Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Tlaquepaque with My Parents

Yesterday, I drove in Guadalajara. I drove all over and it turns out...I can do it just fine! It's not nearly as scary as I thought it would be. The GPS worked reasonably well and you have to keep your eye on the road at all times as sometimes lanes appear or disappear and the lines we paint on the roads in the USA are purely optional here. But I did it! Granted, my mother was in the back seat repeated "I want to go home..." quietly to herself, but still...

Today, we picked them up at the Hotel de Mendoza and jetted over to Tlaquepaque for an early lunch (12:30ish). We were the only people in the whole restaurant. Our waiter, a slow paced but quick witted heavy set man told us joke I didn't quite understand and wrote our order down as carefully as if he were taking dictation from God. Credit cards are hit and miss here and some places just can't take ours since we don't have chip (puts us in an elite club consisting of us...and Uganda). Luckily, they did take cash and so no one had to stay behind to wash dishes.

We spent the rest of the early afternoon shopping, somewhat to avoid the direct sunlight - although I was wearing an enormous hat. We stopped into a lovely silversmiths and then peeked into the Augustin Parra gallery. He's supposedly a big deal, but I could do without his work. It's mostly large scale, sentimental work that seems to be so impressive only because it is so big and surrounded by so much gilt furniture. We barely poked around before it became obvious that it was time to wander off.

We were delightfully surprised by the Sergio Bustamante gallery. I have always thought of his work as being too commercial, but I really enjoyed looking around the gallery. I couldn't take any pictures in the gallery, of course, but his work is quickly recognizable. Violet had apparently seen it several days before when we went to Tlaquepaque the last time and had been walking around talking about these people with "chip faces." Given the richness of her imagination, I chalked it up as another invention, but when we went in today, I knew exactly what she meant.

The gallery itself is wonderful and leads out to a rear garden as well as containing a central patio complete with fountain. The prices on the works are really reasonable and my mother got a beautiful silver ring with one of the typical Bustamante faces on it that looks stunning.

I didn't walk away empty handed, although it wasn't a purchase at the gallery. Instead, I found an adorable pair of embroidered heels and a pair of flats to replace my broken sandals. I found a store that sells those beautiful silk wrap around skirts which I love...they have the rustle of fabric that I always long for when I see exhibits of historical costume. We also picked up our miniature tequila bottles, including one made of gorgeous blown glass.

After exhausting ourselves in Tlaquepaque and having used up all of the free courtyard shade we could gather, we headed back to my parents' hotel to have a dip in the pool. It was surprisingly cold but we made the plunge, despite the fact that I have yet to find a bathing costume option here that doesn't become almost completely transparent upon contact with water. I guess you're not supposed to actually swim in them.

After a gin on the rocks on the room's balcony, we had a great dinner at a place in Oblatos, with a round of brain tacos for mom, dad, and I. Dinner for six people cost just under $20 and that's only because Pepe splurged and had a meal that was about $7.50. Violet, of course, ate tortillas with lime.

We had a big day and I managed to avoid having to drink tejuino (fermented corn batter with salt and lime) so I always count that as a win.

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