Sunday, August 23, 2015

San Miguel De Allende's sister, Guanajuato

With grandparents in town we decided to take a quick trip to Guanajuato a little more than an hour away. Guanajuato is an old silver mining town which was responsible for two thirds of the worlds silver production back in its prime (utilizing one mine).  Today, Guanajuato produces about 30% of the worlds silver.

One of the highlights of Guanajuato is their mummy museum. I for one, loved the museum. It is somewhat reminiscent of Pompeii. Phil was less impressed with the museum, something about the not quite fossilized pubic hair on shriveled genitals gave him the willies (zero exaggeration).

It was a little weird seeing the people that had been buried that were a little hefty at the time of burial.

Perfectly preserved hair on buried baby

Like SMA, Guanajuato has lots of steep stairways winding down between streets and buildings. We've yet to see good looking sushi since hitting Mexico. There was a small sushi restaurant wedged between apartments, food looked great.

Squares complete with fountains, restaurants, mariachis, and benches to sit and rest, nostalgic of Europe, minus the mariachi part. 

A picture is worth a thousand words, unless you know the history behind a Diego Rivera painting. One major advantage of homeschooling is all of the learning taking place for the teachers in addition to the students. So much going on in one painting, so much history. 

Rush hour on the streets in Guanajuato.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

GoPro Epic Fails

Nothing makes one feel old and feeble like a GoPro. It's a great product in theory. Something portable to capture all of those fantastic family adventures. So why, after going through over 7000 (yes that's 3 zeros after the 7) pictures and videos, did we have so many GoPro fail moments?

Take a camera/ video recorder about the size of a match box, place it in a waterproof case, throw on a snorkel mask, submerge yourself under water and good luck capturing all those awesome family memories. Half the time we can't figure out if we're taking a picture or recording a video. 

What the hell is going on? I look thrilled.

Who doesn't want to capture a close up of a towel?

Fantastic 3 second video of my typical, "I'm using the GoPro" face.

Here's one to show the grandkids one day.

Terrapin Crew - 0     GoPro - 1

Day late and a dollar short dad...guess we'll capture that family moment, never.

Beats me.

The best of all our GoPro fails had to be the video I took. For some unknown reason I had the GoPro in my hand and took a video of myself frantically running around the boat naked trying to help Jessica who had just been stung on the lip by a Portuguese Man O War. I couldn't look uglier if I tried!

All is not lost. There was that one time when the stars aligned and we sucessfully took a picture with our GoPro using a selfie stick (before the selfie stick turned into a rusted pile of crap thanks to always being underwater).

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Touring a Mexican hacienda

I've always been a sucker for home tours. What's not to love? Pay a few bucks and tromp your butt through another person's pristine home, drool over the extensive amount of time and money spent to make their home star quality. A Pintrest lovers dream.

Every Sunday, the SMA library conducts home and garden tours of local homes, haciendas or bed and breakfasts. Last weekend while the grandparents were visiting, we took advantage of a tour that featured a 17th century hacienda complete with it's own cathedral, sprawling landscape views, free range horses, an outdoor living room, and barns. 


Outdoor living room with fireplace and bar


The hacienda also featured two of the most laid back dogs we've ever met. Quite photogenic too.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Cost to Cruise JULY 2015

We hauled out for the summer and have been hiding from the heat and hurricanes in the mountains of Mexico, which would be why we are spending more money the past few months.

We've enjoyed trips to Mexico City, exploring strange art in rainforests and attending Mexican festivals, all of which have added to the expense of not living on a boat.

Wanting to see previous month's costs? Check out the Cost to Cruise tab at the top of our blog.

Friday, August 7, 2015

The coolest town in Mexico you've never heard of: Zacatecas

After 6 days of being home from our rainforest trip, we loaded up Pepe, our loser cruiser, and headed out for another adventure. This time we headed North to the town of Zacatecas at 8000 feet above sea level for the end of their Folklore Festival. After 48 hours in Zacatecas we were wishing we had made plans to spend at least half of the summer there in addition to staying in SMA. There wasn't an hour that went by without Phil saying, "we should be living here" or "is it too late to move here"? Zacatecas is a bit more authentic and less overrun by senior citizen gringos, making the town cheaper than SMA and leaving us as the only Americanos running around. 

We hit the last weekend of the International Folklore Festival which runs for two weeks. Dancers from a variety of countries show up in traditional dance attire and dance on stages throughout the town. On the last night, a huge parade flows through town with each country (about 20) represented. If you're looking for a safe town to have an authentic experience, come to Zacatecas during the Folklore Festival and thank me later. 

We stayed at a hostel in the center of all the action. While the hostel smelled like a crap filled diaper, it made up for it's odiferous aroma by providing one of the best happy hour spots on its rooftop terrace. 


Zacatecas has many beautiful churches and the architecture was very European.


If you come to Zacatecas and are looking for the bull ring, it has now been incorporated into a "bougie" hotel. 

We caught the closing parade on the last night of the festival from a great spot. It was a beautiful procession of dancing and music from Mexico and around the world.





In addition from the 20+ countries that were at the festival, each of the 31 states of Mexico were also represented.


After the parade was over and the sun had set, we set out to find the donkey, mariachis and drunks in town. Each night, a group of about 100 people start off from the center of town, following a donkey carrying liquid refreshments through town. 

Right behind the donkey is a large cluster of mariachis playing proceeded by 100 half drunk tourists.

As the mariachis play, the crowd weaves through small streets as they make their way through town. It must suck to live along one of the streets that every night gets the presence of mariachis and loads of tourists.

After a good 30-40 minutes of strolling through town picking up other party goers you find yourself in a town square with one scared donkey, painfully loud mariachis and about 120 people dancing around having an awesome time. Here in SMA we too have the drunk donkey walk. If you visit inland Mexico, don't miss this event!

We loved Zacatecas. If we could do it again, we would definitely have spent more time there. The festival was the icing on the cake, but the town itself is a gem that seems to be relatively undiscovered by gringos.  We hope to return there one day.