I have no brain power any more today so I’m going to finish up this bloglet listicle style.
Here are some random final thoughts, random images, and a few places worth checking out if you are ever in the neighborhood.
San Miguel is a tourist trap you WANT to be in! It is a fantastic, safe place to visit in Mexico. Coming from a much rougher part of the country, I can’t find big negative things to say. Some have tried. They come off as incredibly spoiled.
At times the level of hospitality made me want to cry. We stopped into the hotel next door to check out their cafe/bakery situation. We sat up on the roof and our server would walk up several flights of stairs every 20(?) minutes to see if we needed anything!
Travel light. Passport cards alone seem acceptable for domestic fights, but don’t press your luck.
If you travel in the summer, be prepared for all the sun and some rain.
I cannot stress enough that you wear comfortable shoes. It’s even better if they are an all weather variety.
Tipping is expected. Keep some extra pesos handy.
Eventually you will want to get a Lele / Maria doll. It’s inevitable. It’s not a sign of weakness if you give in and get one. They are everywhere and their cuteness is nearly impossible to resist. I was sorely tempted to add to my plushie tribe.
Here is a list of places I recommend- in no particular order:
CASALUNA Hotel Boutique- If you are looking for a “romantic” place to stay this is it! Our room wasn’t 100% flawless, but for the price and the location it was perfect.
Aurora Fabrica – Had no idea there would be so much art in one complex! Worth a look! There are a couple of places to refuel yourself with food and drink on the premises and enough places to sit down.
Don Taco Tequila – Vegan Mexican food? Yes please! Ate here on several occasions. Everything was good. Didn’t get to try the mixed drinks. Overheard some extremely curious conversations.
Parque Bentio Juarez – Shade, wedding parties, art vendor, flowers, music, people of all ages playing games… what is not to like?
Soltribe- Vegan joint. Very into the mushroom trend. Excellent food. Excellent drinks. If you need an incentive to have your fruits and veggies, follow their example: just throw them in a blender and add a spirit.
Cafe Umaran – A small place with good atmosphere; great coffee and the berry almond salad is delish.
Botica de Santa Teresita- a functioning apothecary since 1852!
La Esquina Toy Museum- This place is a GEM! The collection of Mexican toys in this building is not just a bunch of kiddie play things. It’s ART. It’s delightful and creepy, crazy imaginative, wildly inspiring. I wish I could have spent much more time in there.
Did you enjoy reading about my San Miguel de Allende adventure time?
Mil gracias for following along.
I hope to write more of these bloglets in the future.
san miguel adventure fun time part five of six- siesta
The major take-aways:
TV is educational
Around the 20th latitude, below the tropic of cancer, the summer sun is brutal. Even if there are clouds in the sky. (Don’t you be fooled by those clouds!)
When you get to the hottest part of the day, you just need to retreat somewhere cool. I did anyway.
As I am still trying to understand what being in good health means for me these days, I did not want to push my limits too far. I always kept a water bottle on me and reminded myself it was OK to say no to doing more. It’s OK to do less.
It is possible to while away bright hours in one of the many coffee shops in the historic center. Some are even located on rooftop terraces! Terraces are a ‘thing’ in San Miguel. The views are quite lovely. But I wouldn’t be up on the rooftops for very long in the middle of the day. Indoors, under the protection of stone is so much better.
I hate to say it, but we ended up going to Starbucks almost every day.
Not for their venti-double-espresso-triple-shot-caramel-whole-yak-milk-mochaccino-supremacy.
(Or whatever it is that people order.)
It was the one place we knew to go to for fast, reliable wifi! And no one cared if you hung out there.
The establishment loses points for not having it’s own bathroom. The bathroom that was in the building had long lines. An older woman was willing to pay me twenty pesos to cut ahead of me. At that point, I gave up waiting there.
Pro tip: Go across the street to the Citibanemex Collection. You have a much better chance of using the restroom!
If you have had enough of people holidaying and ex-pats being ex-pats, and you really need to stretch out, just go back to your hotel. Enjoy that space too! You’re paying for it!
At the fancy, ultra-deluxe five star Rosewood Hotel, you can spend as much as nearly THREE THOUSAND USD PER NIGHT on hotel accommodations with all the bells and whistles during high season. You might as well get your money’s worth.
I can totally recommend turning on the TV and indulge in the local cable content.
I haven’t watched Mexican cable in a while and was amused to see that there is still opera shown on Saturdays and that channels still sign off with the national anthem– which I do hum on occasion thanks to those sign offs. It’s a fun tune!
Hugo and I caught a discussion panel covering some of latest disquieting narco activities in the country. Cartels make people ‘disappear’ at the rate of about one person per hour. Bus travel between certain regions is high risk as cartels have been stopping buses and ‘disappearing’ ordinary citizens just so there is no chance they will join or have dealings with rival gangs. Witnesses can call the police all they want. No one will come to help.
My mind sort of blanked out at how stupid this “preventative measure” is. Yes, it is terrifying that narcos are acting against the general population with their usual impunity, but- like… making people vanish is a lot of work -? and can’t possibly be that great for business -? -? -? -?
It is hard being in a country that has a pretty solid constitution and too few virtuous enough to uphold all of it.
One channel was showing a string of curated movies every night in English with subtitles: On The Beach, The Manchurian Candidate (Angela Lansbury; hello!), Dr. Strange Love, Gorky Park…
We even got to tune in to see some Lucha Libre, which is always a blast.