The adventures of Gary & Elizabeth. We left our home in Austin, TX, in April of 2017, and are now living in Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo, Mexico. It’s us, our two dogs Bessie and Sadie, and our cat, Wookie.
Recently we took an extended weekend trip and visited San Miguel de Allende. I took about seventy zillion pictures, so I’ll likely break this trip up into multiple posts.
The colors in the city are incredible. Everywhere you turn there’s a beautiful building, church, painting, flowers, or people.
San Miguel is well over 500 years old, and is an amazingly beautiful colonial city. Because of its location and higher elevation, the weather is perfect. Slightly cool in the mornings and evenings, and 75 and sunny during the day, all without humidity. It’s a perfect escape from the heat and humidity of where we live in Quintata Roo.
San Miguel de Allende
We flew from Cancun to Leon, which is about a 2.5 hour flight. We flew on Interjet, which is one of the smaller Mexican airlines. Similar to JetBlue, Interjet seems to be competing by offering a better experience. They offer a lot of legroom (34″ of pitch!), free checked bags, free snacks and drinks (including free alcohol!). We had a great experience flying Interjet.
We then hired a car service (Viajes San Miguel) for the ride from the airport in Leon to Sam Miguel. It’s about a 1.5 hour car ride.
We stayed at Casa 1810, which is a boutique hotel in the center of San Miguel. It’s a 1-minute walk to the jardin (the central park) and the Parroquia (the famous pink church).
It’s a beautiful hotel with excellent service.
On the rooftop bar of our hotel
View from the rooftop bar of our hotel
View from a cool rooftop bar we stumbled upon
Elizabeth and a mojiganga
Colorful homes are everywhere
Perfect little vignettes are everywhere
OK, I think that’s enough pics for now. More to come later…
This weekend we went to the Cirque du Soleil JOYÁ show for the first time – it was simply fantastic! The theater is at the Vidanta resort, which is only about 15 minutes from our house.
We chose the Dinner, Show, and Champagne tickets.
We arrived a bit early to walk around the beautiful grounds and have a pre-show cocktail in the bar.
We then were escorted to our seats – front row!
There was an assorted of snacks to get started with, and a bottle of champagne waiting for us.
Before the show is about an hour for dinner and pre-show entertainment. There were live musicians on stage – and they were crazy good.
Just like the show – the dinner is a spectacle unto itself.
Champagne and starters
The main course – Short Ribs
Post dinner – they bring out a book…
…which opens to reveal an assortment of desserts
All of the food was delicious – and the presentation was over the top. Every course was filled with oohs and aahs!
Obviously, the show itself is the main attraction.
There were trapeze artists, dancers, trampoline artists, incredible feats of agility and strength – all were incredible. The story line weaved its way through the entire show. Plenty of fun and laughs and smiles along the way.
We had only seen one other Cirque show, and it was a traveling one that came through Austin a few years ago. This was MUCH better!
Sorry – I didn’t end up taking pics during the show – I was too mesmerized watching!
Obligatory Tourist Photo
Like every good tourist attraction, they take photos of you and then try to sell you over-priced prints. What the heck – sometimes you just gotta embrace the tourist experience.
We thoroughly enjoyed our Joya experience. And it’ll be a great place to take friends and family when they come to town.
One of their tag lines is “An experience for the senses”. We would definitely agree.
I was recently invited by some friends to be part of the crew sailing their catamaran from Mexico to Key West.
They’re normally based out of Key West, where they do sailing charters. Before Hurricane Irma hit Florida, they escaped Key West, and set sail for Isla Mujeres. Isla Mujeres is a small island just off the coast of Cancun.
We’ve been trying to sail back to Key West for about a month, but it’s been one storm after another.
Finally we were ready to set sail, and then hurricane Nate blew into the Caribbean. We saw a good weather window open up right after the storm passed.
So last Friday, we popped over to Isla Mujeres. We decided to ride the storm out on Friday night on Isla, then set sail on Saturday.
This was my first time on an overnight, open-water sailing trip – it was great!
I was with a great group of friends, and I learned a ton.
The Makara is a 47-foot luxury charter sailing catamaran.
We set sail on Saturday afternoon, and arrived on Monday afternoon – almost exactly 48 hours.
Total distance was 362 nautical miles. Average speed was about 8 knots, with a maximum speed of 13.0 knots.
It was nice weather, with just a small amount of rain here and there, and the seas were fairly steady. A few hours of occasional bumpiness, but overall it was a super nice sail.
You can’t just stop and anchor out in the middle of the ocean, so it was a non-stop voyage. We worked in 4 hour shifts – 4 on, 4 off. We were either manning the helm, available as support for whoever was manning the helm, or catching some Z’s.
Here’s a short video with some highlights from the trip.
We recently went to Xoximilco with a group of friends – it was a blast!
Xoximilco is a “floating Mexican fiesta”. You spend the evening on these boats that are poled through a series of canals. There’s dinner, and open bar.
It’s basically a drink fest – and it’s totally fun!
The boat captain is an entertainer, and does a lot to keep everyone having a great time.
Each boat holds about 20 people. The center of the boat is long table, and in the center of the table is a built-in cooler full of beers, water, sodas, canned margaritas, juices, and bottles of liquor (tequila, run, and vodka). It’a all you can drink all night. When one bottle of tequila is emptied, the boat captain pulls out another bottle. All night. You’ll want to hire a driver or take a cab, for sure.
The boats – called trajineras
There’a 4 courses – each person gets an appetizer platter, then quesadillas, then a dinner platter, then a dessert platter. The food is meant to be tastings of foods from around the country. They describe it as “various samples of Mexican gastronomy.” Honestly, the food was average. Although you don’t go to Xoximilco for the food. You go to drink, hang out with cool people, enjoy some music, and do a little drunken boat dancing.
There’s a variety of live music throughout the evening – mariachi, norteño, ranchero, etc. As you go through the canals, you pass by musicians on land, and others on boats.
I’m not sure if they always do fireworks or not. It was the weekend celebrating Mexican independence day, so the fireworks may have been a special celebration. Either way – it was a great end to the evening.