Driving into San Miguel de Allende is like something you’d see in the movies. Narrow picturesque cobblestone alleys. If anyone was walking along them, they’d have to duck into a doorway to let us pass. Looking back, I’m bummed we didn’t take a picture of these, as most of the streets in the center of town were wider. We checked into our hotel and they whisked our car off to some unknown assumedly safe location. Once again, we arrived hungry and knew we needed to make this meal a good one. The kids already had a bad experience with their last meal (see Relaxing and Adapting in San Luis Potosi). We walked around having done almost no research to find a place for dinner. During this time, Ken and I were a bit mesmerized with the sights of the city, but the kids constantly reminded us of our original goal – food!
Finally, we settled on an Argentinian restaurant that served pizza. We also order an orange water drink. These types of drinks are popular in Mexico and most restaurants offer some kind of special water – Rose Pomegranite, Lemon, Orange, etc. Remember, we’re all very hungry. Sadly, I was the only one to like the water drink. Then the pizza arrived…covered in green things. Tag was ok with the green things (rosemary) as long as I wiped it off each individual piece of pepperoni. Elle didn’t love them, but was adaptable. Taking them off her cheese slices would be near impossible. We finished off the evening with dessert at the hotel. We’d smelled the delicious chocolate cooking when we checked in. Sadly, it was a bust too. Thankfully we had Oreos in the hotel room!
We woke up and the kids went straight to the pool – of course!
We also ate another simple breakfast in the room (bananas, protein bars) before exploring San Miguel. We first walked to Fabrica la Aurora, a beautiful art and design studio housed in a former textile building. This was all for Elle. She loves art and was enamored with all the different types of handmade art – furniture, paintings, sculptures, dishes, textiles and more. She liked playing the “if you could have one thing in this studio, what would it be?”game. Tag and I soon found ourselves ordering lunch in the restaurant (chicken nuggets, fries, milkshake – Score!) and drawing animals while we waited.
As we leisurely walked to the town’s library, Tag and Elle explored the flowers and plants along the way. Ken and I loved the feel of the town and were happy to stroll slowly while peeping into doorways and shops. We noticed a market in one of the alleys and followed it for a while.
Eventually, we made it to the San Miguel biblioteca, the public library, with the second largest bilingual collection in Mexico. I was surprised to find the library was made up of a collection of rooms off the main entrance and surrounding an inviting square. There were several tables for reading and other for displaying children’s art. We found the childrens’ rooms and immediately the kids started pulling books to read. We found ourselves reading in the courtyard and stayed there at least an hour. The kids both claimed it was their favorite part of the day. Wow! That’s totally awesome.
We then went to Juarez Park, described as San Miguel's version of NYC's Central Park. The park was busy with families playing, and the kids immediately swung, climbed and ran to their heart’s delight. Then came the cloudy weather and even some lightning. Taking our cues from the people around us, we didn’t immediately leave.
We continued to explore the park and neighborhood. Finally, we felt the temperature drop significantly and headed for the hotel. Unfortunately, we only made it half way before we felt rain drops and quickened our pace. But, hey, we’re from Seattle, and a little rain doesn’t bother us. Two minutes later we were waiting out a flash food in the eave of a Lebanese restaurant. Wow! No less than 30 minutes later, we attempted the rest of the journey back to the hotel. Tag would have none of it so he got carried. Yes, walking through a steady stream of water on slippery tiled sidewalks while carrying a 46 pound boy and jumping over the largest puddles wasn’t too easy. But it was fun, and we love San Miguel more for the memory.
Overall, this is one of our favorite stops. We’d love to come back, maybe to live a couple of months during our second year of travel. I’ve already determined our second car whether we need it or not.
Next up…Mexico City.