Can you say that 10 times fast?

Or one time?  It is pronounced: TLAH-KAY-PAH-KAY

It is one of our favorite places to visit in Guadalajara. They have a great centro with a beautiful wide walking/shopping street full of fancy restaurants and beautiful galleries and shops. We decided to take my husband’s parents there for the first time!

Ethan was entertained for a loooong time watching a local girl feeding the pigeons.

We enjoyed beautiful marimba playing in the plaza area!  I love this instrument!

And I still find it fascinating that people stop to get their shoes polished. Maybe it’s like a pedicure to some…

And I will never tire of the old Mexican men lounging around in their hats. It is seriously a symbol of Mexico!

Mariachis hail from Guadalajara, and there is usually no shortage of them in popular restaurants or social areas. If you are not careful, they will come up and start playing for you…and you will be expected to pay!  I snuck a photo of these guys…because I didn’t want to have to pay 🙂  Again…another typical sight in Mexico!

After checking out the colors of Mexico (above), we ducked into a restaurant that opened up into a beautifulcourtyard!

After enjoying our meal, and standing up to leave the restaurant, some Ballet Folklorico (Folkloric Ballet) dancers began to dance in the courtyard for the restaurant patrons!

I love their colorful skirts, and the way they always seem to radiate while they dance. Clearly these performers love what they do. The men stay very steady and upright while their feet do most of the work. The women get to spin those skirts all over the place–just like any little girl’s dream!

I love this candid photo I shot of a few dancers taking a break!

With our stomachs full, we were off…but not before running into some totally cool photo subjects!

Water delivery!  These big bottles are called garrafons, and usually cost about $1.50 for yummy filtered water! Since they’re not that fun to haul around to get refilled…these delivery trucks drive down the streets and if you flag them down they will bring in the new bottle and take your old bottle in exchange.

I loooove the wood work in this area of Guadalajara!

And for all of those dog lovers out there…

I felt like a stalker taking this photo of a huichol indian on the street corner. The huichols do amazing embroidery and bead work, as you can see on his very colorful, traditional outfit!

This was a pizza joint that we walked by. Wood-fired pizza, anyone?!

I love these beehive lanterns that are so popular around here. If I had a permanent home…the trees would be littered with these…they’re beautiful when lit at night!

If you’re going to spend anytime in Guadalajara, visiting Tlaquepaque and Tonala is a must. Tonala is an artisan-type town, where each store front reveals a back room where the artists are making the product. They work in wood, metal, glass, paint, ceramics, etc!  Lake Chapala residents will tell you not to go to Tonala on a market day (Fridays and Sundays), but we think they’re nuts. The streets are PACKED with vendor after vendor, but the energy is amazing, and the crafts are spectacular! Perhaps we thrive on action and chaos?!

Tlaquepaque, on the other hand, is kind of the higher-end retail outlet for the products made in Tonala. You won’t find as many actual artists doing their crafts there, and the same product in Tonala and Tlaquepaque will be more expensive in Tlaquepaque!  However, they are both so different that they both warrant a visit!! Don’t miss them!

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