Monday, January 21, 2013

Field Trip!

Today Brad, Danny & I set out on a "field trip" to Guadalajara. A "mile high city" just like Denver, CO, and it's also the second largest city in Mexico. There is even a city of the same name in Spain.
We were under the impression that it was about a 2:45 min drive which sounded doable & luckily Danny was driving us. After parking in the city center, it had been almost 5 hours since we left the marina. Eeeek! Good thing I had packed some Scooby snacks in my bag for the three of us as we were famished by the time we hit the city. (I'll spare you the dirty deets of how the high altitude affected my 10 day old sinus cold, but it was good times! Ha!!) Our first stop was to find a restaurant for lunch and margaritas were most definitely in order after that long car ride!!! We found a fabulous colonial restaurant right near the main cathedral. They even had strolling mariachis to entertain us with and the perfect table on a 2nd floor balcony looking out over the city square and the passerby below. We had a hilarious waiter who cracked us up and had the best personality...Especially when he brought our margaritas to the table that Brad and I ordered. It turned out not to be two of them, but FOUR! He said it was a two-for-one "special day". Ha ha!! Needless to say, as thirsty as we were they were gone quickly. Our lunch consisted of some homemade enchiladas that were the best ever! Lifesaver!! After lunch we headed to their Libertad Mercado to check out the sights & dealios. Unfortunately it wasn't "muy authentico" as billed on Tripadvisor and we skeedaddled out of there. It was interesting to take in the sights of the city as we found it to be highly organized from street to street. One street was all about beauty... Hairdresses, beauty supply stores and nail salons up & down the street. Another was dedicated to toys, another to flooring, fabrics, etc. For a moment it was reminiscent of Santee Alley in downtown LA. I loved seeing all the street vendors peddling all their wares as well. They are all such hard workers and very proud people. The most popular item I saw on almost every street corner was fun colored shoelaces. They sold them at the shoeshine stands. I'd call them a "hot fashion trend alert" of Guadalajara! We stopped at a few cathedrals which were beautiful and all of the old buildings in the city were well taken care of...Especially after 400+ years... You could feel the history in that city.
We soon found ourselves a tour guide at Danny's suggestion and all hopped into a horse drawn carriage to tour the city center. Little did we know it would take about an hour & a half. Lol!! As if we hadn't been sitting down all day with our butts getting numb. What a riot!! I even fell asleep from the margaritas on our ride. Too funny. We decided afterward that we'd need to head back as we wouldn't get back to the boat until about 9:00, so off we went. There were a few baño stops at gas stations & it was there that we learned how important it is to have pesos in your pocket baby! (Toilet paper helps too) You have to pay to use the toilets and the entrance to them looks like a jail. Funny how things can differ from one culture to the next. As for Guadalajara, we consider that city "checked" off our list along with the 500 mile drive...and it was definitely a memorable one!

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