Sunday, March 23, 2014

St. Patrick's Day in Mexico!

church tower with teenage boys ringing
the heck out of 3 levels of bells!

Mike eyeing up his blue
margarita for St. Patrick's Day

view of the square from on high - thousands of attendees

yea! we're on the ferris wheel

the "castillo" of fireworks 
several workers making the crazy fireworks "castillo"
- a layered amalgam of flaming shamrocks and rockets!
...and outside, shamrocks abound 
We celebrated St. Patrick's Day in Melaque, Jalisco, a bustling, small pueblo next to the village of San Patricio - part of the same St. Patrick's parish. They put the Irish to shame with their 10 days of festivities, culminating in a parade with an interesting Catholic and indigenous Indian mix, crazy ground-based fireworks that spray into the crowds, a street festival, and carnival where Mike and I rode the ferris wheel. After our small group of 6 swore it wouldn't be a good idea to take a carnival ride in Mexico, we hopped onto the fastest ferris wheel that did at least 50 rotations! We were quite done but the ride was not so we enjoyed the views: full moon illuminating, the bay the city square, the other rides and the thousands of people. Festivities were serious, then religious, then fun, mariachi bands competing with banda music pouring out of loudspeakers, and local versions of not-so-nutritious carnival food.
new tractor - float says "ejido de
St Patrick"
(community of sorts)
The joy of receiving communion
cardboard sign says 'the joy of
Simeon and Sta Ana in the temple'
another dance troop: traditional
native costumes and shells
noisemakers on their ankles

the church was filled
with flowers 

Karaoke to go - with loudspeaker
mariachis walking to the church

and no parade is complete
without banda music and a tuba

St Patrick on his float

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Bus Trips to Guadalajara - Guanajuato

Mike getting ready to drop the anchor

Sunset at La Cruz after anchoring

Our walking tour through historical center of Guadajalara

Plenty of churches for Judy to visit

Wishful thinking in Guanajuato courtyard

Enjoying a margarita at the
theater cafe - Guadalajara
After taking our pic, the waiter says, what about me?

View from the cafe

The Inquisition Museum - seriously creepy

Incredible Baroque church in Guanajuato,
with a view of the mountains where they do the silver mining,
Guanajuato's claim to fame and reason for its richness

Seriously Baroque exterior and interior

Judy translating the tour guide's stories for the non-Spanish speakers
Old silver mine with flying buttress that looks like an elephant
(hey, that's what the tour guide told us)

During our Guanajuato tour, we stopped at a silver and
ceramic shop - this guy was fast at the wheel; also stopped
 at a Dulceria - a store filled with Mexican sweet treats

Hand crafted metal - chess sets, trains, you name it

The original name of Guanajuato
which means "hill that
looks like a frog"
(again, the tour guide's story, not mine)

We climbed down into Bocamina San Ramon silver mine -
I overcame my claustrophobia by holding my breath,
familiarizing with surroundings and knowing my point of egress

At the San Ramon
Silver Mine 
A view of the windy streets of old Guanajuato

El Pilipa, nickname of Guanajuato's hero, huge
sculpture overlooking the city

Good thing I'm not a shopper - that old Kodak sign is
probably worth something

The Don Quixote Museum - wow!

Check the double imagery on this Orozco painting -
Don Quixote Museum, Guanajuato

Theater at dusk -  Guanajuato- we did a carriage ride that night,
see the horse drawn carriage behind me
1610-built St Francis Hotel where we stayed
in Guadalajara in the center of the action

our horse-drawn carriage driver in Guadalajara -  great fun!
His horse was named El Grillo = "Cricket"

Cool theater in Guanajuato

we bought the sink - below the sun

Tequila shop - Tlaquepaque

Check out the full moon above the
"Half Moon Inn"
we stayed in at Tlaquepaque

Garden-side dining at Paco's sharing the
local specialty drink - shot of tequila with
fruit juices. Yumm!