Monday, September 24, 2012

a weekend in the country

Well, a Sunday afternoon in the country, if not a full weekend.

My week-delayed dinner at the casa de Don y Do
ña Cuevas came together on Sunday afternoon.  Last Tuesday, I was simply too sick to eat anything.  And to waste one of the don’s dinners in that fashion would have been a double felony.

My Sunday started with what I thought was a great discovery.

The state of Michoacán is home to sanctuaries for the migratory monarch butterfly.  In fact, the state took enough pride in that fact that a line of monarchs (the butterfly, not the Bourbons) graced the state’s old license plates.

From what I have read, the return migration of the butterflies should begin in October or so.  That is why I was a bit surprised to find what I thought was a monarch warming itself on the cobblestones of the driveway.

It seemed a little early.  But it could have been one of those impolite northerners who show up for parties on Canadian time.

When I finally got on the internet (and after checking the plates on several parked cars), it appears to be a different species.  But it certainly fooled me.

What did not fool me was Don Cuevas’s dinner.  I have read his blogs (My Mexican Kitchen; Surviving La Vida Buena) enough to know that he has a well-developed palate.  His reviews of restaurants are always well-reasoned.  Even when I disagree with his conclusions.

And his cooking is every bit as good.  We enjoyed a dinner of roasted red pepper and tomato soup, carbonnades, noodles, and spinach.  Along with a Waldorf-like romaine and watercress salad.

You can read about the details on the don's blog.

The conversation is always fascinating.  And Sunday afternoon was no exception.  The three of us have shared enough experiences and know enough people in common that we never ran out of topics.

One of the joys of Mexico is impromptu guests.  We had barely finished dinner, when two additional friends showed up.  They shared our dessert and added a new layer of conversation.  Transatlantic cruises being a recurring theme.

While driving out to the don’s house through the
Cézanne-inspired countryside, I noticed that the fall wildflowers have made a stunning entrance.  Especially, pink wildflowers.

It turns out they are cosmos.  An extremely common staple in American borders.

I am always amazed that a flower, whose blossoms are not very large and whose stems are extremely leggy, can create such a vivid color when clumped together.

There is probably a moral there somewhere.  But I will leave it for some Tony Robbins wannabe to tease it out.

The afternoon did cause me to start thinking about where I should be spending my time in Mexico.  I know how I spend my time is far more important than where I spend it.  But the where is still important.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the mild summer weather in the highlands.  And I have had a taste of both urban and suburban life in San Miguel de Allende and Morelia -- as well as the bucolic life in each of my three stops.

For the moment, I will mull the experiences against keeping Melaque as my base of operations for further travel in Mexico.  Knowing full well there is no perfect place.  Just lots of pleasant places.

If I lived next door to Don Cuevas, I know where I would be eating most of my meals.  (Don’t tell him I  said that.)


Shannon Casey said...

It sounds like your little holiday has been wonderful, out side of a couple of nasty illnesses. I think it is fantastic that we can find such diversity of terrain, climate and culture within one day's drive. I love Mexico!

Steve Cotton said...

One of the things I enjoy about Mexico is ts diverse terrain.  Of course, Oregon and British Columbia offer vast choices, as well.

Andean said...

Ecuador also has a diverse terrain, and temperatures, just one of the countries beauties--since this conversation came up.

Irene said...

Hope you do not mind, but I posted your wildflower photo to my facebook page. Properly giving credit to Mexpatriate. It already has 5 likes!

Tancho said...

You are one lucky guy to garner an invitation to Chateau Cuevas, and to enjoy the banter and bites associated with that honor!

John Calypso said...

It is interesting to read (and watch) your goings on to find a place to live. Yours is a bit of a rich man's game, what with all the travel, hotels and dining out. We chose the Internet searching for the most part to find our locations.

There are many ways to parse through the possibilities. It has been a fun ride reading along - and the pink flower photo is wonderful - thanks.

Keep on keeping on amigo.

Cdubee said...

How about a year in every wonderful place?

Steve Cotton said...

Always tempting.

Steve Cotton said...

 I am a hands on guy.  Of course, the places I have visited, with the exception of San Miguel de Allende, were on my list of possible places to live before I moved to Mexico.  Especially Pátzcuaro.

Steve Cotton said...

Lucky indeed.  On several levels.

Steve Cotton said...

But it would be a very long drive.

Steve Cotton said...

I don't mind at all.  The idea of the internet is to share.

Andean said...

To a world traveler, that's nothing.

DonCuevas said...

We were honored to have Steve as our guest.

Saludos, Don Cuevas

DonCuevas said...

The pink flower was beautiful, but the butterfly was superlative.

Saludos, Don Cuevas

Steve Cotton said...

 Thanks.  This area is a photographer's dream.