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Rest Like a Local in Ajijic

There are thousands of reasons to take a vacation and even more than that when deciding on places to go. Well on a recent trip I think I discovered a small piece of heaven. It’s called Ajijic, Mexico. A small city of 15,000 people, about 45 minutes by car from the airport in Guadalajara, and about 3 blocks from Lake Chapala. We decided to stay for the week at Casa del Sol, a very lovely bed and breakfast some 10 minutes walk from the center square in town. After taking the first day to rest from the flight and getting our bearings we ventured out and made our first friends a couple of streets over from our B&B.

dogsresting

For sure it was a sign of the relaxing trip we were hoping for. It takes a little getting used to the cobble stone streets, especially when it rains, but its just another feel of the culture and history of this historic Mexican area. Many of the shops feature the homemade styles of the area for every buying whim from pottery to blankets and so much more. (more…)

Category : Ajijic &Blog &Retirement

New Year’s Day Parade in Ajijic 2016

The New Year’s Day parade was fun. I went into town around nine in the morning. I thought the parade started in the morning but it didn’t start until two in the afternoon.  The town was practically deserted in the morning until around noon and then it got crowded. There was more traffic here than I had ever seen. Traffic was at a standstill. Lots of people were waiting for the parade too.

Parade sign

Parade sign

I loved the bird float. That took a lot of work and time to make. Check out the detail of the wings. (more…)

Category : Activities &Ajijic &Blog &Traditions

Christmas Celebrations in Ajijijc 2015

I walked into town in Christmas Eve to be part of all the activities and take photos of the Crèches at the church. Surprise, surprise. Very little action was taking place in the plaza this year and there were only four live crèches. Last year the church yard was filled with crèches and the plaza was very busy. We have had weeks of excitement here, including parades and fireworks going off every evening. I have no explanation for the quiet Christmas Eve. I hope you enjoy what I managed to photograph. I apologize that my camera does not take good night photos.

Church

Church

Decorations inside and outside of the church were lovely. Inside of the church there were bouquets of live flowers all along on the tables. Outside were the crèches. Sawdust images on the ground, Christmas trees and many lights. It was very peaceful to walk around in the church yard. (more…)

Category : Activities &Ajijic &Blog &Events &Traditions

The 2015 Revolution Day Parade in Ajijic

Mexican Revolution Day was November 16th but the parade and other celebrations didn’t happen until the following weekend. On Monday, the legal holiday, many places of business were closed. But the celebrations didn’t begin until the parade on Friday the 20th. The Mexican Constitution dates back to 1917. When you think about it, that was not very long ago. Not even a hundred years. When people in my generation were growing up, in their 70s, their parents probably remembered living through it.

Father and son

Father and sons

I love the above photo. The father and sons look so happy to be included in the parade. They do not look to me like Mexicans. The Mexicans are generally very inclusive people and they welcome outsiders. Can you imagine a president being in office for 35 years? I would call that a dictatorship. That was Porfirio Diaz. (more…)

Category : Activities &Ajijic &Blog &Traditions

14th Annual Feria Maestros del Arte in Chapala

This is the 14th year of the Feria Maestros del Arte. If you have not been to this event, you don’t know what you are missing. Once you see these wonderful works you will never look at art and craft items in the same way again. Your eyes will be educated and you will be much more discerning. You will never again be fooled by poor quality workmanship as you will have seen the best. There were far too many beautiful things and great artists for me to be able to show you more than a fraction of them. But if you see something of interest please go to the web site to learn more. It is www.feriamaestros.com.

Sculpture at entrance

This magical paper mache sculpture was at the entrance to the show. It cost fifty pesos to get in and worth every bit of that amount. I went two days. It was held November 13, 14, and 15 th from ten in the morning to five in the evening except Sunday it closed at four. It was held in the beautiful grounds of the Chapala Yacht Club. If this sculpture looks familiar, you would have seen it at the show last year too. (more…)

Category : Activities &Blog &Chapala

Halloween and Day of the Dead in Ajijic

The Day of the Dead is a big Holiday in Mexico. Some people say that Mexicans don’t celebrate Halloween. Tell that to the little girl in the photo below. She was all ready to go trick or treating in the evening. Just like in the United States, parents take their children out trick or treating to the expensive neighborhoods. I bought enough candy for a hundred children. Only five children knocked on my door. The same ones kept returning.

Girl ready for Halloween

Girl ready for Halloween

I live in a Mexican neighborhood with small homes. What they did in my street is to close it off to traffic, string up balloons and put out tables and chairs and have a party for everyone living on the street. My friend and I took out all our candy and gave it to the children. After we went back home, two young men knocked on my door and handed us two bowls of pazole. (more…)

Category : Activities &Ajijic &Blog &Entertainment &Nightlife &Traditions

Zombie Thriller Dance at the Ajijic Plaza 2015

The Ajijic Zombie thriller dance was held at the Ajijic Cultural Center on October 24th at five p.m. on the dot. It always starts at exactly the same time all over the world.  No matter what you might think of Michael Jackson, he was the inspiration for this world wide event. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend this year so my friend sent me these photos to put in the article. Wonderful and scary photos. I greatly appreciate seeing them and being able to use them for the article. Too good to miss. Thank you friend.

Zombie in a Car

Zombie in a Car

The first Zombie Thriller Dance was created in 2006. I will be giving you a few facts about the events but they are easy to research online. They have a site with all kinds of useful information and if you want, you can even sign up through them. The site is: www.thrilltheworld.com. (more…)

Category : Activities &Blog &Entertainment

The 2015 Globos Event in Ajijic

The 2015 Globos Event was a huge success.  It is one of my favorite events. I put two photos of our own globo at the beginning of this article because we at Access Lake Chapala are proud to participate in it and also proud that our globo was a lift off.

Accesslakechapala globo

Accesslakechapala globo.

Both last year’s globo and this year’s globo made it into the air. That is a minor miracle as larger ones often do not make it. (more…)

Category : Activities &Ajijic &Blog &Entertainment &Traditions

El Pajarete a Traditional Mexican Morning Drink

El Pajarete is a party, in a barn early in the mornings when the cows are being milked. It is also the name of the drink that they make out of fresh cow’s milk, liquor, chocolate, sugar and instant coffee. My friend took me to one on a Sunday which is the biggest day for them although people drop in every morning at milking time.

Pajaro

Pajaro

Above is the cow fountain which is filling up the cup.  The drink is also sometimes called Pajaro (bird in Spanish) and even Pollo (which is chicken in Spanish). Why bird? Why chicken? The best explanation I heard was that Pajarete can mean early bird. So bird is the theme here.  There were chickens in the barn. But the milk came from the cows, not the chickens and there are no eggs in this drink either. (more…)

Category : Activities &Blog &Traditions

Easter Week in Ajijic 2015

Easter came early this year. The holidays started with the Globos celebration which is just before Ash Wednesday, through March 29th Palm Sunday, April 2nd Maundy (Holy) Thursday April 3rd Good Friday and finally April 5th which was Easter Sunday. But the Easter holiday continues for at least one more week. All beach towns and tourist towns in Mexico are packed to the gills during this time of the year. Since Ajijic is a tourist town, we were also very crowded. It is always a lot of fun with all the new people in town.

Easter Eggs

Easter Eggs

The restaurants are crowded. The malecon is crowded. The plaza is crowded and there are many different celebrations happening almost on a daily basis. Above is a photo of the Easter eggs that are sold in the plaza. Someone has taken the time to cut open the top and fill each one with confetti. Then the children throw the eggs at each other, dogs, and anything else that moves nearby. Keep your eyes open. You too may end up as a target. (more…)

Category : Activities &Ajijic &Blog

Bus Trip from Ajijic to Mazatlan

Mazatlan is known as the Pearl of the Pacific because of it’s friendly people and the beauty of the beaches. It is the second largest city in the state of Sinaloa. It was founded by the Spanish and Indigenous people in 1531. In the mid 19th century, the Germans came and they settled and developed the area. It is located directly across the gulf from La Paz which is located at the tip of Baja. There are car ferries that go from one city to the other. Also, many cruise ships dock at the Harbor in Mazatlan. The word Mazatlan is a Nahuatl word which means Place of deer. I didn’t see any deer when I was there. But It was a quick trip for me. It took me an entire day to travel by first class bus from Guadalajara to the bus station in Mazatlan. It was an easy trip, even though we stopped often. The first class buses are really comfortable.

Old Town Plaza

Old Town Plaza

I also have a DIF card. This is a card for old people, like me, and I can travel for half price on the nice long distance buses. I was only in Mazatlan for two days and then another day to return to Ajijic. My friend took me to Old Town, the Historic District,  and we walked around there before most of the stores opened. It reminded me of Tlaquepaque. There were craft shops, restaurants and coffee shops everywhere. It was clean and beautiful. Many of the buildings were old. (more…)

Category : Activities &Blog

The 37th Annual Chili Cook-Off, 2015 in Ajijic

The 37th Annual Mexican Chili Cook-Off was a great success. It started on Friday, February 27th and went through Sunday. It ended at five p.m. on Sunday, March 1st. It was held at the Tobolandia water park. This year the parade was very small. The Shriners were in it and the tour bus from Chapala. Instead of starting at six corners as it did on previous years, it started by the bank up on the Carretera. What was the reason for such a small parade? I was told that Lent was the reason.  The priest at the six corners Catholic church did not like having a parade during lent. So it was cut back to just the Shriners and the tour bus.  Usually Lent is after the Chili Cook-Off so it wasn’t a problem. But don’t worry, a small parade did not mean small pleasures for the Chili Cook-Off visitors. Tobolandia was jumping with excitement! Below is a photo of the Shriners as they arrived in the parking lot at Tobolandia.

Parade

Parade

The Chili Cook-Off is the biggest fund raising event of the year here. Proceeds from it go to eight local charities. I will list them later on in this article. Last year the Cook-Off raised 36,550 pesos for each of the charities. This year they are hoping for more. (more…)

Category : Activities &Ajijic &Blog &Entertainment &Events &Food and Dinning &Traditions

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