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.
Atotonilco El Alto
Whatever it is, tequila
probably can't fix it, but it's worth a shot! - Jimmy Buffett
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli
For quite some time now, we have wanted
to get up to the Mexican Highlands area to pursue the tasting of some of the
best tequilas in the world.
We had already visited
the town of
Tequila and learned how Mexico's national drink
was time to step up our game and sample the finest.
First stop: Atotonilco, home of Siete
Leguas, a premium tequila.
Our route from Lake Chapala to
Atotonilco El Alto
Leaving for the Highlands we made
previous arrangements with our favorite taxi driver, Arturo, to pick us up
at 9:15 am.
It was a gorgeous morning to drive
through the Mexican mountains, with the early sun catching the colors of the
weeds (salmon and cream, moving to rust and coffee) and wildflowers, the
green hills (from lime green to forest green), and the
gray-blue agave fields.
We made it to Atotonilco (using the cuota
roads) 1.5 hours later. The taxi ride was 1,400Pesos and the tolls were
291Pesos. At today's exchange that was about $89USD.
Our toll receipts
As you can read here, the amounts of our
tolls were 223Pesos and 58Pesos.
All the folder numbers, date and time,
the road and our location were all stamped.
As you might know already, Mexico loves
to paint the letters of their town brightly and colorfully. You will find full
size, singular letters in
Puerto Vallarta, Guadalajara airport,
Fuerte and even the old, old town of
These painted "Atoto" letters are on a
Atotonilco means "place of hot waters" in
Hotel de Cervantes
This was our hotel and we stayed on the
2nd floor in a lovely room.
The hotel had an excellent location, with
hot water in the shower, two beds, and plenty of space to put our clothes.
A local taqueria
After getting settled, we were hungry and
looked for a place to get a quick snack. We had plans for the afternoon, so
didn't want to have a full, sit-down lunch.
This was perfect!
Billy ordered tres (pronounced
"trace") tacos and received seis (pronounced "sace")
Aren't these tacos beautiful?
Billy ordered 3 tacos but received 6. No
big deal, they were very affordable at 10 Pesos each and we gave one away to a homeless man
who was walking around looking quite lean and hungry.
The Plaza is where "everything" happens
in a Mexican town or city. It's a big
square with a church, gazebo and
places to sit and enjoy the weather.
Sometimes there is dancing, vendors
selling balloons or food, and many times there are musicians.
This Plaza was well tended, with painted
wrought iron, lights for the night time, and manicured gardens.
rooftop bar and restaurant
Billy and I love to visit
rooftop bars and restaurants in these Colonial towns. They have great
food, and a super view.
We found out about this one, and couldn't
wait to try it out.
Look at this plate! YUM!
We went to visit Alcurnia in the
afternoon to see what was going on and to take a look at their menu.
This "special" appetizer plate appealed
to us for the variety it offered and it was plenty of food for two people.
Starting at the top, you have grilled
fresh vegetables, then grilled arrachera (marinated flank steak), Guacamole,
salsa, roasted onions and grilled sausage with melted cheese. In the center
are refried beans.
We were served hot tortillas as well.
When a moon hits your eye like a big
pizza pie That's amore!
We stayed at Alcurnia until the moon came
up. Gorgeous, isn't it? Look at those craters!
If you can see the sides of the crater
from here... or the top of a moon mountain, how big ARE those things,
Our bill at Alcurnia
Our bill at Alcurnia was just under
$17USD without tip. The appetizer sampler was almost $9.50 (and this fed the
two of us). Two Dos XX beers came to just over $3USD, and my pour of very
fine Don Julio Reposado was under $4USD.
Delicious food, a wonderful view, lovely
tequila and beer, all at a super price!
The church at night
Some churches in the plazas in Mexico are
so beautifully. This one only gets half the job done, unfortunately.
The face of the church is able to be
seen, but not the spires, which have faded into the darkness.
A closer view
After dinner it was great to walk off our
meal, so we went to the church to look inside.
Parts of the interior were under repair,
so it was curtained off and scaffolding was up to the ceiling.
A native Atoto woman
One of the things I notice frequently is
how in other countries, people often sit on steps and curbsides. In my
native country of the US, this would happen less often.
This Atoto woman has her bag of purchased
items on her right, her purse neatly tucked in the corner between her body
and the wall, and a Styrofoam cup on the step beneath her.
I wonder what she is waiting for?
Leather shoes and boots
People in Atoto are friendly. We asked
this young lady to pose for our photo and she happily obliged.
In this area of Mexico, it's cowboy
country. Stylish boots and leather shoes are sold everywhere.
Hats and piteado belts
Again, being in cowboy country, there is
a certain style that is common -
hats to keep
the sun off the face, and decorative belts embroidered with maguey
Maguey is an agave plant, and in this
case since we are also in tequila country, it's probably the blue agave. But
it can also be made from the mezcal plant as well.
is quite expensive, sometimes 9,000Pesos or more for a belt (almost
$500USD). You can see these designs on shoes, belts, headbands and other
leather items. It takes about 48 hours of labor to embroider a simple belt,
up to 3 months for one more complex.
A local cantina!
Billy loves these old
Mexican cantinas. They are places
for men to drink, hang out, watch TV, and conduct business.
Years ago in
Chapala, Billy would meet
the Presidente or the Treasurer of Chapala at a local cantina and discuss
the matters of the school gym, the
tennis courts or the
If you look closer into the darker left
side, you'll be able to see the swinging doors of an
Hemmingway would drink here
Ok, so this is worth noticing. As I
mentioned, these are "guy" places. Not much on decorations, but they have
all the "necessities" covered.
On the left are pictures of Jesus and
another saint, a music speaker and a juke box. In the center is a photo of a
pinup girl and a floor fan. On the right there is a line of chairs and a
Bathroom is behind the pinup girl.
What more does a guy need?
Bathroom, beer, Jesus and a Girl.
Here's the entranceway to a local,
Pizza House. We ate upstairs with a nice view of the church at
The real reason we are here
We are in
country, where the finest tequilas are made.
Siete Leguas (named after
Pancho Villa's horse) is a premium tequila made in blanco, reposado and
anejo. Ranked #5 out of 106 according to
Tequila Matchmaker App. This was a
We had plans to visit this boutique
distillery the next day.
For more information on tequila
For more information, photos and
stories about Mexico,
The most extensive
tequila database on earth,
VIDEOS, VIDEOS, VIDEOS! See
Mexico for yourself! Beaches, Bars, Babes, Great Food, Live Music.
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Early Lifestyle appeals to a different
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independence, values their time, and who doesn’t
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