Monday February 29th has arrived and marks our last day at our Mexican Casa. We had packed our suitcases the day before and are completely in control of our time. The BajioGo shuttle bus will be here at 14:15 to pick us up, along with a few other travellers, and drive us to Guanajuato International airport. We had a healthy breakfast of yoghurt and berries, and a generous lunch of sliced chicken breast, roasted the night before, with fresh raw veggies.
|The front door to our Mexican home|
|The houses in "Balcones"|
|At the back gate to the botanical gardens|
Between breakfast and lunch we had one last walk through "Balcones" and its fancy houses. It's always good to get the cardio going in the morning. The fancy houses here are mostly occupied by wealthy Mexicans, from other cities, as holiday homes. Only a handful of people north of the border live here.
|All packed up|
|Waiting in the courtyard|
We said goodbye to Josefina, the house keeper, Javier, the grounds keeper Darcy, the neighbour and Barbara, the landlady. Plenty of hugs, kisses and tears. The shuttle bus arrived on time and we were the first passengers to board. A mother and son from Chicago joined us in town along with a gentleman, also from Chicago and a gentleman from Mexico. The hour and a half drive went by without a problem and soon we were busy checking our luggage. My suitcase was overweight so I had to remove an item and put that in the carry on bag. All frazzled I chose the toiletries bag and transferred that. After the check in procedure I realized the toiletries bag included two pairs of scissors and a nail file. Well, we are going to lose those when we clear the safety check. Through the gate we went and our carry on bags were scanned and no one said a word, we breezed through without a problem and our sharp implements of death came with us onto the plane. This is Mexico, not the Excited States of America.
|The Guanajuato airport waiting area|
|Boarding our plane to Los Angeles|
We had planned to order some food on the plane, but after 20:00 they only serve snacks like crackers and cheese. Good thing we had a hearty lunch. We each had two wines with crackers and cheese. The flight was completely in the dark so there was not much to see except on arrival in Los Angeles, the sprawling city all lit up is quite the sight. The airport shuttle from the Travelodge LAX soon arrived and we were checked into our room at 21:55. With the flight behind us, we were ready to relax a bit, so we went to the gas station across the street, where there is a handy store that sells good wine for less than ten bucks. We were choosing a nice Merlot when the store clerk told us in a very strict voice that between the hours of 10PM and 6AM there will be no alcohol sales. It's a State law! I could lose my license! Oh well, the hotel has a bar and the bartender sold us the same bottle of Merlot for considerably more dinero. He pulled the cork for us and handed us two wine glasses. Take it to your room and have a good evening. Perfect.
Sleep came without any problems and we were soon awakened by the early birds leaving their rooms for their businesses. We got up and headed for the breakfast room where they served sausages, hard boiled eggs, waffles, toast and jam, coffee, tea and juice. Shelagh made waffles and I had the more savoury fare. Then we vacated the room and settled the bill, got the 09:30 shuttle to the airport to start the final leg of our journey. I had repacked the toiletries bag into my suitcase and pulled a one kilo bag of Chiapas coffee beans to put into the carry on bag. This made everything problem free for our friends at the checkin gate. Shelagh lucked out with an express checkin! Me not so much, I went through the full body scanner, shoes off, belt off and all that. It takes a few minutes to regroup after that. Ever since 911 I have a hard time with US authorities, probably because my passport states my birthplace as being in Saudi Arabia...
|Our plane to Vancouver|
|Comfy waiting area with good wifi|
The flight home was uneventful. We enjoyed a delicious chicken wrap combo meal with raw carrots and celery, and a glass of wine. The three hour flight went by quickly, and the arrivals at Vancouver airport ran like a well lubed machine. Self checkin through customs is easy and our luggage came quickly too. All loaded up we walked through the gates and were greeted by Liam and Amber along with Bailey. The drive home took a while. There had been an accident the the Massy Tunnel and that caused bumper to bumper traffic all over the place. Chris wanted to join us but he had a dead battery, so we decided to stop at his place to give his car a boost.
We had a fun evening with pizza, wine and story telling. We warmed the house up and lit the water heater and the fireplaces. The house was surprisingly clean considering we were away for three months. Not as much dust as we had envisioned. After a good night sleep Murphy reared his ugly head...
I got up to shave and shower when I realized that there was no hot water. I went downstairs to investigate and found the water heater spewing water from the top. Luckily there is a drain in the floor, but still a lot of water found its way under the carpets. I tried to shut off the water supply to the tank but could not budge the tap so I had to shut off the main water supply. Now the entire house was without water. Six hours later we had a new water heater installed. $1100.00 lighter in the bank account, but the old tank was nine years old and that's about the lifespan if these things. All's well that ends well, time to do some laundry... Two loads done and I see the carpets are getting wetter. As the washing machine pumps out its water the floor drain spews up laundry water! Clearly we have some kind of blockage. Now we are waiting for the plumber to root out the pipes. Life is good here in the great white north, we miss Mexico already...
|My favourite sculpture at Casa Tranquilo|