Friday, July 13, 2012

a day in San Miguel

every single day i think to myself, "i should blog about this"...because every single day we see, experience, eat something new. i want to remember it all. i want to show the girls when they get big where their first adventures began.  this month we have here (five weeks to be exact)is such a gift. and the simplicity and sweet moments that accumulate to build a day are what is the best part of this whole experience.

a day in san miguel:

wake (justin and i are taking turns getting up with the girls)
   this morning was my turn to sleep in and i was greeted with a latte from la ventana and a fresh bagel made earlier this morning. heaven. 

taxi to la gruta. (hot spring pools) i cannot get enough of this place. we don't visit la gruta daily, but we try and do our big adventure in the morning when the girls are fresh. other adventures are the pool, water park, marcado, tuesday market, trolly ride...
stepping into the main pool     
the doorway leading to the tunnel
the tunnel going to the cavern.
the cavern. a-maz-ing.
there are several hot springs around san miguel but this has the best reputation, and after going a few times we really have no motivation to go anywhere else.

home for naps. 
  justin takes this time to go study at a coffee shop or the biblioteca. 
out around town. 
  we get our fruit and vegetables from the mercado de artesanias. grab yet another coffee. buy a gift for someone and of course, plan out our next meal.
our walk to the jardin.

sometimes our walk takes a very long time.

just an "average" street

hang in the jardin. 
   listen to the music. watch the local teenagers break dance or eat an ice cream. 
in celebration of the anniversary of san miguel being named a historical city.
one of mackenzie's many new friends. what language barrier?
mackenzie is learning lots of great moves!
  on our way to dinner, or home from dinner, sometimes it floods rains, and the streets become rivers. but that's not the hard part, i'm use to the rain. let's be honest. eating out with a 3 year old and a year and half year old can be tough. really tough. no matter how good the food, at this late in our trip justin and i pick restaurants where our kiddos can eat and not bother the other people. 

girls home to bed 
justin and i spend the evening together. watching movies.  reading. justin sometimes goes back out to get something done, or see an art show. we've finished dowton abbey season 2. so good. 

ahhhh. we are about half way done with our time here. mackenzie asked several times today when exactly we'd be returning to the blue house. too soon my love, too soon.

Monday, July 9, 2012

auténtica aventura

justin and i decided we needed to get out of san miguel for the day and do something with our girlies. the sun was blazing and navigating the city streets just seemed like too much today.we headed to xote (cho-te), san miguel's very own water park...what an adventure.
there she is...xote!
we coerced the girls down a few water slides, splashed around, and relaxed in the chill water. the park was clean and colorful (notice the disney garbage cans below). justin, brave man that he is, hit up all the big slides, while i was content to float in the baby pool with my gals.
our friendly trash cans, who says clean up isn't fun?

they're smiling, proof we didn't traumatize them too bad going down slides
our big excitement was when it was time to go home, we were on a bit of a schedule as we didn't want to miss gringo bingo (no, i am not joking), at our favorite little restaurant, los milagros.
i asked the worker at the water park, in my broken spanish, where we could catch the bus back to the city. i understood half his directions and set out down the winding path, through the door and to the left, with my fam in tow. we paused at the road and scanned in both directions, nothing but a dried river bed and an old rancho. no cars, no people, no signs. two dogs, who looked to have just given birth, sidled up to us. i envisioned addie being pulled down to the river bed by her ankle. but not to worry, justin chased them away with a threatening stance and a brick.
we stood waiting...on the side of the the middle of mexico...completely alone. and i wondered if we were crazy. finally, the bus did come by and pick us up, it turns out they pull over whenever they see people along the road, so no need to find the bus stop when you're out in the country. we were the only gringos on the bus and the farmers and workers going into town eyeballed us with curiosity. half way back to town i noticed their expressions change to half smiles and small chuckles at addison's shouts of glee as we hit speed bumps, and her "weeeee" as we rounded the bend. she was pretty hard to resist in her green hulk shirt and french braids.

we're planning on visiting xote again next week, and of course, we'll take the bus home.
fuelin' up for bingo, baby!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

mackenzie's stitch

on our fourth morning here in san miguel i broke the coffee pot. i had just filled it from the container of purified water and was turning around. mackenzie was walking passed me at the same moment. her head met the coffee pot and it shattered. she stood very still in the puddle of water and broken glass, perhaps because i shouted for her not to move. i scooped her up and set her on the couch so i could clean up the mess. she didn't cry, or shout or tell me she was hurt. 
i peeked over at her as i squatted down to clean up the glass. blood was running down her face. i cannot begin to tell you the panic that filled me, and the overwhelming guilt. the cut was deep enough that it didn't hurt her, she wasn't alarmed at her blood, and she didn't mind us bandaging the cut as we hurried out the door to the doctor. 
waiting room.
however, she did mind the large shot she received in the eyelid, and the two nurses, one mommy and one daddy that held her down on the table."daddy when you hugged my brain it really hurt!" she reported later. she also wasn't a fan of the winnie the pooh bandage that the doctor put on. she wanted the simple butterfly bandage that she had before. 
we recovered with chocolate cake with sprinkles.
this was her first big injury, her first stitch, and the worst mommy guilt ever. i am happy to report the doctor was wonderful, although i am not eager to return to her office friday to remove the stitch. mackenzie has not complained once about the pain and hasn't even whined about being sponge bathed or not being able to put her head in the pool. she kissed the little cut on my finger and apologized for breaking the coffee pot. who is this child? praying that this is the last of the injuries while away from home and the last stitch for ms. mackenzie.
still smiling, love this girl.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Eating our way through San Miguel

i had this big idea that i would be blogging all the time while i was here, but in reality blogging uses up family time. it also just doesn't quite feel right to do when i have been so disconnected from technology. however, when i sat down today to write out what we've done the past few days, i was shocked to find it is all one big blur. did we go to mega on wednesday or thursday? when did we eat that chicken mole? so i am trying to strike a balance of freedom and also keeping record of our stay here, because let's be honest...i'm already planning my return visit.  
having such a great time!
not surprisingly, much of our journey post thus far have been where or what we've eaten. our knowledge of the city isn't the only thing that is expanding on this trip...whew! we've been eating!

our restaurants so far:

buenas dias: breakfast...delicious! a must for a peaceful breakfast. 
cafe santa ana: cafe in the biblioteca. yummy food, great atmosphere. the perfect spot to munch while you read a book. 
a library. coffee. food. fountain. sunshine. perfect.
mama mia: we got a big pizza however it was not our favorite, but we'll try it again as pizza is a must for the hubs. 
la posidita: roof top date night. delish. beautiful. really reasonable! we'd been there before on our first visit to san miguel, but hadn't realized it until we were up top, looking out at the perroquia.
view from table (source)
cumpanio: great bakery! baguettes and rolls, but also lots of yummy oils and sweets too. we've been back daily since the find. 
la ventana: my sweet friend who lived here (who we visited on our first trip to san miguel) told me this was a must, and it is really great coffee. turns out that being from portland has turned me into a bit of a coffee snob.

coffee that doesn't disappoint
los milagros: i would go back here just to hang with the staff. they were so sweet to our kids, encouraged us in our spanish, and the food was wonderful too! great family place, as you can see they let mackenzie put on her own show (with the help of little sister)

cafe muro: breakfast done right! fresh squeezed orange juice, house made rolls and awesome service.
el pegaso: such a cozy atmosphere. it was dumping rain this afternoon, flooding the streets and making us run for cover! pegaso was the perfect spot to find refuge. we had a comfy corner table and the menu is quite an eclectic assortment of food from asian, mexican, and american, sounds like a catch all but it all was great!
watching the river of water flow down the streets at pegaso