Tag Archives: Calle Independencia

Getting Ready To Leave

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Getting Ready To Leave

The following was written but not posted back in April. I miss you Guadalajara. If only you had a beach………….

It’s that time again. It’s been almost eighteen months but it has snuck up on me again. I’ve been setting up appointments in Winnipeg and preparing for my book launch. And now it’s time to pack. And I hate packing!!!!

A smaller bag of books and teaching materials is ready to go. That was easily done as soon as Easter break started. But it’s the two suitcases that are the headache. One stays here in Mexico, and one travels with me to Canada. And I doubt that any of my clothes I wear here are at all appropriate for the weather in Winnipeg. Tempting to just leave everything here and take a backpack with my laptop and a few things on the plane. But that’s just wishful dreaming……..  

This last week in Guadalajara is going by all too quickly. I have made a point of going back to some of my favorite places, although there is still a long list of places I haven’t even been to yet.

My first priority was Parque Mirador. I have spent countless hours here gazing out at the canyon, taking photos and journalling. Peaceful, tranquil and my haven from the real world.

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I spent a day in Zapopan near the Basilica. The vendors were out in full force displaying their religious items, jewelry, books and more. Although I have been here several times before, I finally decided to check out the art museum. Small, quaint and air-conditioned, it featured a tunnel leading to the rooftop where I found this!

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I went back to Tonola and walked for hours. The displays by the artesans are awesome and this is one time I wish I had my own home here and could decorate it myself. I think I’d put this cute little guy out in my garden.

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I also went back for one last visit to Lake Chapala and Ajijic. Although the water is rapidly disappearing from the lake, I still enjoy the walk along the malecon as well as strolling through the tianguis.

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 There are so many beautiful churches here in Guadalajara. The architecture, art and statues are amazing. How wonderful that these ancient buildings have been preserved!

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 I will miss Calle Independencia with its shops, artesans and restaurants. Day and night, this pedestrian pathway is alive with people and music.

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 Guadalajara has some incredible museums. They may not have elevators and restaurants, but the ambiance and the displays are amazing.

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I have spent hours in the Jardin Hidalgo right here in Tlaquepaque. The fountains and flowers are lovely, and this has been a favorite spot for people-watching.

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It goes without saying that I will miss my students, despite the long commutes to Zapopan and Miravalle. We have had some fabulous discussions in Conversation Club and Saturdays just won’t be the same. And I’ll be able to sleep in on Monday and Wednesday mornings! I have really enjoyed my students this year, and I wish them all the best of luck in their studies.

Adios Guadalajara! Hasta luego!

Calle Independencia, Tlaquepaque

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Calle Independencia, Tlaquepaque

One of my favorite streets in Tlaquepaque is Calle Independencia. This pedestrian pathway bustles with activity and music day and night. It is bordered by Ninos Heroes on one end and El Jardin Hidalgo on the other.

I began my stroll on Ninos Heroes, with an Oxxo on the corner and a chicken rotisserie across from it. There is no escaping Oxxo. These stores are everywhere. I then passed a shoe store and found myself in front of Tlaquepulque. No visit to Tlaquepaque is complete without a sampling of pulque, a specialty here.

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Steps later I arrived at the junction of Ejercito, an area resplendent with bars and music. The first of many statues along this street are also found here.

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I then continued along past restaurants, shops and a ceramic museum until I came across these guys.
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There are so many other fabulous ones like these, so I will add more photos.

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 There are several vendors displaying their wares although it is still quite early in the morning. Everything from jewelry to candy can be found here.

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The restaurants are preparing to open for the day, setting tables outside on the street.

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My two favorite restaurants are Casa Luna and El Patio. But there are several more along Independencia as well, some of them providing entertainment by mariachis.
And here is the most famous of the statues along this street.

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A variety of shops sell clothing, jewelry, leather, candy, tequila and decorative ornaments. But ever so popular are the ice cream stores.

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I soon arrive at the Jardin Hidalgo. While the fountains and flowers provide tranquility, this garden bustles with activity day and night. Food vendors offer everything from tortas ahogadas to roasted vegetables. And I highly recommend the churros! There is a kiosko in the square, and the garden is also flanked by two churches.

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I am very fortunate to have lived for the past four years within a fifteen minute walk of this amazing street. It’s no wonder that this has become a major tourist attraction here in Tlaquepaque.

I Will Miss You Tlaquepaque

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I Will Miss You Tlaquepaque

I first arrived in Tlaquepaque on October 1, 2011. This is a quaint area that is part of the greater metropolis of Guadalajara. But it has the feel of a small Mexican town and it’s a short twenty minute bus ride to El Centro, an area I have come to know very well.

Tlaquepaque grows on you. I live in the colony of San Pedro, much to the envy of many people. And I will miss this neighborhood when I head back to Canada for a while. Yes, I will miss the climate, but it’s the people and the culture that I will miss the most.

In the morning should I decide I want eggs for breakfast, it’s only a few feet to a tienda. These small corner stores are packed with products. And they are oh so convenient!

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If I don’t feel like cooking, Vic down the street cooks awesome burgers and another street vendor offers an array of tacos, gorditas and tostados. Another lady has wonderful tortas ahogadas. There is a stand with fresh juices. And the tamale truck drives by regularly. Ice cream vendors walk by constantly, and churros are just around the corner.

The people are all so friendly and greetings of Buenos Dias and Buenas Noches are the norm. My neighbor Carlos is always out walking his dogs. People sit out on their doorsteps and congregate on street corners. It is safe to walk the streets here, day and night.

A number of buses stop on the corner of my street regularly. The Zeta gas truck and the water truck drive by frequently. And it is not uncommon to see horses and wagons come by my house as well as cars.

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The Jardin Hidalgo is a ten minute walk from my house. The kiosko often comes alive with music in the evenings, and the street vendors are out in full force. My favorite incense shop is one of the many small shops near the garden. In one direction is the famed El Parian, and in the other direction is the popular Calle Independencia. Tourists flock to this area, especially on the weekends and during the winter months. Artesans display their wares and there are fabulous restaurants and bars in abundance. There is also a ceramics museum.

Also within a few blocks of my house is the El Refugio Cultural Center. The entertainment and displays here are amazing and there is often no charge for admission.

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My second home away from home is a small coffee shop called Jahanve. My friend Claudia brews awesome coffee and her culinary talents are most impressive. I have spent many happy hours over the years here with friends, and Timmie’s in Winnipeg cannot hold a candle to Jahanve.

I will also miss the music of my favorite band Barbershop. Amazing renditions of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Creedence Clearwater Revival are only part of their repertoire.

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I will miss the awesome museums and beautiful parks in Guadalajara. There are gorgeous statues and fountains in abundance on the streets here. The zoo is spectacular and boasts a sky ride and a safari ride.But my favorite retreat is Parque Mirador. The view of the canyon is beyond breathtaking.

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And last, but definitely not least, I will miss my students. Eager to learn and appreciative of my efforts, the hours have flown by all too quickly.  I have taught in private schools, language institutes and companies. My students have included accountants, doctors, lawyers, engineers, computer geeks, business people, teenagers and young children. Hours filled with animated conversation and grammar have sped by all too quickly. We have played games, had competitions, have decorated classrooms for holidays and have even tie-dyed T shirts.

It’s with a heavy heart that I will board a plane one month from today to return to Winnipeg. Today the weather up north is stormy—–snow and freezing rain. I sincerely hope that this will all have disappeared by the end of April.

But I will be returning to Mexico. This country is where my heart lies now. What was to be a one year venture has extended instead to almost five years. And I look forward to many more years here.