Day Trip! Tlaquepaque/Guadalajara
Our friends in the neighborhood, Jean-Pierre and Yolanda Luisser, French-Canadians from Quebec, invited us to join them on a day trip to Guadalajara on Sunday, March 25. Oh, boy! A trip to the big city with someone who knows where to go and what to see -- and most importantly, how to drive in that crazy place! So we set out about 10 in the morning, first stop Tlaquepaque, a town on the outskirts that I first heard about on The Travel Channel long ago.
We parked in a parking lot with a shade, a big plus, and walked in. There’s a main drag with lots of art work installed in addition to all the art and wares set up in doorways and down the sidewalks.
We came to a little courtyard where some artists had their tables set up with all kinds of really interesting things. An artist carving little buildings and streets from wood to intricate jewelry made of paper to painted ostrich eggs and jewelry made of natural plant parts. Yo bought paper earrings to match her top, and I bought some big fun seed pod earrings, each original handmade purchase under $4.
We oooh’d and aaaah’d over many different shops, but Jean-Pierre took us into the tequila shops for tastes of their wares. Wow! Some very interesting flavors. And we bought a tequila flavored with membrillo, a beautiful aperitif or dessert liquor. I almost got some chocolate liquor from the second shop that was out of this world but restrained myself.
Next stop was lunch where they introduced us to a very fine arrachera, which is a marinated steak, thin like the Mexicans do it, but cooked to perfection and, oh, so gooooood, and the grilled marinated shrimp were scrumptious! Now, wherever we go we have to try the arrachera! Three places so far, but that was the best.
Onward to Guadalajara. Jean-Pierre has been down here a while and drives like a Mexican, which is to say he’s fearless! And they know where the interesting things are. Downtown is popular on the weekends and there is a huge market covering a couple of city blocks and three stories tall! Glenn forgot to wear his hat, so we went in search of un sombrero nuevo. I bought one for about $7.25, and we finally found one for Glenn at about $18, and fine hats they are! They guy selling the men’s hats had spent a bit of time in California, so Glenn got to use his cholo impersonation on him -- ha!
As we wandered around the big city, we saw some clowns entertaining a small crowd and wandered up. Oops! We've been spotted and dragged into the show! But Yolanda and I each got a nice little balloon flower and gave multiple almost-kisses to the clown on the cheek and mugged for the crowd. Silly gringas! And we saw a monk floating over his rug -- woo-woo -- and he had big Jerry Lewis teeth through which to give his sage advice to the onlookers.
We finished up on the way back with a trip to Costco and then headed home. We took a back road to avoid some traffic and got to enjoy sunset in some small villages along the way. A great trip -- and a big thank you to our friends for a fine day!
You can see all of the photos from the day right here!