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It's been years since I've visited my mother's side of the family in Guadalajara.
As a kid, I knew Guadalajara as one place - my Aunt's giant house (according my kid memory) with a outdoor patios and a large backyard to kick the soccer ball around with my boy cousins. I vaguely remember the streets and little corner shops full of candies and treats. I remember mosquito bites, the heat and mariachi bands late into the night.
It turns out not much has changed from my kid memory - there are still mosquitos and heat and mariachi bands. But what I didn't remember was how truly incredible the food was...is. From tortillas to chilaquiles to mole and verde sauces, there is nothing that comes close to how Mexico does its own cuisine. (I also forgot how much your own family makes you eat, and only in Mexico would your grandma say, Mija - you've gotten to skinny, you need to eat more! )
I also didn't remember or ever get to know Guadalajara as a city. As a kid it was a funny name I'd return to school with and share with the class with my "What did you do this summer?" As an adult I had a dinner in a beautiful part of the financial district, I shopped in boutiques and visited Tlaquepaque (artisans market) with a whole new eye.
But of course, my favorite part of an adult was getting to see a glimpse of Guadalajara's coffee scene.
To be continued