Monday, February 6, 2017

How I spent inauguration week.

Thoroughly sick of politics as usual, I (and three of my closest friends) escaped from it all and flew out of Miami, through Dallas/Fort Worth, to Queretaro, Mexico, where we rented a car and drove an hour into the mountains of interior Mexico to the town of San Miguel de Allende to escape the negativity of American politics and loose ourselves in a wonderful adventure.

As seen in Miami at the airport
We checked into Posada de Ermita, an older hotel and into our suites. Me with some trepidation, never having had a roommate in my life, unless you count my former husband, and who wants to count him?
Lu, Gloria and Tom in the lobby
My friend, Gloria, was the ideal roommate.
Our bedroom. We also had a living room and a large loggia.

San Miguel de Allende is an old colonial city of about 100,000 people, with some 15,000 being expats from America and Canada. The altitude is 6500 feet and we all noticed it. Shortness of breath up and down these streets and a pounding heartbeat.
Our street
The street down into town. And I walked UP this street too!

All action takes place around el centro below and La Parroquia, seen above. There is always a crowd, people just sitting, musicians, artists sketching, cafes on all sides and ice cream and fruit vendors among others. All at the feet of the cathedral.

Tom models the wares

Many of the expats seem to check in at the library, seen above. Quite the mural, right? It is where the english newspaper of weekly events comes out and you can see postings for what's happening and where and it is the site of a lot of volunteer activities. Most expats you meet are giving back to this community in the form of tutoring or fund raising for scholarships, etc.
This is where Gloria and I took Spanish immersion lessons each day with our teacher, Javier. I wish I had a picture of him - looked a little like Sammy Davis Jr. He was funny and wise and taught us a lot and we liked him quite a bit.
As you can see, we ran into an old friend here. Florence is living in SMA for three months and we saw her every day. Here we are at The Restaurant (yes, that is the name), our second night in town. I did not have even one disappointing meal. The food was wonderful everywhere we went.

This is a little three day old goat and yes he wears a red sweater and pampers. His mother kicked him out and he has bonded with the woman who looks after him, feeding him every two hours and even sleeping in her bed. So sweet.
I took these pictures in the Market de los Artisanias.

Here is La Parroquia all lit up at night. That night there were dueling bands of mariachis playing. Noisy and chaotic and lots of happy faces all around us.

A rally against 45 in the square

The most important meal of the day: Desayuno!

On the birthday of Ignacio de Allende (there is always some celebration going on but this was a big one), there were women protesting the killing of three children and here are the policia surrounding them. Not clear on the details.
The lovely Florence!
We were headed for the Instituto de Arte and happened upon this ginormous parade that went on and on and on. It ran head on into the protestors and policia above but all was peaceful and after about 15 minutes, the protestors headed up the street, the parade following them.

The sweepers at the end
A big women's march to coincide with Washington, Boston and myriad others
We went to the roof of the Rosewood Hotel for sunset and dinner one night. You can see La Parroquia on the horizon. It was chilly but well worth the view and the tapas and margaritas were to die for!

Best mariachis I ever saw!

These paper mache people lead wedding parties through the streets and this day, showed up for the festivities in the square.

Lu and Tom
The girls

On our last full day, we went to La Escondida, a hot springs with grottos, just outside of town. It was hard to get into a bathing suit in 60 degree weather but the water was warm and wonderful. 

Image result for la escondida san miguel de allende

I usually travel alone but I thoroughly enjoyed being with everybody. It took a lot longer to get organized each day so we weren't able to take advantage of the art or cooking classes but we had so much fun. I would go back in a heart beat. A big pounding heart beat.