The seed was planted right after we finished up with the 2017 Family Adventure Summit. Most of the organizing team was still at my house and we dove in deep to the huge task of planning the 2018 summit in San Miguel de Allende. Brainstorming and inspiration come much easier when enthusiastic minds are able to collaborate in the same space and feed off each other’s energy!
That is when Mike and I started to think about coming down to SMA this year. I’m the Logistics Coordinator and Social Media Manager for the Family Adventure Summit and planning would be SO much easier if our family could swing a trip down to Mexico for this year’s Day of the Dead. Experiencing it this year so we would know what to expect and plan for next year would be so helpful!
Once the seed started to grow, the flower bloomed within a weekend. On Friday we were researching, by Sunday night we had booked our tickets and a one month stay in San Miguel!
Our trip started with a road trip to Las Vegas to see my Sister and my Brother-In-Law. From there we flew direct to Mexico City, stayed the night in a 5-star airport hotel that had a 5-star lobby but a 2-star room, and then took a shared shuttle down to SMA.
We ended up having our shared shuttle all to ourselves as there were no other customers! Sweet! Our driver was AMAZING. He gave us Spanish lessons, paid for our bathroom breaks, shared his snacks with us, and then bought us corn on the cob (rolled in mayonnaise, cheese, and spices…sounds weird but it was super yummy.) He also bought us some roasted pork a few blocks away from our temporary home in SMA. He refused payment for anything, but we gave him a $10 tip cause he certainly deserved it. What a nice guy! He has been driving tourists on that shuttle for 16 years and he said he gets a lot of grumpy and racist people, (his words, not ours) so he was really happy to hang out with our “nice” family. Our trip was off to a good start!
We were dropped off to our Airbnb in SMA to a warm welcome from our host. Our house is a big 3 bedroom, in what we now feel is a great neighbourhood. It is a 20-minute walk to the downtown area and there are several restaurants, frutarias (fruit stores), corner stores, tortillarias (tortilla stores), and carnicerias (butcher) within a few block radius. It reminds us of our apartment in Spain where we had all we needed within walking distance. The only thing missing is a bakery.
Although I had specifically asked when I booked the Airbnb about the Wifi and if the kitchen was well equipt, we were let down on arrival. The Internet was out that the kitchen had hardly anything in it. Luckily our hosts were really apologetic and responsive. It took four days for our Internet to get fixed, but our hosts gave us the neighbors password and there was one specific spot at the front door that I could get the signal if I didn’t move the computer. If I don’t have Wifi, I can’t work! I made a long list of kitchen supplies and our hosts brought most things on the list over the next few days. We did end up buying a blender (our hosts brought us a crappy one) as we brought 5 pounds of organic cashews from home to make our own nut-milk. When we come next year I might even bring some good pots and pans from the thrift store. Having quality kitchen tools is important to me!
We have spent the last week exploring and we really like it here! It feels European, while still being very Mexican if that makes sense. There are restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets and we have enjoyed finding places with good food at decent prices. The markets are super fun and inexpensive and are a great place for cheap eats.
The streets are narrow cobblestone, with tiny sidewalks that end without warning. By the end of the day our legs are sore from walking on all the uneven surfaces. This town certainly works your leg muscles!
The buildings are colorful and full of charm. The Centro is beautiful with its old churches and squares and everything feels very rich in culture. We’ve seen Mojigangas dancing in the streets, Mariachi bands playing to passersby, and on our first night here fireworks went off almost the whole night!
We have such a good feeling about this place that after five days, we ended up extending our stay another month!
We are really looking forward to digging deeper as I do my research for the Family Adventure Summit. It’s a hard job, but someone has to do it! Ha!