San Miguel de Allende

Catrinas and Catrines are coming to life in San Miguel de Allende — for Halloween!

IMG_8219Day of the Dead is ramping up in San Miguel de Allende.

Some stores are draping their entrances in beautiful floral designs. Marigolds are everywhere. Altars to loved ones who have passed away are being erected in household doorways, on staircases, and in the cemeteries and parks.

And, of course, the Catrinas and Catrines are beginning to come alive.

Last week, the only Catrinas in town were in store windows and displays — and they are beautiful. Now, their walking and talking embodiments are hitting the streets!

At least, the face painting is going on all over San Miguel — especially in Centro where outdoor art studios are set up in the streets and scores of people are waiting their turn for the magical transformation to take place.

Here are a few pictures from this afternoon in Centro! Continue reading

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Memoirs -- fact and fiction, Uncategorized

Flashback: Halloween on St Lucia, but with tricks and treats you wouldn’t believe

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View from the deck of our bungalow in the jungle canopy at Anse Chastanet on St Lucia, our home for two weeks in 2011, exactly eight years ago this week. Rose is teaching yoga at Jade Resort, up the mountain from us and at Anse Chastanet, right on the beach. My first visit to the Caribbean and it is off to a fantastic start. (Rose taught here five years ago.) The peaks in the distance are the Pitons, also the name of the local beer, a light lager, perfect for the tropics.

Here’s the situation:

You know that you are going to get married on February 12, 2012. In Los Barriles, Mexico, a quiet little fishing village just 40 kilometers up the coast from the craziness of Cabo San Lucas.

The invitations have already been sent out. 

It was a photograph with the inscription, “If you can make it, you’re invited.” More than 40 family and friends took us up on that offer. But that is another story. (See the invite at the bottom of this page!) Continue reading

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Memoirs -- fact and fiction, San Miguel de Allende, Uncategorized

My mythical past

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A friend came over to dinner the other night and we subsequently discovered that her mother’s family and I share the same last name: Hawkins.

It happens.

I also share the same last name with a number of terrific athletes, musicians, and celebrities going back to the great basketball player Connie Hawkins.

In fact, if you go to Ranker.com, there is a list called “Famous People With the Last Name Hawkins.”

I am not on it. Continue reading

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San Miguel de Allende, Uncategorized

Catrina window-shopping and skull hunting in San Miguel

img_8108Make no bones about it, The Day of the Dead — days, actually — are nearly upon us. The signs are all around us.

Just as pumpkins proliferate in the States, here it is the explosion of Catrina figures, skeletons, and marigolds that clue us to the season.

The skeletons and skulls are everywhere: on T-shirts, on handbags, made of sugar, as objects de art, on fabrics, in miniature, in bigger than life papier mache. Continue reading

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San Miguel de Allende, Uncategorized

Tart art and caffeine in San Miguel’s garden of earthly delights

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The view from my seat in the courtyard of Bellas Arts, San Miguel de Allende. That the coffee and tarts are delicious is merely a plus for this lovely setting.

The other day I posted a picture on Facebook of a fruit tart and coffee at Zenteno’s  Bellas Artes cafe. A good-sized chunk of the tart was missing.

Not missing, actually.

I know exactly where it went. Continue reading

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Memoirs -- fact and fiction, San Miguel de Allende

Welcome to the Cobblestone Pocket Museum of Tiny Found Objects which might be magical

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The current contents of the Cobblestone Museum pouch.

Welcome to Cobblestone Pocket Museum, the traveling collection of tiny found objects which may or may not have magical properties.

The museum is housed in a gray felt pouch big enough to hold one pair of sunglasses. It does not because sunglasses even if found would never qualify as “tiny.”

The bag has a zipper at one end and the rubber tab on the zipper says “Jet Blue,” which I used to fly whenever possible when the airline first launched. Continue reading

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Camino: Porto to Santiago, Uncategorized

Best way to return to Porto after walking for two weeks? With a bag over your head

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Overlooking some of the beach that extends west from the village of Finisterre.

Santiago de Compostela to Porto (160 km – felt like being in a sci-fi movie and life is playing out in reverse. Not recommended!)

There are so many ways to return to Porto at the end of your Camino walk. You can fly, take a train, take a bus, car pool (there’s an app for that) …

My advice is, whichever way you choose, put a bag over your head.

Sensory deprivation will be your friend.

Here’s why. Continue reading

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