San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Little escapes: Seventeen San Miguel experiences you can enjoy while sitting on your couch

Since the beginning of the Covid sequestration, I’ve been taking the occasional walkabout here in San Miguel de Allende. I’ve even taken some that were inspired by my beloved city but strictly products of the mind.

Honestly, we’re all kind of feeling like we are at the “break out” point.

I hope this will help.

Below is a selection of the walks — real and fantasy — that I’ve enjoyed over the past few months.

When you start getting edgy, here’s what you do: get comfortable, take one or two of these blog posts, let your imagination flow free, get a good night’s rest, and call me in the morning.

Or text.

Or don’t.

The point is, these little escapes were good for my mental health. I hope they can prove beneficial for you, my friends, as well.

Shadowboxing and other enchanting things that catch the eye in San Miguel de Allende

This roundup of pictures and inspirations from around San Miguel was posted before we really knew anything about Coronavirus. It all feels so innocent, nostalgic even. It will all come back. Some day. Meanwhile, we have memories. (Feb. 24, 2020)

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Road trip: Taking a deep dive into the thermal waters of Gruta Tolantongo

For us, 2020 was going to be the year we discovered Mexico — short overnight explorations of all that is magical in this wonderful country. We got in two trips before everything closed down. This was the first, to the thermal pools, caves and preternaturally blue river of Gruta Tolantongo. (Feb. 29, 2020)

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Road-trip: Feel the Bernal

Our second road trip came less than two weeks later when we drove over to explore the historic Centro of Queretaro and climb the iconic rock out-cropping Bernal. Who knew it would be the last hurrah of 2020? If ever you want a social-distance experience, climbing the rugged pathway up Brenal would probably be as safe as anything these days. Better than dinner out, I guess. (March 8, 2020)

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Something is different: A morning walk in San Miguel in the Age of Pandemia

By March 20, morning walks around San Miguel were noticeably different. We were all struggling with what it means, how long it will last, and how deep into the fabric of our lives will it cut. This was the first walkabout with our dog, Moppit, where it all sort of came home to me that nothing will be the same again. (March 20, 2020)

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Remembering to dance like nothing else matters

Sometimes you have to let yourself go, do that thing people call “dance.” Extroverted people. Not folks like me. This was partially inspired by a lost day at the Rosarito Beach Hotel in Baja with a dance-crazy Hollywood crowd. (April 19, 2020)

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The almost-empty museum of beautiful flowers and cobblestone streets

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A man and his wife and their dog go for a walk. There is no punchline.

Stepping outside feels alien enough. Without turning it into something else. San Miguel is pared to its essentials. (April 24, 2020)

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Grateful on this cool, preternaturally calm Sunday morning, I ask myself, isn’t this just enough, for now?

So much gratitude on this Sunday morning for the missing cars, the furtive church bells, the harmonizing songbirds, the neon-pitched flora, a Rose that glows brightest of all, the third cup of coffee, the homemade blueberry muffins, the fresh glorious morning air with its shy, cool breeze — and I ask myself, isn’t this just enough? For now? (April 26, 2020)

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Reasons to be cheerful before 10:30 a.m.

What do we need? HOPE!
When do we need it? NOW!
Who are we going to get it from? NOT FACEBOOK!
Then from who? (Or “whom” or “what”?) WINE!

OK! But are there any other vehicles of hope,
ones that we can remember in the morning?

Jesus, you people … (April 30, 2020)

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Come, walk with me, through the magical door and into the garden of stone angels

We don’t live here anymore. But when we did, this oasis of tranquility grew critical to my peace of mind as the pandemic progressed. So, like any good soul would do, I turned it into a magical garden, through words and pictures.

Step in, set your mind free, relax, roam around. Be careful. Don’t step on the elves, and angels, and fairies. (May 6, 2020)

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Sequestration meditation: Walk among the trees, with the thoughts of Hermann Hesse

“For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers.

“I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves.

“And even more, I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. ” — Hermann Hesse

(May 10, 2020)

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In the absence of art and pageantry by agile minds and clever hands, Nature fills the void

We don’t do fireworks in San Miguel de Allende any more.

The hot-air balloons drifting slowly over the city at dawn are gone.

Parades and processions are put on hold.

Concerts under the trees have been muted.  (May 11, 2020)

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Time to step up and raise at-home fitness training to new levels with M.C. Escher-cise

Look, I was only kidding. I didn’t really create a home exercise program called Escher-cise.

But, you know. Let’s fantasize a bit.

A guy’s got time on his hands and no inclination to do pushups or jog, soooo …. (May 19, 2020)

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The rainy season turns San Miguel hillside neighborhood into a vernal wonderland

The rainy season has begun in San Miguel de Allende and brings with it an abundance of lush and impossibly green vegetation. There is a freshness to everything — the streets, the air, the flowers now blooming everywhere in mad bursts of color.

Walking though older parts of San Miguel feel like you have been transported to dense tropical forests in an era far removed from the present. (June 28, 2020)

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Parque Juarez: On the outside, looking in

These days, we walk around Parque Juarez.

No, not walk around in Parque Juarez.

Just, walk around. The perimeter.

We circle the park, as you would circle a fishbowl. (July 9, 2020)

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No rhyme, no reason: Randomly curated photos from the Pandemic-era

There is no doubt that during self-isolation, we have changed. As our lives slowed down, our perception has improved.

I dare say that we are all seeing, feeling, hearing, loving, fearing in ways our previously busy, noisy, distracting, and demanding lives would not permit. (July 20, 2020)

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No rhyme, no reason, Part 2: Seeing things

Some pictures are kind of like the world we live in today: Fractured, confusing, disorienting, distorted.

But there is hope. A way out. An opening in the distance — with a glimpse of promise on the other side. We just need to stay focused on that opening.

Don’t get distracted by the distance, the rough roads, and the impossible exits. (July 29, 2020)

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A good Sunday morning walk to the Presa, unspoiled by the reality awaiting back in town

We went for a walk on Sunday. Or maybe it was a hike. When does a walk stop being a walk and become a hike? Is it the distance? The degree of difficulty? The moment when you suddenly realize one call to Uber could end all this? (August 4, 2020)

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BONUS: Walking the Camino from Porto to Santiago

And a bonus feature! Last September and October, when the world was simply a crazy place and therre was no Covid to kick us around, we spent about a month walking from Porto to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

It was life changing. And it was, unknown to us, the training ground for surviving in the pandemic world. I put together a day-by-day narrative of this journey, lush with pictures where words might have failed me.

Who know it would become a nice escape for so many? I hope you enjoy it.

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2 thoughts on “Little escapes: Seventeen San Miguel experiences you can enjoy while sitting on your couch

  1. Pingback: Little escapes: Seventeen San Miguel experiences you can enjoy while sitting on your couch « Bound for Belize

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