Since we spend all week in San Miguel, Sundays are "field trip" day, in which we carefully back our car out of the garage, search for the perfect radio station as we trod through the SMA weekend traffic, zip through the round-about, roll down the windows and head down the highway to a new destination.
Today, our first stop was the town of Dolores Hidalgo, the place where the Mexican War of Independence (1810) originated with Miguel Hidalgo standing on the steps of his church and yelling "Viva Mexico!" I can't think of a better way to rouse up a bunch of people who were all silently thinking the same thing.
There is a great museum (Museo de la Independencia) just a block from el centro that chronicles the major moments from invasion of the Spanish through the War of Independence. The museum is pretty small, so it's easy to walk through and learn about the history and significance of the town. Also, there is a free bathroom.
Today the central plaza in Dolores Hidalgo was packed with vendors selling the most beautifully detailed sugar candy for Dia de los Muertos (which will kick off on November 1st). Each one of these trays holds a hundred tiny artistic masterpieces. My favorite was a sugared rendition of a plated desayuno tipico; including a skillet with a fried egg, red rice, and black beans. There is a miniature azucar duplicate of almost every type of food that an ancestor could ever hope to receive in just two weeks.
On our way back to SMA we stopped at the town of Atotonilco, which is well known for its "Sanctuary," a church that has been nicknamed the "Sistine Chapel of Mexico" for the intricate paintings covering the walls and ceiling. The artwork on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel might be just a bit more detailed...but the paintings in this church felt personal to Mexico and the history of the country's independence.
After walking out of town through the river so Spencer could do a little bit of mountain bike scouting, we headed back to the car and drove out of town. We found a sort of short cut that avoided the highway and took us by some really beautiful scenery. It's pretty incredible to be able to leave the city in our own vehicle, that really does feel like a luxury. I love living in such an artistic and pretty town, but at the end of the day (or year or however many years), I'm definitely going to end up in a spot that has a higher tree to person ratio.