Can you keep a secret?

After taking a self-imposed week off writing to properly take a break coupled with having a week so full of adventure and enjoyment, I'm finding this post difficult to write and have no idea where to start.  So I am going to start this series of posts with where I have been hiding out... But it involves a disclaimer.  Where I have been has remained virtually untouched by any sort of Gringo influence and it needs to stay that way.  Mmmhmm.  I said Gringo.  Anyway, just promise me that you will go visit but don't spread the word.  San Miguel de Allende needs to stay just as it is.

Up in the mountains of central Mexico, San Miguel is an incredible colonial city founded in 1541 with cobbled streets, beautiful markets and one of the greatest artist communities in the world.  You can see the Spanish settler influence in the streets, a hybrid of a European city and San Francisco's hilly streets.  The hub of San Miguel is the huge square and garden in the city center where you can sit in the shade of impeccably trimmed trees around a bandstand where you can almost always listen to music in the evenings.  With over forty festivals every year, the city is always buzzing!

If you're wondering how I ended up in this somewhat remote city (took two planes and almost 2 hours in a car to get to), I am pointing a finger at my parents who were looking for a bit of an adventure and decided to treat themselves to a month in a rented three-story villa up a dusty alleyway just on the outside of the city center.  And I have to say, they are settling in quite well.  The community in San Miguel is so kind and inclusive and patient which made all the difference in the world.  It should be mentioned that none of us speak any Spanish but with the help of the people I met and some mini lessons by people I met out and about, we got by incredibly well and though I may not know how to properly say that I do not speak the language, I DO know how to say 'artichoke' and 'mermaid'...ya know, the important things  :)

None of these pictures could possibly do this place justice.  And hopefully through the week, I will be able to open up a bit more of the magic that is San Miguel.  All week, I have said that San Miguel is not a pretty place but that is what makes it so beautiful.  And that is what makes you fall in love with it.