San Miguel de Allende March 1 – 31 2022
Tuesday 1 March 2022
Why do we go to San Miguel de Allende for
March? Well, it is at 6,000 ft (1,900 m) and chilly in January and most of
February. March brings the daytime temperature up to a pleasant 25°C
during the day, which we prefer. It is a UNESCO heritage town and very
picturesque. There are enough events going on to suit everyone. March
and into April bring on special Mexican celebrations for us to
experience. It is a thriving music and arts center, with concerts to
suit every taste, both documentary and popular movies, plays, Spanish
lessons, talks on a wide variety of subjects, and enough fine arts
classes in suit everyone. There are also yoga and aqua fit classes where
I keep myself active and fit. Added to this, we have a several friends
to reconnect and socialize with.
San Miguel does not have its own airport. There
are several options to get to San Miguel from other countries or within
Mexico. We prefer to fly to Mexico City and arrange for a Bajiogo
shuttle service from the airport to our residence in San Miguel. It is a
4-hour trip from Mexico City, but the shuttle vehicles offer a very
comfortable ride. This year we flew from Zihuatanejo, arriving in Mexico
City in the late afternoon. Rather than drive to San Miguel at night, we
stayed in an airport hotel overnight and took the shuttle at 10 AM in
the morning, ensuring we would arrive well rested.
Two years ago, our landlady in San Miguel told
us that she would be moving back into the house we had rented for two
seasons. Luckily, Vanessa, a local rental agent, recommended by our
friend David Andrews, found us the perfect house, at 2B San Dimas, near
the Central Market. We had reserved the house for March 2021 and Vanessa
had kept the deposit we had paid for March 2022. The house was in great
shape, with two bedrooms and bathrooms, a well -equipped kitchen, a
large living room and a dining area. An enclosed outdoor patio led
upstairs to a large laundry room. We also discovered that the big screen
TV in the living room had Netflix. We watched several movies and shows
over our stay. We have a cleaning lady who comes every Monday and a
gardener, every Thursday, to look after the many flowering plants. We
are well cared for.
Our friends, Suzanne and David Andrews and
Sheila MacDonald and Barry Mair, invited us to dinner on the roof top
patio of the Andrews condo in Puerto Viejo Residencial complex. It was
good to see our friends again, especially since we had no food in our
house yet. We caught up on
our lives and laid plans for the coming weeks.
The next morning was a big grocery shopping day
to gather food essentials for the coming month. Fortified by breakfast
in one of our favorite breakfast restaurants, Café Monet, we walked to
La Comer to do our big shopping. A brand new, huge specialty food store,
also owned by La Comer, opened in the same area. We were impressed by the display
of high-end foods and kitchen ware, probably way out of our price zone.
We crossed the street and shopped La Comer “until we dropped” and took a
taxi home. The rest of the month we replenished our supplies closer to
our house, in the Central Market, in the small grocery, Bonanza, and at
several Panaderias (bakeries).
I signed up for Aquafit on Tuesday and Thursday
mornings with the instructor, Erendira, at the Posada de Aldea. Monday,
Wednesday, and Friday morning was “Yoga with Alejandro”, also at the
Posada, as I have in past years. The classes were all excellent
The first Friday in March is the celebration of Our Lord of the
Conquest, the most colourful festival of the month. Indigenous people
(concheros) come from all the villages near San Miguel. Dressed in
traditional clothing, crowned by a plumed headdress, the concheros dance
around the Jardin, across from the Parroquia, the famous pink church, in
honor of "Christ of the Conquest," a statue representing the acceptance
of Christ by Mexico's indigenous people. It was very unclear if they
would be coming this year, as some COVID restrictions were still in
place. The tourist bureau even told me it might be cancelled this year.
We also meet with friends every Friday for lunch at
Oso Azul (Blue Bear) restaurant. As we walked to the restaurant, we could hear
drums pounding the rhythm for the concheros at the jardin! They were all
there, dancing. We stayed to admire and photograph the dancers. We
finally left and hurried to meet our friends who were waiting for us. There were 10 of our friends for lunch that
week, all chatting and listening to the songs of Yarmen, a guitarist.
Suzanne took a great photo of her playing at the restaurant.
Saturday brings the weekly Organic market, with lots of produce as well
as freshly made foods to take home to eat. Tables are set up in what is
a parking lot for shoppers to choose Mexican style food from vendors and
stay to eat and listen to the musicians entertaining the crowd. We try
to be there as many times as possible.
There are always interesting articles to tempt us at the weekly craft
show, held both Saturday and Sunday. My favourite jewelry maker,
Margaret Burbidge, from New York, was not there, but I found booth
selling beautiful hand made blouses that I couldn’t resist. I just have
to wait for the right occasion to wear it.
We invited a group of
our friends to our house for a “cinq á sept”
(five to seven). Everyone was invited to arrive at 5 PM with an appetizer to
share with the other guests. We, the hosts, provided the drinks.
We set up chairs and side tables in our outdoor
patio for everyone. Our guests were able to see our new home and enjoy
the wide variety of food contributed. Officially, the gathering
ends at 7 PM, but since we were having such a good time, the leaving
time was very elastic. It worked very well.
There is a great variety of concert offerings
in San Miguel. We attended a variety this year. We went to a Gypsy Jazz
concert in the outdoor atrium of Bellas Artes, with some friends. The
music, mostly American and European jazz numbers, provided by a quartet
of violinist, base guitar, bass viol and regular guitar, was great. The
day had been breezy, but sunny. The evening proved to be almost freezing
and the concert was outside. Ray and I were both shivering by the time
the concert ended. Our group was booked to go to dinner in an outdoor
restaurant. All except the Andrews and us decided to cancel dinner. The
four of us found a restaurant with room indoors where it was warm enough
to enjoy a meal. Thankfully, it was much warmer the rest of the month.
Two weeks later, we chanced another outdoor
Jazz concert Bellas Artes This time it was warm until intermission, then
got a bit chillier with some wind, but not as cold as before. The music,
provided by an Irish jazz singer and a quartet of Piano, bass, saxophone
and drums, was excellent.
Paprika restaurant promised music to accompany
dinner guests. The night we attended with friends, the music was
provided by two Mexicans, one
both the singer and guitarist, while the other Mexican played the bass
guitar. They were accompanied by young, American girl playing the drums. They
were very good and we enjoyed ourselves. After the show I told the girl,
whose parents and twin brother, had been in the audience, watching her play, that Ray had
filmed her playing to send to our grandson in Paris who has been
learning to play the drums. She thought that was neat. I walked out at
the same time as her brother who had a giant water bottle, just like our
grandsons, Tyler, Ryan and Gavin do for their gym sessions. He told me
he was 17, one minute older than his sister. He had moved to Mexico from
San Diego when he was 7, with his family. Of course, both he and his
sister speak Spanish. He said he learned it all on the street, not from
books, although he was studying German in school.
Last year I attended the finals for twelve
young Mexican contestants performing solos from various operas, vying
for scholarships to advance their careers. This year the finals were
reduced to six young people performing solos, duets and trios from
various operas. The performance was held in cloister of the Templo de la
Tercera Orden, that is rarely open to the public. The last number had all the finalists showcasing their talents
together. The concert was very good.
Casa Europa is usually known for its shows by
European artists. This year it included a concert with Myrna La
Chanteuse, a French singer of Belgian origin. The show was by a Belgian
born artist Caroline Caro, now married to a Mexican and living in San
Miguel. Myrna played the guitar and sang songs a la Edith Piaf. We all
enjoyed the music.
Pro Musica offers chamber music almost every
week, on Friday and Sunday afternoon, in St. Paul’s Church. The
acoustics, wherever you sit are very good and you can see the performers
perfectly in the small church. We managed to get tickets to two
offerings, that are always excellent. One concert was a quartet
consisting of a pianist, a violinist, violist, and a cellist, playing
works by Robert Schumann, Joaquin Turina and Beethoven
As usual, the annual Pro Musica Garden Party
was held in the backyard of a patron. Seating is on either side of a lap
pool, and entertainment is usually lighter fare. This year featured pianist and counter tenor Terry Barber on
Piano and singer Grace Field performing the music of Andrew Lloyd
Webber. Good entertainment. Intermission was the usual 45-minute dive
for glasses of bubbly and multiple snacks.
Another activity we enjoy is “Five Plays”. Five
short plays are offered by amateur, but talented actors in which the
audience is asked to vote on their favourite. I had met Gloria, who
lives in Wahington, D.C. several years ago when we stayed in a small
six-unit condo complex on Animas. She also goes to the same yoga classes
as I do. I invited her to see the plays with me. The plays were
entertaining and full of humour. We both enjoyed them.
It was coming to the end of our stay in San
Miguel. Fiona and Ron Hellstrom invited us to their apartment for a good-bye lunch. We
talked about the good times we had over the past month and hoped we
would see each other again next year.
Barry Mair’s birthday on March 27 triggers a
celebration with whoever is still in San Miguel. This year, it was
brunch at 1810 Hotel on Hernandez Machias, on a roof-top patio,
partially covered by a sun roof. Our brunch selections were very good.
Barry was given a slice of cake for his birthday, plus cards and a few
Our deposit was paid to reserve 2b San Dimas for
next year. It was our last day in San Miguel. The Andrews, Barry and Sheila and Ray
and I were picked up by Bajiogo shuttle and driven to the Mexico
City Airport. We were all staying at the Camino Real Mexico City
Airport Hotel overnight, before leaving for our homes in Canada the next
morning. We met for one last drink and meal together
in the hotel. All was well, we thought.
Our flight the next morning to Toronto was on
time. From then on it was nothing but one trouble after another.
We were delayed getting off the plane, then it was a long walk to the
immigration hall, only to be landed is the hallway above the immigration
hall with so many other people that there was no hope of an orderly
lineup. It was a squeeze play to get to the escalators where we could
see the all was past maximum capacity. It took about 1/2 hour, after we
reached the hall to get through to the luggage area. Then there was
aanother long wait until the bags started to be delived on the carousel
for our flight. The bags came in dribs and drabs. Ray actually located
his, but mine remained missing. The Andrews were lucky and were able to
leave for their home in Oakville. Barrie got his bag, but it didn't have
any tags on it. We had 4 hours between our flight arrival in Toronto and
the departure of our connecting flight to Ottawa. The time was quickly
running out. We were advised to get to our connecting flight and report
the missing bag upon arrival in Ottawa. We made the flight. On arrival
in Ottawa, we reported the missing bag and were told it would get to us
the next day. It did.Barrie and Sheila had to find an official to
replace the missing baggage tags. That took so long, they missed the
connecting flight to Ottawa. They had to stay in a hotel at the airport
overnight and take an early flight the next morning.
We were told that the troubles in Toronto were due to the number of
flights arriving on April 1 and the lack of employees to unload baggage.
We sincerely hope this doesn't occur next year when we fly home on April
Mexico Intro 2021-22
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