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Parking at Los Abrigados, when we went there the second time, was a lot harder to find than the first time. Lucky for us, a nice man let us know that he was leaving, and that I could grab his spot as soon as he was out. It saved a lot of circling the parking areas, though on the whole I think it wouldn't have been too much effort to find another place. I can't imagine what Los Abrigados and Tlaqupaque would have been like -before- Christmas, but I remember it being a madhouse in prior years.

Parking being taken care of, we were able to enjoy the light displays. Admittedly, I think I have seen better in previous years, but given the recession and stuff, I can see why the local families and groups didn't or couldn't go all out with lights and motors and stuff. (Can't say that for sure, but maybe rules changed about some of those things in order to level the playing field... whatever.) My favorites were a simple tannenbaum made only with strings of lights (very impressive) and an artsy exhibit called "Matisse Navidad," with a beautiful arrangement of strands of blue lights and an outlined figure of a person with a red heart. Not terribly Christmassy, but I gave it points for artistry. I also liked "An Arizona Christmas," which looked like something you'd see a little further south in the state, with luminarios (basically a candle in a paper sack with sand in the bottom... now they have a safer version, namely plastic "sacks" with electric lights in them) and ocotillo plants made with long metal bars, simply wrapped with green lights, with a red one on each tip for the ocotillo flower. It's a pity that some of these displays don't show up well on camera... you just can't get the feel of it unless you're there. Or have a telephoto lens and scads of filters. Even so, I think Arno managed to get some good photos on his digicame.

Remember folks, when dealing with cars: if you roll them on their backs, they are helpless.

Now, I did take a lot of pictures, but not all came out well enough to show, and what remains is too much to all put on this page, so I compiled a semi-random collection. Click on the pictures below to see larger versions: