I can’t remember exactly when the idea came to spend the month of December 2013 in Mexico. I do know it’s dreamy to even be able to consider it – and had something to do with all of the three daughters having other plans for the holidays. Somehow, partially with the “Skipping Christmas” thought at hand, an intense work and travel schedule, and the prospect of new ventures but no time to plan them – I breathed the thought. “Let’s go to Mexico – for a month! We can rest. Work. Plan. Dream.”
And when you marry right, thoughts turn to action seamlessly.
For far less than many will spend on Christmas gifts and parties – and some mileage points – we’re settled here for twenty-eight days in magical, Mediterranean San Miguel De Allende. We plan to emerge well-rested, budget and projections in hand for 2014 and beyond, and some clear thinking on the next several years of our life.
Boring stuff aside, I want to remember all the moments in between the spreadsheets. So here we go on my first entry from San Miguel (we’ll backtrack to get Brad and Lynne’s Mexico City Weekend Adventure in another post).
We don’t use the heat at home in AZ, so waking up this morning under heavy blankets in a cold bedroom was completely normal. What wasn’t, was the multiple fireplaces – including one in the bedroom – that warmed the cold morning. Getting in late last night meant just mini-markets open and a Nescafe with toast, jam and juice for breakfast. Meager after amazing breakfasts in the DF, but here in the quiet beauty surrounded by the lush foliage and our temporary villa, it was perfect.
After reading CS Lewis’ accounts of his writing schedule years ago, we decided to follow it for our 28 days – hoping it would yield productivity and creativity, while working in time for rest. We’re not quite done with Day One, but so far we love this:
8am: Breakfast – there’s an hour allotted here which means time to talk, have an extra cup of coffee, catch up on news, social media, et al
9am: At the desk. We have many spots to choose from for work. Mine today is a corner table in the sunny living room, looking over the garden that Leonardo has tended to for seventeen years.
1pm: Lunch – We’re lucky enough here to have a couple of women cook and clean up lunches on the weekdays. Joanna is buying the food fresh from the market in the mornings and helping to plan the simple, healthy, vegetable-laden meals.
2pm: Free / exploration – here is where Lewis took long walks to think. We will do the same with walks, meandering, napping, reading, anything to refresh mind and body. Not a lot of talking.
Today, since we’re just settling in, Joanna and I headed to town down cobblestone streets in search of libations and snack foods for our afternoon breaks. The walk itself is an adventure – I know from my previous trip that what looks like a tiny or beaten door opens to either a unique shop, boutique, hotel, courtyard, cooking school – most with open air and foliage – and always something new.
We ask for a wine shop and hit the jackpot with a lovely Mexican Petite Shirah we’ve already tasted last night at dinner – for about $10 bottle. We add a local tequila, agave, a couple bottles of white wine, some goat and sheep cheeses, salami, crackers and cookies and get out of there for under $65. This place is not easy to get to, but once you make it here, you feel you never want to go back.
Oh – we need chocolate. Yep – wine guy sends us to the right shop and we find it – handmade, and score a box of truffles for less than half what we expected. We’ll be returning to sip Aztec hot chocolate another day.
And then to replace the Nescafe with some beans. There’s a Starbucks in a great building, but we skip that and with help from the chocolate shop, get fresh ground beans that smell so good the taxi driver enjoys it all the way back up the hill. I would invite him in for a cup, but he has work to do. For what I pay for a half pound of over-roasted beans at Starbucks – I get nearly 2 pounds of the real thing.
4:15pm: Tea time, or as we call it in the U.S., Mr. Lewis, happy hour. Today was handmade margaritas with fresh lime – it’s nice to have my cocktail mixing daughter on the trip for many reasons, but especially at happy hour.
5pm: Back at the desk – the idea is to be refreshed and put in another couple hours work before dinner. This is the one slot we’ll see about – today I’m doing some writing and reviewing a few financials with Brad.
7pm: Dinner – we’ll either cook or seek out local spots to enjoy. Tonight is homemade Mexican nowhere near the busy square that tends to cater to tourists.
And that’s a wrap. I expect to fall into the comfy bed with a book each night feeling like this is a little more what life should be like. If only for now – 28 beautiful, amazing days.