North America · 9 Days · 102 Moments · March 2017

Ken's & Jenni in San Miguel de Allende, ...

22 March 2017

Said goodbye to San Miguel de Allende. Boarding the plane in Queretero, heading to Dallas and the Tucson.

21 March 2017

Out final sunset in San Miguel -- overlooking the city.
The owner of the home is an anthropologist and collector of Mexican masks. He has a small Museum that is incredible. Here are my three favorites.
Went to dinner again at a private home. The setting in the courtyard was sensational.
Inspired by an exhibit of black and white photos at a gallery today, I snapped some of my own.
Walking through the park on the way to lunch we came across a celebration of Benito Juarez by several school groups.
Some photos taken by a friend, Gary Becker, who visited a different school this morning.
The cook for the school lunch program.
The streets around the school.
When we arrived at the school in Las Canas a group of boys came to bring the food to the kitchen.
This map shows the outlying schools served.
On Mondays volunteers separate the food into portions for each of 36 schools. On Tuesdays other volunteers pick up the food and transport it to the outlying schools.
This is the kitchen where they train the local school cooks in nutrition and preparation techniques.
This morning we went to the distribution center for Feed the Hungry San Miguel. The provide food to school children.

20 March 2017

At the cooking class we made several kinds of salsa, tortilla chips, and chicken mole. This has given me confidence to make mole when we return home. Oh, we also made nopalitos, from prickly pear pads.
We were on our way to a cooking class - about 10 miles outside of San Miguel. We stopped at a very small store in the village to buy cilantro.
We went for lunch to a winery called Dos Buhos, "Two Owls". We tasted 5 wines which were okay but not great. We had an excellent salad. This is an organic winery. They only produce about 5,000 bottles per year.
This morning on a walk we passed a new house under construction. It is amazing how much manual, back breaking goes into this in Mexico.

19 March 2017

For dinner I enjoyed this grilled octopus and creamed spinach.
On our way to dinner we had an escort. Actually, San Miguel is very safe. This weekend there are thousands of additional tourists here from Mexico City. Most people walk (the streets are narrow and difficult to drive). Everyone is very courteous when passing on the sidewalks.
The concert was billed as guitar, but it really was jazz with a Mexican twist.
At the concert the served lunch -- including this roasted pork. Great quesadillas, nopalitos, and chicken mole.
We went out in the country for a guitar concert. These sheep and horses were taking a walk along the road.
This morning we walked to a large market -- selling everything from fruits and vegetables to meat, from clothing to household decorations. And of course, tourist trinkets.

18 March 2017

San Miguel de Allende is in the distance, across the lake.
We were given a demonstration of rock carving.
Making a hook rug.
The ladies who prepared our lunch.
Our lunch-time music.
Jesus, an aspiring Caballero.
Making salsa.
Two boys waiting their turn to be helpful. At the end of our lunch the cleared the table. The photo is not clear because of the smoke from the tortilla grill.
As an honor to our visiting group they dyed some of the tortillas using a work block pattern.
The corn is ground into masa on metates.
Here my friend, Pat, tries her hand at shelling corn.
We traveled out to one of the surrounding communities for lunch. We visited a woman's cooperative - they make hook rugs to support a scholarship program for girls in the community. The started giving a demonstration of making gorditas and tortillas -- starting with hulking the corn.
After breakfast we took a walk and discovered two markets. Wonderful tortillas, moles, pots, and duck eggs!

17 March 2017

Walking back to the guesthouse from dinner we came across a wedding celebration in the park, complete with a brass band and dancing mannequins.
We were invited to another dinner at a private home -- supporters of Feed the Hungry Sam Miguel. We had roast pig acommpanied by jazz.
It's not often that I take a photo in the men's bathroom in a restaurant. But this one was lovely. Had a great lunch at The Virgin of the Cave.
"Kiss" Ally. A wonderful story of the love and death of a rich girl and her poor boyfriend on thus spot.
A fruit cart -- in front of the Basilica.
The theater -- still a center of attraction in Guanajuato.
Flowers seller.
A begger in front of one of the many churches.
A church -- founded by Franciscan.
The University of Guanajuato.
Thus is the childhood home of artist Diego Rivera. Today it is a museum.
The grainery was a strong place to store grain, but it also was used as a fortress by the Spanish army during Mexico's War of Independence. Four of the leaders of the Mexican side were caught and executed -- their heads were hung from the four corners of this building for ten years until the Spanish were defeated. On this corner was the head of Allende.
Jenni at the entrance to the Plaza de La Reforma.
Guanajuato is an old silver mining area. There are kilometers of tunnels under the city, many converted to roads.
This huge fortress was built both as an entrance to a silver mine and as a repository for the silver.
We took a tour of Guanajuato today. This is a city about 1.5 hours north west of San Miguel. It became wealthy from mining silver. It also played an important role in Mexico's independence from Spain.
A statue in honor of a Mexican mine worker who played an important role in Mexico's independence. He helped break down the door of the garrison where the Spanish soldiers were firing on the revolutionaries.

16 March 2017

Enjoyed a rooftop sunset at our guesthouse.
Bought some empanadas for tomorrow's breakfast.
Passed an Anglican church on my afternoon walk.
The young daughter of a street vendor was being very helpful - Watering the flowers with a spray bottle.
We had a bbq lunch outdoors, not far from the Sanctuary of Atotonilco. Complete with harp music.
Inside the church. Representations of nailing Christ to the cross, hanging on the cross and being taken down from the cross.
A statue and a representation of the Virgin of Guadeloupe.
The murals in the Sanctuary of Atotonilco.
The church in Atotonilco is know as the Sistine Chapel of the Americas. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
A pedestrian walking along the road.
Visited the Galeria Atotonilco -- Mexican folk art from all over the country. The gallery is 15 miles or so outside of San Miguel.
Enjoying early morning walks -- especially when the jacaranda trees are so pretty to look at.

15 March 2017

A view of the steeple of St. Michael the Archangel as the sun went down. A perfect ending to a very full day.
We had a view overlooking other houses. Notice that the roofs below incorporate living space.
A group of musicians performed before the dinner. They were called "Tuna Traditional". They all types of music, but interpreted in a traditional Mexican style. They have made mandolins using old cooking pot lids for the back!
We went for dinner at a private home.
Maintaining the cobblestone streets and sidewalks of San Miguel takes an incredible amount of manual labor. Here guys are fixing a sidewalk.
A guard dog (not!).
We bought Mexican chocolate.
A replica of the Virgin of Guadeloupe.
School children on a field trip.
Walkway in a former convent. (Now a library.)
A colorful doorway on our walking tour.
A former priest memorialzed in a statue. But they are concerned about the pigeons.
This church specializes in prayers for people who are ill.
School children left behind their hot chocolate while visiting the church in the background. I hope they remember their own mugs.
A woman coming to pray at the church of St. Michael the Archangel.
Various shots inside the church of St. Michael the Archangel (including one of a statue of St. Patrick).
Indigenous people are everywhere, trying to sell trinkets -- mostly without success. A stark reminder of a hard life.
The two window on the home of Ignacio Allende, a person involved with Mexican independence from Spain. The bottom window has concrete "curtains" hanging below.
A coveted sidewalk.
I wanted to buy some local sausage, but restrained myself.
A sampling of the many churches in the historic district.
A nice thing about the historic district is that it is kept very clean. Many sidewalks had been washed by the time I went for a walk.
Sweet views. The streets are cobblestone, and obviously designed when everyone walked or rode horses. They are very narrow. Standing advice is that if you drive a car to San Miguel that you park it for the duration of your stay and walk. The houses along the street all have doors that open onto courtyards -- mostly not visible from the street unless someone happens to open a door as you are passing and you cat h a glimpse inside.
This morning there were two hot air balloons over the city.

14 March 2017

We attended a reception for other people on the tour, before dinner at the home of one of the hosts.
I was intrigued by the flowers in pots on the roof of this building.
We had muffins and espresso at a coffee shop near the city center.
There is a tent set up on the city square celebrating Cuban culture.
Here is the main Catholic Church on the city square.
Here is a huge stained glass window in a house across the street from where we are staying. It represents the city of San Miguel.
The bougainvillea around the neighborhood is spectacular.
Details in and around the house where we are staying.
On the road to San Miguel. Overlooking the city. The purple jacaranda trees are blooming. Looking forward to exploring the colonial city.
Arrived at noon in Queretero, Mexico. No problems going through immigration and customs. 6,200 feet above sea level. 70 degrees and lovely. Will drive an hour to San Miguel.
Left Tucson at 5 AM. Watched the sun come up on the way to Dallas.