Thursday, November 10, 2011

My Mexican Family Vacation

About three weeks ago our friends Linda and Juan invited Erika and I to go to Guadalajara for five days because Juan had a retreat to go to. When they invited us I kind of brushed it off and didn’t really want to go. About a week or so ago Juan and Linda also invited Toño and Mari and all the kids to go as well. I really didn’t think they would go either, but to my surprise on this day, November 2, at five in the morning we loaded up Toño’s van and all got inside.

Our trip started in the dark with the kids singing songs in the back of the van none of which I understand. The parents turned the back of the van into a bed on top of the luggage. I love traveling in Mexico! We stopped to fill the van up and then took off. Toño said a prayer and then said we would pray a rosary later. Linda and Mari wanted to pray the rosary then, so we did. Toño began, “Padre nuestro que estas en el cielo….” An overwhelming peace filled the car as we all prayed together. Once we finished I was so at peace I fell asleep for a few hours. Once I woke up the van was filled with joyful children, great music, and smiles. This is Toño and Mari’s first family vacation ever. Toño told me this morning that once the clock hit 4:00 AM every kid, excluding the baby Mili, flew out of bed with excitement, ready for vacation.

Since I’ve woken up we made a stop for the bathroom, only when we stopped, we pulled on the side of the road and all of the kids hopped out and did their business. Why haven’t we done that all my life when I traveled with my family? It is so much easier and faster than looking for a bathroom. We loaded everyone back in to the van, passed around bread, and had breakfast. So far it has been such a pleasant trip.

At around ten in the morning we arrived in a city named Zacatecas. We parked and walked around for a little while. We visited an old Franciscan Convent that absolutely beautiful. We took plenty of pictures because like I said it is Toño and Mari’s first vacation ever. We walked around downtown and visited a few Cathedrals. They were breathtakingly beautiful, but unfortunately the pictures I took cannot do it justice. While we walked around downtown we looked up way in the distance to a hill that looked as though it had a little community up there. Juan said before we left he was going to take us up there to get the best view possible of this beautiful city. We drove on twisty roads for ten minutes and finally arrived to the most beautiful view I’ve ever seen. I also noticed as we were parking people gathered with a lot of harnesses. I thought it was bungee jumping so I asked how much it cost, because I’ve secretly always wanted to bungee jump. It cost only $150 pesos, the equivalent to $14 US dollars, oh and it wasn’t bungee jumping, it was zip lining over a canon. “Even better, and a little safer.” I thought.

Erika and I each paid $150 pesos and then the lady who worked there strapped on our harnesses and put helmets on us. We were ready. I went first. I’m not sure where my sudden courage came from. It was an amazing feeling floating in the air, and I didn’t have an ounce of fear in my body. After our zip lining experience we walked around the little town on top of the hill. It was really beautiful. There were many booths selling homemade jewelry and other things. After about thirty minutes of walking around, we finally loaded back up and drove down the twisty roads to get back on the highway.

We made a few more stops to eat and look at various things and arrived in Guadalajara at 11 PM. It was a LONG day in the car, but really blessed. Once we arrived at our home for the next few days, we ate dinner and all crashed. The next day we visited with Linda’s family and went to a small town two hours away. The small town was so beautiful. I regret not taking pictures. We went there to surprise Juan because that is where his retreat was. Linda, Toño, and Mari all went inside and Erika and I watched the kids outside.

I could go on with the details of each day, but I feel like this blog is already on the long side. Our little vacation all in all was such a blessing. We were able to see so many beautiful things and meet such wonderful people. The Lord provided many opportunities for us to pray with the sick and needy on this trip. We also made new friends. I left Guadaljara feeling refreshed and ready to return to my home in General Cepeda. God is so good always!