Finally 2021 has arrived after living through one of the worst years in modern history. Hopefully you and yours have made it to this point-in-time safe, well and filled with optimism for a much better year to come.
Since mid-June, I returned and have been hunkered down in beautiful San Miguel de Allende, MX. It has proven to be the perfect, if sometimes lonely and even boring place to endure a world-wide pandemic. Thank goodness for Netflix, Prime Video, Apple TV and PBS Video. At least I always have something good to watch!
No holidays here have been celebrated! The huge celebrations normally associated with The Day of the Dead and Mexican Independence Day were cancelled. Touristas which would normally come by the thousands, were asked not to come to town and to wear a mask if they did or get arrested! Bars, even the Jardin in the center of town, were closed to gatherings. Some of those decrees worked – some didn’t – it’s Mexico.
The ex-pat community has lead a huge push for mask-wearing, social distancing and basically staying home. If you mention on the local blog that you are arriving in San Miguel, you will told to please self-quarantine for at least 10 days. It’s your contribution to keeping the rest of us safe and well.
I and a few friends have managed to enjoy a few meet-ups, mostly lunches and always, always at a restaurant with outdoor seating. Like you, I miss spending time with my friends, catching-up over a good meal and a glass of wine, ending our time together with a hug. God, I really miss hugs!
Christmas was quiet. Face-timing with your grandkids and children just isn’t the same as being there with them while they open their presents and tell you that Santa ate all the cookies and drank the milk they left for him next to the tree.
I did get my beautiful, hand-made Mexican tin tree out of storage and put up a few decorations around the apartment, but had no one but myself to see or enjoy them.
I ran away for two weeks in November to meet good friends, Debbie & Michael Campbell, https://seniornomads.com/, in Puerto Vallarta and celebrate Thanksgiving.
Debbie and I split Thanksgiving Day dinner duties. Cooking in an AirBnB kitchen is always an adventure in itself as you never know what you will find missing from what you would consider normal cooking supplies. I walked in and found that my place didn’t have an oven! I had brought the spices I needed, but wouldn’t you think every kitchen would have a mixing bowl? Not!
Debbie did the turkey, (she had an oven!) gravy, fresh cranberry sauce, plus a pumpkin and pecan pie. I contributed mashed potatoes, sauteed green beans and big green salad with fresh dill dressing. And a good bottle of wine was shared by all.
We spent several days at the beach under a rented palapa reading, taking long walks along warm lapping waves, sipping margaritas and dining on freshly grilled fish. Debbie and I took a Mexican cooking class at a hacienda high up the mountain with a spectacular view of PV below us. Our walk to the big veggie market called for a stop for our version of Covid-free margaritas. While sipping wrap your mask around the glass! In the evenings we three would play dominos and for our last beach day, we took a 40-minute ferry ride down the coast to the small village of Yelapa.
It was probably not my smartest decision to travel via air during this time, but I really needed a break and time spent near ‘big water,’ something I really miss living at 6000 feet in a high desert. My best Christmas present was learning that Debbie and Michael are soon returning to San Miguel and will stay until it’s time to fly home and get the vaccine.
Many of you have asked why I haven’t blogged more often? I admit, this is is my first post in months. But if you go back, you will see I have posted many times about life here and all the wonderful things to see and do in San Miguel.
No matter where you live, month-after-month, life begins to take on a normalcy, even during these very un-normal times. There is no theater or concerts to attend, tell you about and share the photos. There are no day-trips to interesting places to share. My life, even though I am living it in Mexico, is not very different than yours, wherever you may be.
But like you, I REALLY miss seeing my family, spending time with my friends….. and traveling! I cannot wait to once again pack my suitcase and head off to…. Japan or Canada or Switzerland or Ireland to finish our self-drive tour! I want to be able to house and pet sit; to wander the streets of a new city in a never-before-visited country; to immerse myself in a different culture and discover it’s history; to taste new foods, meet interesting people and make new friends! I just pray each day that this aging body remains healthy and able to indulge my seemingly never-ending desire to wander.
Please stay safe and well. Wear your mask. As you can see, even Frieda wears hers. Social distance when appropriate and drop me a ‘hi or hola’ to stay in touch!
Until next time….