12-12-09
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12 December 2009
by
Dave Clingman

In a few days, I'll send you an itinerary of our Europe trip.  We fly away from Guadalajara at noon on Thursday, 17 December and land at 8am Friday in Amsterdam (1am Mexico and USA Central time).  We have free lodging every single night of our trip, which saves MAJOR money.  Three nights are with Holiday Inn -- two nights in Bern, Switzerland and one night (our last night in Europe) in Amsterdam -- using the points in my Club Account (which I received by signing up for a free credit card).  The other nights are all with Couch Surfer Hosts we found on CouchSurfing.  As I said, I'll send an itinerary in a couple days, and it will include the CS Hosts' information.  Please pray we have a safe and enjoyable trip.

Andrew has been working more hours the past several weeks in order to increase our budget for the trip.  It still won't be a big budget, but by working longer hours, he has just about doubled the amount we have to spend.

Last weekend, we attended the
Nutcracker Suite, the first ballet for each of us, in downtown Guadalajara, at the historic and beautiful Teatro Degollado.  The price for the tickets amazed us, as usual.  I had priced the same production back in California a couple of times and could not afford it.  Here, however, in a very nice balcony seat, the cost was $120 pesos (less than ten US dollars) each.  It was great seeing what happens during each of the songs that have long been favorites of mine.

Our church (
St. Mark's Anglican) gay group meets this evening for a small gift exchange.  We meet approximately every other week for a Bible study and fellowship time.  We take Mela with us, and she is often the center of attention until the Bible study, after which the Wii is brought out.

Tomorrow, for our six month anniversary, we are going to be staying, again for free, at
Casa de las Flores Bed and Breakfast in Tlaquepaque, slightly southeast of Guadalajara.  You may remember in my September 24th log how I raved about the place.  We have stayed there now three times, and we enjoy the way we are treated there, even when Stan the Host and I don't talk business about his website.  Stan and Jose are both simply fun to talk with about all kinds of things, from politics to life here in Mexico.

After church and before arriving at Casa de las Flores, we and a friend from Church will visit the Tonala Tianguis Market.  Robert wants to get a few pots for plants, and Tonala has some of the best.

In case you're wondering, a friend and neighbor here in the park will be taking care of
Mela while we are gone.  Stan has a rescued German Shepherd, and she and Mela are great friends, despite the huge size difference.

While we are in Europe, our access to email will be limited to our PDA's (small hand held computers).  We'll try to find a free wifi each day, but most wifi's in Europe are secured/encrypted, requiring a password we won't know.  Our replies may be a bit shortened, since writing on the hand held is not as easy as on a notebook computer.  We will try to send out a log every couple of days.  If you'd rather not receive these mailings, just let us know.  We will also write to let you know our cell phone number after we buy the SIM card in Europe for the phone.  Feel free to call us anytime, but be aware of the cost on your end.
 

Read update 3 December 2009

Read update 8 January 2010

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