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Welcome to delicious Destinations, a GourmetStation blog. Through the charater of T.Alexander and occasional real-life guests, our aim is to share with you light-hearted fun ideas about food, gift giving, entertaining and culture. At the same time we would love you hear from you. Please share your experiences from home or abroad.
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San Miguel de Allende - A Mexican Paradise
Posted: July 25, 2009
There’s nothing more fun than to write a post after a successful vacation. The post and images sort of memorialize the experience; you know what I mean. In addition to rest and relaxation, this vacation was about seeking a retirement destination. Everyone who knows me knows how important the Borzoi are so the destination needed to be within driving distance of US. I would never air freight my 4-legged kids. My friend Mark Stine recently purchased retirement property in Panama – very nice but driving across Central America with 5 Borzoi did not seem practical. So I was left with Canada and Mexico. While I absolutely love Canada and Canadians, the weather is unfavorable to my aging bones, so the research began with Mexico.
I had traveled to Mexico 5 times in my life, mostly to Mexico City for business and Acapulco for fun. The remote central highlands never registered on my radar, but as I was researching on the Internet, it came to me over and over. “It” is the lovely colonial town of San Miguel de Allende GTO located about 4 hours north of Mexico City.
Cradled by the Sierra Madre with an elevation of 6500 feet, there she was…speaking to me with all the warmth of Mexico. Honestly I hoped I would not like it because the notion of becoming an expat is a lot of work. But there was no resisting this beautiful Mexican jewel; it took less than a day to fall in love with San Miguel.
So what’s the big deal about SMA? The peaceful energy, taxi drivers that would stop to allow pedestrians to cross, the contradiction of the arid dessert to the lush foliage of the rainy season, the fresh food especially the taste and smell of corn, the friendly people that would take time to stop and assist travelers, spring-like year round climate, the emphasis on the arts and art education. The architecture dates back to the town’s origination in 1542 with authentic neogothic and Spanish colonial design.
All electrical and cable wires are being buried by SMA so remove the cars and you’ll step back in time 500 years. That’s what the Mexican government wanted when they protected the town in 1926. UNESCO also recognize this jewel by declaring it “Humanity’s Cultural Patrimony” in July 2008.
As far as food – it was all excellent. Ole Ole was extremely authentic offering many beef entrees in a theme centered around bull fighting. Not a sport I would participate in, but part of Mexican heritage and culture nonetheless. Our accommodations at Casa Schuck
came highly recommended and it will be hard to forget their delicious authentic breakfast in the blue on blue dining room.
House hunting was an adventuresome two-day event guided by real estate agent and new friend, Wesley Gleason. Wesley owns his own agency in SMA, Agave San Miguel, and as a 5 year resident, he knows the ropes as they say. If you are thinking about a retirement destination in San Miguel, Wesley has many listings including condos and lots where you can design and build your own home. There have been many signs pointing to SMA and the least overt was the fact that Wesley lived in my hometown of Atlanta before relocating to SMA – just 2 or 3 miles from where I live now. How about that for serendipity!!
After writing this post I was contacted by two SMA enthusiasts. Below are their links including a blog that provides a true insider view. Enjoy.