Upon reflecting about 2017, it might have been the busiest year of my life. It was hard in a way I haven’t experienced before and brought about some of the biggest changes I’ve ever had (after having children, of course). It was also one of the most exhilarating years of my life. I’m still in awe about living in Mexico. I still can’t believe this is my home and it still makes me smile. Still, the time has come to say goodbye to 2017.
travel with kids
We are going to the beach on Saturday for four days! If that isn’t exciting enough for me, we turn around and leave 4 days later for Ohio. Wheeeee! My suitcases are packed!
My 4 year old daughter and I opened the door to the public restroom at a gas station in the Sierra Gorda mountains (Mexico) and stepped inside. As the door gently closed behind us, I noticed a giant wasp flying near the ceiling at the back of the bathroom. When I say giant, I do not exaggerate. It was easily double the size of the wasps in Ohio. Then, I noticed the nest hanging from the light fixture.
I guided my daughter out the door and we “noped” right on out of there.
We almost turned around. There were a few miles that we were on a dirt road on the way to Xilitla. I think it was due to road construction.*
The Sierra Gorda mountains are beautiful. They are also huge. I thought maybe my perception was off because I haven’t driven through mountains in awhile. However, I just read on wiki that “[t]he area is extremely rugged with high steep mountains and deep canyons.” This describes it exactly. Many of the straightaways don’t have guardrails and you are only about 4 feet from death.
However, even that wasn’t the scariest part of the trip.
Sometimes, you get sick on the road. In our case, before our first international flight with our children, one child was up all night throwing up the night before we left. What do you do if this happens? What should you bring with you on your travels? Should you carry a first aid kit?
In another surprise day trip, planned two hours before leaving, we visited a place called Mineral de Pozos. Mineral de Pozos is a Pueblo Mágico (magical town or village) and the second place we’ve visited with that designation. The town itself is a clean little place with some lovely cafes and shops. While it may be awesome, our destination was one of the mines in Pozos: the Santa Brígida Mine.
What is so special about this place?
When I learned about Las Siete Luminarias, I only knew one of the seven craters was a tourist attraction. I did not know if any other were accessible. As we arrived at our second crater visit, Crater La Alberca, my husband turned to me and said, “Please don’t make it a goal to visit all seven craters.”
I assured him it was not on my “list” (bucket or otherwise), but damn him, he sparked a desire. I now (kind of) want to visit all of them, especially after hearing the sad story of the Crater La Alberca and seeing the place for myself. La Alberca is located in Valle de Santiago, Guanajuato, Mexico.
“Instead of climbing over the mountain, they blasted a tunnel right through it, but they didn’t run electricity,” our friend told us about Las Siete Luminarias. Bring flashlights stuck in mind.
One place that I really wanted to visit ever since learning of its existence was Las Siete Luminarias. The best known is called El Rincón del Parangueo. This is located near Valle de Santiago, Guanajuato, Mexico.
This begs the question, what are Las Siete Luminarias?
Ever heard of Bernal San Sebstian and the Peña de Bernal ? I hadn’t! I didn’t even know exactly what we were doing. Was it a crater? A mountain hike? Or some other natural phenomenon?
“I think we are going to go hike through a crater or climb a pyramid tomorrow,” I texted to a friend. Yeah, I didn’t know anything about Bernal. I sure had it together, huh?
Technology keeps us closer than ever before. Also, let’s be candid. I doubt I would have considered this move (from the US to Mexico) if we didn’t have the technology we have available today. In the short time we’ve been here, I’ve missed my grandmother’s 100th birthday party, my Aunt and Uncle’s 50th Wedding Anniversary party, and several immediate family gatherings. You know, the usual when you choose to travel long-term or move far from family.
But technology helps!