Thursday, January 13, 2022

Better Late then Never!

 I have reverted back to my former method of crossing over from one year to the other.

 

In the past, I wrote my Christmas Letter while lolling on the beach in Puerto Vallarta or

some beach village along the Pacific Coast.  With a bit of humor I would say that it was

the first Christmas letter of the coming season.


Well, here I am on January 13th and ready to tell you a bit about what has been going on

in Mexico and in San Miguel with the family and myself since my last post.

 

We are so busy during the holidays because not only do we have Christmas but we have 

two birthdays - John's, a few days before Christmas and Sebastian's a few days after 

New Years!   Woo hoo, a busy time.

 Here's John, Mati and Seb decorating their Christmas tree.  Note a new member in the 

family is assisting.  More on this in a bit!

The day of John's birthday it was raining so I didn't meet them at a restaurant to celebrate for 

fear of my cane slipping on the wet sidewalks and streets.  But, they did come by here afterwards

for John's favorite lemon cheesecake that I had made for him.......yes, they took the leftovers 

home!.

The above pictures are Mati and I along with Seb making Christmas cookies!.

Seb and Mati in their new Christmas gifts - warm jammies!

And the four cats looking out the window at all the activity outside.



Add to the four cats, now there is an amazing dog named Kali.  A friend needed to find a 

home for her and she has definitely found a home with John and the kids AND the four cats

who keep Kali in line.  Can you imagine?

I have had a lot of dogs and cats through the years, but, I must admit this is the smartest and

best trained dog that I have been around in a long time.  She and John have bonded and take

long walks up in the mountains almost daily, very early in the morning.

Last, but not least, for Seb's birthday he did NOT want a party but instead wanted to

go to this place in Queretaro, which is about 45 minutes away, to play games.  As

you can see, they were the only people there but they dutifully wore their masks.

No, I didn't get to go for that day but I did see Seb a few days later to give him his

present.  In true "modern" fashion, their words not mine, instead of a cake we had

treats from a new, delicious bakery here in San Miguel.  

If I remember correctly, there was a scone, an eclair and a fruit tart! C'est la vie,

no, I didn't get to bake a cake for him..........maybe next year!


So, in spite of Omicron and masks and tippy toeing around to stay safe, we managed to

have family traditions.  Some different then usual, but still enough to honor the holidays

and the birthdays.


Onward into 2022.  Who knows what lies ahead?  I certainly didn't expect that we would

all still be wearing masks, using sanitizer and distancing from each other.  Every day I hear

from another friend who has covid!  It is really shocking and disconcerting.


Me, I'm staying home and happy to do so.  Yes, every now and then I get a little cabin fever.

So I get in the car and ride around just to see if there is still life out there! I did have to go to

the bank one day.  On the way home, during the holiday season, the traffic was so bad that 

I tried using a short cut to get back home and got LOST in San Miguel. Can you believe I

was somewhere that I had never been on a one way street as narrow as a car?  And, since

tourists are lost all the time, someone in a car was coming on the one way street heading

toward me!  Well, that was an interesting experience.  He had to back up because I'm

not good at doing that and the arrow was in my favor.


I laugh now, but to tell you the truth, I haven't gotten in the car and driven around since

that incident.


Life in Mexico can almost always be a grand adventure, even when you don't expect it.

Onward into 2022!  Stay safe ya'll.............


Wednesday, December 15, 2021

On both sides of The Wall!

 The talented and knowledgeable computer man came and hopefully the blogpost

will not be messed up with little bits of sentences everywhere and some places

single spaced and others double spaced.   We'll see - hopefully it is fixed.


As the title above says, this post is about two sides of "The Wall".  The one

here at my house, not the infamous one in Texas............


In November, November 22nd to be exact the big ditch diggers, jackhammers

and whatever else is necessary to dig a hole down the entire length of our street

arrived to begin work.  None of us had any idea how long this would take or if

we would be able to access the "outside" world on foot or by car.  It didn't take long

to realize that neither was going to be possible as seen by the photos below.





This was prior to Thanksgiving which was the first week.  The sidewalk was still usable.  It went 

downhill from there and by the third week, some of us needed groceries. etc and those who delivered

did so on foot, very carefully as there were big holes everywhere.

 

No it was not possible to leave by vehicle and if I had wanted to "walk out" I would have had to 

somehow make it to the corner..........not possible.  So, I was home non-stop for three weeks!

 

One learns, living in Mexico, to go with the flow.  My hope was that it would be over prior to 

Christmas.  And, actually my hope was realized when ALL was completed by December 9th.

Everyone on this block was astonished and relieved.

 

We are so used to the quiet and of not even hearing cars on the street that the noise was probably 

the most uncomfortable part of it all.

 

On this side of the wall, I could still enjoy the garden during their lunch breaks or when they left to go 

home late in the day.  Here are a few photos of the gardens.  Enjoy, I sure do!

 









Amazingly, the photos have posted.  The sentences appear to be posting correctly.  Maybe

all the snafus have been taken care of and I can start writing more posts now!

That would be wonderful................let's see what happens when I hit "Publish"!
 


Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Seventeen hundred and eighty-three! That's the number of posts..........

It's been since 2006.  The year that I started writing the blog.  It was an attempt to document and to

maintain my sanity at that point.  It worked.........well most of it!

 

Today I happened to notice the amount of posts that there have been to date.  I compared it with the

book I just finished reading by Ken Follett entitled "Never".  It was 800+ pages and it took quite a

while to reach the conclusion which I did last night about midnight.  The story was definitely a page turner

and I'm glad I'm finished with it. 


So, to keep it in context if I turned all the blogposts into a book, it would cover two 800 page books!

Quite amazing but it would not have been half as much fun as keeping up with all the daily events such 

as trips, adventures, family, activities in San Miguel and a myriad of things.  


In fact, if I wanted to see what I wrote about Day of the Dead over the years, I just put it in the Search 

Box on the blog and voila all of the photos and musings appear.  Now I see it as not only a digest but a 

journal of sorts of the last fifteen years.


In the last twenty months of covid with not much going on then daily life, it seemed rather blah to 

write.  But just recently I seem to be getting out a bit (nothing like in the past), still masked but at least

getting out to meet friends for lunch or whatever.


Every time I do go out I notice so much because there is a time lapse between times.  The other day I 

noticed the trees are turning yellow and orange.  It's lovely.  I am also noticing the advance of 

construction projects and the amount of traffic even though I try to stay on the back roads going 

through town.


My forays have been brought to a screeching halt today with the news that the street that I live on is

going to be closed for three weeks while they install a new sewer line.  In the past, I went through that 

up at the house on the hill but at that time the trench was about 12 inches outside my door and to leave 

house, the workers had to put down a plank over the deep trench and then hold onto me so I didn't fall

in the trench.  Luckily this time it is in the middle of the street so I can peek out from time to time to 

see the progress.  Here are a few photos of things that have been happening since I last wrote the blog.

                                                        Street scene in Los Frailes

                                                      The Resident Squirrel in the bird bath.

                                                            Now there is a baby as well!

Seb and Mati on Halloween along with........

The flowers on the porch where I spend a LOT of time reading or gardening or whatever.  

And, last but not least a spectacularly beautiful sunset last week.  Breathtakingly beautiful.


                                                       It was hard to believe it was real!

I will try to write more frequently.  With the holidays starting next week, there will be much more to 

read and write about.

Stay safe and Stay masked...........



Wednesday, October 27, 2021

City Market in San Miguel! O La La..........

 It again has been a while since I have written a post!  I wanted to wait until I had actually been        inside  City Market and experienced it to write about it.  I was there last Friday.  Here are the          photos, not taken by me.

The Meat Department was not only full of fresh meats but all kinds of other meats such                        as rabbit, deer, turkey and ostrich!  Amazing.

I didn't even stop to look at the pastries but as I quickly passed everything was beautiful.
THEN there was the Chocolateria.........I may not be spelling it correctly but I have never                         seen anything like this in a grocery store.  No, I didn't buy anything.......but, maybe next time.
The Wine area was humongous.  Again, I didn't spend any time looking individually.                      That's for the next time...........
The grand kids love the "Sushi Bar".  They have eaten here several times and really                            enjoy it. There are several other dining options but we were moving at a speedy pace                          and did not stop at any of them.
This area was a real surprise with top notch cooking utensils, glassware and dishes                                 at top notch prices.

As we entered the store with me driving an electric cart and my son John by my side, it                          was a visual display of gorgeous displays of fruits and vegetables. Then to the right was a               coffee bar with coffees of all kinds.

Astonishing was the entire sections of olive oils; teas; refrigerated cases of beer for as far                     as the eye could see; and the refrigerated section has more kinds of yogurt and ice cream                    then I have seen in a long time.

The store was spotlessly clean.  We had gone one morning the previous week when John                        pushed me in my wheelchair but we didn't stay long as something came up in John's business             and so last Friday was the return trip with us using the electric cart!

Oh boy, was that nifty.  I have never been in one before but it was FUN.  The idea of it left                 me hesitant but it didn't take long for me to find it an easy thing to navigate in the store.

Now, when we left there was a bit of a snafu.  The employee of Central Market was walking in        front of me and when he walked down the handicap incline, I followed.  A little too fast but                     then I slammed on the brakes when I saw the look of panic on my son's face.  I was laughing out            loud because it was so much fun and so was the employee and some people in a car passing by.         My son had been afraid I was going to tip over.............luckily I didn't.  However, I don't think I will     do that again, hee hee.

All I can say about City Market is this.  If we are a "First Class" city to visit, why not have a  "first class" place to shop?  For me it is a specialty place and it is doubtful that I would be there on a regular basis since I have all my groceries ordered online.  

Many are worried how it is going to impact the tiendas and the other grocery stores.  I doubt it will because the majority of what I saw in this store has never been seen in Mexico before!  Truly it was definitely a trip worth taking.  

Central Market is located on Salida de Celaya almost  directly behind Pollo Feliz.

** Please forgive the spacing.  I have tried to correct it for a long period of time and I give up.Hope you enjoy reading it even though it is a mess.


Monday, September 20, 2021

Returning to San Miguel de Allende with JOY and HAPPINESS!




 The last I wrote about the family, John, Matilda and Sebastian was on April 2nd after they had arrived  in Colorado to try out a new way of life in the USA! 


 It was a time of discovery and fun with family.  Snow, snowboards, snowball fights, a new              school and eating new foods at restaurants.  One of Seb's comments made me laugh when he             told me that nothing was spicy enough.  Spoken like a kid whose life for the past ten years                 had been in Mexico.

Surprising to everyone was the cost of things!  Also surprising was the good medical care and the    ease of shopping for foods that John had not seen for a long, long time.  The best part was spending        time with his sister, brother-in-law, nieces and nephew.  Also hiking in the wilderness and camping   was a highlight. Colorado is a beautiful state,  In fact, my ancestors were involved in the settling of     Durango and other areas including having the first Navaho Trading Post.  It seemed like destiny for   my family to have relocated there.

 

 

 But, surprisingly, after much time pondering and trying to adjust to the difference of the slow pace     of Mexico, missing friends and business colleagues,  the decision was made to return to San Miguel.

They arrived back on the evening of July 4th!  I wish I would have had my camera ready as they    pulled in in their SUV with a trailer on the back and a pod on the roof.  The funniest part was all the doors flying open and the next thing I knew as I stood in the yard was I was hugged my grand kids.      so strongly that I nearly fell over.  What a joy!

The next thing that happened, of course was a hug from my son who had been driving for a week with two kids and five cats..........Corazon, Princess, Tussy, Indio and last but not least, one of the kittens who made the trip North as a three day old kitten, Oliver.  The kids let the cats out of their crates in the back of the car and the cats were ecstatic to have trees, grass and fresh air to run around.  It was truly    a sight to behold. Cats running, kids hugging and then all of us enjoying each other's company.

It is good to have all of them back, even the cats, ha!  Since arriving they have found a house nearby,have registered and started school on Monday and gotten back into the rhythm of life with family and many friends.  Mati has been busy riding her horse every chance she has had.

(I have spent the last hour trying to download photos to this post. Google has changed some things and now it will not allow me to post from google photos to the blog.  I have tried every way possible to be able to post a group of photos and only one, somehow, got through.  Who knows how or why?) It is the kids on their first day of school on Monday!

                                                

John has returned to his real estate career with Forbes, which was previously Christie's.  Seeing business associates and clients has been  enjoyable  for him. If you have any real estate needs,         Please  give John a call at 415 124-4755 or email him at jte1963@gmail.com




Life continues, one day at a time.............who knows what the next adventure will be?  Stay tuned!



 





Sunday, August 08, 2021

Much Ado About Everything! Weather, Shopping Malls and Covid

 Things have been "rocking" right along for the last couple of months!  

Between the weather with cooler temperatures and LOTS of rain, that has been a topic of discussion!

Questions like, "Now how much rain have we had?  

This was the Obraje Presa (reservoir) after the first heavy rain in mid-May!  Since then we have had over fifteen inches of rain.  Which for us, is a lot, since about ten more inches would be our average rainfall for the year.  Unfortunately I can't tell you the total year to date but suffice to say it has been plenty.  Thankfully.

Just as we were all about to get back "into life" with vaccinations and still wearing masks, the next wave of covid has begun in San Miguel during the last few weeks.  The Delta variant is much stronger and since people under thirty have not been completely vaccinated as yet, everyone I know is being very careful.  Below is a photo taken in Chamula, Chiapas of women getting the vaccination.  Those wooly skirts are their traditional dress.

                                    

In fact yesterday some friends from Houston were in town and we ventured out to lunch on a patio near where I live.  Everyone on the patio was masked until their food arrived.  Upon entry to the property, one's temperature is checked, hand sanitizer is squirted into your hand and last but not least, one must walk across a sanitized mat to proceed.  Unfortunately the number of cases are rapidly rising not only in Mexico but in San Miguel as well.  

My friends primary observation was that so many people everywhere in San Miguel and in Guanajuato City are all wearing masks.  They said that is not the case in Houston sadly.  

The last bit of news that I want to share with you is the new Azula Mall coming to San Miguel in the next year.  It is very large with a Walmart, Coppel, restaurants all kinds of stores and a hotel, Ibis!  The hotel is one that was not on my list in the last blog post.  In addition there will be a movie theater.  So many things for so many people!

Below are all the photos provided by the development company from Queretaro.  It will be on the libramento on the outskirts of town, nowhere near Centro. 








The last photo gives you the exact location of the mall.  In addition, a City Market high-end grocery store is opening in the next few weeks.  It is owned by the same company that owns La Comer.  In fact, they are only a few blocks from each other.  City Market is similar to Central Market in the USA.  It remains to be seen if this is a smart move or not.  Restaurant chains have been doing this for eons.  Putting many of their concepts in close proximity after they had completed their research and development.  It has always been successful for the restaurant chains.........we'll see about grocery chains!

A few miles away from this center, heading toward Delores Hidalgo, a new center will be across from the Ventana Golf Club and development.  It is reported there will be either 65 or 85 stores!  I can't remember for sure.  Anything over twenty staggers my imagination!

It appears that the sleepy little village that I moved to many, many years ago has definitely been discovered by developers and builders.  

Stay tuned!

 

 







Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Seven NEW Hotels - Seven HUNDRED Rooms!

 The times they are a'changing!  It has been announced in the last few months the names

of the major hotel groups who will be opening new properties in San Miguel.  



It is quite a list!  Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton, Pueblo Bonito, Hampton Inn and Holiday Inn

are just a few of the seven hotels.


Here is the information I gleaned from articles that I have read.  If you know San Miguel,

the description of the locations will make sense.  Otherwise, they will all be within twenty

minutes of the main jardin and the Parroquia.


The first is Clevia Marriott which will be in front of LaCasona, the quasi convention center/

meeting facility  Seventy-eight rooms and forty-two residences.

The second is Autograph Collection Hyatt Boutique Hotel with forty-four rooms in front 

of Rosewood Hotel.

The third is Hilton Boutique near Tres Cruces (I'm not sure where that is) with ninety-four 

rooms with swimming pool.

The fourth is Hotel Pueblo Bonito near the new Zeferino Park.  It will have one hundred twenty 

rooms with a Club House and pools.

The fifth hotel is Hampton Inn by Hilton with one hundred twenty rooms. No location provided.

The sixth hotel is Holiday Inn with one hundred fifty rooms.  Location is "on the road to Celaya

near the libramento".  I have looked for this construction site but have not found it.

The seventh and final hotel is a "Mexican Hotel" with no name.  It will have seventy-nine rooms on

the road to Alcocer.

                                                            Juarez Park Art Sale

To say that this will change the face of San Miguel is an understatement.  This many rooms along    

 with all the traffic, people and cars will be difficult to handle from a city personnel standpoint.


In addition to all the hospitality facilities, City Market will be opening here in the next few months.

It is a "high end" grocery store very near to Lacomer. Actually owned by the same company!


Also a shopping center near La Ventana and the road to Delores Hidalgo will have 86 stores!

Not to mention the center that was announced a couple of years ago which will have a Walmart

and movie theater.  I don't remember which movie theater plus other stores.  This will be located on the 

libramento just past La Joya Hospital, formerly H+ which was formerly DeLaFe Hospital for the

old timers!

It is impossible to imagine what San Miguel will be in five years.  All the private rentals and small 

locally owned hotels will certainly be impacted.  Whether in a good way or not remains to be seen.


Time always marches on and things always change but what is happening here this year is surely

something unprecedented for a village that you can walk from one side to the other in thirty minutes!


It will be an interesting time, to put it mildly!