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Return to San Miguel de Allende

We flew out of Boston early on the morning of 15 November 2021 headed for San Miguel de Allende, it is exactly one year since we embarked on this same trip which ended when Jim had an acute ST elevation myocardial infarction on November 25. It has been a long and eventful year, some of which has been documented in prior blogs. We are very happy to be returning to San Miguel as we feel that we have a lot of unfinished business here. This is a much smaller city than we are used to with less culture, museums, cinemas concerts etc, and unfortunately for us there is much less walking and running opportunities as this is a hilly cobblestoned colonial city with very narrow sidewalks. We plan on doing much more reading, puzzles (crossword & jigsaw), TV and movie binging and working out. SMA also abounds with good restaurants, a lot of which are very inexpensive. We also have our good friends Miguel Kelley and Ivonne Ruiz who we plan to hang out with and we have a four bedroom villa so our friends and family will come to visit. Mexico is doing much better than the US with covid. Most people on the streets are wearing masks and it is mandatory indoors. Many establishments still greet us with hand sanitizer, a temperature check and contact information. There are very few hospitalizations for covid in SMA according to Jim’s cardiologist here.

Our luggage boarding our plane in Houston.
The plane is not as small as we thought it was going to be for the hop from Houston to Guanajuato.  Our flight from Houston to Queretaro was cancelled and we had to do some late night/early morning scrambling to get this flight.
Flying into León/Guanajuato airport.
Our front door, waiting for the maid to open the door. She was inside but didn’t hear the doorbell, we waited about 30 minutes before a neighbor called her to let us in.  We met two neighbors while waiting, Douglas MacArthur, who lives directly next door and has been here ten years.  He moved here from Hawaii.  On the other side of the street is an antique dealer who finally called the maid.  They both helped us in with our luggage.
We are still outside and the sun is setting. Our street is quite steep.  Once we got in we were very happy with our accommodations.  This is a four bedroom villa with a daily maid and gardener.  We negotiated MWF for the staff as we don’t need daily attention.  The maid will prepare meals, wash and iron our clothes and keep the place spotless.  The gardener takes meticulous care of all the plant life, inside and out.  Sandy took a lot of pictures the first two days.
Master bedroom with a very comfortable bed.
Cozy gas fireplace for chilly evenings and mornings.
Views from our bedroom terrace.
This is our TV/library room. Right next to our bedroom on the top floor with a beautiful view out over the city.  Jim in his bathrobe.
TV room at night with the gas fireplace lit.  Jim is now dressed for the day, Camino clothes, see prior blogs.
Outdoor sitting room with a fireplace.
A very well stocked kitchen.
Guest bedroom number one.
Number two.
Number three is on a lower level and very private with its own outdoor terrace.
View from our upper terrace.
We even have a garage. That is Miguel and Ivonne’s car.
Early morning hot air balloon’s.
Sunrise, this picture was taken after the one above of the balloons.
Sunset from our roof top terrace.
Our villa at night.
Every other day we “walk the stairs”. There are 275 stairs which we walked last year the day of Jim’s heart attack. This will be our first walk since then.
We get one break from the stairs on this steep section of road.
And then the stairs start again.
Very surprised that the jacket is still on.
Now the jacket is off.
This begins the final section but it is deceptive as there are a lot more stairs after you round that corner.
Just like on the Camino, Jim is plodding behind.
Jim stops to take pictures of the view just so he can rest.
Tada, top of the stairs.
But, once we finish the stairs we have this steep little road to walk up before we are at the top.
This is nearing the top of this steep little road.
We met this couple at the top of the stairs. He was born in SMA but they have been living in Connecticut for years and just moved to SMA. They told us that there were more stairs and they walked us to the beginning of them.  Everybody seems quite friendly and helpful here.  Most people say hola, Buenos Dias in passing.
This is the beginning of another set of 250 stairs.
There are beautiful gardens and houses on both sides of the stairs.
Cross of the town.
Slowpoke bringing up the rear, finishing off 525 stairs.  We will try and do this three times per week.
This is a fancy home at the very top with spectacular views. Their retaining wall had just recently collapsed into the pool.
This is not a one way street. We walk down this after reaching the top.
This is one of the reasons that it is very difficult to run here. Warning to all of our visitors, flat sensible footwear is a must.
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