Fin de Semana Uno

It hasn’t taken much time at all to get back IN the groove of snowbird life here in sunny Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico. This village/town/small city of about 10 000 people has been a haven for expats and snowbirds alike for over fifty years.  This place has a very welcoming entrance which even though I arrived at about 2 in the morning after a whole long day travelling through San Francisco and Houston to Guadalajara. I was the priced I decided to pay for a plane ticket about a hundred dollars cheaper than last year. Both years I have left from the Victoria Airport. Lucky for me the security guard took pity on me and let me crash out for about four hours before my early, early morning flight at 6 30 a.m. It was United Airlines all the way and in Victoria they told me verbally that my two suitcases were checked through to Guadalajara. I thought this was a bit different than last year but I accepted my tags and gratefully went through all the security checks and boarded the plane for the first leg of the journey.  I had a bit of a stopover in San Francisco where I had my last ten dollar breakfast burrito for a while.

I am now in the land of muy barato restaurantes!  Just last Thursday I joined a lively group of mostly expats at a wonderful restaurante called Adelita’s in San Antonio, Jalisco just on the other side of WalMart. Anyway, the ironically named Breakfast Club which is really a weekly dinner club has half price dinners on Thursday. I ordered a cena deliciouso of two large, tender ribs with tasty BBQ sauce for only 70 pesos, about 6 dollars CAD and the margaritas were 20 pesos, less than 2 dollars CAD.  A convivial time was had by all. I look forward to perhaps one more dinner there before  mi amiga y I head up to Mexico City for Navidad with Charter Club Tours here in Ajijic.  My gracious hostess here will be hading back to Ajijic on the 29th to San Miquel for the rest of the winter.

Anyway, back to Ajijc news and views, at first the cobblestone streets were scary but not as much as my first winter!  Luckily, I discovered men’s Air Nike basketball shoes and now I fear no cobblestones!  Even my Nanaimo amiga, K is doing great using one of my WalkFit walking poles for balance.  I remember how at first I thought I’d never make four months but I not only survived but thrived and booked an apartment for five months last winter. And now nine months later I’ve returned to sunny Mexico for my third winter.

A realy highlight of last week besides the great Adelita dinner was to go to three gallery openings. And I tell you the opening here are muy bueno! They all have bebidas y botanas/ drinks and snacks and very impressive work by local artists.  The first gallery, Studio 18th didn’t have an opening per se but I wanted to see the mixed media work of Linda Dunn and photography of Shirley Thayer, two of the Artist Way alumi from my Finding Water Artist Way grupo last winter. I am soooooo very proud of these two accomplished artists!

Then  it was onto Sol Mexicano Gallery where another alumi and previous Artist Way facillitator, Julie  exclusively displays her abstract acrylic paintings. There was also another fabuloso local artist had an opening. This artist has a really distinctive style and when I was on a package tour to Puerta Vallarta last winter I saw some of her work during the weekly Art Walk. Next we went to La Bella Vida to see Diane Pearls newest watercolours. Once again, a nice selection of bebidas y botanas.  I also had a chat with the artist who has the uber successful Diane Pearl Colleciones in central Ajijic.  Diane gave me a wonderful welcome back hug!

The final gallery for the day was the unique Gekko Gallery on Ocampo Street where a sculpture and an eclectic group of artists were displaying their original work.  At this gallery I also ran into Alfonso Narre who was the troubador that I hired for the Open Studio tour last February.  He remembered me and invited me to come to Telares on Wednesdays from 6 to 8 p.m. to hear him sing and play acoustic guitar. Some of my most favourite pictures from last year were of him perched on my mirado/balcony serenading the neighbourhood!  Fortunately these pictures were on my digital camera not my stolen Ipad.

I will elaborate more on that particular event in tomorrow’s posting as yes, I have returned to the scene of the crime so to speak and stopped into Tom’s Bar on Constitucion Street and had a talk y cerveza in the neighbourhood bar.  I’ve totally gotten over the loss except for the odd twinge over the pictures and videos that were not put IN the cloud. This year, I’m using a Chromebook where everything saves immediately into the Cloud as there is very little onboard storage memeory.  So far, I’ve had a few snafus with the wifi situation, first at my friend’s place who didn’t know her password and then one day Caffe Grano was down but hoy/today I am back at Caffee Grano  y everything seems bueno!  Oh feliz dias!

Well, I think I’ll leave it at this for now. I’ve got some fantastic pinturas to uplocead to better illustrate the life and times and overall charm of this charming fishing village.  And to think I am here almost by accident. A now ex boyfriend suggested that we go to Mexico for the winter and suggested that we go to Lake Chapala and then I researched Ajijic and the die was cast. Then we split, I moped around for about a month then decided to just buy a ticket a go anyway.  Reading an informative blog written by Les Lawrence called Boomers to Mexico I learned a whole lot about this area and was able to secure my first snowbird residence, Ajijic Suites on Hidalgo. Although very small at 239 square feet, the Magnolia Suite served me very well for four months and was clean, safe and reasonably central. I could and did walk absolutely everywhere as well as flagging down the local buses east and west on the careterra/highway.

For more information on Ajijic Suites check out my glowing TripAdvisor review!  I continues to get many, many hits even two years later.  I’ll put in a hot link later this week.

But for now, I think it’s definitely  Happy Hour and a margarita straight up (not the slushy Slurpy kind) is calling my name!

Hasta luego for now!   Joanna…yeah, that’s what the Mexicans call me…

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2 thoughts on “Fin de Semana Uno

  1. A wee bit jealous of the sun, the cost of the restaurant meals, and most of all, of the Marguerita, my friend. It’s grey and raining on Vancouver Island while I cook dinner and drink a glass of cheap shiraz. Miss you.

    1. Hola Chris, Nooooo, I don t miss the rain and gray and gloomy days one little bit. San Miquel de Allende is a new frontier for me and there s so much to do and see both in this spectacular colonial city and in the area. I live in a cozy little casita on a family compound in the hills for only 350. per month including utilities and weekly maid service. There is a shared washing machine and my clothes hand on the clothesline like more Mexicans! You keep chugging along on that novel, Chris cuz I m gonna want to read an early draft at least by the time I return in May! All the very best in 2014! Abrazos from Mexico! Joanne

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