Tag Archives: San Miguel de Allende

San Miguel de Allende: Food, Folks & Feliz Navidad!

Me and Jason hanging out on our balcony in San Miguel.

Me and Jason hanging out on our balcony in San Miguel.

Driving days are rarely interesting days. I curl up tightly on Victoria’s lap and try to snooze through as many of the bounces and jounces as possible, sneering at Maya’s drooly face every time she tries to force her way into the front seat. While the drive from El Tule to San Miguel de Allende, our next destination (and one of My Family’s favorite spots), was no exception, it was one of the LONGEST driving days I’ve ever survived. Nothing went wrong; we arrived in one piece and none the worse for wear. However, the drive took us TEN WHOLE HOURS! That’s an awfully long time. Somewhere in the middle Maya started protesting, turning herself around and staring at the back, perched precariously on the middle armrest. Around hour nine, Jason started to get seriously punchy, laughing at things that weren’t funny, leaning forward in his seat, gripping the wheel with white knuckles and asking Victoria “how much longer?” every few minutes. By the time we pulled into the tennis courts/RV park in San Miguel where we were going to stay, Jason couldn’t walk in a straight line! 

Me and Mike, one half of my new friend Ducati's Human Family.

Me and Mike, one half of my new friend Ducati’s Human Family.

Thankfully, I immediately met some cool dogs to take my mind off the mind-numbingly boring day I just experienced. Ducati is a Chihuahua like me, but a bit tougher; he’s riding a motorcycle along with his Family, Shannon and Mike. They plan on driving all the way around the world! We also met a big, black, furry bundle of excitement named Rufus, and his Family, Krista and Paul. They have a camper that comes in two parts, and are exploring Mexico in advance of a longer trip next time around. Maya was too on edge to have much fun with these guys, but after spending so long with Morena as my only company, it was great to meet some new friends! My Family was pretty exhausted, so we tucked in early before seeing much of San Miguel.

Ducati, Maya and I waiting for treats. Our Humans love making us sit and wait and wait and wait...

Ducati, Maya and I waiting for treats. Our Humans love making us sit and wait and wait and wait…

The next few days were not the best of reintroductions to this beautiful city. First of all, Victoria’s ankle was still the size of a small balloon, so she wasn’t exactly in the mood to take us on long walks through town. Secondly, San Miguel was COLD! It’s up in the mountains, which means the nights and early mornings are seriously chilly. Luckily I had my trusty hoody, but I still spent way too much time shivering. Maya doesn’t seem to feel it, but Maya doesn’t notice much of anything, even now. I wonder if she’s ever going to get any smarter. She doesn’t even understand what a blog is! Sheesh! To make matters worse, Maya barked at a man who lost his tennis ball in our campsite, and the next morning the owner came by and told us she was too aggressive, and if she barked at anyone else we would have to leave! Anyone who has met Maya knows she’s the farthest thing from aggressive, though she does have quite the big dog bark. My Family immediately went into Panic Mode. Leave the RV park? What would we do? I overheard them mentioning we were going to have visitors (YES!), so we couldn’t just move on from San Miguel. Since Victoria’s ankle was keeping her pretty immobile, Jason went on the hunt through town to find us a place to live.

Holy Brrrr, Batman!  Lucky for me, I have my rad hoodie to keep me warm.

Holy Brrrr, Batman! Lucky for me, I have my rad hoodie to keep me warm.

It didn’t take very long. Even though San Miguel was very busy with the holidays swiftly approaching, Jason found us an apartment just a couple of blocks away. The owners had no problem with us dogs, and the apartment was right over a restaurant, guaranteeing delicious smells all day long! Jason spent hours unloading the camper and moving our stuff, and soon enough we had moved the camper into a parking spot and relocated into our home away from home for the next six weeks. I was sad to be leaving the nice dogs behind, but at least I no longer had to defend Maya from the grumpy tennis players. I mean, you’re hitting a ball into our campsite? What self-respecting dog wouldn’t bark at that?

Super scary, right?

Super scary, right?

The apartment was super sweet. It had two comfy beds to lay on, a TON of sunny spots, and a nice little balcony I could lay on as much as I wanted. Maya soon learned to jump from bed to bed, and even though the room was small by human standards, us dogs had tons of room to chase toys and wrestle. Not too shabby, if you ask me. The only negative of the apartment situation was it made leaving us dogs behind at home super easy for Jason and Victoria. That meant many nights home alone, while they went out exploring. I heard about trips to get tacos, eat chicken wings, sing karaoke, and chow down on churros in the main square. We didn’t get tastes of anything! I guess I shouldn’t complain too much. How many other dogs get to have an adventure like this? Yet when you’re used to going everywhere with your humans, it made for a couple of incredibly grumpy nights.

Me and Sarah.  We're pretty cute in our matching hoodies, dont'cha think?

Me and Sarah. We’re pretty cute in our matching hoodies, dont’cha think?

Thankfully, the grumpiness didn’t last long. Our good friends Shae and Olivia (and their humans Sarah and Hani) appeared in San Miguel! I found out they were going to stay in town the whole time we were there too!! Maya and I met Shae and Olivia in Costa Rica, but we only got to spend one day with them. I was super excited when we ended up having many more days together, with all of us dogs hanging out in one of our Family’s apartments, wandering the cobblestone streets (as Victoria’s ankle started feeling better) and even sitting in outdoor restaurants. It was a regular doggie party!

My friend Shae.  She's a poodle but we don't hold that against her.

My friend Shae. She’s a poodle but we don’t hold that against her.

The party continued with a super fun holiday: Thanksgiving. In case you haven’t heard of it, Thanksgiving is a Human holiday (though I guess only celebrated by Humans from the United States? Not sure I understand that part…), that involves getting together with friends and family and eating until you fall asleep. Basically, it’s your perfect holiday. We all got together at Sarah and Hani’s apartment, and huddled around the Humans’ feet as they cooked a massive meal. Chicken, potatoes, veggies, and even a pie for dessert! The smells were wrapping around my tiny heart, and Maya was dancing from paw to paw, staring up in anticipation at Jason and Sarah as they cooked. The Humans laughed, ate and drank the night away, making sure to give us dogs many a delicious treat. What a great day!

Cobblestone streets.  Easier on the paws than you'd think.

Cobblestone streets. Easier on the paws than you’d think.

After that, My Family fell into a nice routine. Shopping in the farmer’s market, wandering the gorgeous central district, hanging on the patio while Jason worked, and nights out with friends. The apartment was nice and comfy warm, even at night, and Maya and I had no shortage of playtime. Jason would also take us on long walks on the street and in the big park nearby. I felt right at home in this busy city, but Maya was a bit less enthusiastic. She never lived in Venice, and doesn’t really understand cities that well. I’d walk on leash all day long, but Maya darts around, afraid of every loud noise or person that walks by. It’s pretty exhausting. I’m hoping that she mellows out with more time in the city, but she might just be a country dog at heart. She doesn’t know any different, after all.

Even the walls in SMA are pretty cool.

Even the walls in SMA are pretty cool.

One day Jason came home from the supermarket with a huge box: it was a tree! Apparently there were more Human holidays coming. Christmas was just around the corner, and My Family decorated the apartment with all sorts of cool stuff. The tree sat in the corner, covered in lights and balls and what looked very much like doggie toys. Maya thought the same, and kept trying to chew the tree apart. This tree wasn’t for eating or peeing on, however. Victoria said presents were going to go under it, and some of them were going to be for me! After I heard that I made sure Maya left the tree alone.

Me and Maya in front of the tree.  See all those presents, the pile got A LOT bigger once Lorna and David showed up!

Me and Maya in front of the tree. See all those presents? The pile got A LOT bigger once Lorna and David showed up!

Have you heard of Christmas? I’ve had a few of those, but it was brand new for Maya. It’s another holiday when Humans get together and cook delicious food, but there’s also something about a fat Human in a furry outfit flying through the sky and dropping presents for children down chimneys. I don’t know, it sounds sort of sketchy to me. I was starting to get seriously excited, but we still had a ways to go before ripping into those presents. And I’d have to deal with another change first.

My Family woke up very early one morning, and stood outside in the freezing cold with a couple of bags. Before I knew what was happening, Jason was getting into a van and saying goodbye. It was another business trip! I mean, COME ON! He just went to LA! Now he was leaving again? I’m used to it by now, but Maya was aghast. To make matters worse, Victoria wasn’t feeling well at all. I could smell it on her, and I knew it was one of those times when my licks wouldn’t make any difference. It’s called ‘The Flew’, and Humans get it all the time in cold weather. As Jason was leaving I could tell he felt really bad for Victoria, but Humans have to work so us dogs have food and a comfy home. So off he went, and in bed Victoria stayed. Sarah and Hani brought Victoria fresh juice and pizza, and helped get Maya and I out of the house every once in a while. But those were some slow days. Maya protested Jason’s absence too, spending a whole night sleeping in the shower. What a strange puppy.

Look at these little doors, almost like they were meant just for me!

Look at these little doors, almost like they were meant just for me!

Thankfully, this business trip was much shorter than the last one. Jason was back in just a couple of days, happy to escape the gloomy New York City weather and return to his favorite people and pups. Victoria got better, and we were soon back into our routine. The Humans worked, read, cooked, shopped and explored the city; us dogs snoozed in the sun, wrestled, chewed on toys, went for walks and snagged delicious treats. All in all, I couldn’t have asked for more. As Christmas got closer, San Miguel got busier, and fireworks were a regular occurrence. Maya HATES fireworks, so I had to babysit her a lot, snuggling up so she felt protected. She even hid under the bed sometimes! I don’t know why she’s so scared; loud noises can’t hurt you. Luckily, our visitors came soon after.

Another thing Maya is scared of?  The hot air balloons that floated over our balcony every day.

Another thing Maya is scared of? The hot air balloons that floated over our balcony every day.

It was Lorna and David, Victoria’s parents (aka, My Favorites)! I could barely contain my excitement when they walked through the door. This was only the second time Maya had met them, and she didn’t remember how awesome they are. It took a little bit of time for her to get comfortable, but once she did, we just had the best time. They were staying in a house not too far from ours, so we saw them all the time! They would come over for breakfast, and then we’d all go wandering the city. Lorna and David loved San Miguel, the colors, the art, the beautiful sunsets and the delicious food. Christmas finally came, and oh my gosh, it was so much fun! Millions of presents were piled under our little tree, and Maya and I got to open a bunch of them! We got new toys and delicious treats that look like snowflakes, and had so much fun ripping into the paper. The Humans got some stuff too, and though they weren’t all things you could eat or toss around with your teeth, they all seemed happy. In the afternoon we all went over to Sarah and Hani’s place and had another one of those huge, delicious meals. This one even involved bacon, so Maya and I could barely contain ourselves. We got to try all sorts of stuff, and had a bunch of fun playing with Shae and Olivia. I’m not sure life gets any better than this.

Maya L O V E D opening all our presents! Thank you Lorna and David! xo xo

Maya L O V E D opening all our presents! Thank you Lorna and David! xo xo

Chillin' on the couch with Hani after we all ate way too much delicious food.  I love Christmas :-)

Chillin’ on the couch with Hani after we all ate way too much delicious food. I love Christmas :-)

Of course, then it did. Our friend Heather showed up that night! Heather’s from Venice, but she had come to visit us in Costa Rica as well. The next few days were a whirlwind. We had Lorna and David in town, and I squeezed every last moment of snuggle time with them I could possibly get. They left, but Heather was still here and before I knew it, My Family’s friend Angie came in too! On top of that, we met these cool people named James and Lauren, fellow travelers staying at the RV park (who didn’t have a dog at that point but they do now!), and another traveler named Kelly who had a dog named Zoey. So many fun people, and they all loved me!

It all came together on New Year’s Eve, maybe one of the coolest nights of my whole life. There was a big party at Sarah and Hani’s, and everyone was invited, including us dogs. A big meal, and there were five of us dogs there, along with more than a dozen people. It was the best kind of nuttiness you could imagine. San Miguel was lit up as bright as daytime and jam-packed with people. Music, fireworks, and more smells than my nose could even keep up with. Maya wasn’t thrilled with the busy atmosphere, so Jason took us home before things got too crazy. I still got to take part in the best of these Human holidays, celebrating with some of the nicest folks we had ever met. What a lucky dog!

All of us at the New Year's Eve party (umm… before we got sent home).

All of us at the New Year’s Eve party (umm… before we got sent home).

So now it’s 2015, which is a whole new year in Human time. We left on my Big Adventure in October of 2013, so we’ve now been exploring this beautiful world in the Big Camper for well over a year. Pretty amazing. We’ve had some ups and downs, but what an amazing journey it has been. I’m not nearly the same dog I was when we left Venice way back then. Our family has expanded, we’ve got tons of new friends, and I’ve seen more places than most pups get to visit in a lifetime. Pretty incredible.

A few days after the New Year we said goodbye to our friends and this incredible city. We spent almost two months in San Miguel de Allende, but really it felt like two minutes. I overheard My Family saying they could easily live here, and though I prefer the warmth of the beaches, I definitely understand why they feel that way. We had an amazing time, and everyone was a little bit sad to be leaving. However, the beaches were calling our names. After three months in mountain towns, it was time to hit the coast. I couldn’t wait!

PS: To see some of the the photos My Family took (and more pics of me!) click here!

19
Jan 2015
POSTED BY Neli
POSTED IN

Mainland, Mexico

DISCUSSION 2 Comments

Hunkered down in San Miguel de Allende

 

Me on one of our many walks around San Miguel de Allende.  It was really cold, but luckily I had my puffer jacket to keep me warm!

Me on one of our many walks around San Miguel de Allende. It was really cold, but luckily I had my puffer jacket to keep me warm!

The morning we packed up to leave Guanajuato, Victoria was pretty sad. She even started crying. I don’t see her cry that often, but even before that happened I could smell that she was upset. Jason and Victoria were talking, and apparently someone Victoria loved had died. I had never heard this word before but apparently everyone and everything dies eventually, even dogs and people. From what I understand, when you die you go away. Forever. That means you never get to see the people you love ever again. I can’t imagine not ever seeing the people and dogs I love again. I have a ton of questions about this: Where do you go? Do you get to come back eventually? Am I going to die? I feel like if I was going to die at some point I’d know, so maybe I won’t? Do people know this and they just walk around everyday just not thinking about it? So many questions, and no good answers. Anyway, I gave Victoria some extra special snuggles and kisses, to help her feel better. I don’t think it really helped that much because she was still sad, but she did smile and we finally left the camper to meet our new friend Katie.

Katie works with an organization called Do Good As You Go, and my family had planned to volunteer with them while in town. I guess we didn’t tell them we were getting there in time, because there was no volunteering to do on such short notice and we were only in Guanajuato for a short while. But we did have a nice chat with Katie, and we gave her a video camera that our friend Hani had donated before we left the wee blue house. I guess that camera is going to do some good in Guanajuato, so an extra special thanks to Hani for helping out!

Cobblestone streets mean you have to pay attention to where you are walking

Cobblestone streets mean you have to pay attention to where you are walking

After breakfast at Katie’s we hit the road. Our destination was a town called San Miguel de Allende, which is in the mountains just like Guanajuato. The drive wasn’t terribly long, which I really appreciated. San Miguel is really old, the streets are very narrow and paved with bumpy stones, so Jason needed help getting inside the gate. I think he scratched the side of the camper a little bit, but thankfully nothing was broken! The San Miguel RV Park & Tennis Courts was really nice, with comfy grass to lay in and a lot of people to say hello to. Unfortunately, most of them didn’t understand My Family that well. Victoria found out they were all from Germany, which is another country far across the ocean. They don’t speak English or Spanish in Germany, which made it a bit difficult for My Family to communicate with them. But we had a great spot to stay, perfect for exploring the city.

I thought we were done climbing up and down hills when we left Guanajuato.  I thought wrong...

I thought we were done climbing up and down hills when we left Guanajuato. I thought wrong…

Our time in San Miguel was good. When Jason was working I got to lay out in the grass, snooze in the sun with Victoria, chase cats and basically take it easy. I did get to go on a few really nice, long walks through the city, and that was pretty cool. The cobblestones were fun to walk on, and there was always something to see. We met up with a new friend named Robert and his girlfriend Patricia. Robert had been doing a trip like our Big Adventure, but once he made it to San Miguel he decided to stay for a while. Jason and Victoria seemed like they might do the same thing. They loved the nice people, the beautiful buildings, the delicious food and the incredible art. Personally, I didn’t see what the big deal was. I spent a lot of time waiting around, standing outside of art galleries, watching them eat delicious food I didn’t get to try and freezing in the cold night air. Oh, and the church bells! There was a church right by our campground, and the bells would ring at all times of the day and night! Victoria joked that she wanted to keep track, because the bells went off at odd hours, like 3:22 or 8:13. Jason didn’t appreciate the 7AM wakeup call, especially because that was when the bells would ring louder and longer than ever. But on the plus side, there was really pretty live music in the streets, and even a concert we got to check out in the main square, or Jardin. There were even huge dancing dolls that would swing their jiggly arms around and shake their hair over kids’ faces.

Gato, that means Cat in Spanish.  They don't like playing with dogs, just like American cats.

Gato, that means Cat in Spanish. They don’t like playing with dogs, just like American cats.

One of the most fun nights we had was Thanksgiving, which is a holiday we celebrate back home where family and friends get together and eat a lot. Obviously, it’s one of my favorites. Victoria and Jason found somewhere that was serving Thanksgiving dinner just like at home, and it was awesome. I got to go to a really fancy restaurant, which is unheard of. There was a beautiful view of one of the town’s big churches, every dish smelled amazing, and from the sounds Victoria and Jason were making I could tell it was good. I got to taste the turkey and we made some new friends, including a nice lady that hugged me and let me kiss her face. Basically a win all around.

The biggest house in San Miguel de Allende.

The biggest house in San Miguel de Allende.

Not every night was that good. There were a couple of times that I was left in the camper alone. I made sure I didn’t scratch up the screen anymore, so Victoria and Jason would know I’m a good girl. Each time, My Family came back smelling delicious. Once it was Italian food I could smell, and yet there were no leftovers for me. The next time it was chicken wings. Chicken wings! And none for me! But Jason was pretty excited that they had finally found good beer in Mexico. In fact, they even went back a couple of days later and bought some to bring with us on the road. I’m hopeful they will share some with me this time…

We spent a lot of time just walking around town while My Family looked at buildings.  Fun.

We spent a lot of time just walking around town while My Family looked at buildings. Fun.

I know that Victoria and Jason really loved San Miguel de Allende; they even said they could picture themselves staying there long term. I hope if that’s the case they get me some extra blankets and share some more of their tasty treats. Sure, I got to try tacos and tamales and even some Chinese food… But no sips of that sweet smelling alote? Not even the smallest bite of chocolate? Maybe I’m doing something wrong?

PS: If you want to see the pics My Family took in San Miguel, you can find them here!

06
Dec 2013
POSTED BY Neli
POSTED IN

Mainland, Mexico

DISCUSSION 2 Comments