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Moving to San Miguel de Allende: Chapter 2: La Vida Mexicana

Chapter 2: La Vida Mexicana

A month has flown by and tomorrow we are moving across town, to a new, more spacious villa – la villa morada. The villa is perched at the top of another steep cobblestone hill and is painted in a glorious hue of purple, accented by brick and ironwork. There is a small courtyard with many potted plants, a laundry room (no more handwashing clothes!) and a fountain. The entry is inviting with a small living room, a large kitchen and a breakfast nook with a beautiful view of La Parroquia – the views become more and more stunning as you go up each floor.


Bouganvillea flourishes everywhere.

The entire house is tiled in various colors of ceramic tiles, and there are iron banisters and furniture and brick arches everywhere. The ceilings are in the style called “boveda,” domes built of interlocking bricks. You can’t help but marvel at the ingenuity and artistry of Mexican architects.

Up one flight of stairs is the comfortable living room, the bedroom that Leigh, Annie, Laurie and I are sharing, one large bathroom, one smaller bathroom and the “computer room,” a tiny study where we will set up our laptop. There are arched picture windows in every room, and all showcase a magnificent view of San Miguel. Up the final flight of stairs is Mom’s very spacious bedroom, bathroom and walk-in closet, as well as two terraces. Both are decorated with potted plants and trees, and are superb places to unwind and watch the sun set behind the Sierra Madres.


The colorful Jardin.

We are all excited to be moving into a larger house and to explore the other side of town. The villa morada is close to the Instituto Allende (a famous art and language school) and Parque Juarez, a large, lush park of exotic foliage, elaborate colonial fountains and fascinating bird-life.

As I sit here in the living room of our cinnamon villa I can hear mariachis singing in the Jardin, punctuated by the blasts of fireworks going off in the distance. Firing them off the hill outside of town seems to have become a nightly tradition, holiday or not. We have heard there are only nine days out of the year that are not fiesta days in San Miguel, and from our experience so far, I believe it!

We have started to develop friendships with many Mexicans – in the restaurants, in the tienditas, in the art school, Bellas Artes. And they are all very excited about the upcoming Dia de los Locos.

Dia de Los Locos

Hilarious absurdity at the Dia de los Locos parade.

Gerardo, our buddy at our favorite restaurant, El Correo, has been participating in this wild fiesta for 26 years. This year, he and his friends and family are all going to be pirates… He brought his photo album to show us, and it certainly does look completely loco! They have gone as characters from Planet of the Apes, French poodles, gypsies, aliens, mummies and grasshoppers, to name a few – they make new costumes and masks every year. Gerardo takes the making of his costume very seriously and he told us that the wonderful day is coming too fast – he has so much work to do!

Javier (a friend at Bellas Artes) and 150 of his closest friends and family are going as “katarinas” this year – ladybugs. As another of our Bellas Artes friends put it, “¡una plaga de katarinas!” Both Gerardo and Javier have invited us to join their families for the post-parade dinners, and we’re going to find a way to attend both. And weather permitting, we are going to try to go to a soccer game on Sunday with Javier and his family.

So, our first day in San Miguel has quickly slipped into a delicious month of new experiences and we are now caught up in la vida Mexicana. We are on Mexican time.