Tuesday, August 11, 2015


On the plane to Mexico City, a handsome young flight attendant asked one of our mostly-senior-group "What kind of tour group is this?" When he was told that it was a yoga group, the young man's jaw dropped. "Whoa! Didn't see that coming!" was his reply.

Nonetheless, every morning, shortly after sunrise, about half of our group would meet up with instructor Helen and trainee Jeanne on this shaded rooftop verandah just a few steps down from our own bedroom, and the serious devotees would meet there again each evening. As if the view of San Miguel's rooftops and sky weren't breathtaking enough, we were also gifted with the sight of hot air balloons floating above us that first morning!

After yoga we met up with the rest of our group in the breakfast courtyard. Each morning there were platters of fresh fruit, house-made yogurts and granola, hard-boiled eggs, fresh juice, coffee and tea, and one "special" entree. That first day it was something that could best be described as a blueberry bread pudding. Mmmmmm.

At 10:00 that day we left our hotel for the short walk to La Biblioteca, or The Library. 

So Much Color-Madness Along the Way!
This, however, is no ordinary library. Years ago, when she realized that most of the local children had no access to books, an expatriate woman built up a collection in her own home and started lending them out. Before she knew it, lines were forming down the street and around the block -- both children and adults! So, she formed a committee to help locate and obtain this property, which had fallen into disrepair.

Not only does it have a library now, it also has a bookshop, a cafe, a theater, a children's activity room, and it offers language classes and conversation groups where students can practice what they learn. Plus they organize home and garden tours each Sunday, which is what we were there for, in order to raise money for feeding and educating children. As our tour guide Mort explained, there are a lot of people who move to San Miguel to "live like a king." They want fancy houses and cheap help to take care of them. Then there are those who have been there long enough to understand what it's really like for everyone else, and who feel they must step up and do something to help.

There are 300 homes on the tour roster, and they go to three different ones each week. Since they were taking us out to the village of Atotonilco, we only had time for two. The first was owned by an older gentleman, a former Texas Aggie, who greeted us at the door of his "hacienda" dressed as a gay caballero, and who had someone passing out tequila shots in souvenir cups once we were inside.

The Foyer

Bet you've never seen a urinal like that one, huh? But wait, there's more! He's even built a replica of the Alamo in his back yard -- and it's not a mere facade. You can open it, and go inside!

Not my cup of tea, all in all.

The next one was right in the middle of Atotonilco and was originally part of a large Hacienda that included just about everything around -- even the parroquia or parish church, which is now a Unesco World Heritage site.

This house was more my style, built in the mid-century manner, utilizing lots of natural materials.

It was after 3:00 by the time we got back to town, and we were tired, hot and hungry! Luckily, tour guide Mort had given us a couple of suggestions for lunch, which is how we ended up at Carreo, on Calle Carreo. I decided to be brave and try something I've never had before -- pollo with goat cheese and poblano sauce. Oh My! I simply must find a recipe for this.

Not only was the food delicious, they even had iced tea! Yes, I know, we too thought you could never drink the water or have any ice in Mexico, but San Miguel is a very cosmopolitan city now and, according to our tour hosts, all the nice restaurants have filtration systems, as does our hotel. I wouldn't recommend eating any street food though!

We started the day with plans to go off on our own that afternoon, but by the time we finished lunch, it was all we could do to drag ourselves back to the hotel, shower, and collapse on the bed for a siesta!

Later that evening we headed out for our dinner reservations at La Posadita, recommended by friends Heather and Marc, who were in San Miguel just a few weeks before us. They liked this rooftop restaurant so much, they ate there twice! Was it the Enchiladas Verdes, or could it have had something to do with the view?

Perhaps a bit of both!


Connie Akers said...

Thanks, Becky, for sharing your pictures & descriptions. It takes me back to last week.

Hill Country Hippie said...

Connie, that's exactly why I blog. Most people only live once, but each time I scroll back through my blog, I get to experience things all over again!

marta said...

Great descriptions and recommendations, had not considered visiting but now it's on the list

Hill Country Hippie said...

I bet you'd love it Marta!