I am an expert eye-roller.
Angela Merkel is an amateur compared to me.
Let me give you an example. I am at a dinner party in our little fishing village. The woman beside me says, "What I miss most here is shopping centers. I wish there was a Bed and Bath here." My eyes rolled so far back in my head that I could have been auditioning "The sun will come out tomorrow."
It is funny how we react most to the perceived flaws in others that are exactly our own flaws. That is not original with me. But it is true.
Today was shopping mall day for me. (See! I wrote that sentence without budging my eyeballs.)
And not just any shopping wall. The granddaddy of malls in this area. Antea Lifestyle Center in Querétaro. If that "Lifestyle" in its title sounds a bit pretentious, you may want to withhold judgment until you visit it.
My hostess, Barbara, and my Morelia fblogger pal, Jennifer Rose, insisted I would enjoy a visit to Antea. I was skeptical. After all, shopping malls are not my natural habitat -- unless they have book stores. But they were absolutely correct.
Opened in 2013, it is Mexico's largest shopping center. My initial pass through the mall,walking on each of its three levels, racked up just over 3 miles. By the afternoon, I had over 5 miles to notch on my pedometer.
The mall is anchored by two large department stores -- Liverpool (the American equivalent of what Macy's once was) and El Palacio de Hierro (think Bergdorf Goodman). In between are the usual mix of stores found in most high end shopping malls around the world. Gucci. Salvatore Ferragamo. Williams Sonoma. Crate and Barrel. Tommy Hilfiger.
No mall would be complete without a food mall. Antea has two. One for fast food (Burger King, Carl's Jr., China Express, Subway, an interesting salad fast food spot that I passed up, and more -- all places I was avoiding on my healthy diet quest).
On the other side of the mall, with plenty of space creating a cordon sanitaire, are several proper restaurants offering cuisine from France, Italy, The States, Japan, China, Mexico, and other countries one would not expect in a mall.
My choice for the day was P.F. Chang's. A bowl of brown rice topped with spicy shrimp and vegetables. It was an adequate lunch, and came close to staying within my self-imposed limits. As is true with almost all Chinese food, the portion was too large.
No modern mall worth its golden aura would be complete without a movie theater. A multiplex movie theater. Not surprisingly, Antea takes it a step further. It hosts a Cinépolis VIP multiplex.
I have heard great stories about these theaters. They sound similar to a concept in the Portland area -- Cinetopia. I would have liked to watch a film there, but time (and my walking) got away from me.
Jennifer told me there was also a City Market next to Antea, and I should not miss it.
I had no idea what City Market was. But, the sign gave me a clue. It is a subdivision of La Comer. Therefore, I knew I was going to see groceries.
City Market is to a grocery store what Whole Foods or Trader Joe's is to Safeway. Artfully designed to seduce shoppers into filling shopping carts with high-end Mexican and foreign foods. It is the type of grocery where you might run into an informal caucus of Democrats Abroad.
Jennifer knows me well. It looks like a great place to buy food. But, I would not drive nine hours to shop there. It is nice to know, though, some people have a stunning grocery store in their neighborhood.
Antea is about a 44 minute drive from San Miguel de Allende. On one of my non-concert days, I may return. There were a couple of items in Liverpool, Williams Sonoma, and Samsung that interested me.
Oh, stop rolling your eyes!
And then there is the prospect of a movie in that theater.
There. That's better.