Monday, July 29, 2013

About that cute little hotel...

It had bedbugs. Chinches. I was already starting to feel sick for unrelated reasons which resulted in a little more time in bed. Sue and I decided to have a very low-key day so instead of going out and seeing touristy things, we laid in bed working. I was propped up on my left arm for an hour or an hour and a half and when I got up, it was covered in red welts. Long story short, we got the night refunded but the (American) owner did not believe the bites were from bedbugs. I feel bad for whoever stays in that room next. So after packing up and trying to find a hotel room in San Miguel de Allende on a Saturday afternoon, Sue and I eventually ended up at lovely place high above the city on a hill. We eventually made our way back to Guanajuato where lots of sterilizing, cleaning, washing, and purging occurred. I still haven't felt great today so I went to the doctor to deal with my minor affliction and I got a little something for the rash too. You just walk into this lovely atrium, pay 250 pesos (20 USD), and someone sees you. I expect to be feeling 100% soon.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

For Hoy

Meanwhile, in Mexico...

While the closing was happening, I was traveling to San Miguel de Allende with my friend and colleague, Sue. We decided to stay at a cute, quiet inn where we could get some work done, lounge, and see the sites when we wanted. Here is our room (prior to the king being made into two twins).

This is the courtyard below our room, really tranquil and peaceful.

We have breakfast at the main house, a former bordello, and sat near a gorgeous fountain today.

Even the place settings were incredibly cute. We had fruit, yogurt, and tortillas filled with eggs, bean, and cheese. There was even a real electric tea kettle, sparing me from the dreaded coffee-flavored-tea. It was just lovely. I'm having a great time but I'm ready to get the last week of teaching done and head home to my little family and our new home.

Friday, July 26, 2013


We're officially mortgage-Americans again.

We have a house!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Sue and I made the best quesadillas last night from this recipe. Ours didn't turn out nearly as beautiful but I bet they tasted just as good.

My stove has an awesome griddle that we used and then we dined al fresco. You can't beat a nice dinner, good company, and a lovely view.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

It's official

I got my carnet de profesor yesterday. I think the only thing I'll really use it for is a discount on bus tickets for my trip to San Miguel de Allende next weekend. Btw, the peso coin is there to hide my last name, at least on this little corner of the internet. I'm afraid the carnet did not come with added bling.

The program is already 33% over, I can't believe it!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Good Day

Yesterday, my friend and colleague Sue and I decided to try an Indian restaurant we had seen a few times. Wow, it was amazing. Not pictured is my lentil soup but the lettuce, beet, and jicama salad with peanuts, the spicy curried potatoes, and the cactus salad were so tasty. I really want to recreate those potatoes. It also came with bread and sauce and an "agua de frutas" which was ginger flavored. I cannot wait to go back and try more (and re-try the potatoes).

Then an amazing dessert tray was presented to us and it was so lovely I forgot to take a pic. Sue and I shared a tapioca coconut pudding that was topped with a sublime hibiscus flower jam. I'm not a dessert person but that was fantastic.

After lunch, I headed to the Museo Casa Diego Rivera. At times, I even had a couple of gallery rooms to myself which I love. The collection is mostly his early works but it was cool to see when he was experimenting with Impressionism and Cubism before finding his own style. There were also works by other artists and a spin through his family home.

I did a little work and then Sue decided to stop by for dinner so we cooked and hung out and watched The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. It was a good day.

If you view this blog in an RSS feed...

...just be aware that you might not see it all. In my Feedly, only images are showing, not words (the most important part!).

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A lovely 60 peso purchase!

For less than 5 USD I now have a lovely Frida shopping bag and a leather coin purse (I rarely carry US change so I don't have one). If you're into scale, the tiles are about a foot long.


As I've mentioned and is obvious from the photos, Guanajuato is a hilly city in the mountains. It's elevation is approximately 6,600 feet above sea level, compared with Chicago at 747 feet. Walking up from the main square, especially with the altitude and when laden with groceries, my laptop, bag of books, etc., isn't quite so easy. When going back up, this is a nice little place to stop for a minute. You can admire the bougainvillea and its fallen petals that carpet the street.

The street is narrow and windy (as in it curves, not that there is a gust of wind) and taxis and other vehicles come out of nowhere. Here, as in many places around the world, the pedestrian has to watch out because the cars and buses have right-of-way and they use it.

I turn off the street and onto the walkway that is bordered with lots of apartments. It is narrow and, evidence indicates, sometimes has a pack of burros wandering through it.

The pathway turns into stairs in several places.

Then I arrive at my gate where I have a few more flights of stairs to climb before getting to my apartment. It's a good workout and the views are worth it.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Good Morning, Guanajuato

This is the stunning view from my bedroom balcony, rooftop terrace, kitchen... you get the idea. When I wake up for class, it is still fairly dark but I plan on enjoying the view after class while planning lessons, reading, and dining al fresco.

Today was my first day of teaching and it went really, really well. I am doing a teaching methods class and all my students are high school teachers who are pursuing their master's degree in the summer. They take teaching class and literature and culture classes. We started this morning by talking about what brought us to Spanish, both learning and teaching. It was amazing to hear my students' autobiographies and their adventures and challenges in learning and using Spanish as well as traveling. I very well might have been the least traveled person in the class. I am looking forward to getting to know them better and diving into the course content.

The below pics are over the area of campus where our program is held. I teach in the classroom in the middle of the second photo that has a bright pink sign on it. The courtyard is beautiful and you can catch glimpses of the cityscape through the trees. Now it's time to enjoy that view while I get tomorrow's lesson prepared.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Universidad de Guanajuato

Here's the main entrance to the university. ¡Impresionante!

As with much international travel, there were some snags but I made it just fine. My apartment is just stunning and it's up high on a hill off of a street/path that is pedestrian-only. I pass through a wrought iron gate that is securely locked and up several flights of stairs where I then unlock a series of locks on the front door to get into my fortress. The two times I have taken taxis so far haven't worked out terribly smoothly in terms of them finding the intersection of the traffic street and the little path where the apartment is. I think once I'm more familiar with the layout of the area, I'll be better able to tell them exactly where to drop me off. The good thing is that I'm really, really close to the building where I'll be teaching (it is not at the top of that grand staircase in the photo). I leave my apartment, duck down a series of stone staircases, and find a large door in a wall that is one entrance into campus. Tomorrow is my first class!

Saturday, July 13, 2013


I'm off to Mexico to teach for three weeks! It's still hard to leave Austin and Stinky to make the move to Kentucky but I packed everything I could and I know Mike's help will be great. In the meantime, I'm earning a little cash for some new furniture!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

4th of July

We had a great Independence Day with our friends, Wes and Moria. Moria made three different, amazing types of margaritas and Wes grilled for us. There were cupcakes, raucous card games, fireflies in the garden, and the sounds (but not really sights) of fireworks. It was just perfect.