Que divertido!

Earlier in the week Mary an I got a heads up on the 4th Annual Blues Festival this Friday and Saturday night.

This is the kind of music we grew up on and, true to form, I’m  shaking my booty as I pay for admission.

The Hotel Sautto on Hernandez Macias is a moderately priced destination with, as the lovely two women taking tickets tell me, three or four hundred rooms.  You can imagine the courtyard – all arched colonnades and flowering trees.

Rooms at the Sautto go for $35.00 US per night.  While the place was obviously once grand, the interior public rooms now have a little chipped plaster and some low-key water stains.  The common room where guests can watch t.v. or read could truly use a woman’s touch.  I looks like … ah … some hostels I stayed at in Europe. I suspect the rooms are spartan though adequate, but this all could be made up for by the gardens on the grounds.

Someone is loving on those flat, fan-shaped cacti, climbing roses, lime trees and huge flowering trees I can’t place.  That person is working every day to smooth the sand around the plants, weeding, watering and sweeping the brick circles that surround different groupings..  The big flowering trees I don’t recognize have small fading paper-thin lavendar blossoms. Though I remember that the Jacarandas flower in April, I wonder if I’m looking at late bloomers?

People enter the grounds from a parking lot in the back and when I ask about the big  trees I’m haughtily informed by four gringo guys that (a) I’ve mispronounced Jacaranda and (b) that it is Bougainvillea so intertwined with the trees that I can’t see where one begins and the other leaves off.  Geesz guys, thanks for the info.

I know a lot about the Sautto’s gardens because the first band wasn’t destined to become my favorite.  While Mary chats with our table mate, a 17 y.o. musician named Joseu, I’ve wandered alone down the brick walk way. In the middle I hear a parrott calling high up in a tree, but I can’t locate him.  ‘What a tiny paradise,’ I think to myself and, like humans do, wish I had this kind of retreat where I live rather than the parade of buses groaning up the hill directly in front of my living room windows.  Are we never satisfied?!

As I study the great big flowering trees, my unpleasant encounter with the gringo males is redeemed by three young Mexican men walking up from the parking lot.  Towards the rear I’ve stopped in my tracks in front of the trunk of a small ‘tree’ so curved and looping back onto itself that its branches look like an Islamic medallion, before its round canopy starts at about 5 and a half feet. I find myself and one of the Mexican kids standing together underneath this wonder and fingering its leaves while his companions go on ahead.  No one can see us and I wonder if I’m doing something stupid.  No.  The axiom that ‘like attracts like’ is true more often than not.  He, smiling at my wonder about this bush/tree, explains that it is the origin of the Bougainvillea vine covering the surrounding trees, and that it had probably originally been trained like a bonzi to form this living arabesque of 6″ round limbs before being allowed to climb.

Mary plays air guitar!  I haven’t met many chicas so unconcerned with how people look at them that they can allow themselves to be transported by runs on the guitar or, in my case, the bass.  In my experience women are usually the first people up to dance, but rarely do you see women so involved with chords and riffs that they almost involuntarily follow the notes in the air. Mary says I’m the first woman she’s met who does it too and, upon recognizing kindred souls, we completely give ourselves to the second band on a James Brown song.

Look at those old gringas grooving on the dance floor!  They’re having (a) time of their life.  They’re chunking and high-steppin’ to the bass line just as if they were 20 and free and wild.  They’re dancing with ten other women who look frighteningly close to a line dance.  (At least, I am!)  The waiters are grinning and running drinks to the tables where people are shouting and waving their arms in the air.  White and red stage lights are dissolving on the band while Bacchus does the shimmy in the corner.  It looks like the Little Dipper is over our heads.  There’s a wind in the tall trees making the branches sweep across the indigo and the lanterns coming on in the plaza swing just a little bit.   The wind makes the scene feel  wild, almost feral, like Dionysus is in the house.

As little Oliver says, “Please, sir.  Can I have some more?”

5 thoughts on “Que divertido!

  1. Donna says:

    A wonderful description of the magic of San Miguel de Allende. I have posted a link to this on my blog, Inside San Miguel, at http://www.experience-san-miguel-de-allende.com/San-Miguel-de-Allende-blog.html. I want others to read this too.

  2. jaxinmexico says:


    Thanks, Donna! I’m sure we’ll meet wandering the calles de San Miguel.


  3. Peggy Green says:

    Sounds like a perfect evening…..are you already complaining about your casita? You are an urban abuelita and you can take the abuelita out of Jersey……but.

    So here’s a little story of my morning in the ville. I was so looking forward to a Saturday w/ little work and much relaxation. The Beastie Barks got me up a 5:45 to go out which was fine as I was planning on going directly back to bed. I stpped inside for a moment and heard this stomach churning noise. I hied it back outside to find that Miss Foosie had her head stuck firmly in the French drain and she was panicking.
    Yes, so was I but dog parenting and kid parenting are not so different.
    I ran down and tried to pull it off as she thrashed and Masher barked. It was no mean feat but several black and blue marks later she was free and thank God fine. Did that scare her away? NO! Each time she’s been out today she returns to the scene of the crime. I have it fixed so she can’t get in there again at least I do think so.

    I’m sending this link on to Maddie and Pat Zimmerman.

    Enjoy the wonderous trip you have embarked upon. You are the bravest person I know.

    • jaxinmexico says:

      Ha! If I’m the bravest person you know, you don’t get out much.

      Foosie, stay away from the french drain! Asher, be a good boy and remember, the two of you will always have two mommies.

  4. joanie olin says:

    Sounds like my kind of evening…James Brown!

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