We unpacked our suitcases and started the "next phase" of our life....RETIREMENT. Nevertheless, we've found time to visit a few places close to us and we would like to share them with you.
Guadalajara--the 2nd largest city in Mexico with nearly 4 million residents in the city and its suburbs. The city's factories convert metals, hides and foodstuffs into many different products. Guadalajara also has become an electronics center. Plants operated by Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Motorola produce cellular phones and desktop and laptop computers making the city the "Silicon Valley South." Guadalajara's chief attraction is the careful preservation of its Historic Center, the downtown historic district. Forming a shape like a giant cross are four different plazas, each offering a distinct personality: Plaza Tapatia, Plaza de la Liberacion, Plaza de Armas and Plaza de los Laureles. They all surround the cathedral "Our Lady of the Roses." We visited during the Christmas Season when the city was beautifully decorated and many celebrations were taking place. Guadalajara also has many familiar places for expats to shop--Home Depot, Costco, Sam's Club, Wal-Mart and Office Max to name a few.
Ballet Folklorico dancers
Historic district of Guadalajara
Bullfights In Plaza de Toros Guadalajara
The world's most famous bullfighters come to show off their skills 2006.
Tequila--A tour of the "Three Women Distillery" outside of Tequila is an interesting, and a fun afternoon. This area has extensive plantations devoted to the cultivation of the agave plant, from which the same-named beverage is extracted. The tough, sword like fronds are stripped from the plant, exposing its "heart," which can weigh more than 100 pounds. The hearts are "cooked" in large kettles and the resulting liquid is transferred to huge tanks. Clear tequila is bottled at once; the golden variety ages in oak casks for up to seven years. Afterwards, we drove into the actual town of Tequila and visited the Jose Cuervo distillery.
Town of Tequila
Cooked Agave "hearts"
Mazamitla---pronounced "maza-meat-la". The city is known by native Mexican people as "the gem in the mountains". The setting is high, 7,300 feet above sea level, in the pine-clad mountains near the Michoacan border. Imagine cobblestone streets, adobe walls, wooden balconies, old doorways, red-tile roofs, fresh air and unsurpassed scenic beauty. The availability and their use of wood construction of buildings and homes is unique in Mexico, as few other areas utilize wood except for decorative items. While very few of the relics remain, the town dates back to the twelfth century.
Entering the city of Mazamitla
Stores on the main street with wooden balconies reminiscent of an Alpine village
The city plaza
Market selling home made products
Inside the church on the plaza
Tonala---On the Southeast side of Guadalajara lies Tonala with it's more than 6,000 artisans. It offers on Thursdays and Sundays a shopping experience beyond compare. The "tiangis" (outdoor market) stretches more than 22 blocks offering great buys in ceramics, pottery, glassware, dinnerware, fine art and handcrafted custom furniture.
The main street of Tonala where the tiangis is located
One of the many vendors
Blown glass showroom
All items are made with recycled glass
Forming a vase
Molds for paper mache
Out of the mold and ready to be painted
All items are hand painted
The finished product
Showroom of world famous pottery maker Salvador Vazuquez
Scorpion Island---About 30 minutes by boat from Chapala.
The Chapala pier with the Church in the background.
One of the many boats on the way to Scorpion Island.
Approaching Scorpion Island.
One of the many restaurants on the island.
Leaving the island.
Back in Chapala for lunch. Local musicians play for street dancing.
Manzanillo January 2007
Colima volcanos on the way to Manzanillo
Map of Mexico --location of Manzanillo
Shopping area in the old part of Manzanillo
Net fishing on the beach of our hotel
One of the beaches of Manzanillo
Condos and hotels over looking the ocean
Tlaquepaque---a southeastern suburb of Guadalajara known as an important crafts center. Tla-keh-PAH-keh is known for its distinctive, hand painted pottery prized throughout Mexico. Tlaquepaque also is known for blown glass, textiles, jewelry, furniture, copperware and carved wood.
The main shopping street of Tlaquepaque
Beautiful hand carved bed
Modern lighting fixtures and furniture
Window of Mexican crafts
Tradition Mexican kitchen
WHERE WE HAVEN'T BEEN BUT EXPECT (HOPE) TO SEE SOON......
Puerto Vallarta---the ultimate ocean resort in Mexico. Although we have been there many times in the past, we still look forward to a return trip.