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A friend came up to me the other day and said, “Hey I know you have your hands full with the kids and the house and service, but do you think you want to come shopping with us next week?”

Now, how can a girl refuse an offer like that?  I almost said no (too tired) but Mikee said

“Go.  Have fun.  Spend money.”

That was even better than the first offer!

Off to… a place I can barely pronounce but excited at the prospect of some wonderful leather, pottery, embroidery, glassware, and, well, whatever else we might stumble upon.

Guadalajara.  A big city.  I mean big and sprawled out and spilling over into the little towns around.  If you visit (or should I say WHEN you visit.  hint hint) you will fly into Guad.   We have not spent too much time there yet but I hear there is lots waiting for us to check out.  (word is the zoo is a-maz-ing!)

Our first destination is Tlaquepaque.  Yeah, I made that face the first time I saw it too.  It’s actually fun to say, once you get the hang of it.  (tla kee pa kee)  See?  Fun.

This is an area of artisan shops.  One coffee shop was also an art gallery similar to the MFA in Boston -except this art is available at a fraction of what you would pay there.  Hand tooled leather bags in another shop.  Incredible embroidery that I am definitely going back for.  Gorgeous!  And, the girls I was shopping with were ready to SHOP!

(sorry not to have better photos.  most places don’t allow them.  plus, I was using all my energy just to keep up in the 90 degree heat)

Entry to garden

Art for sale in coffee shop

This odd tree was begging to get it's photo taken

Words... Escape... Me...

This is the entry to a shop

Cute ceramic chicks

Lunch... delicioso

Gotta get back to this place -embroidered artwork

Hand painted storefront

Almost bought this

Hand carved headboard


We were laden down with bags and lunch but we were not finished yet.  Now, onto Tonola.  (that one is so easy that you don’t need help with pronounciation)

This little town is where you can buy A.N.Y. thing.  Picture the shopping districts of NYC -only everything has the “Hecho en Mexico” (Made in Mexico) stamp on it.  The shop owners are pretty friendly.  They assume we are all tourists and it’s with a certain amount of satisfaction that I say (in kick-butt spanish), “Oh no.  We live here.  Over the mountain in San Juan Cosala.”  Then the conversation is even more relaxed and friendly.  I’m not bragging on my Spanish, just happy to be able to have such fun conversation.  Plus, you get better deals.  😉

An entire shop of just water stands

Custom stained glass

Bird cages -any size you could want

This shop is just packed to the ceiling with hand carved furniture

...including this crazy bench

Glassware -for days and days and days

...including this miniature glass nativity set (check out the tract)

I am a fan of this mexican pottery

Whew!  This was an exhausting –but fun– day.  It was a chance to appreciate the wonderful talents of so many creative people, and to see pretty things, and be with some fun chicas, and just relax.

Thanks for the invite Faith.

Thanks for making me go Mikee.  (with a full wallet, too)  😉


{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Heather E April 16, 2011, 6:03 am

    Wow- awesome pictures. Looked like a superfun day! What was your favorite thing you got?

  • DAD April 16, 2011, 9:03 am


  • Claire Janvary April 16, 2011, 9:42 am

    I love TLAQUEPAQUE!! Only been there once (the first year we arrived in Mexico) and would LOVE to go back…. bought some beautiful Oaxaca black pottery. Hope we get back there one day.

  • Jen Pressler April 16, 2011, 11:28 am

    Nope…..not jealous at all 😉

  • Kim F April 16, 2011, 3:55 pm

    This looks like an awesome place. Absolutely LOVED that stained glass pic. Would have loved to be there to look at all their other pieces!! Thanks for sharing!!

  • Jill April 17, 2011, 9:19 am

    It reminds me of our runs to Nuevo Laredo but way better, not as crowded or I guess now, pretty dangerous. Hey, if you ever see the clear vanilla let me know. The mexican vanilla is the best and for the whitest buttercream, the clear is very good. The colored is just yummy!! I’m so glad you got to go. Just wish I was there with you!!

  • Elly April 17, 2011, 3:42 pm

    Oooooh, Camille! How I’d love to go to those shops! Thanks so much for the pictures.

  • Nicole P April 17, 2011, 5:18 pm

    Those were some awesome shops! I’m glad you went Camille,you deserve a day like that! So much talent and beauty.Thanks

  • Rebecca and George Duarte April 19, 2011, 9:26 am

    I need to come and scoop up some of that furniture especially all that hand carved stuff. So great.
    Looks like fun(except for the heat gross)

  • Jessica April 22, 2011, 10:28 am

    What did you get??? Tell me please you got the beautiful red purse! Anyways, looked like a GREAT fun girly shopping day – we all need that. And how can you resisit a great hubby thats says “go, have fun, spend money” 🙂 Can’t wait to visit some day!

  • ginny brown April 28, 2011, 12:23 pm

    wow, enjoyed the tour without the sore feet! all those items look so beautiful. that picture of the mexican pottery looks just like a sink that’s in a restaurant bathroom in Campton, New Hampshire where we camp nearby every year. the headboard looks beautiful but the practical side of me that hates to dust wouldn’t buy it. now, if you tell me that you do not have to dust in Mexico, I’m on the next plane!

  • Lori Borys May 20, 2011, 11:51 am

    so what I need you to do is get a hand carved chest of drawers and put a sink in the bottom drawer, some ceramic chicks in the middle drawer with 3 stained glass pieces that match the headboard that matches the chest and will eventually be strapped to it for transit (something’s gotta hold the bursting with goodies drawers shut in transit), and in the top drawer put some of those tooled red leather bags. Let me know when you’ve got all that and we’ll arrange for tranport! WOW! That looks like a great day!

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