Friday, December 28, 2012

In San Miguel with Grandson Josh

Leonardo mural, Biblioteca, top left.  Josh & me at Hecho en Mexico; Josh, in front of a beautiful carved and painted door on Ancho San Antonio, a main street; at Jardin de Don Quijote,, in his room and on his deck, from which you can see the town;, on the balcony surrounded by red bougainvilla;  at the oldest church; and at the Mercado de Artesenia, bottom right corner.

“I woke up this morning and wondered where I was, then it came to me,  oh my god, I’m in San Miguel!”  Josh, my fifteen-year-old grandson, was telling me about how his first day had started as we ate dinner at Hecho En Mexico.

And we are having the best time together.  Josh is a sponge, and he noticed right away, as we traveled from Leon to San Miguel in our shuttle van, that “We aren’t in America anymore.This is definitely Mexico!” he said, as he took in the countryside and the mountains, the towns, the landscape of the dry high desert, the architecture, the roadside stands.   Right away he noticed lots of beat up old cars, still going, a true Mexican talent. What a gift to be traveling with my grandson to a place I know and love!

After a long travel day on Wednesday, 26 December, from Detroit (our flight left at 6am) to Houston to Leon/Guanajuato, Mexico, otherwise uneventful, we got to San Miguel at 5:00 pm, and got settled in our B&B, the Jardin de Don Quijote, as colorful and cheerful as always, the lush garden in full bloom. Josh discovered two cute ducks wandering around the fountain.  We wondered how they got there.  Maria, the owner, and her daughter Alajandria, greeted us warmly, and so did Dona, the revered 90-something nanny and grandma. Josh even managed hola, mucho gusto, and gracias in Spanish.  He charmed the Garcias!

“Want to take a walk into town,” I asked Josh.  He looked at me, eyes half shut. I think he was thinking “Is she serious?” but only said “Sure!”  Tired as he were, Josh decided to stay up a little longer instead of crashing. What a good traveler! 

So we took our first walk into town, to the Jardin, where Josh got his first glimpse of a lively Mexican public square and the famous Parroquia, the beautiful cathedral.  It was a warm and balmy night, with an almost full moon, and the bells of the cathedral tolled as we arrived. We walked around the square and then got a bite to eat at the Café de Jardin, where my sister and I had enjoyed meals and margaritas.  We sat at a table outside where we met Ricardo, an IT worker from southern Mexico on vacation with his wife and two kids. We learned a lot just sitting with him and listening to him talk about Mexico.

Josh is absorbing it all: the language, the culture, the architecture, the cobble-stoned streets, the people, the street life.  He liked his first glimpse of all the little shops where you can buy everything imaginable. We got back to the B&B and crashed.

On day two, after a hearty breakfast served by the Garcia family’s long-time cook Marilou, we took another long walk into and around town.  I decided we’d go to the Biblioteca and the Artisan’s Mercado, to catch more street life, indigenous arts and crafts, and the feeling, sights and sounds of San Miguel’s bustling, joyful daily life. Josh loved it. He liked the David Leonardo mural at the Biblioteca, and especially liked the Mercado, where you can buy everything from Mexican crafted souvenirs, fresh fruits and vegetable, cheese and edible cactus, to homemade toys, and inside, everything from produce to clothes. 

 “Can we go back to the Mercado” he asked at the end of the day.  Sure thing. Anytime. We’re getting into the pace and lifestyle of beautiful San Miguel.  We’re taking it easy, taking it in, and having a ball!      

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