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!

 


 

 


Friday, April 02, 2021

A New Chapter of Life


 It has happened!  The Gypsy Kids, Matilda and Sebastian along with their Dad, John are now in

 Colorado!  They were so thrilled at the first big snow right after they arrived that I received videos

of snow ball fights, sledding and snowboarding.  What fun!  The kids were ecstatic as were my 

daughter and son-in-law along with the kids' cousins, Hannah and Andrew!


 To say it is very quiet around here would be an understatement.  What has thrilled 

me is to hear from the kids about their new school, going to the zoo, and seeing a 

black bear in the yard next store!  Oh my...........The slight giggle in their voices tells me

how happy they are to be there.  Relief!

 

Typically this time of year I would be busy gathering all the necessary ingredients for Easter

baskets, dyeing eggs and decorating the house.  None of that is happening which has thrown

me into a sort of funk this week.  I'm not usually grumpy but woke up that way Tuesday. It

took me a day or two to figure out why I was out of sorts and, of course, it is because I miss

the fun of the surprise of Easter and the fun with the kids of dyeing and baking a bunny cake.

 

Matilda sweetly told me on the phone that they are going to "face time" me so I can watch

them doing this this weekend with the whole family in Colorado.  It will be a new way of

participating without having to spend time cajoling friends to bring Easter items for their 

baskets or trying to figure out how to get enough jelly beans for the decorations.  I purposely

have not decorated the house this year.  In fact, it is probably time to pass on the Easter decorations

to whichever grandperson expresses interest in having these things.

                           Easter 2020 when we did not dye eggs in the house or bake the bunny cake!


Since Covid is still around there are NO processions, church bells or activities going on in the jardin 

this year again.  Hopefully next year all will return.  What is returning this year, however, even though 

there are no religious celebrations are the visitors to town.  Surprisingly they are expecting at least 

40,000 people here and they have already begun to arrive.  


The city in an attempt to keep the number of covid cases low as they are now,  is requiring that each 

car entering town must have a QR code to show they have either a hotel or restaurant reservation for

the weekend.  The roads from Queretaro, Celaya and Delores Hidalgo will have guards at each point 

to check for these codes and also to check temperatures.  Can you imagine how far back the traffic will

be stalled?  Upon arriving, each person, at each public establishment will have their temps checked, 

be required to use hand sanitizer, wear a mask and will be expected to social distance.

 

Of course, I am home and won't be in any of that.   I remember  previous years, even prior to covid, 

and the hordes of people descending on the town.  I am surprised that that many are coming this year!

 

I hope to receive my second dose of the Pfizer vaccine this month.  They are already giving it out in 

villages where those people received their first dose a month ago.  Once I have the second dose, then

I will be ready and feel comfortable to begin to make some plans to do "something" and go 

"somewhere".  Heck, something and somewhere have not been on the agenda for over a year.

 

Woohoo!  Just thinking about that might lift this funk I've been in this week!

 

The jacarandas are blooming!  The monarchs are coming through on their flight north and the 

hummingbirds are zooming from one flower to the other.  NO reason to be in a funk!
 

 

                                                     Feliz Pascua.   Happy Easter to all.


 


Sunday, March 07, 2021

Heading On Down The Road!

One thing that is always true, life changes.  A major one has happened this past week as

Matilda, Sebastian and my son John headed for the USA.  The USA is a place totally foreign

to the children as they were three years old (Matilda) and one year old (Sebastian) when they 

came to San Miguel!  It will definitely be a time for discovery for them.  For John it will be a

better opportunity to make a living to take care of his family.


 

They have headed for Colorado as of Friday morning at "o dark thirty".  Their arrival in Laredo

was a relief as all their possessions,  including the leash trained cats, were traveling along.

After a night in Laredo with my trusty and wonderful son-in-law Rich, who drove from Colorado 

to get them,  they headed for Colorado again at  "o dark thirty".  

Obviously they made a food stop in Texas.  This photo of Sebastian with a container of french fries

 from a WHAT A BURGER is the evidence.  The funniest part of this photo though is one of the cats

peeking over the back seat and eyeing the food!  It made me laugh to see how intent both Sebastian and 

the cat both were on the french fries.

 

Of course I have already spoken with them today and all is well.  No snow right now but plenty 

coming next weekend!  THAT will be quite a sight for the kids along with being great fun.

 

It didn't occur to me initially that the kids don't even know US money!  However with US dollars and 

coins in their wallets I'm sure it won't take them long to figure that out.  Schooling will be different as

well. Lots of thing.

 

Luckily my daughter is a teacher and she is so happy to have them there at their home that she will help

along with all the other family members, Rich, cousin Andrew, cousin Hannah and cousin Emma who 

is off at college at CSU to ease them into life in the USA.

 

So, life here will be different for me as well!  Cooking won't be nearly as much fun.  No kids to exclaim

over cherry cobbler or chocolate chip cookies.  No one to make spaghetti or mac and cheese or the

other foods they loved that feed a tribe.  To cook for one is something I haven't done much of in ten 

years!


I will also miss Sebastian's greeting when he would come to visit.  He would sit down, look gently and 

seriously at me and say, "So how is your day going today Grammy?"  Wow, it always  was a delight to 

have great conversations with him.  Subjects sometimes that I had to look up after he left the house.  

Like about the galaxy or some scientific discovery or other things that this eleven year old knew all 

about but I didn't especially computer related!


Then Matilda loved to get the big old quilt out of the closet and spread it out on the grass in the garden 

where we would have picnics and conversations and fun.  


And so, it will be quiet here for a while as adjustment sets in.  I tell myself that I lived here for eleven 

years alone before they came.  I will adjust.  It will be easier when all of us have been vaccinated in the 

next month or so.  Then, with great caution and still masked, we can at least get out a bit more to visit

at outdoor venues and socially distanced.


Now that all the systems are in place to have so many things delivered to the house, life is truly simpler.

Who knows what awaits me "down the road"?  Stay tuned...........




Monday, February 01, 2021

It's GIRL SCOUT COOKIE Time!


 I have already ordered Girl Scout cookies for this year from a delightful granddaughter of a friend.

I had done this long before I found my daughter Jennifer's sash from back in the 70's yesterday.  It was just a serendipitous experience.  I went in the container that holds all her treasures to fine her tiara from being Homecoming Queen.  I wanted to give it to Matilda for her 13th birthday which is coming up soon but, alas, it was not in there.

Imagine my surprise when this was in the container!  I had been thinking about Girl Scouts for about a week since I had ordered the cookies! I had thought about how I hoped Hanna would sell enough to be able to go to camp.  In the box with the sash were the letters sent home from GS camp from Jennifer!I laughed at the letters and the questions on how to do laundry.  Aah, those were the days.

Being a leader and the mother of two Brownies who became Scouts was such a delight for me as I had never camped in my whole life until that experience.  Imagine camping with about twenty young girls!

A friend convinced me to be Girl Scout Cookie Chairman back at the end of the 1960's.  I had no idea what I had signed up for until the 18 wheeler pulled up in front of our small apartment at the time and began to unload hundreds of boxes, which ended up filling our small dining room from one end to the other and to the ceiling.  I still can't get over the visual image.

That was the beginning!  But it never really ended because my youngest daughter Julie was a leader for her daughters, all three of them, when they were growing up.  She was an incredible leader for more years then I.

It is such a great program for girls.......and boys, I guess now.  The skills they learn and the fun they have not to mention the friends they make is a life long memory to cherish.  

I giggle remembering some of the experiences!  And I'm amazed at some of the others.  About ten years ago I was in Houston at the Galleria and this gorgeous, dignified woman came quickly up to me!  I had no idea who she was but she enveloped me in her arms and said, "Mrs. Eckrote, I'm Nedra Simpson"

Oh my, the Olympic runner who when she was in the fifth grade outran the entire football team who was at the same dude ranch as the troop was in Bandera, Texas!  What a wonderful reunion.  Today Nedra would be 59 years old!  Wow.

I could go on and on.  But, I digress.  Here's the information for you to order Girl Scout cookies to help Hanna to sell enough to be able to go to camp this summer or whenever it is possible for free!  

 

https://digitalcookie.girlscouts.org/hanna855955 I don't know why this is not printing out as blue but hopefully this will work.

 

It is the easiest ordering form that I have ever used.  I know it would be more fun to have Hanna coming to your  door with her uniform on and wearing her sash proudly.  But, in this time of covid that is not possible, so, go for it.  Get those Thin Mints or any of the others that you love.  Buy  lots because you can freeze them!  

Munch, munch, munch!