I am not someone who puts several topics together on one post but the last few days have been so full I am just going to plunge ahead.
Queretaro on the weekend is an amazing place. Every one of the million residents must come to the Centro to stroll, eat, buy balloons, and enjoy their happy lives. The dancing and music was wonderful – Saturday was the dancers performing the specialities of various States and Sunday was ballroom dancing. Sure made me wish we knew how to dance like that.
We have been walking so much! Two nights we collapsed with exhaustion after walking basically all day! There is a funny story I´ll relate when we get home about our B & B -hotel fiascos that required quite a lot of trundling our bags all over the place, too!
Monday Queretaro becomes a quieter place. There are plenty of benches in the sun or shade as you prefer. We had made arrangements before we left the US to for a tour of neighborhoods and houses available with a local realtor. He took us to something like 15 houses, which gave us an amazing overview of the kind of housing available here. We know we could find something great here – we´re just not sure if we can locate in a neighborhood where we could walk to lots of things. We didn´t see any houses in Centro, and we´re not sure we could handle the crush of people every weekend on a regular basis. The climate here is wonderful though.
Our realtor told us that many people in Queretaro are from elsewhere because of the growing economy and that the service people are not very helpful because of that. We´ve noticed people (with the exception of taxi drivers) are less tolerant of our uncertain Spanish. I guess that´s a good reason to improve!
Tuesday we got a taxi to the bus station and caught a bus to San Miguel de Allende. The timing meant we got a Flecha Amarillo that stopped a lot along the way. The landscape is very dry, kind of reminded us of the Walla Walla area with the Blue Mountains in the background. San Miguel appeared before us like a dream – with the spires of the churches the first thing you are aware of.
We taxi´d over to Billie and Ned´s – and were blown away by them…it truly felt like we had known them forever. Their obvious love for their city, their home, each other, and life in general is wonderful. Their home is absolutely gorgeous – perfect in every way. We could move into it in a minute and not change a thing. They gave us a nice overview of neighborhoods and where to go in Centro. I really hope we can continue to get to know them once we get moved.
We didn´ts stay very long because we knew they had a party to prepare for and we had our exploration of San Miguel in front of us as well as a bus ride back to Queretaro. We spent the day up and down the streets of San Miguel, visited the market, the squares, various stores, etc. We spent a fair bit of time sitting and watching people (and reading the map) and trying to figure out the gringo/Mexican relationship there.
There are a lot of gringos but especially away from Centro it was more regular. Just walking around for the day though showed us that we would like to come back and get to know the town in more depth. The only question is whether we could find affordable housing there. So, Billie & Ned – we´ll be back, and next time we´ll remember the box of chocolates and not leave them in our hotel room!
Today is a free day in Queretaro, and also Valentine´s Day. It seems like it is a big holiday here as the balloons are out in force. We may just stroll around and bench-sit here and there or we might try to figure out if we can doa quick trip to Tequisquiqapan. When we leave here we´ll figure that out.
Thursday we will head to Mexico City to spend the evening with our son and daughter-in-law. We head back to Washington Friday in the early afternoon. I´ll be really sad to leave.