¿Que Hizo Ayer? What did you do yesterday?

September 2011

This question was part of my final lesson at the Warren Hardy Spanish school in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico in August.  Rosio, our dynamic teacher of the dreaded preterite tense and Spanish pronouns (let’s just not go there EVER), told us that asking what someone did the day before would encourage Spanish speakers to talk with us. The topics would be things we could understand like going to the market, visiting a friend, or cooking dinner.  I am a determined Spanish student and I tell people that I do it because  I want to be capable of carrying on a  conversation with my Mexican friends.  But between you and me, I really just want to be able to eavesdrop.

Que hizo ayer?
What did you do yesterday?

It drives me crazy to not understand random bits of juicy conversations swirling around me.

Spanish school.

I look relaxed and happy, but don’t be fooled. I’m actually crazed and tense.  My partner in the class was very kind but I know that secretly she wanted to slap me.  My Spanglish is improving, but it’s touch and go.  One day I can croak out a simple sentence before the recipient nods off.  Other days I can’t get two verbs to come out in the present tense.  I hope I live long enough to understand at least one bit of gossip that now escapes me.

All of this brings me to what we did yesterday.  People ask us what we DO when we spend months at a time in this lovely, enchanting part of Mexico so I decided to answer with some pictures about que hizo ayer.

The pace is deliciously slow and not having an agenda or a long to-do list is one of the perks of our lifestyle decision.  We wake when we please, drink our coffee, check the news online, look at our emails and eventually get around to starting the day. Sometimes we write for a while and then we usually walk down the hill into the center of town.

Walking down our lane

If we need to go to the super mercardo or go out of town we must first drive up a small street.  Please note the position of the mirrors.  A lot of wincing and moaning goes on and it isn’t the pleasurable kind.

Driving up the road.

A trip into town always offers surprises.  Sometimes there is a ceremony at the main square, a parade that’s forming to celebrate a saint’s day, a civic accomplishment or just because it’s Tuesday.


Imagine white skirts and pants
on American kids!
Just hanging out is fun.
There’s always a parade somewhere.


Sometimes we do more than indulging our wandering ways.  We love going to the movies, which run in English with Spanish subtitles.  It’s a great way for me to work on my Spanish and popcorn is part of the universal language.

We recently spent a fascinating morning at the ruins of Cañada de la Virgen, built between 540 and 1050.  It, along with over ninety other pre-Hispanic settlements, is just a few miles from San Miguel de Allende.  It’s a worthwhile trip!

Tim was recently invited to participate in one of the MOST Mexican cultural events, the bullfight.  Now I know he looks small (the bull), but he got up quite a bit of speed when Tim riled him up with that cape!


Patricia owns a terrific salon and she has introduced Tim to the joys of the pedicure.  She and her assistant give me a simultaneous pedicure and manicure accompanied by an hour long session of Spanish instruction.   She should add maestro (teacher) to the list of the services she offers.


If you’ve followed our blog you know that feeding ourselves ranks right up there with breathing for us.  San Miguel is a perfect place to indulge this favorite hobby.  There are restaurants of every description and everyone we know likes to join us in appreciating them.

Lovely ladies’ luncheon at our friend Sally’s.
Lovely luncheon WITH our friend Sally.
A man-sized portion.
A town lunch bunch.
Country lunch with Donald and Sheila.
Lunch with David at Lidia’s house.
Lunch on our balcony.


September has been magical, especially because we have lived in the spectacular home of our friends Joe and David.  It’s so lovely that some days we have not left at all.  Enjoying the views, the colors, the sheer pleasure of being in the house have been enough to entertain and delight us.

The great room.
The patio and fountain downstairs.
The view from the living room.

In a few days we will leave San Miguel stop in Austin and depart for Buenos Aires for a two-month stay.  Please come along and we’ll tell you que hisamos ayer after we have begun to explore that magnificent city!

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