had appeared and it looked like there were more coming.
Sunday afternoon, Barb and Sal drove us to the village of Ajijic on the north shore of Lake Chapala. Ajijic is a popular ex-pat community in Mexico with a lot of Americans and Canadians who have either full time and snowbird residences there. We left the RV park at about 2:00pm and arrived at our couchsurfing host Cynthia's place in Ajijic at close to 4:00pm. Cynthia greeted us with open arms and within five minutes we were making margaritas with her, which seemed like a fitting end to our time in Mexico!
After getting acquainted we decided to go for a walk into the village. We had driven through Ajijic before, but never really walked around town so Cynthia was our tour guide. It was a kind of a hazy day and I wasn't very quick with the camera so the only pic I took was of the church in the central area.
The main church in Ajijic.
We had one last typical Mexican dinner at a taco stand and went back to Cynthia's place and talked the evening away. We stayed up fairly late even though we had to get up early Monday morning.
We actually had no idea how we were going to get to the airport in time for our 9:40am flight. Well, we had an idea but not with total confidence that it would come together! Most of the gringos who live in Ajijic pay a taxi at least 350 pesos ($28) to get to or from the airport. We figured there had to be a way that the Mexicans would do it for a lot less money and sure enough, we were right.
We said thanks and goodbye to our couchsurfing host Cynthia at 6:30am when it was still dark on Monday morning and walked across the street to the bus stop. There were a couple of locals there and we asked about a bus that went close to the airport. Sure enough, they said we were at the right spot. Only waited about 10 minutes and our bus came by. The driver charged us 40 pesos ($3.20) each for the hour and 15 minute ride and we arrived at the entrance to the airport at about 8:00am.
However, the bus only drops you off at the entrance to the airport. We still had to walk about 15 minutes with our luggage so if you had a lot of luggage this wouldn't be a convenient option. For us, we're travelling light so we were okay. But even then, there were taxis waiting who probably would have charged about 50 pesos ($3.00) to take you to the terminal. We still had lots of time so we chose to walk.
Got checked in at Volaris and went to wait for our flight. Boarded at 9:15am or so and the flight took off on schedule at 9:40am. Uneventful flight and landed on time to a drizzly, damp spring day in Chicago!
I had done the research ahead of time and it was a simple two train ride ($2.25 each, including transfer) to our hotel, the Best Western Plus Hawthorne Terrace, just a few miles north of the city center.
Here's Ruth on the train from Chicago's Midway airport to downtown, and our three bags of worldly belongings for the next five months!
We had to walk about 15 minutes from where we got off the train to get to the hotel. Fortunately we missed the rain and it was actually a refreshing walk even though it was overcast. Got ourselves settled into our home for the next five days and relaxed for an hour before going for a walk to explore the neighborhood.
Just a few pictures of our complimentary suite for the next five days. First impressions say that this is a very nice place to stay and in a very nice neighborhood. More on that later!
Our kitchen...even has a dishwasher. No, not Ruth. An actual automatic one!
Our living room.
The bathroom is fantastic. It's about the same size as our motorhome! And the shower is built for two!
We wanted to explore the area even though we were kinda tired. We're only a block from the lakeshore so we went for a walk. I think tomorrow is going to bring some really good photos.
Some of the older buildings along the lakeshore.
The little beach in the picture is actually a dog park! Happy pups can go swimming here worry free! Way to go, Chicago!
View south from the dog park at Belmont Marina.
Things are GREEN here in Chicago!
The Belmont Marina north of downtown Chicago.
Along the way back from our walk we stopped at a local grocery store and bought supplies for the week. There are actually two grocery stores in walking distance to the hotel. We're lucky that we have kitchen facilities and breakfast included so we'll be able to keep our food costs down.
We have a busy four days ahead of us and we're not telling you about any of it in advance.
Okay, I lied. How about kayaking in downtown Chicago? Kayaking? This will be fun!