Phase Two: San Miguel de Allende

Phase 2 of our vacation started today and I have to admit, traveling with a sick child is not necessarily my idea of a good time. Pilar is a trooper, though. No complaints, just sad little eyes as she follows you everywhere you go. We spent our last day in Mexico City walking around the Historic District for a few hours in the morning, and then we holed up in our hotel room for the remainder of the day in hopes that Pilar would get some much-needed rest.

Despite the minor complication of traveling with 4 people, I have to say that traveling these days is such a breeze. ATM’s make getting money a piece of cake, and if you are into that sort of thing Wi-Fi hotspots everywhere allow you to pull up maps and Google whatever it is you might be looking for. It kind of takes the adventure out of travel, but it sure makes it easier. For example, I needed bus tickets from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende. Years ago, I would have had to go to the bus station hours early in hopes of finding a bus that had seats. I remember one time when I was 20, two friends and I were traveling to southern Mexico from Oaxaca. The only bus of the day had 2 seats left. Needless to say, they got on the bus and I stayed behind. This was actually how I ended up staying in Mexico City for a month, but that is another story.

So, as I began to search for ways to get bus tickets for my family, I was pleasantly surprised to find a website called Bus Bud. You can use this site to find bus schedules and buy tickets online all over the world. Seriously, it was quite possibly the most hassle free scheduling endeavor I have had thus far on this trip. I paid online, printed out our tickets at our hotel, and showed up at the bus station this morning ready to go. Even better was that our bus was one of those gargantuan double-decker numbers with movies, games, Wi-Fi, food, separate bathrooms, and reclining seats with foot rests. There was so much room to stretch out and relax, it was literally like flying first class on an airplane. It was a four-hour bus ride from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende and it was super! Kid’s tickets were half price and adult tickets were $30 USD. Not too bad, seeing as a shuttle would have cost me $250 for four people. And, we never once felt like we were not safe.

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Breakfast at the bus station
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First Class Bus!

For our stay in San Miguel, I rented a “Casita” on VBRO, and other than the owner telling us 50 things to remember all at once, it is lovely. We have the entire 2nd floor of a 3-story house. There are 2 bedrooms, one bath, a full kitchen, and a lovely rooftop terrace that overlooks the city. It is the perfect place to spend eight days relaxing and making art with my family.

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Now for Pilar…. I decided to take her to a doctor to make sure she did not need antibiotics like Carmela got 3 days before we left. In Mexico City, as well as here, there are several pharmacies with ‘consultorios’ or doctor’s offices attached.   You need a prescription for meds just like in the U.S., but here the doctor consultations are free! I literally walked into a pharmacy and waited for about 2 minutes to see the doctor. We went into a tiny room that was about as small as a walk-in closet. On one end there was a young doctor sitting behind a desk with a computer, and on the other end was an examining table. He handed me a somewhat dingy digital thermometer out of his desk drawer and instructed me to check Pilar’s temperature. I thought that was a bit unsanitary, but I was about to stick it in her mouth when he screamed…No! Put it under her arm please. Phew! He then listened to her chest and decided that as long as she had an appetite and was not running a fever, antibiotics would not be necessary. He typed a prescription into the computer and then proceeded to pull out a tiny hand-held printer from under his desk. Literally, it took about 15 minutes from the time I walked in to the time I left. After being unable to talk to doctors for two years in Taiwan, I can’t tell you how nice it was to be able to communicate freely here. It makes a big difference when your kid’s health is involved.

We have no plans for the next week. With Marty in charge of our daily itinerary, you never know what to expect!

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