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Birthday at Lake Chapala

Sunset from our hotel along Lake Chapala...

We celebrated Adriana’s birthday with her big family at Lake Chapala, a gorgeous lake a couple of hours east of Guadalajara. Her parents are building a new home near the lake, so we’ll probably spend more time there in the future. This was my first visit and I was really delighted by it. Chapala apparently was drying up a few years ago, having been looted by both Guadalajara and Mexico City, but after historically heavy rains three years ago, and some efforts to defend the lake’s integrity, the the lake is doing quite well.

This was the view from our hotel room window at Lake Chapala.

The bird life along the shore was astonishing: egrets, herons, ducks, and much more are thriving there.

I couldn't stop taking photos of the birds!

Sometimes the "action" was pretty exciting!

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After our visit to Colima we headed to the town of Manzanillo, which has the distinction of being Mexican’s biggest west coast port, as well as a resort-that-never-quite-was… Back in the early 1960s, as I understand it, there was an attempt to annoint Manzanillo as a new glamorous resort, but it never really “took.” After we parked our rental car we looked over the edge of the parking lot to see this odd sight:

A small papier mache factory producing Toy Story characters in Manzanillo...

This modern dolphin sculpture dominates the waterfront near the historic center of Manzanillo.

There was a big cruise ship in town when we arrived, which looked like a hideous way to travel. The local shops were jammed with cruise ship passengers, so we wandered away from the shore into the busy everyday downtown zone. The main drag cuts between two steep hills, and we headed up this one:

Historic center of Manzanillo.

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Colima, a Lesser Known Mexican Secret!

We went to Mexico during the week of Thanksgiving to celebrate Adriana’s 40th birthday. It was mostly a pleasure-oriented journey, with a lot of family visiting and recreating… but of course we can’t go anywhere without noticing things that often go unnoticed.

In the center of Colima's Jardin Nuñez sits a classic fountain, couples strolling, and public outdoor wifi booths for anyone to sit and browse!

Here's another view of the Wifi booths in the park, the next day.

I wrote about the new Freeway Revolt underway in Guadalajara over on Streetsblog, but even in sweet, sleepy Colima we found a Paseo Nocturno that happens every Tuesday night at 9 pm.

It's basically a Critical Mass, though not named as such--a weekly bike ride in Colima that started only in April 2010 and has already reached over 100 riders every week.

I gave out a few signs to the locals and we all made fast friends...

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