Friday, September 20, 2013

The house

I'm not your typical tourist. I'm a teacher and I've traveled extensively throughout the world, always in search of an authentic experience. When I traveled here with teacher colleagues to start a summer study program for adolescent boys, it was for work.  But then... I fell under its spell.

People will tell you...but what about the amount of fellow gringos, which you will find EVERYWHERE even in your soup, as they say or Spanish (¡hasta en la sopa!). Nonsense! Yes...there is a great number of American expats here. Very true.  But there is an Under the Guanajuato Sun small town experience to be had here complete with all the crazy and endearing stories of the locals and expats all weaving together a decidedly Mexican tableau. And there's one other thing: I identify with this land in a very personal way. It would bore you to tears to give you my family history and how we have reconnected with our mother country after over 100 years in the US.

From the moment my husband and I stood on the rooftop of the old structure, looking at the magical spires of the Parroquia, we knew this was the place we were looking for.  The neighborhood is a mixture of original houses owned by locals and expats from different parts of the world who came to this street long ago. There is a well known actress from Mexican telenovelas who owns a house here, as well as a famous American harmonica player.

Most importantly, there is a harmonious grouping of people living on this street whom you will never pass without a friendly greeting. Some of the original families who still live here can tell you amazing stories  of the history of this narrow cobblestoned the local lore about Pancho Villa making his way down this particular street with his injured men thrown across the backs of donkeys during the Mexican revolution (who knows whether this resides more in the imagination of the teller or whether the stories are accurate).

As if time has stood still, the donkeys are still led down this path by older men from the mountains above, scraping a living by selling firewood. And there is a raw milk run: a truck goes by early in the morning, honks, and people come out of their houses with pitchers to fill with the fresh cow's milk. Occasionally, a woman knocks at the door with her arms wrapped around dozens of roses in all colors, hoping to make a sale before she starts the day.

But enough chatter. Here are the pictures you want to see.

Cooking is one of the pleasures of the house.

My husband shares this pleasure with me.  This is a made to-order-pizza oven for those who live for real pizza as it's made in Naples.

The weather of San Miguel is such that you can sit comfortably practically all year long with doors and windows open.

As soon as the sun is up, this is the place to be. The view is all encompassing, something to delight the eye, in every direction.

The master bedroom has a balcony on two sides.

This tub is for day dreaming in hot soapy water and looking at the clear blue sky through the skylight, grateful you didn't live in the times of Mayan sacrifices made in watery cenotes.

The house takes full advantage of weather that is cool and sunny practically year round.

Light comes from the bóveda above and from the Juliette balcony.

Master bathroom

Handpainted tile makes this bathroom.

The entrance is the old part of the house.

Tile-trimmed cantera stone takes you up to the second story bedrooms and to the rooftop.

 The downstairs street side bedroom is part of the original house.

Religious festivities and observances are organized by the
neighbors on this street. This is Holy Friday and the table is set up every year in front of the house as one of the stops of the Via Crucis.

                        Centurion precedes the group.

               Holy Friday procession in front of the house.

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