Bit my bit, and surely through my social media, I'm sure you are aware of the amazing trip I just returned from. A select few Chicago influencers were invited to travel to Guadalajara, Mexico to experience the vibrant culture, art, music, cuisine and so much more that this magical city has to offer. And it was magic!
My group included: Jen, Janet, Ericka, me, Corri and Helen. We were the seis amigos! Our trip was courtesy of Visit Mexico which represents the Board of Tourism for the country. The goal was simple - experience Mexico away from the all-inclusive resorts and infamous beaches. Eat, breathe and sleep the real Mexico! Experience tradition.
We kissed our babies goodbye on a Tuesday night and took a red-eye from Chicago landing us in Guadalajara around 5am. A little bleary eyed but excited...we breathed in the warm air and made our way through customs, which, was a breeze. Our guide gave us the run down for the day which included a little rest at our hotel, The Hyatt Regency Guadalajara, and then off to a very special lunch at Lula Bistro!
A little dry shampoo and a shower and we were as good as new. This divine, little cafe was charming in every way. Let the IG Stories begin. <sorry if we spammed the heck out of your feeds!> Not only was this bistro a nice little surprise but even better...we had it all to ourselves!
The entire restaurant was closed for a private seven course meal complete with a tequila celebratory cheers. It was simply amazing! Behold our first few courses...
First - a mini tostada. I cannot express how much flavor was packed into this little bite! The list went on but my favorite bite was the charred octopus. I could've died and gone to heaven right there!
A couple of glasses of wine later led to our finalé...TEQUILA! We were feeling pretty good at this point as illustrated!
Fun fact: the chef at Lula actually had a restaurant in Chicago at one time. Now he and his wife reside in Guadalajara. They are quite the duo as she owns a pastry shop. More on that later! The people here are some incredibly nice. It felt like home!
Next up: a walking tour! But first, we had to get the sillies out. <if you'e a mom, you know what this is in reference to!>
Recognize the outfit? It was yesterday's style post; full details here!
We made a pit stop to check out this beautiful cathedral and get a quick tour of the amazing ceiling murals. It would be hard to articulate how uniquely European the architecture felt and how beautiful every nook and cranny was. I guess that's the point of traveling...appreciating the little things.
Post walking tour, we experienced a local market which had oodles of souvenirs that I wanted to scoop up for the girls. I had to practice restraint as this was only Day 1! Yes, friendly reminder...we've only just begun, folks!
Markets are chalk full of delicious produce unique to Mexico as well as delicious tortas, sugary sweets, sandals, jewelry, soaps and more! Sweet little boys played soccer outside while each seller shouted their best deal. It was fun and colorful!
NOTE: It averaged about 98 degrees each day. The locals are accustomed to the heat but it does take some getting used to. By Day 2, I knew how to dress. I actually packed right for once! It didn't feel oppressive without the humidity, which made it totally doable to tour around so long as a shot of tequila was waiting for us somewhere!
Have I mentioned how much I love these girls? I loved them before but this trip really sealed the deal. We had so many great bonding moments and belly laughs. It was just what the doctor ordered. <pictured below: our amazing guide, Ana...one fabulous lady, indeed>
After our afternoon out and about we finished off with a dinner at i-latina! Cheeky and whimsical with some of the best mezcal drinks my lips have ever sipped! It is so incredibly colorful, too. Highly recommend you pay them a visit if you're ever in the area. Get the tasting menu!
What did you think of Day 1? Exhilaratingly exhausting but worth every moment! I can't wait to share the rest of my #visitguadalajara trip with you!
If you have any questions related to traveling in Guadalajara...send 'em my way! I'd love to answer each and every one!
Day 2 next! Cheers!