Kids & Skulls

So, we are still alive and kicking here in Guadalajara.  After time away for training in D.C. and home leave back in Houston (during Harvey!) we’ve now been back in Guadalajara for about a month, now officially on tour number 3.

We had such a good time last year when we went over to Tlaquepaque and saw the Day of the Dead decorations and altars setting up in full swing that we decided to run back out there again on Sunday.  I’m not sure what was different about last year, but this time around, there wasn’t much going on.  We still enjoyed ourselves and ended up with lots of photos of the kids in front of the giant calaveras.

Hacienda El Carmen

Just about another 15 minutes down the highway from Guachimontones is the Hacienda El Carmen Hotel and Spa. We had heard how beautiful the place was, so we had planned to go have lunch there after we finished at Guachimontones. I could have spent all day wandering the property and taking pictures. A return visit for an overnight stay, sans kiddos, is definitely needed.

Guachimontones

About an hour outside of Guadalajara is the archaeological site of Guachimontones, of the Teuchitlan tradition, which features the only circular pyramids in Mesoamerica.  The society that existed here began perhaps as far back as 300 B.C.  It makes for a perfect day trip, especially when one is looking to keep the kids occupied. It is a fairly small site, nothing like the other Mayan ruins in Mexico, but it makes for a nice break from the city.

 

Mango Tasting

May was peak season for mangoes and there was a tasting at the Consul General’s residence of several of the tasty varieties.  I missed this last year, so I was glad to make it by this go around.

 

 

Hacienda Patrón

Back in mid-May, a group from the consulate was invited to tour Hacienda Patrón. Never being one to miss out a trip to a tequila distillery, I signed up as soon as I received the invitation from the CLO.  The Patrón facility is located about two hours east of Guadalajara, whereas most distillers are located around the town of Tequila, one hour west of Guadalajara.  The location was selected based on the availability of the natural spring water supply they wanted to use in the production process.

I had not noticed Patrón tequilas in stores around town. It turns out only 1% of what they make is sold in Mexico, with 80% of their production going to the U.S.  We had a great tour, complete with lots of insight into their production process, lots of tastings and a delicious lunch and more sampling options in a beautiful bar and dining room.  Tours of Patrón are by invitation only, so I was very glad I was able to make the outing.

One way that Patrón varies in their production is by using open fermentation tanks.

They also use their own patented yeast, which they produce in their own lab on-site.

This is a compost area the size of four football fields.  Much of the compost is sold to farmers in the area, as well as to their blue agave providers.

The “Black Magic Woman” cocktail, prepared in this glass container that is filled with smoke prior to serving.