Family Visits

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We have visitors!
A good excuse to take a little time
To go see various places that we normally don’t go see on our own, and to re-visit old favorites which we love to see over and over.

This week John’s daughter Sarah is here
Next week, his son Robin comes to visit.
Sarah has never been out of the US, missed her first plane but managed to arrive on time, so it was a little nerve wracking.
It’s all brand new and fresh for her.

We began the visit by picking her up
At the Queretaro bus station at 10pm
We came through town to see the  Jardin at night
And to hear some Mariachi music.

Saturday night
We went to see Gil & Cartas & Doc Severinsen
Lobo showed up at the break to bring a little of their old sound back.
It’s always a treat and always inspiring.
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Sunday morning we had brunch at the Sierra Nevada Hotel
A breakfast of fruits, cheeses, chiles en nogada-cold,
Quesadillas de pollo, rajas, flor de calabasa, eggs any style
Along with coffee, mimosas, sweet breads.

Quesadillas, eggs and cafe de la olla from the chefs on the outside patio
Quesadillas, eggs and cafe de la olla from the chefs on the outside patio (Hotel Santa Monica)

Followed by, what else
a photo with the local insurgente policeman.

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A visit to the newly re-done Allende Musem
A walk through town and a couple of naps that day.

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On Monday we arranged with Bill and Heidi,
Owners of Casa de la Cuesta B&B,
To visit Bill’s mask museum and Heidi’s folk art gallery.
If you have not gone to see these fantastic collections
This is a must – do.  Bill has a collection of over 400
Traditional dance masks from all over Mexico,
Each one has been danced in a local or regional dance.
There are descriptions and stories in Spanish and English
Which describe the festivals that they are danced in
As well as the history, religious and spiritual context
In which they were used.
Along with this there is an ongoing video
Showing the festivals and dances.
The museum is beautiful and thoughtfully laid out.
You’ll need more than one visit to take in everything.
Maybe an overnight or two at the gorgeous B&B
To see it all.

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Here's the view of town from the top terraza, Casa de la Cuesta B&B

Wednesday morning we hopped the 7am bus to Leon
Followed by Guanajuato.
Leon is the shoe and leather capital of Mexico,
A sprawling industrial city of about 3-4 million people
We only saw the 4 square blocks right outside the bus station
Where the shoe and leather markets are,
Searching for work boots for Gabriel,
Cowboy boots for Allison,
Wallets and belts for everyone else.
This took about two hours.
Sarah and I could have stayed longer
John was politely hanging back,
Ready to head off to Guanajuato
After an hour.
It’s overkill, over the top shoe and leather shopping.

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Every style, type and color of cowboy boot you could want.
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Red cowboy boots for Allison

Then off to Guanajuato.

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Guanajuato

First stop, Cafe Truco on Calle Truco #7
A new find, suggested by a friend.
A comfy, very old and established restaurant
Hidden away in the center of town
On a tiny callejon where we had turkish coffee,
Enchiladas with papas & zanahoria,
Enfrijoladas and sopa de ajo con huevo

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The atmosphere is casual and comfy
With a very old old feel to it –
Thick walls, brick, dark wood
Table lamps that give it  soft light.
The kind of place you can curl up in,
Read the paper or a book all day long.

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The ambiance of cafe truco - sit at the counter with your morning (or afternoon) paper, a cup of coffee by the diffused light from the window, next to a reading lamp.
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Cafe Truco - Turkish coffee, made and served in copper pots
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Turkish Coffee in it's blue tin - 3 scoops per copper pot

Satiated and with our second wind
We climbed aboard the funicular and el pipila monument.
Sarah is says  ‘just don’t look down’
John says ‘just look out to the side’
I’m practically crawling out the door to take photos.

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This is the first time we have seen people up at the top
Of course we crawled up there ourselves,
Four stories of one person wide steps
For a view of the city
And an open spot in the glass
Where about 500 pieces of bubblegum
Were plastered to the wall.

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There’s a great walk down into town
Which can be found a little up the road
Next to a big round water tower.
It winds down the steepest part of the hill
Past homes, stone walls, gardens
And beautiful views of the city.

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Back in town, we went right to the market to wander around
Then off to Plaza San Roque
Where we passed this gorgeous Watermelon carving

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Then up the calle del beso –
The narrowest street in Guanajuato.

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And this scrumptous dessert – helado tempura
A baked alaska type dish that has ice cream
Dipped in a tempura sauce then covered in chocolate
Decorated with mango slices.
And we sat for an hour people watching,
Enjoying the day.

Here’s the  video of our day –
Click on the photo below to view it

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Helado Tempura -- click on this photo to see the short movie of our day in Guanajuato.

We’ll do a separate post on our visit to La Canada de la Virgen.



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