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Posts tagged ‘mexico’

Crazy Days

For the hip, there are two places to be in San Miguel on Locos Sunday: in the parade or watching it. If you’re in the milling mile or so of costumed revelers and flatbed floats with blaring, competing soundtracks, you dance across town all morning and into the afternoon. Of course, in your foam and felt frog/fat lady/ex-president costume, there is a risk of heat exhaustion. But, you get to pelt spectators with candy, which makes it all worthwhile.

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The Triscuit Tally Takes Off!

"Betcha Bill Gates is bummed Triscuits are taken. Wheat Thins just don't have the same archetypal emotional resonance."

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The Holidays in San Miguel de Allende


Neighborhood altar to la Virgen de Guadalupe in san miguel de allende

Neighborhood altar to la Virgen de Guadalupe on our back street.

Notice the snacks left out for our Lady

Notice the snacks left out for our Lady

As 2009 draws to a close, we’d like to give thanks to all of the wonderful people who’ve come to stay with us over the last seven years. Mil gracias for your company and your support. We hope you’ll all be back.

It’s been a slow year, tourism-wise. (Of course, we’ve been busy fixing up the place, revamping the website, and even getting on FaceBook.) Based on advanced reservations for winter and early spring, the general situation seems likely to improve in 2010. Yay! (So book early!)

Let’s hope things get better for everyone who’s suffering economic hardship right now.

December in San Miguel is yet another month of fiestas. December 12 was the day of the virgen (the Empress of Mexico, in case you didn’t know). It’s a day and night of altars, neighborhood processions and parties, and yet another night of cuetes (monster bottlerockets, set off all night long, and culminating in a dawn crescendo. Sleep is overrated.)

Then there are the late-December Posadas, neighborhood open houses with candles and altars, and pilgrims aplenty going ’round asking for room at the inn (and getting ponche and other goodies, if not a bed). Don’t forget midnight mass. Christmas is a really big deal in Catholic Mexico, of course.

Then, there’s New Year’s Eve—it’s literally a blast in San Miguel. Apart from private and public parties and dinners and such (with the good-luck ritual of eating one grape for every midnight chime of the clock), there’s the public blow-out in the jardin, or main plaza.

We look forward to this night every year. Nearly everyone in town—young and old, rich and poor, locals, expats and visitors alike—gathers in the jardin for live music and dancing, funny hats, and even a bit of drinking.

At midnight, there’s a big fireworks display, and castillos are lit (large firework-encrusted structures that whiz and hum and pop and eventually burn up, sending out light, sparks and clouds of joyful smoke, as well as shooting flaming spinning projectiles into space, to much clapping).

Other festive fire hazards include gorgeous three-foot long sparklers waving everywhere. (But really, it’s quite safe, very fun, and very Mexico.) The dancing and drinking goes on ’til quite early in the new year. Eventually we all stumble home, usually singing, to sleep it off.

What could be better than a huge, loud, jovial, communal celebration of the new year, a new beginning? (Especially with sparklers and funny hats—it just doesn’t get any better than that.)

No invitation required—just get there well before the witching hour to stake out a spot to see and be the show (comfortable shoes and a warm coat are essential, says me.)

And, after that spectacular night, we begin looking forward to Spring, which starts in February here, thank you very much. The weather has now gotten chilly at night and in the morning, but we still have warm sun most every day. (The nearby hot springs are fab on winter mornings!) We know we really can’t complain about the climate here, but we still can’t wait for primavera.

Casita de las Flores wishes you all the happiest of holidays, filled with peace, warmth, joy, love, and maybe even a couple of nice presents. And a new year overflowing with prosperity and cool travel plans.

ho ho ho,

Casita de las Flores B&K (Bed and Kitchen)
www.casitadelasflores.com
Your best value (and most fun) alternative to
expensive San Miguel de Allende hotels and B&B’s

PS. See you soon…

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(Real) Life in San Miguel

I said a little prayer to Santa Funciona (the patron saint of things that work), bit my lip and hit the lever.

It was a thing of beauty. After a month of not driving when it rains, or of chancing it and looking at the moving world through a perilously impressionistic lens, the sainted plastic blade made a gorgeous, lazy arch and left half of my windshield as clear as…well, as glass. I could see! I could drive in any weather!

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Notes from Abroad: Perspective Gained as Innkeeper-Turned-Guest — or — The View From the Other Side of the Check-In Desk: The Fine Art of Lodging Reviews

Somewhere along the Xerox chain, the numbers in the key describing what each place actually is have conveniently been cut off. So the map numerals remain mysterious symbols obscuring unknown landmarks that you simply must see.
(Or maybe it’s a travel game: identify the building and match the number with the description. Hours of fun for the entire family.)

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Summer in San Miguel

The all-around fecundity is contagious—even the bricks in the patio are sprouting green, while the high Mexican desert does its best Hawaii impersonation. The nights are blacker, the stars brighter, and the moonlight is blinding. Even peoples’ dreams are running riot, sending out tendrils that snake into waking life and bear frui

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Violence in Mexico — The Real Story

Statistically speaking, you’re safer here at four a.m. than you are in a major American city at noon. Probably safer than where you live, unless you live in one of those (mythical?) tiny towns where everybody knows each other (and are all related) and nobody locks their doors.
If you really want to compare San Miguel with, say, the U.S... Ok. Let's see. So far, we have no serial killers, axe murderers, snipers, carjackings, road-rage gunfights, mad bombers, Crips, or Bloods. We've had one high(ish)-speed car chase that we know of. Nor do we have school or workplace shootings.
In San Miguel, "going postal" denotes how badly you need a margarita after spending two hours in line trying to mail a postcard, and then realizing you’ll arrive home before it does...

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