We recently went on a two week trip to Guadalajara, Mexico where Kamea received her first stamp for her passport.
One of the reasons we are excited to homeschool Kamea is that we love to travel, and this offers both flexibility in our schedule as well as a rich education for her. As part of Kamea’s homeschooling (she’s 3.75 as of this writing) we have a native Spanish-speaking woman come over weekly to play with Kamea, while speaking primarily Spanish. It’s a way for Kamea to get exposed to another language but not in a typical classroom setting. We started this before she was two and she learned to say “rojo” before “red” (except she pronounced it “hoho”). So, going to Guadalajara was a great way to build upon those lessons.
Guadalajara, Mexico and six things I love about it.
- Weather: The weather in Guadalajara is beautiful, warm, and pretty consistent year round from what I understand. When we traveled there during the winter, we experienced days of 80 degrees and sunshine with nights cooler in the low 50s. It makes for a great place if you’re traveling from a cold climate.
- Not getting La Cuenta until you ask for it: I’ve never been to Europe but I expect it’s the same there as it is in Guadalajara. You don’t get the check after dining in a restaurant until you ask for it. Gosh this makes an unbelievable difference in the relaxation of the dining experience. Even if you tend to ask for your check right after eating, it’s nice to know they’re not rushing you out the door in order to turn the table. In fact, they expect you to stay and enjoy yourself with no pressure to keep buying food. We experienced many meals where we hung around and chatted for an hour before asking La Cuenta Por Favor.
- Hospitality and Friendliness: Guadalajara, Mexico is home to some of the most hospitable and friendly people I’ve met (Bora Bora is too!). Even if you are just passing strangers on the street, there’s a warm air surrounding everyone that makes you feel connected in the most subtle way. Whether you find yourself amidst the morning walkers to work or you pass an elderly who pats your toddler on the head in passing, it’s such a difference from anything(!) I’ve experienced in the United States.
- Long Hair, High Heels and Makeup: I couldn’t help but notice the fashion part of the culture in Guadalajara. I would estimate that 90% of the women wear high high high high high heels. Yes, very high. Most of them have very very long beautiful hair. And, most women are gussied up in makeup. Fun.
- Restaurants (La Docena, La Ideal, and NH Hotel): There’s no shortage of delicious restaurants in Guadalajara. I will focus another blog post on a few in particular that we frequented during our trip: La Docena, La Ideal, and NH Hotel. But a couple of points: the food is rich in flavor, and it’s not very expensive either. Plus, although I can’t confirm this based on my personal experience, it appears that much of mexico might have grass fed beef and products simply because that’s how they raise their animals. My stating this is based on this blog post, and the fact that it turns out the native spanish speaking gal who tutors Kamea… well her family owns a grass fed cattle ranch outside of Guadalajara! The odds! Oh, and another tip as to this based on my experience is that the eggs I ate at the NH Hotel every morning were very orange. That’s a testament to them being pasture raised without my needing to even ask them (which would’ve been a bit difficult with the language barrier).
- NH Hotel: We stayed at the NH Hotel which was very nice and filled with friendly patient staff. They welcomed my attempts to speak Spanish which was comical at times. I would definitely recommend staying at this hotel for anyone visiting Guadalajara Mexico. Beautiful clean rooms, good food, and great location.
I would undoubtedly add more to the list, like Lake Chapala (which boasts a large expat community) or this amazing market, but we stayed most of our trip in the financial district for this trip. Next time!