Romantic Mexico

Sunset of Dos Templos

This trip to Mexico has been two things.

The weather has been perfect. Low to mid 80s in the hottest part of the day, cool breezes, and no humidity to speak of. I’ve had only one work emergency, so I’ve been able to disconnect and indulge myself in great food, a vibrant and bustling city, art and culture, and romance.

On Saturday night, I had some time to myself. My wife had gone to visit with her old friends and graciously left me behind. This way the 4 friends could chatter away in Spanish without having to stop and interpret for me. They could also speak their minds without lurking husbands.

I saw her off in a taxi and decided to explore the hotel. The building is really two old buildings, renovated in such away that they blend into one another through a connecting hallway. This creates space for an elevator. The architectural style changes as you pass through this portal. The half of the hotel which contains the lobby is 4 floors with a rooftop terrace. I hiked up the old tiled stairs to the roof, hoping that I’d find a bar up there. There is one. But it is closed. It must not be the season for rooftop bars. The view is fantastic. As the sun sets, I can look out over a small plaza on the next block. People are lining up to catch a bus, the plaza is alive with people. The sound of music drifts up. I decide to go exploring.

Back on street level I walk over into the plaza. Like most plazas, it is anchored by a church. There are many smaller older churches dotted all over Guadalajara. As the population grew, eventually a large cathedral was built. I suppose superseding the other churches? Or not? Not sure how all of that worked. The church is artfully lit but quiet. Music is playing and couples are dancing. Just dancing in the plaza. It’s Saturday night. Let’s dance in the street.

Morning sun on the street in Tlaquepaque

Umbrellas createe a canopy over an outdoor restaurant

Sugar skull sculpture sits on a patio

The following day, Sunday, after visiting with my wife’s old friend and coworker, we stumble around town seeing the sites, and find our way back to the theater in the center. There is a small café at the corner of the theater. This café has been here for a very long time, and has surely changed hands half a dozen times. The menu is different, but the umbrella covered seats beneath the neoclassical columns at the entrance of the theater are there. We stop for a snack and a drink and watch as young people stop in front of the theater and use it as a backdrop for a selfie. Young women in big, floofy quinceañera dresses pose for pictures, lifting up their big hoop skirts to reveal Chuck Taylor sneakers in colors matching their dress. Tiaras sparkle in the setting sun. At the table in front of us, a young couple on a date settles in. She’s carrying a hard-shelled backpack with a tiny bubble-window. A cat peers out of the window. They order frappes and pizza. He knocks back his frappe and gets a second. Ah to have the metabolism of a 20 year old. They are absolutely adorable.

Red umbrellas over a café

As we wind our way back to the hotel, the sun has set, and we find a bandstand in the center of a small plaza. A community orchestra, conducted by a young woman, is playing the Marriage of Figaro.

The following day, as we wound down our day of site-seeing, we decided to try a restaurant atop the Doubletree Hotel. On our way to find the main entrance of the hotel, a woman stood in the plaza singing Ave Maria into a microphone. The bar and restaurant was nearly empty, so we got to watch the skyline slip into shadow while the domed cathedral clung on to the last rays of sunlight.

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