Friday, April 13, 2007

Entertainment Mode

The Cooper Week (Part I) – Week 6: When you have criss-crossed and explored most of your vacation community, you then feel obligated to put together the best itinerary for your visiting guests, and try to make it interesting for yourself. Thus, for the Boyd week and now the week of Les and Carol Cooper’s visit (friends from Chelan) I set out a very detailed written schedule which usually gets blown apart right at the start. For instance, on Tuesday, we planned to take them to Guanajuato in the afternoon as their flight arrived at noon. I could thus avoid another driving trip to Guanajuato during the week (we never made it to Guanajuato with the Boyd’s!). I should have accounted for the airlines running on Mexican time, as the flight arrived 1 ½ hours late. We really did not have time to do Guanajuato justice, so the plan was aborted. We did make it downtown for a drink at the rooftop bar at Pueblo Viejo, then one of Mary Ann’s exquisite Mexican dinners at the casa. As the Cooper’s had flown on the red eye, they then crashed, having made it to 9 p.m.

The visitor plan always calls for taking the historical tour the first Monday, Wednesday, or Friday following arrival. Having left the cold Northwest, the Cooper’s were happy to do some walking in 65 degree weather increasing during the day to 85 degrees. The tour is a great orientation for the city and as the city has really quieted down there were only 10 people on the tour. As usual we met them at the end of the tour at the cookie convent. By that time Les required a coffee stop. Off to San Agustin (you remember the Margarita Gralia hot spot – still no Margarita on premises, but our waitress was very nice) for a plate of delicious churros and cappuccinos.

The forced march then requires a walk through the Mercado and Artesanias; just to see what the Cooper’s could dream up for packing into our car. I have been advocating with our guests that a quid pro quo will require them to haul our winter tire chains back home with them. As an alternative stop I have been hoping to have lunch at Ole-Ole, a restaurant near the Mercado and today its selection worked out perfect. We had an excellent leisurely lunch of fajitas of various types. We next shopped for fruit and other essentials and then hopped a $2 cab to the casa for siestas. Tonight we obviously will have a light dinner. The light dinner turned out to be tacos at El Ten Ten Pie which apparently means “a little something to keep you on your feet.”

Les and Carol Cooper are seemingly indefatigable and so we are nearly always on the go. Les cannot get enough of all the wonderful photo opportunities. We started the day with a walk to El Chorro and the Casa Cultural and a leisurely breakfast at the Sierra Nevada en la Parque. What a wonderful time and place to just enjoy being alive. The march then went through Parque Juarez and on to some of the south end streets as far as the Instituto Allende. Then a walk up Zacateros until we caught a cab to Fabrica La Aurora. While at the design center we of course had to be refreshed with a cappuccino, refresco, or liquados. We walked back to the casa on La Aurora and Reloj, in order to collapse during siesta time, and recharge for the evening walk and dinner.

To catch the evening sun angles we returned to the Chorro and Juarez Park areas. To recover we had a fine large dinner at Romano’s Italian restaurant. After dinner we enjoyed watching young people doing round dancing in front of the Parroquia.

Quirky Living Note: San Miguel is obviously the Mecca for retiree volunteers. Because of the large foreign retirement community, they have a real pool for charitable volunteers. There are lots of skills and lots of time for the local Anglo residents. Whether it is the historical walking tour, running the Biblioteca, the home and garden tour, the humane animal shelter, the Save the Laja River group, the Feed the Hungry program, and the list goes on and on.

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