If you actually look like your passport photo, you aren’t well enough to travel – Sir Vivian Fuchs
Usually at 2 am on a monday morning we would be sleeping blissfully having been in bed for about 3 hours with 5 or so more hours to dream. Not so on 27 February, 2012. True, we had been in bed for about 3 hours, but the extra 5 hours of sleep was not going to happen, not then anyway. We stumbled through the chilly house with our belongings and fell into the car we hired to take us to O’Hare for our 5:15 am flight. What, in heavens name, would make us do such a thing you ask? Where could we possibly be going that would make us imitate the walking dead at such an hour? One word… México.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, ‘Oh, heck yeah! Beaches, all-inclusive resorts, 2X1 margaritas and the ability to drink in the street? Sign me up!’. We’ve done the very popular Cancún, Cozumel and Playa del Carmen vacations before and have greatly enjoyed them, but this time it’s different. First off, no beach, no all-inclusive (not that we’d go there anyway) and certainly no 2×1 margaritas. This time we headed for central Mexico and away from what rw2 lovingly refers to as ‘fake’ Mexico. Riviera Maya, while being a fun place to visit, just doesn’t have the true Mexican flair that we’ve come to crave.
Leg #1 from 0RD to IAH was uneventful and we were soon on leg#2 from IAH to QRO. Oops, sorry, slipped into private pilot mode for a second. For the rest of us, that’s: O’Hare-> Houston-> Queratéro. The Queratéro airport is a new and very nice terminal. It is small compared to many U.S. airports but the ever growing need for an airport in this area has been satisfied nicely and was apparent by the majority of our flight being businessmen both U.S. and Mexican. After a quick immigration/customs process we were greeted by our driver Miguel and soon on our way through Queratéro to San Miguel de Allende.
San Miguel de Allende is situated on a hillside in the Bajío region of central Mexico. Since its establishment in 1555 it has seen many changes in its boundaries and population but the discovery of sliver in Zacatecas in the mid 16th century put San Miguel in a prime spot on the silver trade route- 3 hours northwest of Mexico City and 1 hour from Guanajuato, the state capitol.
We were pleasantly surprised by our ‘casa nueva’ for the next 2 months- Casa de Los Cumpleaños. Yes, the house of birthdays! Very fitting seeing that my birthday is in a week and Sarah’s is on the 13th. The spanish style architecture means that there are no hallways. The kitchen is opposite the sleeping quarters and the open courtyard boasts sunshine and fresh air. Likewise, the open living room (sala abierta) provides cool temperatures during the day and a cozy feeling in the evening. The views from the rooftop terrace are breathtaking as you peer down into the valley at the charming town of San Miguel. The mountains off in the distance make for some spectacular sunsets as the warm glow of the day settles upon the rich colors of the town. Most everything is within walking distance: Parque Juárez, La Parroquia, el Jardín, la Biblíoteca Publica, el Mercado etc. and everything else is just a short cab ride away.
So, our temporary sleep deprivation has been very much worth the while and seeing as we’ve only been here for 5 days, we can’t wait to see what the rest of the 2 months will present. La vida es buena.