I realized late the other night, while watching the now 12 year old movie Julie and Julia, that I actually enjoy blogging. I know blogs are not au courant these days - unlike in the era that the movie so goofily recounts - the early 2000s. Those days, when the star of the show recreates every dish in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, people flocked to the internet to consume these homier views into people's thoughts and lives. These days YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok have taken over people's voyeuristic impulses, delivering quick hits of content right to the nervous system.
I prefer slow I guess. I still read blogs, and enjoy the pace of reading and viewing images, walking my way through the topic at hand. I love design blogs, travel blogs, and gravitate toward heart wrenching political essays as well. To me it is a much better view into someone's real world than watching a talking head or a bunch of cut and pasted videos.
While I know not many folk ever see these blog posts I cobble together I am making a resolution this year to do more of it. Because I really do like it!
First off in 2021 I have a little recap of our August buying trip to San Miguel de Allende.
San Miguel was closed to travelers during much of the spring and summer for Covid precautions. Once they reopened we reached out to friends and vendors to see if August felt like the right time to cautiously return. Everyone we spoke with encouraged us to come, citing the city's dire need for tourist spending to get back on its feet. Our kids were all in virtual learning mode at their schools and my husband is able to work anywhere with a strong wifi signal, so we packed up the family, donned our masks and flew down to Mexico City, to then drive the 3.5 hours to SMA.
The city was as vibrant as ever, but without any crowds at all. The usual music, puppets and parades did not fill the streets, and there were actual rows of fresh grass growing in some quieter streets, unchecked with the lack of car traffic. In the Jardin square in Centro there were inflatable gates set up at all entry points around the Parroquia that sprayed a mist of antiseptic as one passes through. Not sure exactly what it was accomplishing, but it definitely brought home the whole pandemic mentality. Every shop and restaurant that was open had temperature readers at the door, and many took down your name and cell phone number for contact tracing. Our feeling of safety was better than in Phoenix, quite honestly. Masks were ubiquitous, and we carefully donned ours whenever leaving our house.
We were able to photograph doors to our hearts content! Without tourists picking their way along the cobblestone sidewalks, we had all the door admiring to ourselves.
Most hotels were carefully reopening at very limited capacity, and restaurants were accepting guests for outside dining and reduced seating. We ate many meals at home, but did venture out with the family to enjoy some of our favorite restaurants like The Restaurant
and the rooftop restaurant, Trazo, of our friend's gorgeous Hotel Casa 1810
. The photo below is the stunning entry of Casa 1810 - see where we get some of our lantern inspiration? We have many of these styles at TDL!
I drove out to Delores Hildalgo one day to meet with our Talavera workshop and our candle makers.
Our Talavera source hand builds and paints each and every one of their vases and pots right in Delores. We love seeing the pale tibors becoming the vivid traditional colors of this famous pottery.
Our candle workshop had just reopened the week we arrived in SMA. This image is from a previous trip as they hadn't started production up yet after lockdown. Each pillar candle starts as a slender wick hanging from these racks. Wax is hand poured again and again and again -- over weeks - to get the desired thickness of each candle. The larger candles take about 3 weeks to form. It's amazing to watch!
One of the most rewarding parts of the trip was seeing how well our three kids adapted to school on the road. During our two week trip the kids all stayed on top of their work and participated actively in all their Zoom classes.
We were insanely fortunate to be able to reach out to a friend with one of the most beautiful homes I have ever seen for a haven for all of us for the trip. Usually an Airbnb - see the link here
- we were able to stay there as a special allowance during the time late summer of only partial opening for rentals. What an amazing home to return to each day. Gazing down upon the Parroquia from the glass bottom pool, (that acts as a giant shimmering skylight in the living room!) on the roof is unforgettable.
The kids loved the colorful streets of both SMA and nearby Guanajuato.
We had our fill of all the fantastic taco combinations, and still managed to find some fun mementos in the newly opened tourist shops.
One can never go to SMA without snacks and a drink rooftop at the Rosewood's Luna Tapas Bar
- the light rain did not keep us from enjoying sunset - the restaurant always has heaters and soft blankets available to keep the cold at bay.
Looking back at these photos I wish we could go back right this minute. Online school is not popular with my kids - for good reason - but I do miss traveling with them and ending the day hearing about their work, planning where to get an amazing meal right down the street, and thinking about what new adventure we could get into each weekend.
Traveling with kids is one of the most rewarding things my strange career has brought, unexpectedly, to my doorway. I can't wait to get on the road with them again!