Greetings everyone and happy Monday!
This past week has been quite eventful. Let me bring you up to speed. 🙂
For starters, I moved into a new apartment!
It’s a fantastic apartment complex in a gated community with four pools. Score!My old roommates started smoking cigarettes in the house, so I decided to pack my things and move on. Yuck! No secondhand smoke for me! 🙂 Anyway, now I live with Fernando, a 28-year-old businessman, and his chubby pug named Chrome. 😛He dresses Chrome in a mustache sweater, which is hilarious because I don’t think he needs any more insulation, but he does look pretty adorable in it. 🙂
This apartment is very modern and tidy, plus it has a fantastic kitchen! On the menu this week I made a delicious stir fry of cactus, tomatoes, onion, cilantro and lime.In other news, the kids started school last week. We have spent most of the time reviewing, since they had forgotten a few things over break, and their next quiz is right around the corner. Aside from that, I’m really looking forward to the television series I plan to introduce into the 6th grade classroom this bi-mester. Weekly, we will begin watching segments of Boy Meets World. I think it will be a great way to get the students interested in the English language and American culture. I thought the show was also age appropriate and the main character Corey has strong moral values, so we will be able to reflect upon his life decisions after each episode. 🙂By the end of the week, I was eager to get out of the city and explore. 🙂 I got a few ideas from a magazine I had picked up earlier all about the best Pueblos Mágicos of 2015.
Pueblos Mágicos or Magical Villages are symbolic towns in Mexico based on their preservation of culture and historic significance.
This town is best known as the birthplace of Mexican independence, where in 1810, Miguel Hidalgo y Castillo planned a revolt against the oppressive Spanish government by breaking into their jailhouse to liberate the prisoners and form an army of followers. On September 16th, 1810, he would utter the famous “Grito” or cry of independence which marked the beginning of the War of Independence and the end of tyranny from Spanish rule.While in Dolores Hidalgo, I was able to visit the Museum of Miguel Hidalgo, which attempts to replicate a typical 19th century house during his life.I was also able to visit the Museum of Independence, which was the site of the original 19th century jailhouse, where Miguel Hidalgo liberated the prisoners. Artifacts include the original prison doors and jail bars.Aside from Miguel Hidalgo, another former resident of this town was Jose Alfredo Jimenez, a famous singer, who defined Ranchera music in Mexico.In honor of his life, they constructed an impressive mausoleum for his final resting place.
Courtesy of Google images:
Here is some of his music to enjoy while you continue reading. 🙂
Aside from it’s famous occupants, Dolores Hidalgo is an incredibly quaint pueblo with gorgeous architecture and small-town charm.Most impressive are the Cathedral of our Sister Dolores, Cathedral of Asuncion, and the Calvario temple.After a day of sightseeing, the best place to relax is the city center, where you can enjoy their famous homemade ice creams. My co-workers told me all about their bizarre flavors, including pork skin, tequila, beer and mole.After much deliberation, I decided on avocado. 🙂It was light and slightly savory. Delicious! What better way to enjoy strange-flavored ice cream than surrounded by some unique company. 😛 Hah.
Another day well-spent. 🙂
On Sunday, I left bright and early to explore the magic town of Yuriria. Part of my New Years Resolution was to finally give up on instant coffee and purchase a coffee maker. Life is too short to drink bad coffee. 🙂This morning I had a cup of Veracruz-style coffee accompanied by buñuelos, which were a gift from my student.These crispy discs reminded me of pie crust. They weren’t very satisfying and also made me wish I had some pumpkin pie filling to scoop up with them. 😛
Anyway, after a few hours on the bus, I arrived in Yuriria.The name Yuriria comes from the pre-Colombian Purépecha phrase, Yuririhapundaro, meaning “place of the bloody lake.” No worries. This name is not as gruesome as it sounds. In fact, Yuriria lies on the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt and the occasional deep red coloring of the lake was due to the seismic activity below.Now-a-days, this lake is a great place to fish, boat or relax on a bench of the marina boardwalk.Without a doubt, the most iconic symbol of Yuriria is the Ex-Convent of San Agustín.Towering above all other structures in the town, this massive piece of Spanish architecture is absolutely jaw-dropping.Trust me, it is WAY more impressive in person! 😀It is no coincidence that this 16th century convent closely resembles a medieval fortress. For at that time, when the Spaniards were trying to convert many native tribes to Christianity, they were met with strong opposition. Violent attacks were not uncommon, and the convent became a place of worship and protection.
After a bit of sightseeing, I took a walk around the neighborhood to get a feel for the city.
Unlike Dolores Hidalgo, Yuriria appeared more modern, since their main plaza had WiFi and there were kids break dancing to hip hop in the gazebo. 🙂That being said, Yuriria is still very charming with old-world architecture.There is a definite Ranchera influence in this region, which is evident in the clothing style. Most people wear cowboy hats, plaid shirts and tall leather boots. Overall, this is very practical and modest attire; HOWEVER, I did spot these showstoppers! Nothing practical or modest about them. 🙂Sometimes trends are so ugly, that they’re cute. I don’t think this is one of those cases. Hah.
While walking the streets, I was also able to pick up some appetizing produce for the next week. Yum. So colorful!
Although these two towns are not top tourist attractions, they were a great way to get an inside look at small town life in central Mexico.
Additionally, the bus ride there was a great way for me to catch up on some reading and enjoy some Spanish films. Highlights this weekend included Charlotte’s Webb and Tad, the Lost Explorer. I recommend both films to watch with your kids, plus the language level was perfect for my intermediate knowledge of Spanish. 😉
Overall, a leisurely weekend of exploring. Now I’m looking forward to a great week ahead! Enjoy your night. Until next time. 🙂