Buen Dia friends and family,
Sometimes I use the Spanish greeting just for fun, but this time it's for real. I spent 5 days in Guadalajara Mexico for work while Kendra held down the fort at home with the twins. For my last meal before the trip down South we went out for half-price sushi. It's the only way we can afford to eat sushi now that we have four sashimi (raw) fish eaters. Easton skips the rice and soup and heads straight for the salmon.
Layla is all about the tuna so she sat on Daddy's side of the table. She wore her purple princess princess dress and sequened hair bow because... she's 4 and can get away with it.
After dinner we took a stroll along the pond next to the sushi restaurant. Layla couldn't resist showing her peppermint and Easton didn't want to stop sucking on his long enough to show it. I looked at this picture often while in Mexico. Kendra looks as pretty in this picture as she does in real life. Some girl's have beauty where 90% of it can be wiped off with a wet washcloth. Kendra's beauty can't be wiped off even with a full day of
are showing off their personalities very well.
Of course, I wanted to get my own mug in there with my sweet boy and girl.
I joined my two coworkers for the 3 hour flight direct into Guadalajara. Even though we spent the day traveling, we went straight to the hotel gym for a workout. Sounds odd, but it felt good to do some physical activity after sitting on my tail all day long.
The first day of work we jumped into introductions and presentations. Very little time for play or rest, but they let me in on their photo opportunity as a part of the Christmas decorating contest.
I ate several new things, but don't remember the name of almost any of them. This was a fried pinwheel desert covered in sugar. seems like the name was Panella or something, but the week was a blur of new tastes and treats.
The only noteworthy prior to the last day was playing basketball with the locals during an afternoon break. They knew we were going to play, but only one of them wore gym clothes. These are middle-class guys very similar to us, but we beat them two games to zero. I hit the winning shot both games so I earned some respect from my boss and coworker.
We took a tour of the city on the last day of our trip, but because we started late I only had about 30 minutes of daylight to get decent pictures. We drove downtown where the French architecture turned into Spanish architecture. There is a central square where statues of important historical figures stand proudly. The grounds were kept very clean here compared to the myriad of back-alleys where debris is common. Must be very important to the local culture!
The streets are heavily packed with cars during rush hour, but very orderly. I've been all over the world and seen situations where a 4 lane road has 7 lanes of traffic. Guadalajara was way too busy for me to ever consider driving here, but I was never scared while riding as a passenger. The Christmas decorations were amazingly well done and cover the downtown area.
This church below seems to be the largest and most ornate of all I saw. We didn't have time to go inside, but they said it was inspiring to see. Maybe next time...
An older gentlemen I work with described how the Spanish conquered the French who originally settled here. He showed quite a bit of passion and anger about something that happened so long ago. Anyway, the contrasting architectures marked distinct sections of the downtown area.
We got a late start on the tour because of work so I didn't get many daytime shots. However, we were privileged to witness a great sunset.
There is an archway with a welcome message on it from the city. The other side has a "thanks for visiting" message, but we drove by so fast I didn't get a chance to capture it.
There were a few large glorietas where traffic flowed. In the middle were large, well-lit sculptures like this one.
Another promenant structure was this bridge. We past over it and by it several times during the week. It was one of the few landmarks I could use to reference where I was.
I used Skype to keep in contact with Kendra and Easton and Layla each evening. Those few moments were very valuable for keeping me motivated. I missed them very much and couldn't wait to get home. The locals sent me home with coffee, caheta (so i can make flan sauce) and some other candy bits. Tamarindo comes in these little Pelon Mini push-up pops. The twins took a few licks, but didn't finish them. The idea of Mexican candy was much more interesting for them than the reality, but it's the thought that counts. I was proud of them for trying!
Time to pack up and spend some holiday time in NorCal. Adios.