Sunday, August 9, 2015


Although I have been longing to see San Miguel de Allende for myself, ever since reading the book On Mexican Time about 15 years ago, I doubt if we ever would have made it there had I not heard an interesting rumor. I heard that a group called Travelphile Tours had teamed up with local yoga instructor Helen Stutchbury to organize a trip there, which would begin in our own grocery store parking lot, and deliver us back there seven days later, taking care of all the troublesome little details in between! You see, it's not the easiest place to get to -- but that's exactly what kept it so charming for so long. Most people just weren't interested in flying into Mexico City and then having to spend four hours or more on a crowded bus or van to reach San Miguel, especially in the years following the great earthquake. It was an offer too good to pass up, no?

So, this was us last Saturday -- up at the crack of dawn, trying to cram all our luggage into Little Zippy:

Why did we need three large suitcases? Well, one of them was empty. If you know my hubby, you know how much he adores finding special treats for his kiddos and loved ones whenever we travel, and now that we've gone from two kids to four, it takes some space!

By 8:00 AM the entire group of 32 had been loaded onto a bus and were being whisked away to the San Antonio airport, where we grabbed an early lunch and caught a Southwest Airlines flight to smog-draped Mexico City, a mere two hours or so away. That was the easy part. Once we gathered our bags and made it through customs and immigration, we still had at least a 30-minute trek through the ginormous, jam-packed airport in order to reach the spot where our bus awaited us -- not an easy task for those in our group with canes, walkers, or (ahem) too much luggage.

Once loaded onto a luxurious private bus, we headed off through towering cacti and little patches of corn planted wherever they could find the space, towards the purple mountain peaks in the distance. Halfway there we made a pit stop. Thank goodness we had some pesos in our pocket, for those super-clean, super-sized bathrooms that can get a busload of people in and out fast will cost you about 5 pesos each. Soooo worth it!

I  thought their ice cream display was pretty amazing, but opted for a snack of lime-salted fritos and the cutest little miniature can of Coca-Cola.

The sun was sinking by the time we made it to our hotel in San Miguel -- the lovely Casa De La Noche, a high-end bordello in its former life -- and were shown to our rooms.

The hotel was made up of several buildings with multiple levels, clustered around two or three different courtyards, with a variety of rooftop verandas. Our room was La Vista, as it was more or less the crow's nest of the entire complex, and the view was truly amazing. 

Once we were settled in, we returned to the main courtyard for refreshing margaritas with guacamole and empanadas...

then moved up to the dining patio for posole -- a traditional soup containing hominy.

As with most countries which practice the afternoon siesta, lunch is the heaviest meal of the day, and isn't normally eaten until 2:00 or later, while supper is a light meal not eaten until 9:00 or 10:00 PM, as it was for us that night. This could take some getting used to! I thought I would also have trouble with the music, church bells, traffic noise and fireworks which are a nightly occurrence there, but it wasn't long before exhaustion overtook me.

Goodnight moon!


musingegret said...

Ahhh, I've been waiting with breathless anticipation for your journal of the journey; so happy y'all are back safe and sound; can't wait to see more pics and "paintings"!

Hill Country Hippie said...

Plenty more pics on the way ME! Paintings, not so much.