Wow. After this entry we’ll actually be caught up!
Today (Wednesday, although it is almost over) we spent wandering around San Miguel de Allende, one of Mexico’s most famous colonial towns. There are about 150,000 people in town and about 149,000 real estate companies. Well, ok, not that many but, holy smokes, there were at least two on every single block we walked on. I guess it’s easier to be an agent here because there are no real classes to take. I did go into the RE/MAX (in honor of my current place of work) which is right on the plaza but the agent was by herself and with clients (both agent and clients were American). I am curious how mortgages work here because I was under the impression you had to pay at least 50% cash and the house prices are ridiculous here! In US dollars we saw homes from $175K for a 756 sq ft place to $5 million for another place.
This town has a lovely colonial, artsy feel. I am not an artsy person however, so probably don’t appreciate the atmosphere as much as others may. There is a beautiful cathedral – Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel – on the plaza which has nice shade trees. One thing that is obviously different here is the number of Americans… From what I read, I think there are probably a lot of Canadians here too but it’s hard to tell the difference without hearing the “ay” as they speak =)… Hey, I’ve heard my fair share of Minnesota “OOOOO” jokes so I have to point the accent finger at someone else once-in-a-while. Since the 50’s it’s been the Mexican mecca of artists. We’ve had quite an American day… We had lunch at about 10:30… I had a soy burger with spinach, onion, and blue cheese while Mex had crab cakes with Thai cucumber salsa at El Buen Cafe. Excellent food, small cozy cafe, reasonable to medium high prices. The food is not “traditional” Mexican but, hey, it’s food and it’s in Mexico, right?
Then we walked around the mercado although we didn’t really find any crafts we liked. There are some very beautiful clothes here and lots of stores selling “all the fixin’s” for your colonial palace, from painted tile sinks to iron light fixtures. On our way back to the hotel for an afternoon break we just couldn’t pass up a stop at the Starbucks! mmmm mango tea! I’m sad to report that, yes, Starbucks is just as expensive here as it is in the US. We strolled by dozens of stores catering to Americans such as mail shipping services and phone message services to the US.
After an hour rest and 20 minutes of “skyping” with my mother, we rushed back to the plaza to take the trolley tour of town. Sadly, we were about five minutes late. Instead we wandered down to the Benito Juarez Park and then strolled around the neighborhood looking at houses. We popped into a place for dinner and did have some Mexican food this time (with really good salsa) at Ten
Ten Pie. This place was great people watching because the seating is outside on an intersection with lots of pedestrians. Then we walked down the street to Villa Jacaranda where they were playing “Zodiac” in English on a big screen. We got beer and a mini popcorn included in our $7 movie tickets and we were the only ones there. Originally we planned on
stopping off at the town’s Irish pub but decided to come back to the hotel instead. As we walked by the plaza we enjoyed the groups of mariachi’s for a few minutes (but not long enough where we had to tip them) and then came back about 10:30 to find our laundry done and folded on our bed. I’m starting to get used to this life! =)
I think the next two days we are going to take day trips, one to Guanajuato and one to Querétaro which are both supposed to be nice cities. We’ll be taking the bus since we’d prefer to leave our car here in the secure parking than carry all the stuff up into the hotel room. Plus, we still don’t trust the starter completely and don’t want to be stranded in another city. We’ll hopefully be back in the evenings with enough energy to go out and enjoy the live music that is playing all around town and still have time to update all the pictures since I’m very behind and would like to have them finished before I get back to the US and actually have to work again (gasp!)!
Good night everyone and keep hoping and praying for us as the 17th nears!