Saturday, May 28, 2016

Our First Day...Part One!

Yesterday was our first full day in SMA, and a full day it was indeed! Despite our long journey, we awoke early and walked to a nearby Hotel for breakfast. We knew it was going to be a bit on the spendy side, but we decided this first day to just take it easy and enjoy. The food was delicious, and Kate ordered an omelette with Huitlacoche which I had been eager to try. Huitlacoche, or as it is known in the US by the much more attractive name of Corn Smut, is a delicacy here. Corn Smut is a plant disease caused by the pathogenic fungus Ustilago maydis that causes the smut on corn. The smut forms galls on the corn and imparts a distinctive flavor that is hard to describe. It is eaten usually as a filling in a variety of foods including quesadillas, tacos, omelettes, etc. It is occasionally available in the US and you should try it if you see it!

After breakfast, we walked down the long and somewhat steep hill that leads to the El Jardin, a park in the center of town around which the Centro or downtown area is centered. In addition to being a Unesco World Heritage Site due to the 500 year old architecture and the cobblestone streets, SMA is also a tourist town. Everyone talks about the large Expat population here, but in reality most of the people you see are actually Mexicans. It is a very popular destination for middle-class Mexicans who come from the big cities to get away from the hustle and bustle and enjoy the street vendors, cathedrals, fiestas, and fireworks.

We spent the better part of the day in Centro, stopping for lunch at a small corner cafe (three fish tacos and a lemonade..delicious!), having a beer at a rooftop cantina overlooking the city, and tasting Mezcal at a small tasting room. After a brief rest back at the villa, we headed back into town to check out a small Panaderia & Bar we had seen earlier in the day. This turned out to be an excellent choice, as they not only served some local craft beers, they also served one of the freshest, tastiest, turkey sandwiches I have ever had the pleasure to consume. The bread was baked fresh on location, and the turkey tasted like it was just sliced off my mom's Thanksgiving turkey!

Back to the villa for the rest of the evening, we were treated once again to a cacophony of fireworks and church bells. Apparently the locals here REALLY like fireworks (more on this later), and it would seem that just about any occasion is a good excuse to fire off a few thousand rounds. As long as your at it you might as well ring some bells. The effect is a bit tumultuous, but brings a certain flavor to the town that you certainly don't get back in the states.

Bedtime came relatively early once again, as the combination of altitude, sun, miles of walking on cobblestone streets, food, beers, and a couple of shots of tequila all began to take their toll. We decided we would wake up pretty early so we could enjoy a little more time before the heat of the day set in, when it really is a good idea to head back to the villa and take a little siesta or work on the blog. Little did we know just how, or how early we would be awakened!

No comments:

Post a Comment