Monday, July 26, 2010

the USA away

Well Dorothy, we're certainly not in Antigua anymore. It's looks a bit the same (sadly maybe nicer with less trash) but it certainly doesn't feel the same. San Miguel de Allende, aka GringoLandia in Mexico, is where we found ourselves holed out for a few days last week.

A beautiful colonial Mexican city, with a bit of an expat following (like 10,000 - no lie), San Miguel was the very first "real" Mexican town I ever visited (after a quick couple of days in the D.F). That was 5 years ago, when I spent part of my summer traveling and studying Spanish with some friends & coworkers. Of course I fell in love with it despite it's gringo problem, and wanted Ben to experience it's beauty too. Like Puebla, San Miguel has been on our "must go to" list for this stateside return trip for a long while, so we were pretty excited when we finally left Mexico City and made the 4 hour drive north.

Rolling in after dark, we found our way to the San Miguel RV Park & Tennis Courts, right in the center of town. While the location can't be beat, and the bathrooms are the absolute best we've experienced yet, the campground could have used a bit of sprucing up. It appeared that the grass hadn't been mowed in months and all of the RV spaces were in the dirt. Ewe. One of our 2 neighbors was quick to tell us that it was the best RV park for nearly 200 km....that's not saying much!

One side of the small campground backed right up to some chicken coops, which would have made our travel companion's day, but we opted to set up camp in the best spot left on the other side, right next to a giant German tank. (Close your eyes and scroll down a few strokes if you feel enraged when you see Hummers on the road....this thing may give you an anurysm!)

I swear we have seen this monstrosity another time during our southward bound Mexican road trip. The campground manager told us that it has been stationed in the park for a year - at $17/day that's kind of pricey - but considering that they shipped a tank across the Atlantic, I'm sure money ain't a thang. Ben swears it is a legitimate converted garbage truck and I think he maybe right. Anywho, let's just say that the folks inside (and their cats) didn't seem to be so happy that we pulled in next to them and pretty much didn't speak (or show their faces) to us during our entire 3 day stay. Well actually that's a lie. The woman did make an appearance one afternoon to polish her case of jewels (not kidding) at their outdoor table. The whole thing was a bit comical considering it was at one of our last trailer parks that we met a super friendly, humble German guy.

Moving on - it was there in San Miguel that we spent the next couple of days roaming the streets, taking in the sights and just relaxing.

The main cathedral is amazing & looks like it is right out of Barcelona.

The streets are so gorgeous and vibrant.
They make you feel like you're walking during another time.

The cultural center makes for a nice walking destination.

Flashback to June 2005

The artisan market, filled with some of Mexico's best handicrafts, wanders on forever.

I even found my Must Have Lust: Otomi textiles
(but alas, I didn't make a purchase....yet)

If you don't have a problem speaking English and hanging around a lot of other foreigners, it's a lovely place to visit and one day we'd really enjoy taking our families back.

San Miguel de Allende = very safe tourist friendly Mexico, without a beach.

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