July brought down our first visitors, or as we liked to call them, the “tester guests” to celebrate both my (Ria) 60th birthday and our friend Jerffrey’s 50th. We had planned to have a entire group down here but as with things planned way ahead, stuff happened and we ended up a much smaller group. But it was still a grand time and we look forward to more visits from the northern troups.
Jeffrey actually arrived on the 30th of June after tackling the bus logistics from Mexico City and stayed until July 8th. Nai, David, and their kids Chance and Roxie came in on the 3rd till the 5th of July. It was definitely a full house and only possible because the kids are still young and could share a full size air mattress in the second bedroom. Jeffrey took the futon in the “office”.
Unfortunately Nai had a bit of a stomach issue before she came in to San Miguel and Chance seemed to have caught it. So he was kind of down for the count for his stay here. We have heard since they returned that Chance is going to have none of Mexico for the foreseeable future. We spent their one full afternoon here in the hospital having Chance and Nai checked out. That was really too bad since we really wanted to present our wonderful new home town to them and they only got a small taste of it. Promises were made though that Nai and David will return sans kids to get the true feel of San Miguel at another time. Even without the grand tour we had a really nice time and they are so much fun to hang out with.
Jeffrey’s birthday was the 2nd so we started it out watching Mexico play Brazil at Lolita’s for breakfast. Unfortunately Mexico lost, bummer! It would have been fabulous if they had won (even though no one expected them to) because I am sure the country would have gone bonkers, which would have been fun to see. For his birthday dinner we took him to La Azotea, a restaurant that we had yet to experience. In the evening it was nice and mellow for sunset and the 2 for 1 drinks and amazing jicama tacos were an added bonus. Glenn and I have checked it out at night since then and it seems later in the evening it takes on more of a younger crowd party atmosphere which we aren’t up for. So we will stick to sunset time from now on. We had a few days to see the sights with Jeffrey when he first arrived and before the Derricks joined us.
My birthday wasn’t until the 9th of July, after everyone left, so we celebrated it on the 4th with a a lovely dinner Glenn made at home. It was nice to have a house full of guests and Glenn has turned out to be a very good cook. On the 9th he surprised me with dinner at The Restaurant. My one stipulation was that it had to have been somewhere we hadn’t eaten at before.
After the Derricks left for Bucerieas on the Pacific coast we did a bit more sightseeing with Jeffrey. A day spent at Galleria Atontonilco to check out the folk art was finished off with lunch at Nirvana Restaurant Spa and Hotel and one final stop at the Sanctuary Atontonilco. This excursion will be a must for other guests. After much deliberation at the Galeria, Jeffrey decided on a beautiful jaguar head meticulously decorated with extremely tiny seed beads. It is a beauty and a great choice to remind him of his stay in Mexico.
We have to live vicariously when people buy items in San Miguel as we are firmly set on the “no more accumulation of stuff” path after doing the big purge before we came down here. We take pictures so we can remember things, but ownership is a no no and it is working out great. We have decided experiences not things is our motto now.
Glenn and I hadn’t visited La Gruta yet and Jeffrey was in need of some hot springs therapy for a neck condition so we headed off there for his last day. This is another site to include on future Talken Tours of San Miguel. We had heard good things about the hot springs from friends and reviews on Trip Advisor but we really were not prepared to like it as much as we did. We went on a Saturday and had been warned that it would be too crowded, but we found the grounds to be spacious and with enough varied spaces that it really was quite mellow. And we were, as we always are here, so impressed with how well behaved the children are. Back home if kids are even close to a pool it seems to be run amok with screams of Marco Polo and cannonballs and runs at top speed around the pool. And, I get it, kids will be kids, but as we get older seeing some restraint is welcome and the kids seemed to be enjoying themselves just as much. So far, we really haven’t seen any tantrums. We also appreciated not being totally gouged on the drink and food prices at La Gruta which we expected as it does have a captive audience. The hot springs were really relaxing and I even went through the tunnel to the dome while holding onto Glenn since I am very claustrophobic, and it was well worth the little fright. It was also highlight of Jeffrey’s trip.
Now, the guests are gone and Glenn and I have settled back into our semi-routines. On the 31st we start back to Spanish School, hopefully not having forgotten everything we learned in the last session. We figured out that a week seems to be a good length of time for us to host guests and show them the beauty of San Miguel and let them experience a bit of what our life of retirement is all about. This house worked out perfectly and we will miss it for the months we will be gone. Our next house for October-February is not set up to be as conducive to entertaining, but where there is a will, there is a way. And our time with the “tester guests” was a lot of fun and has shown us that we really enjoy having visitors. We hope they enjoyed their stays with us and went back with good reviews and nice stories.
With a little advance notice, who will be next?