Thursday, March 18, 2010

Work, work, work on busted up houses

My fingers are very sore, (can't even play my guitar) from working non-stop on my house, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. My former tenants were ass-holes and left little and not so little messes everywhere. They are not getting one penny back! I'm never ever going to be a sucks soooo much. I hate it with all the passion i can muster.
how that for a rant!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Getting Back to Normal

After a few days of staying close to home, we are getting back to venturing out from San Miguel. Since Thursday we've been to Guanajato twice and Dolores Hildalgo too. Guanajato is nestled in the mountains just east and north of here. It's a world heritage site and now we now why. We also had fireworks on the hill just across the canyon a few days ago. The town was celebrating Mr. Allende's birthday I think, just glad they didn't set the hillside on fire. The pictures above are all from Guanajato. Hugs to all..p.s. we are feeling great, going off to visit the second largest monolith in the world in Benal about an hour or two away from SM today.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Beautiful weather Mexico

This is the weather the guide books talked about. Clear blue skies, cool nights, warm days. Spending the mornings once the sun hits it, on the patio. We've been cocooning the last two days as Montezuma has taken his rage on the both of us. Oh well, I bet we reached new lows in our weight. No food for 1 and a half days will do that.
Here's the view out to the patio. And a picture or two from our last walk through town. The big church at night. We even attended a folk mass, but too much sermon, and not enough guitar and singing for us. We left early. Went to a "Diva's" comedy show to fill out the evening.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Rant day; Mexico is nice, but...

Ok, you've heard and seen all the cool things about Mexico and our time in San Miguel de Allende, so how about a few words (Rant) about what can grate a traveler here. I'm be brief.
Posted speed limit, just a very vague suggestion.
No passing line in road; only if it's not safe.
All cars needing a working muffler; there expensive you know.
Don't drink the water; very true. They sell the iodine stuff in very big bottles.
Trash along roads; well better to add to this pile than start a new one. Actually we've seen lots of street sweepers here in town. It's very clean here.
Two reasons to look down when walking; cobble stone and dog do-do, it's everywhere cause they've paved everything over in town.
Buying real estate in Mexico; be very very wary; and put away a sizable chunk for lawyers, don't worry we are not considering it.
Dust; pray for rain, it's in the air.
OK, done ranting for now.

Flea markets and Hot Springs San Miguel style

Tuesday (Martes in espanol)is flea market day, but first we have to find it. We are told it's near the Sariane store, so we trudge up the hill and finally ask a gringo in the parking lot if they know where it is, we are close. As we cross the ped bridge we see the scope of it. Hundreds of booths, food and the clothes we discard from the Goodwill at home. But the food, veggies and fruit is dirt cheap. A vegan can eat for nothing here. Which i'm not today, pork taco's at a flea market stall, yum. We see the police round up a hand full of young men, don't know why they are getting frisked, pickpockets? We load up on fruits and veggies, glad it's downhill to our place here.
Wednesday, cloudy and cool, again!, but a few blue sky breaks encourage us to get out. We both have colds, so what better way to spend the day than soaking at a local hot springs. We are off to Escondido hot springs, just 20 minutes out of town. We almost have the place to ourselves. A large lily filled pond leads to the enclosed pools. There are three, each a little warmer. Constance goes in first, and I hang in the vestibule eating a snack before undressing. I hear the rush of water coming, but am dumbstruck when an overhead shower starts pouring water on me (fully dressed in my coat too) and our towels and food! Ok, after a few seconds of being totally startled, I grab our stuff and head outside. Never saw that shower head! Not too wet. The first two pools are ob-round, about 10 ft wide, and 25 ft long. There's a narrow passage way connecting the pools. To get to the third pool, you have to exit the 2nd pool, and walk outside. The third pool is round with a brick dome over it. Every half hour or so new water enters the top pool and channels to the lower ones. On some other schedule the shower kicks in in the first room. Much more fun in a bathing suit than fully dressed. There's skylights, some clear some colored which makes the place even more beautiful. Before we leave we see a bright red bird, nothing we've ever seen before. The pictures are, flea market, new gringo friends James and Tana from Santa Fe, Police shakedown, Hot springs pool, Aztec dance Monday night in Square.
A lovely days in Mexico.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Here's a little tome from my wife on our trip yesterday. I'll add some photo's later today.
We went to a little town yesterday (Pozos) just to get out our our town a bit. Had lunch and walked around. Bought some candles as we light them to help warm our place up. On our way back we decide to take a different route home. I think we were on cow paths at some points. But Navi keep saying that we could get home that way. I was getting nervous as it was getting late and I did not want to be out on this road miles from any where but tinny Mexican villages with a broken down car and neither of us really speaking Spanish and it is dark and oh my what do we do!?!?! We finally got to a dirt road that really looked like a road with an occasional truck on it and I felt better. Then we got a PAVED road. That was great. The only thing was we got home later than we planned so we were driving on narrow roads in the dark with trucks and busses coming towards us and a ditch on our side of the road and no markings on the road and then big vehicles taking up more than half the road. But we made it home in one piece, even did a little grocery shopping on the way home.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Oh and a link to the new Photo of San Miguel

Sunday Jan 3rd San Miguel

Hola, it's almost noon, and I believe the sun is coming out...oh joy. The morning has been very cold, we only have a small space heater in only our bedroom. We crank it up at 5 a.m. and later use a fan to distribute a tiny bit into the kitchen/living space. But the massive concrete walls and Mexican tiled floor give up their stored cold with a death like grip. We layer up big time. I know it's this cold in Miami too.
The last few days have been fun. Friday we had a lovely late lunch with a neighbor, Susan and her friend Signa. Both are former NY folks who have come to San Miguel to live. Susan full time, Signa every so often. Delightful eating, enchiladas, Mexican rice, brownies. And wonderful conversation as we told our stories and got to know each other. We stayed till 6pm, but wanted a little break before our live show. And what a show it was. A fusion of flamenco and aerial (the art that our granddaughter Davan is so involved with). Starting with a man hanging from chains, not soft ropes, we knew we were in for an interesting evening. Riveting images and live music to boot, all for only $15/per. What a treat. If the Antel Flamenco Co. comes to your town, GO, we loved it.
Saturday, was spent walking new areas away from the main square. Found the fine arts center in some sort of old public works building that is fascinating by itself. Also hit a open house at a new condo development. You can rent, or own, very nice places. Hit a neighborhood taco stand, and even tried some green beans we see the locals eat. They tell us they're garbanzo beans, they sprinkle chili power and lime juice on them. It takes a little practice to remove the husk and spit it out, but they are an OK snack. Caught some free music at a church wedding on our way back home. All in all a perfect day in San Miguel, oh and the sun came out too!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Walking Shopping and Hot Springs

Ok, now taking things at the pace of Mexico. Coffee, email, and today pancakes at home. Yesterday we went out to have breakfast, looked for a cheap buffet we saw the day before, but hit a place recommended by some Gringo women we met walking into town. Called the "Bien Cafe", it was nice but not "Mexican"enough for us. The "Popeye" omelet for me and huevos for Mojito. Then walked and walked, looking in shops that looked interesting and there are lots of them. Hit the art institute and stared at the huge murals. Getting real hungry so found a fruit cup vendor. They are a institution it seems where ever we go in Mexico. Covered in lime juice and hot pepper and sometime salt it's cool and crunchy depending on what's in them. Also found fresh tortilla's sold out of door front shop, yum, warm. Constance bought a couple of shopping bags, one with Freita Kallo's picture on it, the other a "dia de las muertos" image on the street of artisans.
We really got our stair master workout. Our calf's are going to be all muscle soon.
Wednesday, off to "La Gruta" hot springs just outside of town. One pool, the hottest is in a rock domed room that you take a tunnel about 50 feet long in the water to get to. Every hour or so, a shower starts out a large pipe feeding fresh hot water into the system of three pools. We needed this, as it seemed we needed a warm up. Met lots of nice people there, some that spoke some English, some that didn't but it sure doesn't stop the conversation.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Jose Sabino Guadalupe Rojo Anaya

I found my dad's bautismo records at the church office in Tarimoro. It was an awful drive through Celaya, a town of 500K between San Miguel and Tarimoro. There is no "ring" road so into the belly of the beast we went. Third world traffic at it's worst. I just took some ibuprofen to ease the tightness in my neck from two trips through that town. I can't describe that driving nightmare in a few words. On to the good news, with some questions I translated using the web, I got the church secretary to search the very old records. I could see how delicate the pages were. A young man who spoke English, helped too. Pretty soon she wrote down a few lines and I knew we had it. Jose Sabino Guadalupe Rojo Anaya, born December 27, 1906. I thought his birthday was like Dec 6th??? Baptized Dec 30, 1906. Father, Francisco (my middle name is Francis). Mother, Febronia Anaya. Has the God parents names too. For 50 peso's they typed me up a copy of the records. I was very excited to find this. We celebrated with a local cup of ice cream, not vegan, like our taco's earlier. Walked the square, took a few more pictures of the church and scenes in the square, then headed home. On the way home stopped by a road side stand, and got a huge bag of jicama...for $8 bucks. Must be twenty or more inside. Put some in our Portobello burgers for dinner. It was a good day...except for the traffic thing. I'll make scans of the record and sent when i get home. It's been a long day so I'll add photos's tomorrow. hugs to all, Dennis

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sunday Jan 3rd San Miguel

Some sun is peeking thru the clouds, a good omen for the weather. Our apt. is truly amazing. It's built over the patio/garage area and roomy at 700 sq ft. Angel is playing on the ipod, always makes me think of my sister Sylvia. You enter our place thru a glass door and walk up a tiled stairs. To the right is our living room/kitchen with the outdoor patio beyond. This room is under a domed brick ceiling. Tiles walls and floor, Terra cotta and white with designs. The over hues are more southwest than Mexican, which we like. Our place is named Los Golondrinas, (the sparrow). Several doors are hand carved. The sun is out in full now, and the air is crystal for miles, a stunning view. A marching band is playing military songs? The church bells are gonging away, can't match this ambiance anywhere. "a place that is likely outside your normal comfort zone. No need to fret, however...the wonders of their cities. And there are wonders." "You are surrounded by entire blocks that exist much as they did in the 17th and 18th centuries."
Tip #1: Don't get a room too close to downtown, unless you love the sound of church bells! It's Sunday morning and they never stop...when does the priest get to sermon?

We hike up the hill to a supermarket and get a ton of food for about $50 us. We are set for a few days at least, even found some soy milk. I've downloaded the first batch of foto's. A few are attached. Off to walk downtown before evening. hugs to all. Dennis

Saturday, January 2, 2010

January 2, 2010 San Miguel de Allende

Oh my god, we made it to San Miguel. Found our apartment, with only one circumnavigation of the town. Found someone with a detailed map walking on the steep streets above town. It's been raining all day, but not hard, like Portland rain. The streets leading up to our place just got narrower and narrower the higher we got. Thanks for the small rental car! Had to pull in my side view mirror once backing down.
Well wife is headed to bed, so am I. Buenos Noches from Mexico