Saturday, September 26, 2009

Lost in Guadalajara

Court yard at Villa del Ensueno

We all took a trip to Guadalajara on Wednesday to take a friend to the airport. Guadalajara is about a 3 hour drive North East of Manzanillo, all good freeway toll roads. We decided to stay in Tlaquepaque and do some shopping as always Beverly loves to shop, Jim is the burro. We stay at a Great Bed and Breakfast called Villa del Ensueno it has exquisitely decorated rooms, fountains, gardens and two heated pools. That is where it all begins: We found Omar a cab for the airport and had just check in, I was walking down the court yard ( above) when things got really foggy out side this room, and in an blink of an, shoe lace, eye. I found myself in the middle of the Tlaquepaque plaza. Here there are 900 artisan shops, this community produces the greatest variety of handcrafts in Mexico. The main street AV. Independencia is a wide pedestrian only street has 200 stores restaurants and galleries.

Patio outside room

Art work in Tlaquepaque plaza

A hard days reward after shopping

There they where the dreaded Mariachi, but wait, I am in the the restaurant EL Patio, and the Mariachi's are women. They have a 10 person Mariachi band that plays between 3 and 5 pm each day. The natural colonial ambiance of an old hacienda style gardens make it a place to see and dine. Oh no now what am I going to do??????
Now I am LOST: I walk the streets of Tonala looking for Carlos. In Tonala street market day is Thursday and shopping day for everybody. You can buy everything from food to 5'x5' paintings, loads of hand crafted blown glass, ceramics and wrought iron. As Beverly will say this place is a shopper's dream. Jim and Beverly have a guide to help find me, but I think Raul is just helping them shop. So all day I keep looking and walking, when I find myself back at Ensueno's, I meet this Senorita Margarita, (below) they all have that name, who takes me in so I can wait for Carlos. I look behind the bar and there he is (below) I have been found and happy to get into the truck, even though they pile box's and stuff on top of me I am glad to head back to Manzanillo.

Bar at Villa del Ensueno

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Trip to Comala

Ahhhhhhhh,,,,,,,, a trip to Comala. My new friends Cory and Carol. We all went to Colima for a day of shopping. ( They are the owners of Casa Los Lomas #33) Shopping got really, really boring so we drove up the side of the Volcano to a town called Comala for lunch. We went to the town square where they have restaurants along one side. Now as long as you are buying drinks they will bring you food. Boy oh boy what a concept! These people that live on the side of a active Volcano know how live. I discovered a new drink ( well new to me) called a Micholata, it is beer and lime with twist. They have Mariachi's that will play at your table, for a small price, who are the best I have heard. This is all open air restaurants so you can get dueling Mariachi's going at each end of the square. Wow what fun. After muchas food and muey drinks it was time to leave. Well Carlos who had 3 Margarita's while singing and dancing with the Mariachi's, so he said we had to visit the old Church at the end of the square. Each town has its main church around the square. Mexico has some of the most beautiful churchs around and you need to see them when you visit the town squares. Yes I was not standing to streight when I was in there, it was all Carlos fault.

You have to come with me some time for the fun....

While we were coming back from the airport I stopped at the fruit stands along the way. The fruit stands along the road from the airport to Manzanillo are great for buying fresh fruit. The yellow Mango's are to die for and Carlos ate so many he,,,,,,,, well we will get to that later. We purchased Mango's, Pineapple, NONI, small bananas and watermelon for around $40 peso's, all are fresh and ready to eat. The vendors will help you select fruit if you ask them, I suggest ASK, they are very proud of their produce and will give you a taste before you buy. Please wash the fruit before you eat it. The big round green, ugly, really stinky thing hanging on the cross members is Yaka. There is no way I can tell you how good it is, boy what work you have to go through to enjoy it. You will have to ask Carlos about it, you know a bird thing, but a taste that is out of this world.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Temperatures are comfortably warm in Manzanillo during most of the year becoming hot and humid in the months of July and August. The rainy season runs from June to October. This doesn't mean it will be raining all the time, just that it CAN rain. Usually, it just rains every 3 or 4 days, a gentle rain shower in the late afternoon or evening. The first rains turn the brown dry-season forest to green. We get all the wonderful flowers and even the iguanas turn green for the season.

My friend Carlos and I went to a very special birthday party for Bob in July. Lots of great food on the barbecue, music and dancing. Carlos was very bad to many MARGARITA'S again. This was held at a ranch that you can rent for those large partys and special events. Bring all the food and drinks this palce only provides the cooking pits and some cooking pots.

This is me leaving the condo when Hurricane Andres came by in June. It was fun I got to spend a special day with my friends Molly and Jefe, more about them later. The hurricane was just a cat 1 and went out to sea just before it hit us so all we got was wind and light rain. The only damage done was from those MARGARITA'S and yes it was fun.
My owner came to Manzanillo for a week's vacation. He started drinking Margarita's(as soon as he got off the plane as I recall). Then it happened.....he went and bought a pair of Mexican sandals. I spent the rest of the week locked up in thebedroom closet. To make matters worse, when it came time to leave and pack up his clothes, he leftme behind. He remembered me as he was getting into the car to head to the airport,and it was reported that he said "I left my shoes in the condo...oh well I'll just leave thembehind keep the sandals." So here I am, lost in Manzanillo without an owner. A new friend took me out of the closetand now I'm meeting new friends and learning all about beautiful Manzanillo. Follow me on my Mexican adventure... John Shoes