While walking around town, we came upon the start of a procession that would eventually make its way into the central plaza and to the cathedral.
We really enjoyed wondering around Tapalpa and its central plaza. I particularly liked how many of the buildings around this area all had second story balconies. It definitely felt like a mountain town. We were pretty stuffed from lunch so we eventually ended up on one of the balconies for a light and super cheap dinner of quesadillas and some tequila.
Tapalpa is a mountain town about 2 hours south of Guadalajara that we, in our over two years here at post, still had not managed to see. The town sits at around 6,800 feet, which is 1,300 feet higher in elevation that Guadalajara. As a bit of a belated anniversary get-a-way, we finally managed an overnight trip, sans the kiddos.
Some friends had told us about staying at the San Bernardo Hotel & Spa. We checked it out and the rooms were quite expensive and had a two-night minimum, but DiploMom had the great idea about booking a two-hour spa package and then having lunch there afterwards. Since we would just be in Tapalpa for one night this gave us something to do once we arrived to town, but before we would be able to check into our hotel.
We cut things a little tight for the drive and a nine-car fender bender on the way out of town managed to delay our arrival by about 30 minutes, but thankfully it did not make us too late for the spa and we still had time for our massages and a cycle through the various jet stations in the hot pool.
The hotel has some beautiful views of a lake and the surrounding mountains.
After a nice leisurely lunch, we drove back into town to check into the La Casona hotel, a fun little boutique hotel located about a 10 minute walk from the center of town. The hotel has lots of character and decorations and the rooms each have a fire place for the colder mountain nights.
In the beginning of December, DiploMom and I enjoyed a brief afternoon outing to celebrate our anniversary. We explored some of the areas near the consulate and enjoyed an appetizer at a wine and cheese shop before we eventually had an early dinner. We even managed to see the third location of the Orozco murals in the city that I had not seen yet, in a University of Guadalajara building. Oh, and a final stop for some gelato before catching an Uber back home.
Over Thanksgiving we returned to our favorite beach location, La Punta in Manzanillo. The drive is am easy 3.5 hours on the tollway and having a big house to stay in with meals prepared is way better than dealing with our kids in a hotel restaurant. I imagine we’ll be back again before this tour ends.
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.
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.