Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Years From Mexico!

Time to celebrate!
Hola Mi Familia & Amigos!

I can’t believe how fast our three days in San Miguel Allende went by!! :( 
Tomorrow we ride again.
New Years Eve day we spent our time exploring the town.. At the edge of town is an old textile mill that has been restored and converted into  very high end art galleries and boutique shops. We all walked down there and enjoyed the morning looking and shopping. Becky & Kim found a beautiful painting to take home. Bonnie found me an art gallery that specialized in car themed oil paintings but I would not let her buy me one. I wanted her to find something she wanted!
From there we walked around the town, shopped, and went site seeing. The town center is dominated by a beautiful town square and a large Gothic church. The only Gothic style church built in Mexico. The town was founded by General Allende of Spain and he commissioned the Spanish style church.
From there we visited the city market which was full of exotic foods and arts and crafts. 
After a late lunch I took a nap and rested up for a big New Year’s celebration. Bonnie really wanted me to stay up until Midnight and see the party. Staying up that late is a challenge for me…especially after the two margaritas I had at lunch! Bonnie had to help me back to the room for a nap!!
That evening our group had reservations at a fabulous dinner house. SMA caters to tourists and has far more than traditional Mexican food. You can find almost any style cooking you like.. I had a great steak and some fine imported Italian wine… Did I mention this tour is NOT roughing it in any way shape or form? At least in accommodations and food.
Around 11pm we gathered around the church square in the center of town. There were lots of people, music, and excitement in the air but very little alcohol. No drunks or rowdy behavior, just good cheer, dancing, and hugging.. What a nice change from a typical American New Years’ crowd.. Unless you have been into mainland Mexico and experience the people and culture here you do not know Mexico! Here the family units are very strong and the people are very respectful, friendly, and warm. You never feel the slightest fear of crime..

At midnight lots of people lit sparklers, and there was a massive fireworks display and great music. In Mexico they are rather lax on rules and regulations. The fireworks were shot off just feet from us and exploded right above our heads! In the USA they would have had to launch an 1/8 mile or more away and aim them in a different direction! It was a very festive and fun atmosphere.

The next morning we woke up without any hangovers.. A nice way to spend New Years day. We all went on a tour bus to a city called Guanajuato, about 60 miles away. This is a beautiful colonial city with lots of history. First when Father Hidalgo started the revolution against Spain the Spanish soldiers retreated to this city and were eventually surrounded in a fort in the center of the city. Eventually the Spanish soldiers pushed back the revolution and hunted down the four leaders. Each was beheaded and their heads were hung in baskets from each corner of the fort to warn others… but eventually Spain was defeated and Mexico became an independent country. The other thing Guanajuato is famous for is silver mining. The entire city has mining tunnels running under it that are now tunnels for roads. 
Due to all the wealth generated in this city it allowed the city founders to build a beautiful show place of the city. There are classic theaters, universities, and parks all over.
At the end of the day we came back to San Miguel Allende and Bonnie and I went out for a quiet romantic dinner.
All day in San Miguel Allende I photographed the city and I hope I captured enough of the beauty to tempt you to come here. It is  very safe and caters to tourist. I also have lots of photos of the New Years Eve celebration and our time in Guanajuato.  I hope you get a feel for the area. I took a lot of photos of the doors and architecture here because the area is famous for its beauty.

It is ironic because Spain brutalized the locals to mine the gold & silver and other treasures in the area.. Gold & silver are basically decorative metals with no intrinsic use other than to look pretty. What Spain left when they were driven out were beautiful cities worth far more than all the gold and silver extracted. Sometime humans cannot seem to judge real value….
San Miguel Allende was named the best city in the world to visit by Conde Nast magazine and if you ever come here you will not be disappointed!
Tomorrow we start the three day ride back to Texas but we have some beautiful sites to see along the way so I will report to you when I can….
Happy New Year to you all!!


Assorted photos around San Miguel Allende

Lots and lots of beautiful doors!

Here are photos of the various art galleries inside the old mill factory..

Oh look, car painting!! :)

Why not??

This was the original diesel motor and electric generator that powered the factory. Now it is restored as a work of art.

This is one of the original German weaving machines.. A monster of mechanical complexity!

Getting ideas for her next work of art!

WOW!! Even a VW Beetle is art now days..!

Entrance to the mil factory art gallery..

Becky and Kim break the purchasing ice by buying this piece!

Even the first gas pump in town is now displayed as art!

By the way, there is GREAT Mexican food here!

If Mexican food is not your taste they have every kind of food imaginable..

General Allende

Very popular all over Mexico, Ferrari Juke Boxes.. Music players..

Checking out the public market in San Miguel Allende.

Peppers, peppers, peppers....

A local.....

A very colorful city!

The start of the New Years Eve celebration in the town square.

San Miguel Allende at night.

A wild and crazy couple!

Marching banks all over the city..

Stunning courtyards everywhere..

Time to start celebrating!!

Nice to see these ladies happy and enjoying themselves!

I am so proud of my wife! !:)

What a beauty!

Our fearless leaders, Skip & Nancy.. Love was in the air!

The youngest celebrator.. Mexico has very strong family values...

Entering Guanajuato by tram...

One of the local universities.

One of the leaders of the Revolution that lost his head..

One of MANY tunnels..

Wouldn't have to run up these stairs!


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