S#*t You See While Road Tripping Through México

Mexican Mercado Piñatas that are unicorns.

As I mentioned in the very first post (called “S#*t You See in México”) on this damn site that my husband, Todd, more or less forced me to start a blog while road tripping through México. “It’s good for SEO,” he said. “It will bring you more business,” he said. “You are going to lose a majority of your hair trying to come up with material,” he DID NOT say.

Oh well, hopefully someone somewhere gets a little joy out of said blog. I must admit that it has been fun taking hilarious photos while road tripping through México for almost 2 years now. Therefore, it is officially time to show you more funny shit.

I know some of these are not flattering of me, but fuck it. These are in no particular order of importance or chronology…they just make me laugh. So there.

Road tripping through México to a Pueblo Majíco.
The Pueblo Mágico of Bernal, Querétaro
Borrachos (drunk people) in full force! | Photo: TexMex Fun Stuff

I figured I would also put together a list of my favorite things from my journey through this beautiful country. I don’t have photos of all of them, but these are some highlights…

Favorite Beach: Playa Yelapa. A one hour boat ride from Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco and famous for the saying, “I’d rather have a palapa in Yelapa than a condo in Redondo.” When I say boat ride, I mean that you can’t get there any other way.

My parents being good sports under a palapa in Yelapa! | Photo: TexMex Fun Stuff

Favorite Brunch: Gaspar in the Colonia Americana section of Guadalajara is known for having the best hamburgers in town. That’s true, but their wicked strong martinis and french fries covered in scrambled eggs and garlic truffle oil makes any Sunday a Funday. Also, they are super dog friendly. Deuce approved!

Favorite Restaurant: MOG Bistro in Roma Norte, México City. A tasty fusion of asian cuisine, kick ass sushi, Oaxacan mezcal and waitstaff sporting Carhardt onesies.

Favorite Pozoleria: Pozoleria Matamoros in the Los Sapos section of Puebla, Puebla. Pozole is the world’s best soup. You know you are in the right spot when there’s a wait to get in and the place is full of families, construction workers and zero.zero gringos.

When your cocktails come with weapons. James Bond martinis at a tiny bar in Guanajuato. | Photo: TexMex Fun Stuff

Favorite Cantina: La Fuga de Don Porfirio in Los Sapos, Puebla, Puebla. Good old TexMex Fun Stuff’s Lucha Libre Papel Picado proudly hangs above the bar. Tell the owner Paco I said, “hola, bitch!”

Favorite Mezcalería: El Destilado in Oaxaco Centro, Oaxaca. Cheap happy hour specials on mezcal cocktails, shots and tacos. Plus they have a killer view from the rooftop bar!

Favorite Pulquería: Cálendula Pulquería in Los Sapos in downtown Puebla. Don’t be scared cause it looks like snot. Just order the cucumber lime pulque with a shot of mezcal. Trust me! #Icanbetrusted

Tequila, Jalisco
Psycho Blonde (OK, me) in an agave field with a Jimador (agave farmer) who is scared out of his wits.
| Photo: TexMex Fun Stuff

Favorite Day Trip: Jose Cuervo Express Train from Guadalajara to Tequila and back…although I don’t remember much of the “back” part. I’m not proud of this picture above. This occurred on the way “back”.

Favorite Drive: Puebla City to Oaxaca City on Tollroad 135D. Majestic mountains, valleys, cacti, tunnels and sketchy AF roads. Freaking beautiful.

Favorite Flight: A single engine prop plane on Aerotucán more or less hovers over the mountains and fields from Oaxaca City to the beautiful beaches of Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca. 45 minutes of picture taking magic.

Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco
Kick ass t-shirts in the PV mercado! Jaliscienses are big fans of the word “Fuck”. Impressive. | Photo: Tex Mex Fun Stuff

Favorite Park: Chapultepec Park in México City. Wander from the world famous Anthropology Museum through the endlessly shaded sidewalks up to the Chapultepec Castle which sits at the top of a huge hill. It used to be a military school where teenage Mexican soldiers fought the Spanish for México’s independence. They lost, but hey. Castles are sexy.

Favorite Hike: La Malinche is a mountain one hour due east of Puebla, Puebla. It is technically in the state of Tlaxacala and makes for a challenging day hike as it peaks at 14,400 feet above sea level. And I know this for a fact because my husband climbed it and I didn’t.

More solid gold from Puerto Vallarta!
Triple D shows every Monday and Saturday – Oooooh, “Mama Tits”! | Photo: TexMex Fun Stuff

Favorite Gayborhood: The Romantic Zone in Puerta Vallarta. With live shows like Mama Tits and Naked Boys Singing you can’t help but be in a rainbow mood! #prettyandwittyandgay

Favorite Lucha Libre Venue: Arena Puebla in Puebla, Puebla. Cold beer, hot sweat and lots of cussing. Not too big, not too small, loud as fuck.

Favorite Mercado: Mercado De Artesanias La Ciudadela (Artisan Market) is in the Ciudadela neighborhood (a 5 minute cab ride from Roma) of México City. Handmade everything from all over México and there’s a bar in the middle!

Ajijic, Jalisco
A majestic little town just south of Guadalajara on Lake Chapala. Obviously great shopping with some wicked humor!
| Photo: TexMex Fun Stuff

Favorite Shopping: Independencia Avenue in Tlaquepaque, a Pueblo Mágico outside of Guadalajara, Jalisco. I could stroll down this pedestrian only street forever. Galleries, shops, restaurants, street vendors and it is covered by thousands of colorful umbrellas!

Favorite Co-working Space: Workósfera in Puebla, Puebla. The original location is in the Los Sapos section of Centro in a colonial mansion. The newest location in the La Paz neighborhood and is in yet another mansion, but this one has a pool! Fast wifi and great people.

Favorite Live Music: Callejoneadas in Guanajuato, Guanajuato. At night, college kids turn into singing minstrels wearing tights. They tour pedestrian only alleys playing instruments and encouraging crowd participation up and down the hills of this beautiful city. Smoking, drinking and singing of course.

Guanajuato, Guanajuato
Good friends, to-go beers and college kids earning their keep by taking tourists on a late night musical stroll.
Photo: TexMex Fun Stuff

Favorite People: Mérida, Yucatán. In all fairness, there isn’t a city in the world that can compete with the community in Mérida. It is my home and it is chock-filled with my people.

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As you can see from my list of favorites, in 20 months we have gone from San Miguel de Allende to Guanajuato to México City to Puebla to Mérida to Guadalajara to Puerto Vallarta to Querétaro and back to México City.

We did make it to Oaxaca briefly. As it turns out, Oaxaca is not known for its paper maché. Or for its ass grabbing. Luckily for you, both were captured in this shot…

Oaxaca, Oaxaca
A little ass grab never hurt anyone! Well, maybe the giant paper maché people got a little hurt?
| Photo: TexMex Fun Stuff

Finally, from México City…

México City, Estado de México
#GoesWithoutSaying | Photo: TexMex Fun Stuff

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Speaking of shit…

Creative Artists Recycle Old Toilets in CDMX
Only in México City will artists agree to displaying their toilet art for all to see! | Photo: TexMex Fun Stuff

Welp, that’s all of my pics for now of our journey while road tripping through México. I will spare you the really gross stuff. Plus, I should really get back to work. It is imperative that I shop for more bad ass stuff, from this bad ass country, for your decorative enjoyment! Hasta luego!

Are you looking for more inspiration from México? Check out the TexMex Fun Stuff Blog for more sights, sounds and badass-ness uncovered while exploring México searching for handmade fun stuff for you!

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What is the Deal With These Badass Mariachis?

La Lotería Ain’t Your Grandma’s Mexican Bingo.

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5 Fun Historical Stories About Piñatas!

Paper-mache hand-made bull pinata and a mexican sombrero.

Piñatas have a rich history in México and are typically considered by “gringos” as fixtures of Cinco de Mayo and Mexican-themed birthday parties. You know the parties…where blindfolded kids swing a stick or a bat at a hanging piñata while the drunk uncle pulls the rope?! Everyone has that “Tio CrayCray” who makes the piñata wildly swing up-and-down, making the kids swing and miss as the crowd laughs and spills their boozy treats.

Me playing the part of the ‘Drunk Uncle’ | Photo: Armando HDZ Fotografia

I fully support this kind of party and drunk uncles, but there’s a lot more that goes into the history and artistry of piñatas than that.

Here are 5 things that I’ve learned and love about piñatas while traveling through México in search of the artists behind these works of art:

1. Piñatas were not born in Mexico-“No nacieron en México!”

A very sad bull learning at this very moment that he was in fact NOT born in México. Pobrecito.

Piñatas were originally created out of paper-mâché, pottery or cloth in China for the New Year. They were shaped like bulls or ox, decorated with colors representing the 4 seasons and filled with seeds. Then farmers would whack the crap out of said colorful container on NYE, busting the seeds all over for favorable growing seasons in the New Year.

The remnants of the battered piñatas were gathered and burned and the ashes were collected and kept for good luck throughout the year.

2. Marco Polo introduced piñatas to Italy – “¿Mande?”

Chinese animal pinatas made of paper mache in a market.
Donkey piñatas givin’ the “crazy eye”

It is believed that when Marco Polo (yes, THE Marco Polo) visited China in the 13th century, he saw the colorful clay pots wrapped in paper with figures of Chinese bulls and other animals filled with seeds and liked the idea of it all. Our hombre, Marco then brought these containers of seeds and goodness to Italy, where they were named ‘pignattas’ or “cooking pots”.

The Spaniards (being big ol’ copy cats) took the tradition for themselves in a religious capacity by adding piñatas as a new Christian tradition during the season of Lent. Then they crossed the big blue sea to Mexico where they forced a whole array of traditions like piñatas upon the indigenous folks.

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In Central Mexico where the Aztecs lived and had a strangely similar piñata situation of their own, piñata-making really took hold as an art and a way to making a creative living. Pueblo Acolman is a town in the northern part of Mexico State that claims to be the origin or the “cradle” of piñatas as they have been a tradition there for over 420 years.

Both kinds of piñatas, those made with clay pots and those made entirely of paper are still made there. The pueblo of Acolman also claims to be the origin of the Las Posadas tradition in Mexico…we’ll get to that another time.

3. The Traditional Mexican Piñata Represents the “Struggle with Temptation” = “Ayayay Pecados!”

7 Sins, 7 Points. Get it? Count ’em: Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy & Pride – Tempted? Yo tambien!

So one of the changes the Spanish made to incorporate piñatas into their season of Lent was to shape them like stars instead of livestock. Stars represent many things in the bible, but the Spanish specifically made their star piñatas with seven points to represent the 7 Deadly Sins.

The severe beating of one of these star shaped thingydoodles is the literal “Struggle with Temptation”. Or as I like to call it, a typical Saturday night. The blindfolded participant who attempts to beat the piñata represents “Faith” (because faith is blind). The piñata represents Evil or “Satan” who wears beautiful, bright colors to lure unsuspecting (and otherwise non-sinners) to touch said temptations.

If the God-fearing people touch the piñata, then they have fallen into temptation. It’s that easy – just ask Eve or my Mom. My Mom is a minister. Different blog post entirely.

In Mexico, traditional seven point piñatas are typically beaten to oblivion night after night (a new one each night, of course) during the 9 day period leading up to Christmas, which is better known as Las Posadas. Don’t worry, they get beaten after Christmas too. And especially on New Years Eve. In fact, all the way up to January 6th for Three Kings Day (aka Epiphany). Again, a whole other post…One my mom will let me tell!

4. Millennials and Hipsters Have Fallen in Love with Piñatas!  “Si, claro!”

The Happy Couple: Eduardo and Julie Sobrino, Merida YUC | Photo: Armando HDZ Fotografia

In the past 3 years, piñatas have officially gone main-stream with millennials all over the world at weddings, baby showers, cantina crawls, birthdays and bachelorette parties. God bless the youngsters.

Now that piñatas don’t have to represent farmers’ wishes for good crops or Christians’ wishes to battle their demons, we can have a lot more fun with them. Hence the new variety of piñata shapes and occasions to fill, beat, enjoy, repeat. How many politicians, Marvel comics and Disney characters as piñatas have you seen on Amazon lately…#amIright?!

Take this hipster-ific couple in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico (above) who had piñatas crafted to resemble each other for their rehearsal dinner. The highlight of the evening for us friends and family was watching them beat the shit out of each other’s piñata. Then the ring bearer and flower girls attacked the candy and everyone won! Because that’s love. “Eso el amor!” We cheered on the destruction and forgot the entire point of the wedding.

5. Mexican Piñatas are Still Handmade  – “Probablemente no en China…”

Hand-made star pinata held by the artist.
Piñata Artist showcasing his XXL craft in Puebla Mexico. | Photo: TexMex Fun Stuff

Tassels aren’t just for strippers. You heard it here first.

Whether a piñata is made from the early traditional paper mâché variety or from tissue paper, cardboard and tassels, they are never machine-made. Piñata making is an art form in México where entire villages are trained to craft all kinds of shapes, sizes and styles to meet every celebratory need.

Mad at Trump? Someone can make you a Trump piñata! Divorce party? An ex-spouse look-alike can be made by hand! Usually though, they are shaped like animals for kids’ birthday parties or the 7 pointed stars to cover the whole holiday season. Either way, they are made BY HAND by real artistic humans who take this art very seriously…so don’t piss them off. Just kidding. But seriously, don’t.

Experience México everyday with this handmade, super tassel-y star piñata!

Colorful Fun Fiesta Party Piñata

TexMex Fun Stuff™ Star Piñata ranked in ‘The Best 10 Piñatas’ by our amigos at Wiki.ezvid.com

Are you throwing a Mexican fiesta? Don’t miss out on our collection of papel picado. Coco inspired, Lucha Libre and Day of the Dead papel picado banners are big strands of fun!!

Shop the TexMex Fun Stuff Papel Picado Collection

Are you looking for more inspiration from México? Check out the TexMex Fun Stuff Blog for more sights, sounds and badass-ness uncovered while exploring México searching for handmade fun stuff for you!

Related Posts

5 Fun Historical Stories About Piñatas

Funny S#*t You See In Mexico

My Lucha Libre Experience – Laughing, Crying and Screaming

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S#*t You See in México

A guy and his dog riding a scooter in Roma Norte, Mexico City.

So I have been buying and selling fun stuff in/from México for years. I have seen a lot of this country looking for treasures that I think others will enjoy owning.

Along the way I have been entertained by sights and sounds from almost daily parades to almost nightly celebrations and my husband, Todd said that I should really be documenting this for my friends, fans and customers.

Basically, he forced me to start a blog. This is said blog. I hope it doesn’t suck. The plan is to show you all the funny shit I see and maybe educate a little in the quest to entertain a lot. Let’s start slow with a few pix of shit that have made me laugh pretty hard. We’ll get all educationally later.

Seriously, only in this freakin’ country can you get glimpses of this kind of greatness….

Merida, Yucatan
A Bride Climbing a Bar to get the Good Rum! | Photo: Del Angel Photography
Tequila, Jalisco.
There are 6 dudes up there “May poling”. This deserves its own blog post. | Photo: TexMex Fun Stuff
México City, State of México
Some awesomeness doesn’t even require a caption. | Photo: TexMex Fun Stuff
San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato
Awesome taco joint …#Goes without saying. | Photo: TexMex Fun Stuff
Mexico City
Grease is the Word. Or Vaselina, either way. | Photo: TexMex Fun Stuff
Cabo San Lucas, Baja California
Beach vendor selling Lucha Libre masks. Because that’s what sun bathers want more than anything at the beach.

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Merida, Yucatan
“It’s all ball bearings these days!” Fixing a bus engine sucks, especially in sandals and traffic. | Photo: TexMex Fun Stuff
Oaxaca, Oaxaca
Oooh damn! That’s a lotta Jesus! Everything your nativity scene needed then, NOW ON SALE post-Christmas in El Mercado. | Photo: TexMex Fun Stuff
Oaxaca, Oaxaca
“Dock that Oaxacan a day’s pay for nappin’ on the job!” | Photo: TexMex Fun Stuff
Teeny tiny town outside of Oaxaca, Oaxaca
A bull and cow parade. Because it’s Tuesday, that’s why! | Photo: TexMex Fun Stuff
Hacienda Santa Rosa, Yucatan
Yep, those are real. Most folks can only afford to bury their loved ones in a grave for 1 year, then they give up the space for someone else’s body. The bones of the recently removed get put into boxes for a more “economical” afterlife. |
Photo: TexMex Fun Stuff
Merida, Yucatan
They’ll let any gringo bozo into a bar. | Photo: TexMex Fun Stuff

Well that’s all for now. There will probably be a sequel of funny shit I see in Mexico, in fact it’s inevitable. But for now, it’s time to work!

Are you looking for more inspiration from México? Check out the TexMex Fun Stuff Blog for more sights, sounds and badass-ness uncovered while exploring México searching for handmade fun stuff for you!

Related Posts

5 Fun Historical Stories About Piñatas

My Story / The Actual History of Papel Picado Flags

My Lucha Libre Experience – Laughing, Crying and Screaming

🇲🇽 Shop the TexMex Fun Stuff online storefront on Amazon!  🇲🇽