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Coming in to this trip you feel like a welcomed guest. Irene is very generous in sharing information and insight - especially the best places to go. Feeling prepared, the trip was made easier using her offered transportation. Alone, I was a little nervous, yet Mario made it totally easy. Holding up a sign, I found him easily, swinging by Walmart for groceries on the way home. The fridge/freezer was a normal size, easily accommodating my purchases. This was a good thing, as the restaurant next door was temporarily closed, however I soon found the bus to be right outside the complex, and easy to access. The staff on site was wonderful, particularly Alex.
I was delighted to find myself very high up (right below the penthouse), one of 3 units on the floor. There were no bad views . While I tried Le Kliff for dinner (their happy hour did not exist), the view from Irene's was superior and I can't imagine finding a better sunset anywhere. I did find it helpful to spray my legs with bug spray when leaving the condo, particularly down by the pool and at restaurants (even Le Kliff) -- there were a lot of no-see-ums, and I served as a meal for insects until I got the spray.
Also, most nights you can see at least 2 fireworks displays to the north, in additional to the mass of stars.
Irene's condo is like stepping into her home, which is decorated with cultural treasures including art work and unique, specially designed textiles that reflect the folk culture of the city. I left both doors open all the time as I enjoyed very much the sound of the waves, and was constantly surprised to see the flocks of pelicans go by once or twice a day (never when I had my camera at hand).
I found 2 favorite restaurants: - the River Cafe (fabulous chicken enchiladas for breakfast, zucchini and pineapple bread, and great margaritas in the afternoon), and also Pipi's. While the Guadalajara Pharmacy is popular, I did had 3 unpleasant experiences (twice traveling with friends, once alone), where we were treated very rudely by separate individuals behind the counter, ignored while others who'd come later were helped first 2 out of 3 times, and a general lack of interest in being nice -- not the norm for people in this city. Alone the third time, I left and found a small pharmacy a few doors down to the south where the lady was wonderful.
My only disappointment was looking ahead to next year - she's really booked up already!!