Monday, November 2, 2015

Mexico Bound - San Miguel de Allende

I owe an apology to those to whom I promised to continue blogging after I returned from my last trip. I thought it would be easy - the habit was entrenched to blog daily and I would just have to keep it up. Sadly, life just got in the way. Now I am on my next trip and back to my "Bucket List" blog as well as some other writing projects and I have fresh hope to continue with the "Toronto is my Town" blog when I return - at least that is the plan.

Yesterday, I flew to San Miguel de Allenda, by way of Dallas and Querétaro. I took an easy 1 hour Bajiago van ride costing 520 pesos (about $42 CAD) from there to my destination. I was happy, but starved and exhausted, when I arrived in the late afternoon at my rented Casita a couple of blocks from the centre of the city. The weather was sunny and warm, something best appreciated by someone who has left on a cold and dark November morning from a northern city. As I was walked through the casita and saw that it was everything the photos promised, I thought how wonderful this holiday is going to be.As an aside, I guess I shouldn't call or think of this as a holiday. Holidays are for working people, and I haven't set my foot inside an office in a full year. I was thinking of this as a bit of a writers retreat combined with travel to a new and interesting city and with opportunity to visit with and be shown around town by friends who have wintered here for the last 7 years. My friends Marc and Susan had suggested SMdA might be someplace I would enjoy and already I have to agree. I have some vague idea that I could possibly winter here also, although right now Spain is probably higher on the list of places where I think I might like to have a longer term stay. We shall see. The other reason not to think of this as a holiday is that I plan to spend 4-5 hours a day writing. Part of the equation for me to figure out if I am going to look for a job in January is seeing if I can establish myself as a writer, but not necessarily as a published writer - at least by January LOL. To be called a writer you need to spend a good part of your day writing - every day. To be a writer, I think you must write every day like it is a job and hope/believe that at some point something will be publishable. Mainly though, you must just write every day. If by January I am spending my days writing then I will have no reason (other than financial) to look for another job. I will have a job as a writer. Now back to San Miguel.

San Miguel de Allende is a smallish city about 3-4 hours north of Mexico City, in the central part of Mexico on the the foothills of the. According to WIKI:

"The main attraction of the town is its well-preserved historic center, filled with buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries. This and the nearby Sanctuary of Atotonilco have been declared World Heritage Sites in the 2008."

I am on my own in a two bedroom casita (more about that in another blog) but Marc and Susan live a 10 minute walk away. While I am used to travelling on my own, there is comfort in knowing that friends who "know the ropes" are not far away. After settling in, they came over to take me to dinner at a good medium priced restaurant around the corner from my place, Hecho de Mexico. It had been recommended by the chap who had shared the van ride with me to town from the airport. Both he and my friends agreed, consistently good quality and a nice mix of Mexican and American dishes. After I had stuffed myself with a great meal of rosemary chicken, sweet potato and creamed spinach washed down with a margarita, we wandered around the town for a bit of a night tour.

My arrival on Nov 1st was a lucky break as I got to enjoy the Day of the Dead Celebrations. This fiesta is to celebrate those who have died and though the celebration of ancestors it is also a celebration of life, heritage and family histories. People gather and remember and celebrate ancestors with friends and others in the cemelteries and public places in the city. The fashion awesome shrines on the streets and parks and at the cemeteries, where objects and remembrances are arranged with flowers as a tribute for the person who has died. It is not somber, but very happy and a true celebration, It is a bit of a goulish night, sort of like Halloween, as adults and children alike dress up in costumes, a little like zombies, minus the blood.


After a wander around town, exhaustion got the better of me and thankfully, Marc and Sue showed me the way home as I would not have found it on my own. Day 1 of my 30 day adventure and promise of great days to come!



  1. Thanks for allowing me to travel vicariously to San Miguel!!

  2. You surprised me twice, Peggy, first by completely dropping off the radar upon your return home from Europe and now by reappearing in Mexico. I only have a few excursions into Mexico, mostly weekend liberty jaunts when I was in California with the Marine Corps, so I am eager to read about your experiences and curious to learn your opinions during your extended stay there.

    Good luck and have fun ....

  3. Darlene, glad to share my experiences. Thanks for visiting!

    Fram, I was thinking of you who I wrote the apology for my absence from the blogosphere since early July. Glad that you hadn't given up in my return. I am really happy to be "branching out" and instead of travelling to Spain/Europe exploring Mexico. At this point already I am already thinking it will be hard not to come back, and I shall provide a full account in my blogs over the next month - maybe at some point we will actually meet - perhaps both escaping winter here in San Miguel. :)

  4. Looks just wonderful! Glad you are blogging again - seems like rich territory in SAM

  5. I am going to try to follow your blog posts about this 30-day vacation. Off to a good start...

  6. Linda, glad you are with me. Thanks for checking in!