Hola to all my amigos around the world!
In case you were wondering, I want to let everyone know I’m alive and well in San Miguel de Allende. I’ve been lax in staying connected due to moving around San Miguel de Allende more than a few times since I arrived on March 17. Sometimes it was a lousy WIFI connection and generally having too much fun along with a little laziness thrown in!
Known as the corazon (heart) of Mexico, this beautiful colonial city is a UNESCO world heritage that draws expats from all over as well as Mexicans for its charm and array of attractions. There are over 42 churches within its city limits, with their bells ringing at all times of day. Because of its cobblestone streets and an elevation of 6,234 feet, I often feel I’m living far away in some European town, instead of a relatively short flight from the US border.
About a month ago, I landed in an apartment right in the middle of Centro with the benefits of a quiet street, close to everything, overlooking a tranquil private garden and views of the churches from my terrace! Pretty sweet. The building is close to 75 years old or more, which lends a bit of charm and some very original details to the place, giving this 500 square foot space same character. I just had the kitchen and bedroom painted vivid Mexican colors and have the tiny sala (living room) still on my list of to do.
My regular schedule includes learning the Latin dances; private classes with Fernando three times a week, I just cut back from four to five! I began the group classes last night with about 25-30 people showing up, giving me a chance to dance with others. Surprisingly, there is an equal number of men and women for a change! Most Mexicans grow up dancing, so men here seem to intuitively know how to move! I’m getting the hang of it… Fernando is an excellent teacher, patient, kind and easy to look at. Yoga classes most mornings, dance classes in the afternoon, indie and foreign movies at the Pocket Theater (inside the organic market) or Cine Bacca (in a hotel) or the Biblioteca (library) about once a week. All theaters have about 20 seats and popcorn and a drink of your choice included in the price of admission, about 6.50 USD! Nothing like a margarita with the movie! Meeting new people, occasional visits to the hot springs fifteen minutes out of town, a few guests that have already visited, more on their way, and an upcoming six-day dance festival next month in Playa del Carmen. I went to a newcomers brunch Sunday, met some people I will see again next week and even learned to crochet (well sorta) this afternoon at the hotel next door to me.
A group of women meet twice a week and knit or crochet hundreds of hats and scarves, donating them to the children who need them in the colder months. They also have a program for newborns’ hats and onesies as they leave the hospital. Serving meals to the poor and making mattresses from recycled plastic bags for the disadvantaged out in the campo (country) are volunteer groups that are still going strong here, even after my first visit fifteen years ago. All this fun leaves me just enough time for my afternoon siestas when it’s too hot to do much of anything.
There is an endless amount of concerts, live performances, gallery exhibits, art classes, weekly home and garden tours, historical walking tours, mural tours, restaurants, shops, special interest meetings, handicrafts, and farmer’s markets, and more stuff I probably don’t even know about yet.
IT’S KNOWN AS ADULT DAY CAMP!
So the burning question I get at the moment seems to be, “are you staying there?” “My answer at this point is, “I intend to stay for a year and give it a trial.” Of course, this won’t be one straight year! I’ll have my little side trips and a big one to Bali, but I don’t know when yet. I still love so many things about Bali and have lovely connections there, but I thought I would like to be closer to family and friends on this side of the world for a while. I like so many places, I can’t imagine not going to some of those and there are still all those places in my bucket list that I really want to experience.
I’ve had quite a few inquiries from my tribe about visiting San Miguel de Allende. My plan is to put together some trips for you to come to San Miguel de Allende, and the unique experience of hanging out with me and me having the pleasure of showing you around another place that I love. A couple of times that would be fabulous are the week of Dia de Muerto (Day of the Dead.) The dead are not remembered or commemorated here, they are considered present. This is a celebration with the dead, not of the dead. The Mexicans really go all out for the loved ones that have passed on and the celebrations are quite spectacular, including holding vigil at the graves all night long with the entire family, bringing the favorite food and drinks of the deceased and having a good time, singing, eating and drinks.
Plan on visiting me here Oct. 28 – Nov. 3, 2019.
Another big celebration is Semana Santa, the week leading up to Easter. Almost nowhere in Mexico is Semana Santa recognized with such reverence, tradition, and awe as in San Miguel de Allende. Visitors come from all over Mexico (and the world) to see or participate in the intense emotion of these rituals of the Passion and Resurrection of Christ. Despite the crowds, this is not a tourist show. These Holy Week ceremonies are deeply felt statements of faith. Many of the rituals go back centuries. It is a privilege to be allowed to observe them—and even participate if your faith leads you to do so.
Mark your calendars for April 5 – April 12, 2020.
If you are even slightly interested in joining me for either of these celebrations OR for an art and cultural tour on a different date, please let me know and I’ll start a list. Consider getting a group of friends together. There is so much art here! Exhibits, classes, and galleries that there seems to be something for everyone, beginners to experienced, collectors or just the curious.
I always prefer to do small groups of about 8-10 so we can have a more intimate experience. No big tour bus thing! I’ll work out an itinerary with costs and send them by the beginning of July if you showed interest. There is a lot to see and do! Oh, did I mention that shopping is fun here? Oh, yea!
I hope this finds all of you healthy, happy and involved in something that inspires you.
Please subscribe to my blog and leave a comment.
Adios for now,
Photo descriptions from top to bottom above
1. The Parroquia The main parish church, the pink iconic visual in the heart of San Miguel de Allende. Sitting in the main Jardin (park), it is a gathering place for locals and visitors all times of day and night.
2. La Gruta Mineral Springs Fifteen minutes out of town by taxi, this is one of my fav places to relax and spend the day. Several pools with piped in hot water of varying temps and a short swim into a cave for more soaking in relative darkness and quiet makes it a perfect place for me to reboot!
3. One of the views from my rooftop Terraza (terrace.) San Miguel de Allende knows how to utilize the magnificent views here. There are multitudes of rooftop restaurants with even better views along with world-class dining.
4. It’s a vegetarians’ dream here. Incredible fresh fruits and veggies abound!