San Miguel with THIRDHOME: Guest Blogger Larry Grossman’s TripNovember 22, 2016 • By Caitlin Adams
“I have traveled across Mexico for 4 decades now and I don’t believe there is a more beautiful city in the country than San Miguel de Allende located in the state of Guanajuato. In 2013 Conde Nast Traveler named San Miguel the “Readers Choice Award World’s Best City” and I have to concur. My friends and I just completed a week in a glorious THIRDHOME, Casa Carino, located about a 10-minute walk from the downtown plaza. The residence itself is part castle, part mansion, and part museum with unique Mexican art and artifacts scattered throughout the home. The master suite was large, cozy, and difficult to leave in the morning. There were numerous sitting areas throughout the house with fireplaces and comfortable places to read talk or play games and we took advantage of all the spots in the course of our week. The outdoor terraces at all levels of the house gave us an outstanding view of the city and the downtown churches.
We were told that the home is often the site of weddings and other special events with the pool being covered and turned into a dance floor. The Casa Carino staff were friendly, professional and full of knowledge of what to do in town, and they did everything possible to make our stay perfect. Our Cocinera (chef), Alicia, prepared meals to rival the best restaurants downtown. Pepe and Abraham ensured we were well versed in all that San Miguel had to offer and even provided transportation to selected events.
Each day we ventured out to explore a different part of the city and the surrounding area. The weekly Tuesday market at the top of the hill was crowded and bustling with fresh produce, bargain clothes, electronics, Mexican candies, live music, as well as chickens, rabbits, and roosters for sale. The smell of fresh tacos, grilled chicken, carnitas and tamales was everywhere and whole families took advantage of the market to shop, eat and spend time together. It is a photographer’s dream as the market is so colorful and full of energy and people enjoying themselves.
One of the highlights of the trip was an outing to a ranch outside of town named Zandunga that featured a concert with Mexican guitarist Gil Gutierrez and an awesome band playing latin jazz. Gil was an 18 year-old street musician who was “discovered” by Doc Severinson from the Tonight Show. Together, they toured around the world as part of the San Miguel Quintet. The 3-hour concert was fabulous and we all had a chance to talk with Gil and his wife about life in San Miguel. Another day trip into the countryside took us to the restaurant/hotel Nirvana (also a THIRDHOME property) where we took advantage of the spa and a large thermal hot springs fed swimming pool. Following a most relaxing day of great food massages and outstanding service we “melted” into our cab and returned to Casa Carino.
Finally, we always returned to the bustling El Centro (dow ntown) to visit the many shops, art galleries and restaurants that are the heart of San Miguel. Saturday night in particular is a “can’t miss” stop at El Jardin (the downtown plaza). Mariachi bands play at all corners of the downtown and the night we were there three wedding parties celebrated with friends and family a
t Parroquia de San Miguel, the 17th century iconic church in the middle of town. It is “people watching” at its best and great fun to feel like a part of Mexican culture.