This week was super exciting because we were able to get our temporary residency cards. It was a relief too. Our tourist visas had expired June 12th. We had heard about a program that would let you get your residency here in Mexico instead of going back to your home country to start the process. The only thing was that your visa had to be expired and only a few states were offering this program. We had to travel to Pachuca near Mexico City. It’s a solid 6 hour drive. We had to hire an Uber driver to take us because our TIP for the truck was expired like our Visas. That was a pricey trip. We had to stay overnight at a hotel so we could go first thing in the morning to the immigration office. Our hotel was a bit on the expensive side for Mexico. Plus, the pool was closed. I was sad. We walked around a bit when we got to Pachuca looking for a restaurant but there weren't many close to our hotel...it was more industrial, not touristy. We went back to the hotel and ate inside before the rain started. They didn’t have any meatless dishes but they made me a huge salad. The prices were more than we usually pay but what could we do? This is more of a business trip and less of an activity.
We had the help of an advocate who assists folks through this process. He’s from the states but lives here and is married to a Mexican woman. He charges to help. He makes good money at this. The process was long...a lot of waiting inside of immigration. We needed to fill out 7 pieces of paperwork plus go get 2 copies of each. We also had to drive across town to the bank to pay the fees associated. It was less than $700 each and we have a four year temporary residency card now. They take your picture and purposely make you look horrible. Take off jewelry and pull your hair back behind your ears. The picture looks like a fisheye view too. The whole process from start to finish was just over 5 hours. And we were so happy to be done. Out of 6 folks trying to do this, 4 got through and 2 others were not accepted into the program. We were winners!!
Back in Ajijic, we continue to hike up our hill each morning and I have upped my exercise program to condition myself for hiking in Peru. We walked around looking in the Bazaars one afternoon. As we walked by Punto Verde someone came out to say Hi. It was Churro the other muralist we have met. He was restoring a mural inside the cafe as it had just had a fire. We went inside to look and chatted with him for a while. Nice guy. He might stop by the house and see our mural sometime. I asked what he drank….Mezcal blanco. I have it on hand now! We never made it hiking this week or on our bikes. Too many other things to do!
We went to dinner at the Dharma restaurant on the Ajijic Malecon. We ate there last week during the Beer festival. Tonight they were having a special dinner by reservation only and they were infusing each of the five courses with CBD oil. It sounded crazy cool so we went. Dinner was good. We got educated about CBD. Included in the price of dinner was a small bottle of their main CBD oil. They even had CBD oil with THC in their inventory for purchase. The CBD guy also was a DJ and played his mix of music. We enjoyed the evening as it was a bit different plus we got something to take home.
Chile and his family have been coming over in the late afternoon/early evening. Chile has been making amazing process on the mural and this makes us both so happy! We have a lake and some beautiful trees along with some parrots, a cockatoo and macaw! We took the boys, Leonardo and Manuel, along with Miriam on a walk to the San Antonio Malecon. It’s a short 1 kilometer walk but Manuel didn’t seem much interested in walking. Miriam carried him a bit but then Larry placed him on top of his shoulders and that was the ticket. We all played at the park for about an hour. We all had fun…..Maybe Larry had the most! On the walk back past the plaza in the center, we stopped by for helado (ice cream). All five of us had one for a cost of only $80 pesos (about $4.20 us).
The best day of this week was Sunday. We drove to the outskirts of Guadalajara to see our friends Thelma and Hector and their kids Indra and Abraham. It was a short drive that was just over an hour. The directions didn’t get us lost and we found their place easily. They had only been there a week but her house looked good for just unpacking. They had a house full of guests too. Hector’s mom, their niece and nephew plus Abrahams best friend from kindergarten in Mexico city. It was great to see them again. We brought Thelma a house warming gift of heart decorations. She loves hearts. We also gave her our second largest Brazilian cherry tree. Those trees were given to us by Manuel at El Caracol when we stayed in Lo de Marcos. Thema was very pleased with her tree and gift.
We visited a bit and then we walked to see their house that is still being built…...They are renting around the corner. There isn’t much there yet but walls and floors but it was cool checking it out. Maybe in 6 months it will be done. They had to stop building because they needed to make changes to the floorplan. I can’t wait to see it finished. We took a long walk around a huge park that is in this gated community. There was a nice dog park plus playgrounds for kids. It had a long pathway along a creek that was fun to walk by...or leap over! The kids were loving this place. In the center of all the grass and trees, they had big ponds but were empty this time. The houses in this community are pretty large but the yards are smaller. This park is great for everyone. They had tables and BBQ grills too. Right across the road was a small store. Hector left earlier to run and get some lunch. The amazing thing about being in Guadalajara is that there is a Carl’s Junior and Hector brought me a veggie burger!! Winner winner! We played my new favorite game Rummikub after we ate. I did not win…..Larry was crazy Lucky though! We had fun and let them know they were welcome to visit us now too. We have another kingsize in the other bedroom. It was a busy week but we got a lot done plus a few activities to keep it interesting.