Hasta Luego! and Happy Birthday. Gavin!

It’s early, early morning, still quite dark, and very quiet. Galen and his family left for the airport at 5:15, after one last glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice. IMG_2986

It’s been a wonderful week and a half, topped off last evening with dinner at one of our favourite places in Guanajuato, the Embajadoras restaurant. The food is fine–nothing special. It’s the place itself we love, partly because it’s a lush, enclosed area with flowers and birds and partly because it’s where we spent our first few days in Guanajuato. IMG_2976I’ve also come to associate it with my new group of writer-friends, since that’s where we meet to chat, drink pretty awful coffee, and share work most weeks.

Seventeen years ago, we arrived in Guanajuato at midnight on New Year’s Eve. We’d made a reservation at the Emabajadoras hotel. Or thought we had. That was before the internet and when we were still relying on Jack’s very rusty Spanish. Unsurprisingly, it hadn’t worked. We arrived in the middle of the night in a strange city, unable to communicate, loaded down with luggage to last the winter, and discovered there were no rooms. The good people at Embajadoras took pity on us, set us up in a maid’s room/broom closet for the night and found us a room the next day where we stayed until we found a house to rent.

IMG_2978And it’s a great place to take small children for a special dinner out. Room to run and explore while the adults linger. Spaghetti for Stella. Quesadillas for Quentin.IMG_2979

The 10 days have flown by, with daily walks down to the centre of the city, multiple modes of return. Galen and Katharina are wonderful at pacing the days so the kids have fun without being over-stimulated.

IMG_2959On Friday, a visit to the Frog Park. Guanajuato means “Place of Frogs” in the language of the original inhabitants here. And with a river running through it, it must have IMG_2960once been just that. I’ve never seen a live frog here, but frog-ness is everywhere, especially in the sprawling collection of statues near one of the main entrances to the city centre.

Saturday’s event was a visit to Antonio and Eloisa’s for a barbeque and a chance to get together with their whole family.IMG_2377

Christina and Marco’s little girl is just 6 months younger than Stella. Discarded cellphones and a really cool wagon were the toys of choice.

IMG_2974IMG_2390

And now, a few days to prepare for the next arrivals–Erica and her family on Saturday. That will be a very different visit, since her boys are 18 and 20–20 today, in fact. Happy Birthday, Gavin!

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