1 Of course, I wanted to tour the local market. Meredith and Tom Brokaw went with me and they loved it, too.
2 In the market, there are great fruits and vegetables sold fresh daily. These are nopales, or prickly pear cactus leaves, which have been a staple of the Mexican and Central American diet for thousands of years.
3 A closeup of the nopales leaves - The spines and eyes need to be cut out before preparation.
4 This woman spends her day trimming the needles off nopales.
5 And this woman was sipping a favorite drink of juiced nopales leaves.
6 Fragrant and yummy guavas were everywhere in the market.
7 There were also bright flowers in abundance and were very inexpensive.
8 Pretty and very fragrant roses
9 These ladies make cheerful and very affordable flower arrangements.
10 We came upon some pork frying - pork rind, I think.
11 This is a kind of cooked salsa of onions and peppers.
12 Mounds of white onions in all sizes
13 All of the food stalls in the market were very neat and clean.
14 This is some sort of aloe or agave, which looked very much like an artichoke.
15 This gentleman was knitting faster than most women I have seen.
16 Bright and cheerful hand painted pottery for the homes in San Miguel de Allende
17 Ladies slicing and dicing vegetables for fresh salsa
18 An automated tortilla factory
19 The smell of corn roasting over wood coals was wafting in the air.
20 Roasted corn stacked for sale - a little squeeze of fresh lime would be yum!
21 Fresh garbanzo beans - a very nutritious snack
22 Jicama is quite popular in Mexican cuisine. It has a unique flavor that lends itself well to salads, salsas, and vegetable platters.
23 These are jicama 'pops' dusted with chili powder.
24 There was so much freshly cut up fruit.
25 These are roasted poblano peppers filled with local white cheese and dusted with flour.
26 The peppers are then dipped in frothy beaten eggs.
27 They are fried on one side until golden and then turned over.
28 The peppers are drained and are so very, very good.
29 Also fried are potato pancakes, which are served with fresh crab and salsas.
30 Beans, corn, onions, and peppers cooked in cream - also very, very good
31 There were even birds for sale in the market.
32 And attractive beaded bracelets
33 These fabrics are typical Mexican applique work.
34 La Aurora was my favorite shopping area - so many antiques and art galleries.
35 Rachel Horn designs and fabricates lovely metal furniture. http://www.rachelhorn.com/
36 A detail of the metal day bed
37 I loved this candle holder - just like in Catholic churches.
38 Sunburst mirrors and great lanterns
39 Andrea Flores and Tom Horn are two other artisan designers.
40 I loved this stone metate, which was very worn down with use and age.
41 I really loved this green mercury ball, which I bought for Christmas. (not the stand)
42 I also loved these brass vases - probably from a church - I did not buy them.
43 Outside of La Aurora was a wonderful aloe/agave/cactus garden.
44 Back at Casa Cholla, where I was a guest, I visited the kitchen.
45 I found Modesta, the cook, busy there.
46 Modesta was preparing a fragrant and colorful rice.
47 The Mexican tiled pool at Casa Chollo
48 Hotel Matilda is a beautiful new hotel in San Miguel de Allende was celebrating its grand opening. http://www.hotelmatilda.com/enter.html
49 Every wall in Hotel Matilda is covered with contemporary art - very, very cool!
50 This is a great Spencer Tunik photograph of hundreds of nude men and women. http://www.newyorkdirectorofphotography.com/
51 This is the lovely outdoor dining area of the hotel with beautiful plantings and great lighting.