Monday, December 08, 2008


From the bottom up: (1) entrance to the cuota (toll road) to Guadalajara; (2) Guadalajara Christmas market; (3) fine art galleries in Tlaquepaque; (4) the famous Sunday market in Tonola - hundreds of artesanial vendors; and (5) candleholders waiting for new homes in the Tonola market.

Last weekend, Justine and I had a wonderful adventure: a bus trip to Guadalajara, Tlaquepaque and Tonola to do some Christmas shopping. With a group of 15 friends and soon-to-be friends, we left early Friday morning in a luxury bus. We stopped along the way to tour a tequila factory in Tequila - a surprisingly interesting experience. The factory we toured (Herraduras) is the only tequila factory left in Mexico that is actually owned and operated by Mexicans, and it has been in business for over 150 years. The grounds were beautiful and the process was fascinating. Although I am not a big fan of tequila, even the obligatory tasting at the end was great - helped me take a nice siesta until we arrived in Guadalajara. We walked a few blocks to the annual Christmas market, which filled an entire city block, met some nice people there, and then had a very special dinner at a former convent in the city.

Ever since we came to Mexico, people have told us that prices and selection are the very best in Tlaquepaque and Tonola. They were all right about that - lovely fine art and lively folk art in every price range. We had a fine time, filled our shopping bags, and didn't spend a fortune.

It was nice to get back home to Bucerias, however - Guadalajara is a mile high, and very cold this time of year (high 30s at night; mid-70's during the day.) I guess I have really acclimated to the tropical coastal weather.

Next trip? A bus tour to Guanajuato, Dolores Hidalgo and San Miguel de Allende. Justine will be here to care for the menagerie, so Jerry and I will be free to travel a bit. Dolores Hidalgo is the home of Talavera pottery...we are looking forward to it.