Retirement; like your parents, but way cooler
In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age
of 38. Now, into their 4th decade of this
financially independent lifestyle, they invite you
to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.
Whatever it is, tequila
probably can't fix it, but it's worth a shot! - Jimmy Buffett
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli
We have been traveling through the Golden Triangle of Tequila-making in the
Mexican State of Jalisco. The
tequilas in the world are produced
here, and the countryside is filled
with agave fields.
Golden triangle of tequila-making
Jesus Maria, another
beautiful location with high desert climate, we took a taxi to Arandas for
200Pesos, just under $11USD.
Joel took us straight to our hotel, and
after settling in a bit, we went out to explore the city.
Letters of the city's name spelled out
We have mentioned this many times, but
the current fashion in
Mexico is to have the city's name spelled out in
large letters. In many of the towns, this is a tourist attraction to have your photo taken in
front of the letters.
You will find full size, singular letters
Mazatlan, Guadalajara airport,
Atotonilco, and even the old, old town of
The above is one of the many churches in Arandas.
It is San Jose Obrero.
San Jose Obrero Church
This church was begun in 1879 and is
still under construction today!
Just as in the "olden days" when a large
church was being built, those who started the construction were not alive
when the building was finished. The back of this church still had rebar and
was sectioned off to prevent accidents to passers by on the sidewalk.
In the beginning of construction of San
Jose Obrero Church, the pastors of the church were responsible for raising
funds for supplies and workers. I don't know who manages the fundraising for
this project now, but the construction at the back looked a bit tired, as if
nothing new had been added for a while.
Cathedral of the Imaculate Conception in Cuenca, Ecuador took over 100
years to build. It is truly stunning.
The Plaza in front of San Jose Obrero
Plazas in Mexico are places where people
gather. Often there are musicians, vendors selling balloons or ice cream,
and families come and sit on the wrought iron benches provided.
This is the view from the left side of a
stage that is placed at the opposite of the Church. There is seating on both
sides of the stage and I imagine there are bands, dancing, theatre
productions and maybe civil announcements made here.
The gardens in plazas such as these are
always manicured. There is a fountain closer to the Church.
It's a great place to hang out any time
On late Saturday
afternoon we saw an exquisite wedding party emptying out of the Church. The
bride and her bridal party arrived on horseback, and after the ceremony,
there were lots of limousines and private upscale cars to take people to the
Everyone was dressed To. The. Nines.
The largest bell in Mexico - La
A feature of the city of Arandas is the
largest bell in Mexico, weighing 14,985 TONS!
The clapper in the center weighs 502
Can you imagine?
A close up of La Campana, the largest bell in
Considering the weight of this
bell, I can hardly conceive of moving it here. What truck can hold 15
thousand tons to deliver this bell to this location? Where did they make
this thing? How did they maneuver it around to even put it on a vehicle to
get it here? And how did they attach it to the structure?
Looking up into the bell
This is a nice shot of the bell with the
Church in the background.
I'm unclear as to how the bell gets rung.
We have seen bells all over Mexico
being rung for special occasions like weddings, processions, or a
special saint's day. Men throw their bodies into this very physical activity
and it's a joyous thing to watch.
Ringing the tons of weight that this bell
has? How many men do you think it might take?
Inside San Jose Obrero Church
Churches in the Colonial cities in Mexico
are gorgeous. Lots of gold and marble and all of these archways pointing to
I can almost hear the choirs singing, and
the whispers in the confessionals.
Billy and Akaisha at the Plaza
We are standing at the Plaza, in front of
the fountain with the Church and the mega-bell behind us.
It was Breast Cancer month when we were
there, and so the mega-bell was lit up in pink lights as a reminder.
You can see balloons
and bags of cotton candy in the right of the photo - various objects that
A photo of Santa Maria de Guadalupe
Church at Plaza Principal
This church was at a smaller plaza near
our hotel, just a stone's throw away.
Plazas are just as busy at night as they
are during the day. This happens to be a
weekend crowd, but it's a great spot for tourists to gather and families to
meet up together.
Saddle and leather store
Arandas is in the Mexican Highlands and
in many ways, it's cowboy country.
Leather saddles, belts, boots and hats
are big items for sale here.
Notice the tooled leather of these
saddles and the pounded silver decorations.
As I mentioned for a previous photo, a
bridal party arrived at the church on horseback, probably using one of these
saddles! The wedding gown trailed
behind the bride and these gorgeous young women in their finery simply
followed her horse's lead.
Selling roasted agave to
Agave fields are everywhere, and
the roasted pina is a treat that many enjoy. Here this vendor is
selling the sweet roasted stem parts of the agave, giving samples to
entice the buyers.
Roasted agave for sale
The agave that is part of the stem
is very fibrous and one must pull the stem in between the teeth to scrape it
off. The agave that is part of the heart is not fibrous at all, and
the entire piece may be eaten easily.
If you look closely here, you can see the
pieces that have the strings of fiber, and the other pieces that look like
Menu with coffee and tequila options
This is something we have never seen
before - a coffee menu with tequila options. We saw this menu at a
restaurant close to our hotel, Los Nietos, where we had several delightful
Lots of coffee shops offer Bailey's and
coffee, Irish coffee and flavored coffees, but we have never tried nor have
we seen coffee with tequila before.
Um... maybe someday we'll try that.
Anything is possible when you are
visiting Tequila Country!
For more information, photos and
stories about Mexico,
For more information on tequila,
The most extensive tequila
database on earth,
VIDEOS, VIDEOS, VIDEOS! See
Mexico for yourself! Beaches, Bars, Babes, Great Food, Live Music.
About the Authors
Early Lifestyle appeals to a different
kind of person – the person who prizes their
independence, values their time, and who doesn’t
want to mindlessly follow the crowd.
Retire Early Lifestyle Blog
About Billy & Akaisha