San Miguel de Allende

What else would you do after having your face painted but mount horses and ride into the sunset?

IMG_8644 (1)Our downstairs neighbor Jimmy Hickey painted Rose and Caira for Dia de Muertos on Saturday (last day of a three-day observance.)

Jimmy favors the more-colorful “sugar skull” Catrina look, rather than the scarier black-and-white skulls. I think it works with these two!

We’re blessed to have such creative neighbors! Jimmy and his wife, Gina Bradley, both worked in the animation industry. He was an artist and she was a production manager, most recently called out of retirement by Disney to work on “Frozen II.” Jimmy worked for Hanna-Barbera, Pixar and a lot of freelance animation.

After getting painted and putting flowers on their heads, Rose, Caira, her boyfriend Alex, and I did the next natural thing — mounted some horses and rode through the Campos and up into the hills for a glorious sunset.

After dark, we rode into town and parked the horses across the street from a cantina where we washed the dust down with shots of tequila.

Our ride was booked with Coyote Canyon Adventures and they were great to work with. Should we do the sunset ride in the Campos or the cantina crawl (cantina trot?) in town?

We couldn’t decide.


Climbing up the hillside toward sunset. As I valiantly guided my mighty steed up the craggy trail, the guide came over and told me to stop leading the horse. “He does this every day. He knows it better than you,” he said.  Considering this was — technically —  my first time ever on a horse, I suppose he was right.

Rose and the reservation agent from Coyote Canyon worked it out so we’d make one cantina stop in town after the sunset. A great combination!

That was followed up with dinner at Taco Don Felix, one of our favorite restaurants — where the margaritas are the size of half a regulation basketball.


Caira, Alex, and Rose — three desperados on horseback — atop the bluff, looking at the sunset. Or two Catrinas and a caballero on horseback …

Or, if you drink two, you might say the size of a “full” regulation basketball …

About 3 a.m. I awoke with a start.

Oh, my god. I remember being handed a bill for the meal. I do not remember paying for it. I remembered paying for the taxi home — sorry — overpaying for the taxi.


Can you tell that Rose is a Pilates and Yoga teacher and that everybody does what she says? When she says, “Downward, dogs!” They do it.

So I should have remembered paying for dinner. If I did indeed pay.

After a sleepless night, Alex assured me that he and Caira took care of the bill.

Kids. This is why we have them, right?


Riding into San Miguel, along the edge of Parque Juarez.

Dia de Muertos is at once one of the most important and tender celebrations of family and love and also a jovial good party for all. Death is seen so differently here.

Believe it or not, “Coco” does a really good job of capturing the Mexican spirit of Dia de Muertos.

If you want to see some of the many ways it is celebrated, I have several posts on the blog:


Can you tell which silhouette belongs to the Catrina Rose, and which to me? 

Delicious bits and pieces in town after the horseback ride.


I swear, even the trash in the streets at this time of year looks a little spooky …

A couple of classics — the Parroquia de San Miguel from the Gil Gutierrez’s Bistro Mi Casa (left) and a hot air balloon passes by the San Antonio church early Saturday morning.


And finally, if you ever walked down Sterling Dickinson, you probably paused to look at this mural. Behind the brick wall is a heavily-peopled scene of the front of Ten-Ten Pie restaurant, which is right around the corner. By now, the wall is just another brick wall in San Miguel for just another building. I’ll miss it.


3 thoughts on “What else would you do after having your face painted but mount horses and ride into the sunset?

  1. Pingback: What else would you do after having your face painted but mount horses and ride into the sunset? « Bound for Belize

  2. Pingback: A guest video blogger offers a fresh look at San Miguel … and our home | Musings, Magic, San Miguel and More

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