Thursday, October 30, 2008


After living here for 6 months, we bid adieux (adios) to San Miguel and Mexico. On Sat., Nov. 1 we begin our 2-day drive back to Dallas TX. We will try to make it all the way to San Antonio the first day’s drive (10-12 hrs), and spend an evening on or near the famous Riverwalk, which Bob has never seen (and Nancy hasn’t been back to in 25yrs or so). We will then stay once again with Bob’s Aunt in Dallas (i.e. our permanent new ‘home’ in USA), for a few days during which time we will cast our Vote in Dallas for the next President, do some banking business, update both our Estate Plans, and sell our SUV. Have to once more ‘thin out’ our already thinned worldly belongings, now down to 2 suitcases each for purposes of airline flight. Our previously booked next destination: BUENOS AIRES. Leaving on a flight from Dallas on Wed. Nov. 5 and arriving in B.A. on Thurs. Nov. 6, where we are booked to spend at least the next 3 months. We’re really looking forward to the excitement of B.A., with it’s international diversity and world class dining and entertainment. And, of course, being a huge city with enormous commercial potential, who knows Bob may find a new job or business opportunity that may keep us there on a long term basis. Otherwise, we intend to explore some other countries in South and Central America through at least next Fall (on the likely 'list': Montevideo UR., Panama City, Quito & Cuenca Ecuador, coastal Brazil, and perhaps short sightseeing visits to Chile and Peru). Then, next Winter perhaps Southeast Asia (Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam) may beckon us to visit. But, that’s all foggy and we are not making any definate plans following B.A. for the time being. Next update in a week or so, after we are settled in our new temporary home (balcony apartment actually) in B.A.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Mike Shaker Visits Us in San Miguel; We see a Bull Fight; and Festival celebrating San Miguel's Archangel

Last weekend (Thurs 10/2 - Sun. 10/5) our good friend Mike Shaker (of Monks Pub fame), came to visit us for the 2nd time -- this time sans wife. After picking him up from the airport in Leon (about a 1 1/2hr drive each way), as soon as we drove into San Miguel, Mike needed to relax with a Marguerita. So, we took him to our fav Marguerita place, where they serve gigantic and delicious ones, with mucho high quality Tequila. Having duly relaxed, we drove home and let him unpack, and immediately trucked out to a new Thai restaurant to eat, joined by a couple of our friendly neighbors.

Next morning, just Mike & I went to the hot springs Spa outside of town, which he enjoyed a lot; and, then toured the town most of the day. For dinner, we went to our country hacienda spot, that serves up all homemade homegrown food, including homemade wine and grappa. A bit depressing though, as we were informed by the owner that her husband had passed away in Italy the past weekend, and they had just received the body and were in mourning (but for whatever reason still open for dining). We tried to make the best of it, and let the owner and her 16-year old daughter talk about him while we lent a sympathetic ear.

Tired and tipsy from a full day of touring, margueritas, wining and dining, we nevertheless dragged ourselves to the center of town to watch some of the weekend long festivities celebrating San Miguel's Archangel. As it turns out, this is the biggest 'blow-out' of the year (at least that we've seen). Crowds and festivities far bigger than even Independence Day. All day and night (starting on Thurs. when Mike arrived), there are continuous parades through the streets and in the town square (Jardin), including native dancers, acrobats, horseback riding, and of course lots of Fireworks. As we finally started walking back home after 11pm, we passed by one of the church squares, and were fortunate enough to encounter a group of caped singers who also passed out free Sangria to the crowd. Reminded Nanc & I of a University town we visited in Portugal where students dressed in capes and seranaded the town every Sat. night. We all had a blast.

On Saturday, after walking thru the beautiful central park and gardens, we went to our first Bullfight in Mexico (1st one of the season). As anticipated, exciting but far too gory and cruel to the bulls. After the bull is let into the ring, it is immediately stabbed by 4-6 colorful spikes (to get it mad and excited), then after a few plays with the Matador, a horsebacked and armoured guy, comes out with a spear pokes the Bull in he back a couple of time to draw some more blood, then the Matador plays with the Bull a bit more until its tired, and finally takes a sword and jams it thru its neck and as the Bull lays down they finish him off with a knife thru his brain. Finally, the Matador cuts off an ear as a 'trophy' and walks around the ring taking bows. And, believe it or not, this is "family fun" for the locals, who bring their babies, small children and Granny to watch and chear. After 4 bulls, we couldn't stomach any more and left (I think they planned on 2 or 3 more after that). Don't think we'll be seeing another one.

Our final evening, we took Mike to our favorite San Miguel restaurant -- the spanish one we had our Anniversary dinner at. As always, it was absolutely fabulous! We were fortunate he had his awesome braised Lamb dish, and Mike also had a really fantastic marinated filet.

As always, Mike was a pleasure to have as a Guest -- albeit exhausting from so much activity.

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