Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The best little B&B in Guadalajara

I am in Guadalajara. And every time I say Guadalajara that old Steely Dan song starts playing in my head! I am here to shop for furniture for our house in Loreto Bay which should be finished in early May. I came over by myself, but a friend from home met me here for a couple of days. Helpful, since she speaks good Spanish and as my attorney looks out for me!

It is overwhelming trying to furnish a house, even a small one, in a few days. Yeah, boo-hoo, who wants to hear about it. But it's not a comfortable feeling spending bunches of money on stuff you sit on. As much as I love furnishings and decorating, this trip is a working trip. It's not like those leisurely purchases you make--"oh, yes, this is pretty." It's like: I have three days to find 50 plus pieces of furniture in a sprawling Mexican city I've never been to before and figure out how to get it all paid for and shipped to another Mexican city.

Truthfully, it's gone surprisingly well. I hired a driver who knows the best factories for the best prices. I settled on one for the majority of my purchases. The owner and I met today for nearly two hours designing each piece. Truly designing. I'd say, "I want a dresser that has really high legs so that I can shove a basket under it." And he and I would draw it. I felt like I was impersonating an interior designer. Pretty cool, really. And the prices were so low. However, shipping may change that.

I don't have time to see much else of Guadalajara which is a shame. It's an old colonial city with a lot of history, culture, and architecture. Maybe, another time.
The area I am in is called Tlaquepaque and is known as the center for arts and crafts shopping. Traditional goods, made by local artisans like weavers, ceramicists, painters, furniture-makers are found here. It's a treasure trove of household stuff, the good stuff. Buyers come from all over the world to shop here.

One of the best parts of my stay has been the Bed and Breakfast, Casa de las Flores. The owner is a former chef and painter with a Fine Arts degree. His place is so eclectic, so packed with arts and crafts, you can't get through the front lobby for the distraction. It's beyond description (which is shorthand for I'm too lazy to try right now.) He has the B&B thing down to perfection. He wanders around chatting like a cocktail party host; always with a glass of wine or cup of coffee in hand. Always in the right hand with the arm bent up at the elbow, the universal gay pose. To me, he is an example of a person having found their perfect niche in life.

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