Monday, February 15, 2016

San Miguel de Allende - We'll be back!

The magical city of San Miguel de Allende!
It was my nephew David and his partner Noah that first suggested we continue our Senior Nomadic lifestyle with a visit to Mexico. They fell in love with Mexico City, and San Miguel de Allende, a small, high desert town four hours north of Mexico City. They were convinced we would love both as well. They were certainly right about San Miguel.

The fabulous Rosewood hotel where we watched the Seahawks lose in the playoffs but had a lovely massage!
Not only is this artists enclave well preserved and filled with architectural treasures, it is crawling with artisans, painters, musicians and writers.There seemed to be endless activities, cultural events, performances and classes. Not to mention spontaneous celebrations, a parade that passed our front door and fireworks at all hours. The food was good and plentiful, and, for better or worse, there was a very comfortable Starbucks with good wifi in the center of town. Of course the sun shone everyday and everything was very affordable - what’s not to love?

We made the local paper while we were in town!
The lovely Jade was the author and photographer for the article.
It is said you will always come back to San Miguel. Some people even say when you visit this enchanting town the first you'll do is have breakfast and the second thing you’ll do is buy a house. We could certainly see why our hosts spontaneously bought their house during recent visit - and also why number of retired expats (foreign residents) from American and Canadian make up around 20% of the population for at least part of the year. 

The master suite of our airbnb. One more floor and you're on the roof deck!
Our Airbnb was in the center of the old town and it was one of the best we’ve stayed in. It was a  narrow four story house with a roof deck facing the cathedral. Every room was decorated with great style and the details and amenities made it just like a stay in a four-star hotel.

Window shopping for things we definitely could not buy!
Fruit, fruit and more fruit! We are eating healthy -when we aren't at the bakery or the taco stand!
Don't forget your greens! Now that is a lot 'o' broccoli!
During our ten day stay we met so many interesting people. It is one of those places where you could easily strike up a conversation anywhere - with anyone who looks like you! And there were plenty of Senior Nomad types. We met an interesting couple at an event and that turned into lunch together. The next day we took a tour of their magnificent home where an extensive remodel is near completion. Their new home sits behind an unassuming narrow wooden door on a side street - but once that door opened you entered a serene courtyard, and beyond that 1000 square feet of meticulously designed living space spread over three floors! I think they are there to stay!

Caps for sale!
Michael also met a stranger in the line at the grocery store that turned into a gathering with her friends at the spectacular Rosewood hotel on the rooftop bar.
Our favorite bakery.
A wide range of subjects covered over cocktails.
At sunset one evening, I was taking a walk in the Hardin (the "garden" square that is the social hub of the city) and spotted a nice looking gentleman sitting by himself on a bench. He was facing the magnificent cathedral that is the center of San Miguel's universe with his camera carefully set on a tripod pointing slightly skyward. My inner art-director took over and I sat down to ask him about the shot he was hoping to capture. “Thousands of starlings are said to swirl together to form a massive dark cloud and then swoop around the cathedral spires at dusk”, he answered. Seemed worth waiting for to me, so I got out my iPhone and we chatted while we waited for this phenomenon to take place as the cathedral turned a burnt orange against the deepening blue sky. His wife came along and the conversation turned to travel and comfortable shoes. The starlings didn't show, but we had such a nice time chatting we decided to keep the conversation going over breakfast. I didn't realize until we met the next morning that I had met Bob Krist, a renowned National Geographic photographer, and his delightful wife and partner Peggy.
The cathedral at dusk.
New friends Bob and Peggy Krist.
Maybe best of all, a woman who follows our blog lives in San Miguel and e-mailed us to see if we would like to get together - she had a car, and would be happy to take us touring. Her name was Lydia Jane, a sage traveler and a great character. She and her trusty dog Boo picked us up and we spent a nice afternoon at the botanical gardens strolling amongst the cacti!

Debbie with Lydia Jane at the botanical garden
This is one of the places where we could actually imagine staying put for a while! Just as the fortunate people who live here foretold - we will be back! 

Thanks for following along!

Debbie and Michael
The Senior Nomads

p.s. We’d like to thank son Christopher and his lovely wife Jamie for the Christmas gift of spa treatments at the Rosewood! It was such a treat for these frugal nomads to be pampered for an an afternoon.


  1. What a great post! I love how you describe your destinations, both educating us, and painting an emotional connection. We love Mexico- it has so much to offer, but have not yet been to Allende- seems you have fiven us a new destination! Thank you

  2. Luckily, it was our good fortune that Michael and I bumped into each other in the checkout line @ Bonanza. Love that pic of all of us on the Rosewood Rooftop. Next time you're in town let's meet up on purpose! Looking forward to it. :-) Safe Journey. Happy Travels.

  3. I can see how much the town has changed in the forty years that have passed since I was there. And how much is still the same. I could live there, for sure. I wonder if I'm destined to return some day. :-)

  4. So fun to follow along! Hi from Bethany!

  5. Debbie and Michael i loved your post and I am sure we will see each other again !! Keep enjoying each day as it comes and love to see how you catch always the best !

  6. It seems you both have a great trip from San Miguel de Allende. Soon we will be out for Europe tours from India with my husband. And we have plan for spend some days in mexico. So hope we could have trip like yours.