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January 12, 2012 - Tonala, Jalisco, Mexico

Written by GingerBlossom Published in
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People asked me before I left for Mexico if I was excited about this trip.  I'm excited to be here, absolutely, but didn't think about it until arriving.  All  year long we more or less keep track of what is selling, what people want, what we need, so there's months of preparation, and no preparation, if that makes sense.Hotel Hacienda del Sol, where I'm staying, has once again expanded.  Chris and I were some of the original customers when they started, about 15 years ago.  Javier, the owner, had bought the building that used to belong to my ex-shipper, Arturo.  Arturo had seen the writing on the wall - his former warehouse was in old Tonala, and the new 53' trailers were just coming into use, but they couldn't navigate the old, narrow streets, so he sold off his property and built along the freeway. The hotel is well managed by Javier and his family, and it's got it all - clean, comfortable, safe, and a great location for a great price, $20 a night if you pay up front and in cash.  He also has free wireless access.  This is the first time that I've traveled with a lap top.  I like to travel really light, so I bought a small Gateway.  I can already feel the waves of pity and/ or disdain  from computer geeks as they read that, but it weighs 2.2 pounds, is sturdy and cheap.  I'm Old School, when Alice and I were rambling around Europe decades ago, the only way we had news from home was if we had letters waiting for us in some Poste Restante.  News, if any, was always weeks out of date.  My laptop will save me from the cyber cafe horrors - sticky keyboards, sticking keys, blasting music and clouds of cigarette smoke.  Well, to be fair, the cigarette smoke is only in Turkey and Indonesia, and I actually like the smell of Kreteks, or Indonsian clove cigarettes.