Thank you for indulging me with a couple of weeks off from writing. I’ve enjoyed the break, used my time wisely, and am looking forward to picking things up again. Going forward I’ll be moving the blog in a slightly different direction, with travel still playing a role but with more about retirement and figuring out the future, all along with the ups and downs of settling into a new location and what that entails.
Out and about in Centro last Friday
We only have two weeks left in San Miguel de Allende! Our attitudes about the city have been changing and we’re feeling somewhat sad about leaving while at the same time eager to see our family and get on with our lives. The hot, hot weather and altitude adjustment when we arrived as well as our apartment’s location had a strong influence on our feelings about this place, but we finally figured out we didn’t have to let those get in in the way, and are very happy we came to San Miguel de Allende.
We bought a car! The timing around our move is such that we need to pick up a car as soon as we arrive in Nashville, but we were having an absolutely awful time trying to find an available type of car we wanted (compact SUV). Dealers throughout Tennessee (and surrounding states) had few, if any, of what we wanted in stock, and what they did have were models we weren’t interested in, or ones that were out of our price range. Everything we wanted seemed to be “in transit,” with no one having any idea when new stock would arrive. Used car prices were nearly equal to those of new cars and those options were severely limited as well. The Hyundai Tucson has been one of our top choices, and week before last I checked with a dealer located near to where we’ll be living it and they were receiving a delivery of new cars this coming week! We were able to reserve the model and color we wanted, at the price we wanted as well and, unlike many of the other dealers we’d corresponded or talked with, the whole process with the Hyundai dealership was superb from start to finish. All Hyundai cars come with three years of free mechanical service (oil changes, tire rotations, etc.) and a lifetime warranty, and the Tucson is currently rated in the top in its class for compact SUVs so we’re feeling very good about this purchase.
We also got all of our furniture ordered from IKEA and it will all be delivered the two days after we take possession of our apartment. We were going to have to travel to Memphis to pick up the sofa and dining table we wanted because they were not available for delivery, but we changed those to items that could be delivered. The trip to Memphis would have been a three-hour drive each way from Nashville, a long day for us, but the cost for delivery was less than the two extra days of van rental we would have had to pay for as well as the cost of gas to get back and forth from Memphis. The delivery people will also carry everything up to our apartment, another savings in a way as IKEA packs can be very heavy and Brett was dreading having only me to help. There are still things we need to get (like a rug for the living room and lamps) but those will have to wait until the rest of our move shakes out and we see what our budget can handle and when.
This morning I am thinking about:
- The things we accomplished: Besides the car and furniture purchases 1) I also placed a BIG order with Amazon and everything arrived at WenYu’s place in less than a week – so quick compared to how it was getting things delivered in Hawaii! The order had things like a shower curtain, cookware, a coffee maker, etc. that will help us settle in more quickly. We also bought a small soft-side cooler to bring with us on our drive down to Tennessee from Massachusetts as we plan to carry sandwiches every day for both lunch and dinner in order to save. The cooler will also be useful when we start exploring the area with our daughter-in-law and granddaughter. 3) I booked our van transportation over to the airport in Queretaro for our departure on August 2. I felt a bit sad as I made the reservation which surprised me, but it was another realization that we’ve grown somewhat fond of SMA.
- What we’re looking forward to: 1) We don’t have a lot on our calendar these next two weeks. We’ll be going out to lunch on Wednesday, brunch on Friday, and food shopping at City Market, all things we look forward to but otherwise our days are ours to fill. 2) We’re determined to stop for tacos one day this week at the stand down the road from us. There’s almost always a crowd there so we’re thinking they’ll be pretty good.
The ways we saved: 1) Our weekly spending for food still has not topped $75 USD, and even going out to eat twice a week or picking up goodies at the bakery hasn’t broken our monthly food budget. We’ll be slowing down food purchases this next couple of weeks though to focus on using up what we have. Left over cooking oil, vinegar, and other staples will be donated to our neighbors. 2) We bought four blue-rimmed handblown glasses for 280 pesos ($13.63); the same glasses from World Market are $28. 3) We received a $500 rebate on our car purchase because of Brett’s military service. 4) By changing the sofa and dining table in our IKEA order we saved $400, and by having those items delivered we potentially saved at least another $250 (van rental extra days and gas to and from Memphis). 5) I decided not to buy the pair of silver earrings in the window of the silversmith’s down the street – I don’t need them and it’s money saved for the future. Same for another Mexican blouse I’d had my eye on.
Brunch at Cafe de la Parroquilla in Centro on 7/8 . . .
Good things that happened: 1) For our Wednesday lunch date week before last we went back to Luna de Queso (I wanted the Reuben sandwich again!), and for Friday brunch that week we visited Cafe de la Parroquilla, located in Centro. It was a great find and the food, service, and setting wonderful. This past week we tried a nearby Japanese-style restaurant, Mikka, for our Wednesday lunch date. The food was more Japanese-Mexican fusion rather than authentic Japanese but it was still very, very good. For Friday brunch we tried another new-to-us place in Centro, the Bagel Cafe. I had steak fajitas and Brett had huevos rancheros and while the food was simply prepared it was delicious and filling. We were also the only non-Mexicans in the cafe, a nice change from several of the other restaurants we’ve visited recently. 2) The weather has been much nicer these past two weeks, cool in the mornings (sometimes outright cold) but warm or even hot in the afternoon although usually never broiling like it was during our first month here (last Monday afternoon though it was back up to near 90 degrees). Thunder arrives almost every afternoon these days but not much rain accompanies it. Every little bit that falls though is welcome!
. . . and 7/15 at the Bagel Cafe (they had bagels for sale but we were too full to buy any)
I have been up and down the past couple of weeks with both good and bad days, thankfully more good than bad. This past Friday, for example, Brett and I walked all over Centro and I felt great, but the day before I could barely get myself off the sofa, let alone get dressed, with no energy and vertigo coming and going all day. I have no idea why other than I slept very poorly on Wednesday night. Thursday night though I slept soundly again (even after taking an hour-long nap in the evening) and woke up feeling like a million bucks. I can’t begin to express how much I am looking forward to sleeping on a really good mattress again once we get to Tennessee (the one here is only so-so) in an air-conditioned environment.
That’s a wrap for these past two weeks! They provided a good but productive rest, we got a lot accomplished, and we’re now very ready for our move to Nashville in just a couple more weeks (our daughter-in-law arrives this week). I hope everyone enjoyed a great couple of weeks as well and that you’re looking forward to the week coming up. Here’s to good things happening for all!