San Miguel Jan 2011

We have posted pictures from our first two visits to San Miguel de Allende that featured many of the beautiful sights, so this time we thought we would do something different and take you on a walk and show you a more typical day. SMA is city of over 60,000 with a wide variety of things to see and do.

This is our home for the week, Casita 3 at Casa Crayola, 48 Calzada de la Aurora.

Casa Crayola's seven casitas surround this central courtyard.

This is our living room, decorated with Mexican folk art. 
There is an efficiency kitchen and a small dining table in this room.

And our bedroom. You can see why it was named Crayola.

Mother said always start with a good breakfast, and it does not get any better than this. Blue corn tortillas from a street vendor, salsa from the nearby organic store and eggs with the firmest, roundest, orangest yolks I have seen since we raised our own chickens, all served on plates so pretty they come with holes on the back so they can be displayed.

Our street entrance. The beauty of most Mexican casas is hidden behind plain walls. Notice the new sign with the new name. It seems the crayon company did not like Carly using their name.

Next door these ancient trees almost crowd walkers into the street.

Our next door neighbors, who own the Fabrica Aurora, have a beautiful casa, and the gate is usually open.

Across the street things are not so prosperous. The sign says it is for sale.

A few of the shops on our side of Aurora street as we walk toward the center of town.

The little laundromat where we get our clothes washed, dried and folded -- very inexpensively.

The carnitas shop at the corner of Aurora and Calzada de la Luz

Shops on the other corner

And a street vendor on a third corner

Heading down Luz the sidewalks are narrow.

A Spanish language school.

Pat giving me the "hurry up, I'm hungry" look.

Our destination was this newly opened restaurant, La Casita, for comida, which is the main meal of the Mexican day and is eaten mid afternoon.

The chef (center) also owns the small hotel next door.

While you are well advised to avoid salads in Mexico, in SMA the restaurants
understand that you need to wash your greens if you want to keep your gringo customers.

Black bean soup,

and pasta. I chose bolognese,

and Pat chose shrimp alfredo.

Dessert was strudel with ice cream. All this cost 90 pesos per person, about $8.

Walking back we detoured into the Guadalupe neighborhood. This is a middle class neighborhood near our casita with many colorful houses.

A VERY nice place.

Detail: the gate knocker.

You do not see many of these three wheelers anymore.

These ATVs are popular with young people and a few gringo housewives..

Viva Organica, our nearby organic grocery and cafe.

We were not quite sure what was going on in this dress shop.

This little triangular building in an intersection is now an organic deli.

Just a few blocks south of Luz, this is the mercado building.

A glimpse into the mercado.

Pat shopping for pottery in the artisans' mercado adjacent to the other mercado.

Nearby is Ole' Ole', a fajita restaurant with bull fight decor.  The hole under 66 will soon be replaced with an
electric meter as all utilities in historic SMA are being moved underground.

Across the street is a statue of the city's namesake, the Archangel Saint Michael, or San Miguel.

In addition to being more adventurous about restaurants, we decided to ride the bus. 
Here comes one now.

We traveled about 7 miles by bus to the small town of Atotonilco to see this 18th century church.

El Santuario de Atotonilco is known for its frescos and other decoration. It has been called the New World Sistine Chapel..

Back in SMA we visited with former Ann Arbor friend and SMA resident Jennifer Butz at the cafe she used to own.

Even though we rent a casita with a kitchen, dining out is a big part of our vacation. We had excellent
meals at Socialitte and El Correo.  Our dinner at Cafe Iberico was a mixed blessing.  The tapas menu was
interesting, but a problem in the kitchen delayed our paella for an hour, then it arrived burned on the bottom. 
They comped with a free round of drinks. Our best dinners were at Mi Vida
and Jackie's San Antonio
A three course dinner with a bottle of wine costs $30 to $60, a Mexican dinner with beer is $20.

We attended two musical events, a blues singer (so-so) and the Mexican Brass. Patterned on the Canadian Brass, they featured five
top quality players having fun making classical and other music. We took two bird watching trips - the regular Audubon
Wednesday walk around the El Charco botanical garden and a trip out to a section of the Rio Lago river. Several new birds for us,
but they were all North American species that can be seen in TX or AZ.

Links to our previous visits to SMA and other trips can be found on our home page