|Entrance to our barrio|
While that certainly exists in other parts of the country it is not at all evident here; we read the crime reports in our local San Miguel paper weekly. Most consists of petty thefts, domestic violence (not good but rampant in Mexico) and recently a kidnapping, not a gringo, but a young Mexican girl, which had a sad ending. Crime here is no more, and less than in our city of Portland. In fact, I might say I feel safer on the streets of San Miguel at night than I often did in the US urban areas.
Another incentive for home ownership here is the very low cost of utilities and property taxes. Our charming 3 bedroom, 3.5 bath home, with modern appliances and two lovely patio gardens plus an upstairs terrace with a view costs us only about $140 a year in taxes. Can't beat that. Fortunately, also, we love the furnishing choices of the former owner, an eclectic mix of rustic Mexican and contemporary. I've included a few photos.
This is our dining room which looks out on our back patio. We often open the French doors and just let the outside-in. the table on the right is on the patio---an antique cafe table with a Corona beer add on its enamel surface. Great place to sit and have a beer or a sip of margarita or wine.
This is our cozy living room where we like to sit facing the gas log fireplace on chilly nights and read or entertain our guests.
It's been quite an adventure. Our purchase took place in early December and we moved into the casa one week before we left to meet our friends, Penny and Jim Ferry, at La Manzanilla on the Pacific coast for five wonderful days at the beach. We closed the deal, packed up the few things we had here at the casa on La Palma, our friend's house we were sitting and moved in. The real adventure began when we got back from the playa and realized all the little ins and outs of home ownership in Mexico: like getting a Mexican will drawn up so our kids would be sure and get the house in the event of our demise (Mexico doesn't accept US wills). Another chore was getting our name on all the utilities, and recently hiring a house manager to take care of the house while we are in the States. He's a jewel and we really appreciate all that Benjamin has taught us about the language and the culture.
Two days after the conference, I headed by bus to Mexico City to meet my two French girlfriends who were coming for a three week visit. It was their first trip to Mexico. Michelle and I were celebrating our 50th anniversary of our friendship. I first met her when I worked in France right out of college. We have so many shared memories and their visit was wonderful. I must admit my head was spinning being chief translator for them from French to Spanish and then English for Gary. We had many fun times discovering together Mexico City's wonders. After a week there they returned with me to San Miguel and were delighted to discover our new casa. We showed them the town, including the Aztec dancers in the main square, the market and the wonderful botanic garden, El Charco de Ingenio.
|My French girlfriend, Michelle, Gary and me sipping and snacking on our upstairs terrace with a view.|
We also took them on a day trip to one of our favorite places, Mineral de Pozos, the old mining town about an hour from here. We spent a wonderful day exploring and taking photos as you can see. We visited the pretty town square with it's large organos cactus, and had lunch there before driving out to the famous Pozos landmark, the three towers built over the smelting ovens.
|This is where the Spaniards melted down the gold and silver they extracted into ingots to send back to Spain.|
Michelle enjoying the horse in front of the old Spanish estates at the mine