July 14 – August 31st

We had planned was to head back into the USA, but have since decided to return to San Miguel de Allende, aka SMA and rent a house. Casa Cordelli is perched above town with panoramic views, swimming pool and trampoline. So, no it didn’t take long to make ourselves at home. SMA was once voted ‘Best City In The World’ to live in. Likely for the mild climate, rich culture & low crime. Reason enough why so many expats are drawn to relocate here.

SMA’s well preserved 16th Century Spanish Colonial Baroque architecture, coupled with the significant role in the Mexican Battle of Independence of 1820 has earned her the delegation as UNESCO World Heritage site. The historic district encompasses 64 blocks of homes, public squares and buildings such as La Parroquia, a 17th-century Cathedral famous for its Neo-Gothic design. SMA is now on the distinguished list of destinations such as Venice, Florence, Salzburg and Prague as among the most historically and culturally significant in the world!

It’s easy to see why SMA is so popular, the brightly painted homes and heavy cobblestone streets ooze both history and charm. We spend many afternoons dragging the kids around, snapping photos of fabulous old and ancient looking doors, brass knockers, locks, people and churches, while the kids take turns to complain about any and everything. But slowly and gradually more of the shops, restaurants and cafe’s are beginning to open and life is returning. Dependent on tourism, the weekend surge of visitors from Mexico City are pumping life giving money back into the economy. The markets and stalls are open and effected vendors start the slow recovery. The mandatory mask wearing, contact tracing, temperature taking, shoe washing and fumigation spraying seems to be working. Covid numbers are low and the town is intent to keep it that way.

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The weeks are flying by, yet some days the hours can be painfully slow. Having had our fill of exploring old Centro, the kids are happy to come back to our home sweet home and play in the pool till dark or dinner time. Technically it’s school holidays, but with so much time on our hands, it would be silly not to do a little work. Occasionally I’m able to grab their attention for an hour for some reading & math. Jaxon still fights the idea and throws some spectacular tantrums. Anger, frustration and total incomprehension as to WHY I would possibly want him to learn to count, read or write! Charley is a little more slippery and manages to disappear out the back door at the mention of school work.

Hanging out with the Cordelli’s have also been lots of fun. They have taken Tim & Jaxon out riding quad bikes, Susan & I have been biking and their youngest son, Logan has spent a bit of time with Charley & Jax, taught them some new trampoline tricks. Jaxie was so proud to land his first front flip! Tim’s keeping busy working on the truck, a little rust removal, cab interior modifications and engine maintenance. I’ve started an online writing course. Knowing now the rights and wrongs of blog writing, I’m more nervous than ever!! Chuck has also shown me how to work with WordPress, now I’m able to update website myself!

The kids spend endless hours in the pool, and we don’t worry about them. Until one morning..ugh my stomach sinks just to write about it, a morning i’d like to forget! Charley had a direct impact with the bottom of the pool!  From the kitchen I heard her cry out “Mamma I hit my teeth! I think I broke my teeth!! Mamma I broke my teeth!!!”  Ehh, running out she starts screaming. Showing me what was left of her beautiful, young adult teeth. My heart sinks, I quickly wrapped her in sun baked hot towels & got her inside. No blood but the pain was awful, a quick dose of Advil & the iPad took her mind elsewhere. Charley has always been one tough cookie and that day was no different. Tim and I were more traumatized than she was! It was Friday and Covid in Mexico, I’m worried we’re not going to get to a dentist before Monday.  I post on the local Facebook page for dental recommendations and send emails for help. At 11pm my phone rings, a dentist calls me, she speaks English, puts my mind at ease and books us in for the next morning.   I still don’t sleep well, Charley’s cry from the pool playing over and over in my head. 

The dentist was as kind & the clinic is spotless.  Equipment not as modern as back home, but not as bad as I had feared. X-ray’s showed no immediate sign of root damage.  With Rikki tightly clutched to her chest, they set to work, I hear the occasional ‘ouch’ but there’s nothing I can do. Charley did an amazing job of being perfectly still. No tv on the ceiling to watch, no distractions & she process the whole ordeal. Two hours in and I can see she’s getting uncomfortable and has had enough, but as instructed lies, perfectly still.  

I’m excited & apprehensive at the same time.  The dam, is removed and I hear a little laughter.  Called over to inspect, with her best frozen lip smile, a pair of perfect teeth are revealed, I can’t tell the difference!! Two hours of reconstruction and the total is only $335 CDN. Our insurance company has agreed to cover the total cost, for now Visa takes care of it. Time for ice-cream!! You can read about Charley’s recount of what happened here

Tracy, Jeff & Jayla fly over for 10 days to escape Baja’s heat. It’s great to see them, and the kids are happy to be with friends from home. Their Air B&B house rental is worth getting excited about. Large & modern with a full size bull fighting ring as a back yard, it’s a perfect place to have Jaxon’s 7th birthday party. Tracy plans it all, balloons, pinata, bouncy castle and a perfectly behaved horse for us all to ride. How many kids can say their birthday party in a Mexican bull ring!

Since meeting our friends Mark & Todd, the first time here, we’ve enjoyed many fabulous evenings of delicious home cooking, laughter filled, cocktail drinking evenings. They’re doing their best to convince us to stay, but our time here is coming to an end.

As Mexico learns to live with Covid, more tourist locations start to re-open. With new measures like social distancing and reduced numbers, we feel comfortable moving forwards and carefully discovering some more of this country’s beauty.