Thursday, July 16, 2009

Leon, Spanish and Dining

A busy day yesterday - there is so much to do that sometimes the challenge in San Miguel is to remember to relax! Leon is an industrial city about 2 hours from San Miguel by car, and the shoe capital of Mexico. I decided that after 9 years of coming to this beautiful place, it was time to check out the shoes.

My friend JJ Anderson (the portrait and travel photographer) and I drove to Leon yesterday. Some people have expressed surprise that I drive in Mexico. Let me reiterate what I say to them. Guanajuato, our state, is very safe. I drive all over the place. I love exploring Mexico!

JJ was looking for skins. She found a couple that she really liked. In the process, we stopped at several shops. A couple of the shops sold exotic skins - wow! One can go and pick out the skins one wants, and then have some shoes or boots custom made. I saw caiman, ostrich and stingray skins, as well as a whole bunch of others I didn't recognize.

I'll have to make another trip to explore the goods that are already made. I saw a lot of those types of shops on the way out of town - too much to see and too little time!

Back in San Miguel - Chris, Mary Alice and I are continuing to work on our Spanish. We have a lovely and excellent tutor I have worked with for years. Her name is Elvira Sierra and I met her when I studied at the Instituto Allende years ago. I find that for me, speaking Spanish is NOT like riding a bicycle. I need to use it, or I lose it. I am having to re-learn the compound tenses (I had spoken, etc.).

Finally, out to dinner with my friends Ed and Sarah Clancey (Ed is the US Consul, Sarah is a totally cool artist/designer type) and Jody and Conor Feagan. I won't name the restaurant, because although the decor was stunning, the food was so-so. I'll post it if the kitchen improves.

Did I mention that sometimes it is tough to kick back? So much to do!

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