The 5 hour trip went beautifully. Not much traffic on the 2 lane highway part so we made good time. Along the way, we decided to take the opportunity of going up to Chapala and Ajijic before heading into the bowls of Guadalajara.
Along the way, we were able to see the VFG Arena, where the concert was going to be on Thursday evening. We tried to see if we could pick up our tickets but they said no, we had to wait until the night of the concert. So we continued on up the mountain. We had a nice lunch in Ajijic followed b a stroll through the tiangus (market), along the lake, and a bit through town. I must say that the lake certainly looked much better than it did when I was there in 2007.
|George Zookey, Noelle, & Sid Lally|
After a nice walk of several blocks, we chose to have dinner at La Hambergesa, a quaint very casual little bar/restaurant on Libertad. I actually had a bacon cheese wrapped hot dog while the others had hamburgers. A low key evening after a long day of driving and touring.
We were able to have a slow paced morning. Luscious hearty coffee was ready when we woke and by the time we had all truly woken up and caught up with the cyber world, Francisco had prepared the most incredible breakfast. Francisco is a gem! He has worked with George and Gabrielle from the beginning 9 years ago.
Needing to fortify our bodies, we had cold drinks and a tapa before walking into the heart of the village. My eye first caught a typical hand embroidered top, something I've been wanting to purchase for quite awhile. Upon asking what the cost was, I immediately made the decision to buy along with the matching woven belt. I do think this will be my wardrobe for our speaking engagement at the International Living Conference in June.
Mike and I went in our own direction to see and photograph what interested us during our final hour there. Even though we were there back in 2007, we could easily spend much more time there. Lots to explore.
Taking the bus back into the City Center, we decided it was time to catch a cab to get back to the Casa and get ready for the concert. Our taxi was picking us up at 5pm and we certainly didn't want to be late since that's the whole reason we were there.
As requested, they were there right at 5pm to take us out to the suburbs where the Arena was. Upon arriving, our first order of business was to pick up our tickets from Will Call. So excited to finally have those tickets in hand!
Since they weren't letting anyone into the venue until 6:30, we decided to have a small bite to eat and some drinks to wet our whistle. While doing that we ran into a friend from PV, Tracy Lee Gehue, and her friends. Somehow we didn't feel so far away from home.
At 6:30pm we lined up at our entry. Everywhere you looked, it felt like a cattle call. But when they finally started letting us in, they separated the men from the women to go through security. This way the women were patted down and cursorily searched by women and the men by men. Mike was concerned that they would take away his pocket knife so I had put it in the bottom of my small purse. It made it through without a hitch and stayed there until I gave it back to him the next day.
Our seats were right down on the floor and supposed to be 3rd row, stage left. However, they had added a new section for "Platinum" level ticket holders and so our seats were given away to them. This meant that those holding tickets in our Section were told to just take the first seats open in that Section, which we did. This was when we realized how important it was to have gotten there early. Those that showed up later or even after the show had started were SOL.
Unfortunately, it also meant that many of them conducted themselves in an extremely rude manner. This is when I coined the phrase "being short at a rock concert sucks!" Many people who were taller than me insisted on filling up the isles where they weren't supposed to be. I even had words with a few who seemed to think they were more important than me. No matter the language, it was rude! Fortunately, crowd control decided to agree with me and started patrolling the isles. So between all of the vendors and the rude people, I was stepped on, yelled at, spilled on, and pushed many times. Yes, being short and small wasn't an advantage at this venue.
The concert didn't start until 8:30pm, which was an hour and a half late. Everyone was more than ready for it to begin. So when it did, everyone went into a frenzy. And, we were certainly not disappointed with the performance of Journey. An amazing group of musicians! Everyone was on their feet from the get go and didn't sit down until the break between groups.
When Santana took the stage, the energy level increased beyond belief. The stage was covered with 2 huge sets of drum and 2 sets of congas and percussion's, plus the keyboard/organ stand. The rest of the stage was for the vocals, guitarists, and horns. Of course, Santana was... well, Santana! What a performance. Simply awesome! And, we totally enjoyed his wife, Cindy Blackman-Santana's incredible solo drum feature. Boy, can that lady make those drums sing!
Videos: (Journey) https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10206256989245051; (Santana) https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10206257004405430
Regardless of all the "stuff" that went on during the concert, I still totally enjoyed every moment. There's nothing like going to a Santana concert, who was born right here in the Mexican state of Jalisco, with an almost totally Latin crowd. Now that's a whole different level of concert!
More than ample taxis available for the ride back to town after the concert. Albeit, they tried to way overcharge us. So the first taxi driver lost out when the 2nd accepted our offer of 500 pesos rather than the 700 the other driver wanted. We expected to pay more than the 330 pesos it cost us to get there because of the late hour and the fact that there's a different rate for gringos, but please don't insult. This is where our experience of living in Mexico (or any other foreign country) pays off. We aren't tourists any more.
By the time we arrived back at the Casa it was 1:30am and after posting pictures, it was 2am before I hit the bed hard and didn't move until 8:30am. If we didn't need to make the most of our time as a tourist, I would have gladly rolled over for another couple of hours. But since we're retired, there's always time later to catch up on sleep. LOL
After another glorious and hearty breakfast prepared and served by Francisco and George, off we went back to the Basilica El Expiatorio to see the church and to catch the next Tapatio. We all agreed that we would catch the next bus from the City Center to head out to Tonala. This is another town where much of the goods sold in other parts of Mexico are made so everything is way less expensive. Even so, we didn't buy anything more than a small wind chime because we didn't want to have to carry it for the rest of the day.
|What do you think? Are these wine glasses large enough for me??|
Back on the bus to take us back to the City Center at 3:50pm arriving in GDL at 5:15pm. After meandering around awhile, we sat our tired buns down at a sidewalk cafe and had dinner and drinks. Our goal was to try and last until dark when we planned to take a horse & buggy ride through town with all of the beautiful buildings lit up.
After keeping ourselves amused and occupied for an hour, we found our buggy just as the lights started being lit up on all of the buildings. A one hour ride cost us 300 pesos for the 4 of us - $10US per couple! As it turned out, we ended up getting off right at the end of our street so we didn't have to go all the way back into the center and catching a cab back. A lovely ride!
|Chiropractic students practicing by giving out free adjustments right there on the square.|
|The Tequila Tour Bus.|
Wanting to get a fairly early start in the morning, we called it a night after a bit of down time on the garden patio at about 10pm. A good night's sleep, quick fruit breakfast and coffee, and we were on the road by 9:15am after saying our fond farewells to George and Francisco. Didn't really get to know Gabrielle well because he was working so much. I'm sure we'll get a chance during our next visit, which will definitely happen!!
As Saturday was the beginning of Samana Santa (Holy Week), we expected huge amounts of traffic because everyone leaves the cities to head to the beaches for vacation. It took us 2 hours to get out of town but that really seemed to be more due to construction. Once outside the city, things went quite well. And, after making it over the mountain pass, we stopped for lunch at the small beach village of Chacala. A lovely lunch on the beach and a bit of window shopping with nothing purchased at the street vendors.
Jim and Tessa were truly wonderful and took us all the way home into PV (an extra 2 hours for them) so we didn't have to take the local busses with our luggage when we were already exhausted from the long trip. It felt wonderful to be home! Yes, even when traveling is such a magical and stimulating thing to do, it's always fantabulous to come home and sleep in your own bed.
Several couples coming into town this week that we'll be meeting up with but mainly I'm looking forward to some pool time and chillin.
Happy Easter to everyone! Talk soon....