Tuesday, April 9, 2013

First full day in the gorgeous city of San Miguel de Allende

Wednesday 4/3/13     San Miguel de Allende, Weber Tennis and RV Park                

Oh yes, ten hours of sleep last night after a long day of driving.  I feel so refreshed.  It wasn’t a bad drive, except for the ‘tomes’ (speed bumps) present in every single small village and large town along the way.  One has to slow way down to a crawl in order to keep some semblance of order inside the RV.  My cabinets and drawers look like bungy cord advertising and still things get tossed around if I don’t really respect the speed bumps. 

This morning Renate and I took Lacy and Rocky (her beautiful Bischon-ish rescue dog) for a walk to a small park about three blocks from Weber’s Tennis and RV Park - a beautiful little park with lawn and gardens, the gardener was busily tending ‘his jardin.’  Area residents, solely, fund the upkeep of the park; no public monies go into this lovely garden. Of course Lacy loved the grass – she’s quite particular about her bathroom facilities.

Since I’d reorganized the storage and living arrangement in my RV before we left Valle de Juarez – I really do need a name for her – settling down in SMdeA has really been a snap.  Now my RV seems to be much more user friendly and I have more room in the cupboards for kitchen stuff – food and food storage products, dishes, etc.

This afternoon I ventured out in town on my own.  Renate and I both enjoy doing ‘our own thing’ for much of the time so don't put pressure on the other to always do things together.  I simply walked around and stopped in interesting shops to talk with folks, bought a pair of walking loafers for $200 pesos ($16 US) and had a long conversation with the señorita in the store.  I found a nice little gourmet cheese shop and bought sharp Cheddar cheese – very difficult to find in Mexican supermarkets, a tiny hardware store where I bought a couple of screws (tornillos) and nuts (tuercas) to hang my atomic clock and an artisan gallery with ceramics, metal art, painting, and lots more; I browsed.  I actually met Renate during the walk and we checked out a nice neighborhood outdoor restaurant, told the owner we’d be back for dinner, which turned out to be delicious.  I had a steak dish with the most tender and flavorful steak I’ve had in Mexico, so far.  The waitress told me they buy there beef from Monterrey.  I;m told that the northern states are using European methods for raising beef and have succeeded in producing a much more flavorful and tender product.  Renate had barbecued pork ribs – meaty, flavorful and tender.  We both had ‘napoles,’ grilled strips of the opuntia cactus ‘leaf,’ de-needled and sliced thinly – delicious and a very common vegetable in Mexico.  The ambience was quiet and charming; however, there were only a couple of occupied tables until we were ready to leave at about 8:30.  Mexicans do not dine as early as we do!

                                                            Happy campers!

                                           Grandfather, Son and Grandson mariachis

Traditionally, in the Latin American home, there are three meals a day:  'el desayuno,' breakfast, 'el almuerzo,' dinner, eaten usually around 2 in the afternoon and 'la cena' supper, eaten at 7 or later.  Siesta follows el almuerzo and many stores and businesses are closed from  2-4; then they reopen until about 7.

Oh, big excitement  today:  This afternoon a lady RVer here in the park walked towards Renate and me, reached out to each of us to shake hands, “You must be Mary-Pat and you must be Renate!”  Lo and behold, it’s Terri Church of Terri and Mike Church’s “Traveler’s Guide to Mexican Camping,” the RV bible.  They’re quite famous in the RV world and theirs are the definitive guidebooks for RV travelers  all over the world.  Our friends in Valle de Juarez, Nancy and Doug Beglaw, had told them of our arrival – we didn’t even have to seek them out for autographs!!!!!  They, in turn, introduced us to old travel friends of theirs: Jerry (88) and Ann (83) Rockwood from New Mexico, also winter residents here who’ve been RV-ing  in Mexico since 1965.  They all invited Renate and me to a happy hour (cocktail) party set for tomorrow at 5.