(What's happening here?? Stay tuned...)
We're home from our trip to Mexico! If you haven't followed by reports on Twitter you don't know that it was THE MOST AMAZING TRIP! I've been so excited to meet my Mexican publishers at Alfaguara, and especially the awesome DoSaB readers in Mexico and ... wow did their awesomeness exceed all hopes and expectations! The book events in both Guadalajara and Mexico City have rocketed to the top of my "career highlights" list, and life highlights too. I'm still stunned by the reception they gave me, and by how much love there is for Karou and Akiva--and a LOT for Ziri and Zuzana and Mik, and I even met a Ten-cosplayer! That was a first!
I have so many photos, and I always think I'm going to post moderately until I begin and find that I can't whittle it down. This is just the first day. You'll see...
My first book event in Mexico! This was at a high school in Guadalajara (as far as I could tell, it was called Preparatoria 6, or something close to that? Amazing kids, amazing teachers! It was a fabulous morning!!! I loved the pink wigs, the amazing music performed by students, the great questions, the huge enthusiasm. You guys are AWESOME!! :-) :-)
That afternoon, the wonderful Cecilia from Alfaguara, who made all the arrangements for my visit and made it so wonderful, took me and Jim and Clementine out to see the town a bit. Since we were staying by the convention center in Gualajara, it felt like it could be any city in the world, you know how convention center areas are, and she knew I was craving a bit of Mexico, so she took us to Tlaquepaque. It's a town that's been kind of engulfed by the sprawl of Guadalajara (huge, Mexico's 2nd city) but still feels like it own distinct town. It was awesome.
First things first, drinks and music!
Guadalajara is in the state of Jalisco, home to both tequila and mariachi music.
Both of which must be experienced!
In the center of town there's a group of restaurants built around a plaza with a bandstand. Here's a bunch of musicians warming up:
There were also Aztec dancers in gorgeous costumes:
Here he is behind the mariachis:
Clementine fell in LOVE with kids pina coladas (called pinadas):
Cecilia and her husband Roberto. They're the best :-)
Jim and Clementine, strolling:
And then for something completely different.
These guys are called the Voladores de Papantla. (I remember seeing the toys in San Miguel and being intrigued. Well, we were really lucky that Cecilia recognized the purpose of this big pole when we walked past it, an hour and a half before the performance was to begin (I recall that it was an hour and a half because Clementine was SO EXCITED that she asked how much longer it was going to be about every five minutes!) We shopped (yay!), and then it was time.
The pole is 30 meters high.
(Hi up there!)
They get in position and one guy stands up in the middle and dances. Ulp! (No safety tether on him.)
And then they plunge backwards into the air!
And swing around and around...
Until they unwind their ropes and reach the ground.
They made it look easy and fun.
The sun set.
Tlaquepaque was lovely and full of great shops.
This guy kept trained birds.
They would come out of their cage and choose a fortune for you.
They would also pick up a tiny sombrero and put it on a doll, and other cute little tricks.
There's a ton of art in town.
Lots of good restaurants. And check out how Roberto's drink was served. I don't remember what's in the little bottles. You mix it yourself.
The most colorful sweets!
And all this colored communion wafers, in crazy shapes. The best is when it has cajeta in the middle! (That's caramelized goat milk, so good!)
These metal Christmas trees! Some day, some year, I will acquire one.
And Mexico has the best lighting ever. I love love love all the funky metal stars and paper lanterns.
Okay, that's part I. So much more to come!
Hope your Christmas season is going great. Sorry I haven't blogged in so long. I have a feeling I'm going to make up for it the next few weeks :-)