Saturday, February 25, 2012

San Miguel de Allende, Part Uno

La Parroquia, the seventeenth century gothic church that faces El Jardin, the central plaza. 

I've been traveling to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico with my family for over twenty years. It's a beautiful 500-year-old colonial town in the center of Mexico. There is a special feeling in this town that has a strong pull on the people who visit. It's not unusual for a visitor to decide after only a couple of days that they want to buy a place and move here permanently. San Miguel has an endlessly fascinating multinational mix of antique and contemporary style. In 2005, Matt and I were lucky enough to have the opportunity to buy a piece of property here. We designed a casa, had it built (based on only a handshake with the local contractor) and we've spent the last couple of years designing and decorating the interior and the garden. We only get here for short visits a few times a year, so it's been slowly coming together. A great lesson for me to relax and enjoy the creative process. Poco a poco. 

Taking advantage of the President's Day holiday, we booked a red-eye flight for an eight-day visit. We landed at the Benito Juarez International Airport at 5:30 am last Saturday. We grabbed our bags, went through Immigration and Customs and caught the first bus to Queretero, a town an hour away from SMA. The buses in Mexico are great. The first class bus has super comfortable seats and this one was showing a Woody Allen movie, "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger." The first of many culture quirks and mixes that I love to encounter in Mexico. 

Tio Lucas,  where Matt and I dined deliciously on Saturday, our first night. 

Entering Tio Lucas.

On Sunday, Matt and I walked to El Jardin, where everyone gathers nightly for community, fun and listening to strolling Mariachis. This night was Cascaronazos, the celebration before Ash Wednesday. Kids were going crazy, smashing each other on the heads with hollowed out eggs filled with confetti and gold and silver powder. Gringos were not immune. We got smashed a few times too!

Funny when you go on vacation and you're staying at your own casa, you do the most prosaic chores. But in San Miguel, even the chores are an adventure in language and meeting people. On Monday we took a taxi to Vivero Primavera, a beautiful nursery, to buy plants for our garden.

Mucho colores!

Endless varieties of cactus and succulents. 

Beautiful flowers everywhere. 

A sea of fantastic pots. 

On Monday night we had a great Italian dinner and live music at Mama Mia's. It was a packed house to see and hear local favorite musicians, Willie and Lobo. 


The interior of Mama Mia
Stayed tuned! More to come!


  1. Can hardly wait for the 2nd installment, with more gorgeous pictures.

  2. I second Naomi's wish for installment #2! Making me miss SMA. Can't wait to return. Beautiful!

  3. What a wonderful recap of your time in San Miguel - looks so colorful and vibrant. I can't wait to read more on #2. Thanks so sharing and welcome back!

  4. Can't wait to see your next update! This one's wonderful. I love SMA!