Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Mexico Maggie

Maggie has arrived!! She will spend the rest of our vacation with us here in San Miguel de Allende. She is a beautiful, lively 13 year old. And I am not just saying that because I am Grammy.

She has already worked as a hair model for a nationally acclaimed hair salon.

You only have to take one look at her luscious locks and gorgeous face to see why.

We travel a lot with our family, but we like to give each of our grandchildren a one-on-one trip when they are in the eighth grade, and then again when they graduate high school.

For me the "gift of travel" is a very special thing, which I wrote about here.

Maggie has started her own blog about her adventures traveling in Mexico. So if you are interested in taking a look at a fresh perspective on traveling from the point of view of a 13 year old, check out her new blog at Mexico Maggie. and don't forget to leave a comment. She will love to see that someone is reading about her travels.

Gypsy Girl

Monday, April 21, 2008

Eating His Way through Mexico

One of the biggest parts of any vacation for Ron is the food. He loves to eat, but not in regular tourist restaurants. We both prefer to be the only ones in the place from north of the border.

So when visiting the Lake Pátzcuaro area, it was delightful to pull into the town of Quiroga and find ourselves in a huge area of food stalls on the street in front of a beautiful plaza.

The fun part is strolling around the stalls, getting samples of the delicious offerings and then finally choosing what you want to eat.

Ron sometimes has a hard time deciding, so we end up eating more than once. We have learned to get small portions or just one order to split between us. Once you find what you want, you just find a spot amongst the locals and wait for your food to come.
Our second stop was at a seafood place. We each got a shrimp cocktail, but not anything like a shrimp cocktail back home. This was loaded with chopped onion, tomatoes, hot chile peppers, cilantro and a spicy cocktail sauce. YUMMY!!!

Beautiful plazas are bountiful in Mexico. No matter how small or large the town is, there is always a central plaza, which is always the center of activity. So, after lunch we spent sometime in the plaza in Quiroga enjoying an ice cream and just watching the Mexicans enjoy the slow simple pace of life as only the Mexicans can.

It is a shame that most Americans only know Mexico by its border towns, or the big concrete resorts like Cancun, where the only Mexicans they meet are the ones cleaning their rooms or cooking their food.

But there is another type of American that finds the real Mexico and the beauty of the Mexican people and their laid back culture. And it is not hard to see why so many from north of the border find themselves falling in love with Mexico and coming back time and time again and why some end up moving here.

May all your travels be happy ones

Gypsy Girl

Sunday, April 20, 2008


We stayed in the ancient town of Pátzcuaro that dates back to the pre-Christian era. It is considered to be the "crown jewel" of the state of Michoacán. What a delight with several beautiful plazas, impressive churches and cobbblestoned streets.

Pátzcuaro and the surrounding towns situated around Lake Pátzcuaro is home to the Purépecha Indians and still one of the most indigenous areas of Mexico.

They are famous in these parts for the wonderful crafts that they produce and sell in markets, shops and along the streets. The markets are always a great place to spend hours browsing. They are also filled with food stalls, which is always Ron's favorite part. He loves to sample all the different foods.

We are enjoying exploring Mexico more each day.
Gypsy Girl

Friday, April 18, 2008


We took another road trip for a few days to the beautiful state of Michoacán, which is south of us.
Some consider Michoacán to be Mexico's most beautiful state. And it is not hard to see why. We drove through magnificent scenery of fertile fields and plains with the striking mountainous landscape always in the background.

We passed by and crossed over several lakes to get to our destination.

During our trip we stopped and visited several towns that are inhabited by mostly indingenous people. It's quite different from San Miguel de Allende where the streets are always crowded with tourists and the huge American/Canadian ex-pat population.
We saw only one other tourist couple in our few days wandering the streets of 4 towns. It was nice to just enjoy seeing the little sleepy Mexican towns without the hustle and bustle of tourists.

We passed this Mexican who looked like he and his dog put in a hard day of cutting wood.

If you look closely you can see a long handled axe tucked into the pile of wood. Everything here is done by hand.

El Día de Los Muertos (The Day of The Dead) is a huge celebration in these parts the first 2 days of November. I have always been interested in this fascinating celebration, because it falls on my birthday. For more information on this beautifully spiritual event you can check out what I wrote about The Day of The Dead here.

We stopped in the town of Tzintzuntzan to visit a few of the famous cemeteries. And even though it is not close to the day of celebration, you can see by these photos that the Mexicans in this region pay homage to their departed loved ones all year round. Almost all of the flowers in the photos are real.

More to come about the towns we visited in the beautiful state of Michoacán.
I wish you peace, love and laughter
Gypsy Girl

Monday, April 14, 2008

Road Trip

Ronnie is not one to sit still, so now that he is back we are on the road. Today we drove to Bernal, to see the world's second largest monolith. A monolith is a outcropping of a single huge rock.
Read more about monoliths here

They say the town of Bernal can be quite busy on the weekends when climbers come from all over to climb this great stone.

The town of Bernal was a pleasant surprise. It was very quiet, we only saw one other couple walking around, other than the locals. Most of the shops were open and we poked around, had a bite to eat and just enjoyed walking the streets.
Even little Mexican towns like Bernal have beautiful central plazas and always a stunning church.

No matter where you go in town the giant monolith is looming in the background.

We also visited Tequisquiapan, which turned out to be a delight, with its expansive central plaza flanked by a massive church and a pretty garden in the center. The huge artesan and straw market was fun to explore.

Another fun day in Mexico, and we returned home just in time for what is turning out to be a nightly ritual and my favorite part of our day...enjoying another gorgeous sunset.

May all your days be filled with happiness

Gypsy Girl

Friday, April 11, 2008

La Parroquia - The Parish Church

If El Jardín is the heart of San Miguel de Allende, then the beautiful Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel has to be the soul. It has a commanding position overlooking El Jardín, the central plaza. It's striking pink stone towers can be seen for miles. The church is understanably the pride of the people of San Miguel de Allende.
Legend has it that it was the work of an Indian artensan of no training who had seen images of great European churches on postcards. He is said to have instructed builders by scratching his ideas in the sand with a stick.

The city is a treasure trove of steeples and domes and fine churches. Here are just a few.

No matter where you go in San Miguel de Allende you have some kind of a beautiful view of towering domes and steeples.

But the best view of all is the one I get from my balcony, where I can see them all.

Gypsy Girl

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

El Jardín - The Heart of San Miguel de Allende

El Jardín, (the garden), is not only the central plaza in San Miguel de Allende, it is the heart of the city and the center of life. It is lined on all sides with groomed Indian Laurel trees and has a gazebo in the middle.Enjoyed by locals and tourist alike, there is always something going on in this lively plaza day and night.

It is not unusual to see entire Mexican families, several generations of them, sitting in the park, chatting, relaxing, just enjoying the day.

It's a great place to get a shoe shine. One of Ronnie's favorite things to do, and he gets a free Spanish lesson at the same time.

It is also his favorite place to solve all the worlds political problems, while getting another free Spanish lesson.

Sometimes it is just a great place to just take a little siesta.

In the evenings it is always a fun place to sit and enjoy the Mariachis play.

Every day no matter where my travels take me, I always end up visiting El Jardín at some point in the day and more often than not I am there in the evening as well.

I wish you peace, love and laughter

Gypsy Girl

Monday, April 7, 2008

Mexican Neighborhood Festival - Not A Gringo In Sight

I am finding out that the Mexicans love to celebrate. And this Sunday was no acception. La Capilla de San Jose (Chapel of St Joseph) is in the neighborhood where I am staying. There was a celebration in honor of St. Joseph (the earth step-father and guardian of Jesus).

The celebrations started before 5AM. I was jolted out of bed by loud booming fireworks that lasted for a solid hour. It is not unusual to hear fireworks at all hours of the night rumbling like thunder here in San Miguel de Allende. But when it is right next to your house, and echoing off the walls of the nearby canyon, it can be a bit unnerving that early in the morning. There was no going back to soon as the fireworks ended a brass band started playing....mind you it is still pitch black out.

The streets and homes were decorated, from the simple and humble to the elaborate.

Everyone in the neighborhood started gathering early to watch the festivities and wait for the parade.

A brass band played while waiting to march in the parade. You can see by the way the band is dressed that this is a very informal neighborhood celebration.

The children always are a big part of any Mexican celebration. These little girls were so beautiful and by the looks on their faces, they take their parts very seriously.

There are always Indians in any Mexican celebration and these boys were happy to strike a pose for a photo.

After the parade there was celebrating in the streets, and in the church yard with plenty of food, music and dancing. In the evening there was a magnificent firework display which I could watch from my balcony. The partying continued well past midnight.

Another great day in Mexico

Gypsy Girl