Saturday, July 18, 2009

La Gran Aventura: What if your food stares you down?

I've had a busy week! Wednesday, I started cooking classes. I took pictures, but I didn't realize the flash card wasn't in, so they're trapped on my actual camera until I get home with my USB cable.

I hope Rhett isn't too upset, but I met someone here. My new boyfriend is cute and funny, and we always have fun when we're together.


Sebastien is actually my host-mom's four-year-old grandson. He's a real sweetie and a pretty good Spanish tutor, too. All of the things I'm studying so hard to master, like the subjunctive mood, he intuitively knows just because it's his native language. I'm really going to miss him when I leave.

Friday afternoon a group of us went to Lake Chapala, where there are so many American retirees that the real estate signs are in English and the properties are sold in U.S. dollars.

Our first stop was a beautiful spa.


Then we went to Jocotepec, which has a nice area to relax or take a stroll along the lake.

CIMG0295 CIMG0296

Jocotepec has wonderful ice cream, too. I had a double-scoop cone of guayaba and guanábana flavors. Thank goodness we did a lot of walking to work it off!

For the tourists and American residents, a lot of the signs had English translations--some better than others.


Our last stop of the day was Chapala. We shopped an open-air market and ate in a lakeside restaurant where the waiter brought out some complimentary appetizers called charales.


I guess Goldfish crackers aren't the only snack that smiles back until you bite their heads off!

Saturday, we took another excursion. First stop, Hacienda El Carmen: a plantation constructed from the mid 1500's-1722 that is now a hotel and spa.


What a beautiful, tranquil setting! I would love to return there someday with Rhett.

CIMG0308 CIMG0309

Next, we went to Guachimontones, where we saw round "pyramids". According to our guide, archaeologists still don't know a whole lot about the indigenous people who lived there, but they have discovered that some practices  thought to have originated with the Maya actually began in this region many years earlier.

CIMG0324 CIMG0333

Finally, we went to Teuchitlan, where I got a taco, an enchilada, and a diet Coke for 22 pesos, which is a little less than $2. After a bumpy bus ride back to Guadalajara, we stopped by Applebee's because my housemate, Shanel, was craving American food. Even though I've liked 99% of the local food I've tried, I have to admit that a cheeseburger didn't taste bad at all. And at least my cheeseburger didn't blankly stare at me while I ate my french fries. 

Next weekend: Mexico City.  Stay tuned!







No comments: