Tuesday, April 08, 2014

A WHOLE lot of livin' in THREE days!

Sunday dawned beautiful as always to the sound of fireworks from 6AM to 7AM.  Since daylight savings time started that morning, my body said it was 5AM to 6AM.  The reason?  Often one never knows.  However this time it was the celebration of the statue of Our Lord of the Column being carried from Atotonilco to San Miguel to begin the Semana Santa (Easter) events.

I swear every year I'm going to get up, go to Col Independencia in the dark and await the pilgrims with the statue covered in blessed silk cloths.  In fourteen years, it hasn't happened.  Maybe next year?

So now Sunday is DST.  Yippee.  My Sunday routine is to always watch CBS Sunday Morning and this morning was no exception.  I was pacing myself for the Grand Luncheon for that afternoon at Gayle's place, as we locals call it.  It's owned by Gayle.  It's fancy name is Hacienda de la Montitlan.

I forgot to take a photo of our different meals.  Either pot roast, fried chicken or salmon along with desserts being chocolate pudding cake or key lime pie or an ice cream sundae. In between that dynamic duo was home made foccaccio bread and a tasty salad along with choice of non-alcoholic drinks.

I did however get a photo of two delightful people in our party of five.  Linda and Robert who are still newly weds since their wedding was last summer.  I wrote about it when it occurred.  Quite an event!

It was a fun afternoon of seeing old friends at other tables along with oohing and aahing over our meals.

On Monday, I headed to the Koffee Klatch group with pound cake in hand to "head off at the pass" any attempt at shenanigans by the upstarts in the group.  They loved the pound cake with their cappuccinos, but
they also had OTHER ideas.  Off we went after about an hour of gabbing to Posada Carmina, where, unbeknownst to me, Ron had installed balloons on two tables which ended up seating fourteen people.

 This restaurant is right beside the Parroquia and is forgotten as a place to eat.  It was such a lovely  setting with balconies and gorgeous flowers surrounded under the portico with cantera stone columns. 
 Service was excellent.  Food was good.  It was hard to believe we were in the center of town as we felt so secluded.  The patio umbrellas are something made in San Miguel.  I remember, at least 20 years ago, heading to the airport with three of them, unwrapped, and sending them to Houston as an extra suitcase for $5USD.  Oh my, how things have changed!
Among the fourteen people at lunch who had brought all kinds of lovely gifts were the extra special couple of Dogie and Frank.  The funniest thing that happened all day was Dogie made an off color remark to my son and he turned red as a beet.  I think it's wonderful when a Southern gentleman can still blush.  Dogie got such a kick out of it because she can make her husband, of 42 years, blush often with her candid comments.  Dogie is one of a kind......A true free spirit!  An absolute delight.
The LAST birthday luncheon was today.  Two birthday girls - Shannon with the dark hair on the far right.  And myself.  Shannon is the "baby" of the group.  It's such a fun group of dynamic, accomplished, unique individuals.  In the group is a former antique mall owner from Nashville; a former teacher from North Carolina; an artist who lived in Haiti for 20 years before moving to San Miguel, where she has been 20 years.  Another, owned one of the best women's clothing stores along with an art gallery and designs jewelry here in San MIguel. Last but not least, the baby of the group is an internationally acclaimed photographer who teaches, works with kids in the campo to learn photography and holds estate sales.  She's from Canada originally.

Now, can you imagine the fabulous topics of conversation that we can cover in a couple of hours?  It revs my engine.  I always come home shaking my head at the enjoyment and information that I acquire from this group of women.

Things are now going to slow down to a dull roar.  Almost all the tourists and snowbirds are gone.  The streets are almost empty - believe it or not.  Parking places in centro are available.  Restaurants are semi-empty and we locals are clicking our heels.  The weather today - 75 degrees!  Ahhh, yes.

It's a short lived respite, as Friday night many of the public fountains and altars will be cleaned and lit for the beginning of all that is to come in the next two weeks of Semana Santa.  Some of the traditions that will be seen between now and the Pascua are over three hundred years old.  Some are very emotional and some are exquisitely beautiful.

Easter season is the most celebrated event in Mexico.  Over 20 million people will be either coming to the colonial cities for the pagentry or heading to the beach for the revelry.  Add to that the 300,000 people that are expected to come home from the USA and you've got a whole lot of moving going on.

My intention is to participate in some, close to home and not get out on the highway and go anywhere.

Indeed, with all the livin' in the last few days, a slow down is greatly anticipated.  For someone who a week ago had no intention of even celebrating a birthday, I'm sure glad I changed my mind!


Steve Cotton said...

I have mentioned before that semana santa -- like most Mexican holidays -- has little tradition associated with it. Other than having a good time in the sun and the sand. It turns out I may be staying an extra week in Mexico City. That will out us in the middle of the annual migration to the sea. Now, that will be a new one for me.

Steve Cotton said...

Oops I meant to say little tradition in Melaque. But you get the point.

Babs said...

I was wondering what you meant since here it is all about traditions including the actual hanging of Jesus' standin on Good Friday over near Ron and Fred's house. I went once. Once was more then enough.....way too graphic for me!

But, on the other hand, for the Mexicans who go to the beach that is their family tradition. Strangely, after my husband died, we DID have Easter at the beach with the egg dyeing and hunt among other things. It was a NEW tradition for us!
Mexico City is probably as cool, weather wise as SMA is today. It didn't get above 75~~ I guess a front came through........
There is so much to do in DF and I"m sure there are processions and parades. Ask Christine Potter.

Retired Teacher said...

Sounds like you have had quite a social whirl! I just arrived in D.F. last night. According to my friend who lives here, there isn't a lot going on in D.F. for Semana Santa. I find that a little hard to believe, but we will see.

Babs said...

I've been told that DF clears out, but I'm like you, I can't believe that there aren't ceremonies and processions in the oldest city in Mexico!
If you read Steve Cotton's blog, he is down there as well.

Dean Wylo said...

So glad your birthday was celebrated in such fashion! As a two-time survivor of life-threatening illness I always embrace birthdays.

Thanks for sharing about the restaurants - now I have a couple more to try when I return. Speaking of - I heard Ole Ole closed. Do you know? Too bad if so. It was a favorite.


Babs said...

Indeed Barbara. I need to remember that year after year.
I have not heard of the demise of Ole Ole. Bon Appetit named it one of the best restaurants in Mexico at one point. Often, a shop or restaurant will decide to close for a week or so for vacation and then the people will decide they are no longer in business. It happens all the time....Hope Ole Ole has not closed. It has always been a favorite for me too.

Rosie ASE said...
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