The finalé of our Guadalajara trip was unpredictable which is about the only thing that remained consistent about this vacation. Every turn resulted in some sort of cultural surprise that I am quite sure I'll never be able to replicate again. The little details make writing these posts so challenging because one detail missed makes the story incomplete...I'll do my best!
Breakfast <just look at this color!> was at the charming La Postrería. Owner and wife of the chef at Cafe Lula from our first day. Talk about a talented duo! This was, by far, my favorite breakfast. The food styling alone made my heart sing. I honestly don't think I have ever seen such vibrant fruit. Drizzle it with honey and throw in a little greek yogurt and I'm a happy camper! This is a "Johanna" breakfast through and through.
Next stop? Oh only a RODEO! What? I can't make this stuff up! Lienzo Charros de Jalísco is one of the oldest and most active rodeos in Guadalajara and it's a serious business. Little boys begin training at the age of four and compete on the weekends. There's something so uniquely traditional about this group of men. They are incredibly warm and proof that chivalry is, indeed, still alive.
We were greeted by a brigade of charros in authentic garb...a sort of meet and greet with their sidekick caballos. The horses were beautiful and groomed to perfection. It was so sweet to watch them in action.
As we made our way back to watch practice, one of the founders pulled Helen and I aside and told us to put our backpacks down. Typically an alarm bell would go off at this point but I had become immune to fear and just decided to go with it. After the helicopter ride, I figured, "What the heck?" Well that transitioned to..."Heck, yes I will dress up in authentic garb and get on a horse. Duh!"
And let me tell you something...these outfits are heavy and hot! You have to give these people credit! Layers of tulle, ruffles, ribbons, strings...I needed an army to get suited up! Thank goodness Helen's camera was there to capture it all.
Just a couple suburban moms in charro gear. No big deal. I will say that my girls back home got a total kick out of watching the footage. I think it makes me somewhat of a super hero. My words, not theirs.
Our afternoon ended Bachelor-style with each charro welcoming us to the games by handing us a single red rose. So special. I don't think we could have felt more welcome if we tried. It's funny, I didn't get a rose when I returned home from this trip. I say this in jest because I spent the first 30 minutes of being home picking up dirty laundry. It was like a bomb went off!
The afternoon continued onward to the famous mercado and adorable town of Tlaquepaque, which happens to be the third largest city in the state. It's hinged on one large avenue adorned with boutiques, hip restaurants, bars and street vendors. Here you can eat until your heart's content and shop even more. This is also where I did the most damage with my wallet. Everything is one-of-a-kind!
But first - we learned how to make traditional cocktails. Sobriety was highly overrated on this trip. Sensing a trend yet?
Lunch was served sooner after at Casa Luna. We were serenaded as we dined on delicious all types of gorgeous seafood. Every bite was worth savoring. And the restaurant was packed! Casa Luna has been voted one of the 10 best restaurants to dine at in Tlaquepaque. Bookmark this post and remember to go there!
Bellies full, we strolled the streets and got our shop on. I purchased necklaces, dresses and bags for the girls. No need to haggle because the prices were so incredibly reasonable.
Might I add that several of us had to sit on our luggage to zip them up. One of us even broke our luggage. Yes...that happened.
Finally...our last dinner. A bit bittersweet.
We dressed up one last time to feast at Hueso. Hands down this was my favorite dinner. The decor, for one, was insanely chic covered in all white with well placed bone decor throughout the resto. It was done so well. Because, in fact, Hueso means "bone" in Spanish. Makes sense!
One last group shot...because that's what we do and that staircase? C'mon now...
If you've learned anything about me..it's that I love grilled octopus. I adore it, I dream of it and I will always order it off the menu so beware picky eaters! Hueso's version was no exception - exquisite in fact...followed by beet salads, fish, meat dishes, champagne and dessert. Honestly, I couldn't even think about food after this trip. We were utterly spoiled. And grateful. Incredibly grateful.
I hope you enjoyed my Guadalajara adventures! This is the final post in the series and a complete labor of love. If there's anything you've taken away, I hope that you understand that the beauty of Mexico reaches far beyond the all-inclusive resorts and beaches. It's the people, the traditions and the culture that make this urban city one to watch and appreciate. Guadalajara is a colorful menagé of beauty and architecture - the perfect juxtaposition of old and modern. Go there!
Special thanks to Visit Mexico for a beautiful trip. We will never forget.
All photography by Helen Berkun
Check out today's link ups: Pink Sole, Musings of a Housewife, Fashionista Momma, More Pieces of Me, The Foley Fam, Watch Out for the Woetsmans Fizz and Frosting, Style Elixir, I Do deClaire, Garay Treasures, The Mummy Chronicles, The Pleated Poppy, Tucker Up, Get Your Pretty On, Shopping My Closet Mix & Match Fashion, Penniless Socialite, Sincerely Jenna Marie, Living in Color!