Monday, August 31, 2020

Walk Theme: Door Knockers in San Miguel de Allende


A Poster in the Women's Restroom at Hank's Restaurant
    Okay, this isn’t the door knocker variety I’m referring to, but I couldn’t resist…
A Hand Style Door Knocker on a Very Old Door

     Door knockers are an old tradition in San Miguel de Allende centro, many on ancient doors. They are good subjects for interesting photographs while exploring. Yesterday, during our one-mile walk downtown, I made it my ‘Walk Theme’, trying to see how many different styles I could find.

     We continued our walk onward toward Hank’s restaurant, enjoying the Spanish colonial architecture along the way. Then we each enjoyed grilled salmon and fresh green salad with our wine, a perfect ending for a lovely walk.

     I invite you to take a look at my updated “Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico” website. Please let me know what you think. 

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Monday, August 24, 2020

Walking for Our Health and the Views in Scenic San Miguel de Allende During COVID-19

 Fitbits, Masks, Sunscreen, Walking Map… We’re Ready!

Hat Vendor Selling his Wares in San Miguel de Allende
Imagine the Exercise He Gets Walking and Carrying His Hats!
     One of my strongest beliefs is that walking and other exercises are essential to maintaining good health. Letting the COVID-19 pandemic prevent us from getting exercise will only lower our bodies' defenses against the viral infection. So, we walk for our health using safety measures. We wear our masks in public as required here in San Miguel de Allende, but more importantly, we practice safe distancing while we are on our walkabouts.
Terry in Front of the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel
     While Jon took my photo in front of the famous Parroquia, the neo-Gothic 17th-century Catholic church, many other people walking in the plaza politely waited until he was finished before resuming their strolls. Young and old, most Mexican people are kind and courteous.
View of the Back of the Parroquia
     Several blocks and turns later, we had a great view of the back of the pink limestone towers and elaborate architectural features. The clear, bright blue sky and puffy white clouds made a perfect backdrop.
A San Miguel de Allende Centro Neighborhood
     Our route took us through a colorful, quiet neighborhood in centro. The yellows and rusty-reds seem to be the predominant home colors here, often one color above and an accenting color below. Away from the plaza, there weren’t too many tourists so it was easy to distance ourselves from others. I love the flowers and trees growing from balconies and rooftops.
Roof Water Drains Come in All Shapes in SMA
     I’m intrigued by the variety of water spouts above garage doors that drain rooftop rain onto the streets here in SMA. I could do an entire post of photos of the different, interesting types.
More Beautiful Cathedrals and Buildings in SMA Centro
Back at the Beginning of Our Tour, Jon in his Flip Flops
     We arrived back at the beginning of our self-guided tour and I noticed that Jon was one of few wearing flip flops, the only "walking shoes" he will wear. After walking the loop, our Fitbit pedometers gave us positive feedback for our healthy walk at the 6200 feet altitude of SMA. We had each walked over 5000 steps, over 2.5 miles. The hills we trudged up and down were recorded as the equivalent of 14 flights of stairs. I had obtained 21 minutes of aerobic exercise and Jon had 42 minutes. Time for a sit-down rest.
El Jardin in San Miguel de Allende during COVID-19
     Sadly, El Jardín, San Miguel de Allende's main plaza, across from the Parroquia was closed, the benches and park blocked with yellow caution tape. We found space away from others on the side steps of the Parroquia to sit and rest while people watching. Being Saturday, it was getting a bit too crowded at 5:30 in the afternoon to stay comfortably distanced. Next time, we’ll avoid this area on the weekends. After watching a little girl blow bubbles with her new bubble-gun for a while, it was time to navigate the maze of streets to find our dinner restaurant.
Our View from Our Table Inside Firenze Restaurant
     Our Italian meal and the wine at Firenze (meaning Florence) restaurant were delicious. At 6:00, we were the only diners inside, though their delivery person was busy taking orders out the entire time we were there. The service and care with cleanliness were exceptionally good. We highly recommend Firenze and will return.
Our Self-Guided San Miguel de Allende Walking Tour
     San Miguel de Allende’s summer weather has been perfect for afternoon walks. Temperatures in the low 80s, humidity 30 to 40%, and air quality so clear that the photos from my inexpensive Android phone just pop!
     After a healthy walk and an artistically presented meal of antipasto and Chicken Marsala, we called Uber for a restful, safe (masked) ride home. We can’t wait for our next self-guided walking tour and dinner afterward!

     For more information on “Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico” and my “In Sickness and In Health Novels”, set in México, see my Amazon Author Page. Please leave a review or rating on Amazon to help others find my books.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Our First Evening Out in San Miguel de Allende During COVID-19

 Dinner at Hank's New Orlean's Cafe and Oyster Bar

Masked Up and Ready to Enter Hank's

     Masks are just one of the strict requirements for going into public in San Miguel de Allende during the COVID-19 pandemic. We noticed that most people wear them here, though it appears that it’s acceptable to slide your mask down around your neck if you’re walking down the street eating an ice cream cone. Good idea!

Sign at Entrance to San Miguel de Allende Pedestrian Area of Centro

     To enter centro, the area closed to vehicle traffic, all pedestrians are currently required to walk through a misting station that we were told sprays a natural antimicrobial ingredient. We took off our glasses, closed our eyes, held our breath, and walked through as quickly as possible without breaking into a jog. Running, even hurrying, is not common in the Mexican culture and we try to blend in.

A Quiet Walk to Hank’s on Hidalgo Street

Entrance to Hank's at Hidalgo #12 Centro

     We’re happy that many restaurants in San Miguel de Allende have opened back up for dining in. Hank’s doesn’t look like much from the street but the inside is warm and welcoming.

Hank's Front Dining Room with a Street View

     Hank’s was our first choice for dinner as we were craving American comfort food. Sometimes a change from Mexican food is in order when living here. We shared a Greek Salad, which the kitchen kindly split into two generous portions. A shared order of grilled salmon with baked potato and coleslaw with horseradish was more than we could finish. But, of course, we had room for their famous Key Lime Pie.

Happily Enjoying Greek Salad and Wine

     The candles added a romantic atmosphere to the dining room. We enjoyed the music, mostly 70s American rock ‘n’ roll, fitting the New Orleans style. The tables, spaced well apart, were filled with about half Mexicans and half norteamericanos, and the service was exceptional. We’ll return often in the next two months to work our way through their menu, a satisfying change of flavors here in México.

     Have you read my “Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico” true-life adventure books and my “In Sickness and In Health” novels set in México? Check them out at my Amazon Author Page.

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Terry L Turrell, Amazon Author