Regardless of the title of this blog we certainly didn’t intend to go AWOL from here for so long. After a long – oh so very long – road trip through a good portion of Mexico and up into the United States we crashed and landed. And then spent a whirlwind few weeks catching up with friends and family while celebrating the holidays. And those friends and family? Well they cooked for us. A lot. And after our limited food options in Xcalak? Well we ate. A lot. And it was all oh so good. So I partially blame them and their delicious food for our absence from here because I’m pretty sure we both went into a food coma for the month of December. I’m scared to think of what would have happened if we had stayed in the States because there’s a chance that we would have just kept eating whatever was put in front of us. So for our own health (both mental and physical) and well-being, back into the car we went and drove back down to Mexico where we have since landed at our next house sitting location. So where in the world are we?

Patzcuaro
Our new home for the next couple of months.

At a beautiful, charming, new house sit in the small, colonial city of Pátzcuaro which is located in the Michoacán state of Mexico. Patzcuaro is situated in the mountains at about 7,200 feet above sea level. Location wise we’re in a more central/western part of Mexico than we had previously been, just about 3.5 hours from the Pacific Ocean and the coastal beach towns of Zihuatanejo (yep, the town from Shawshank Redemption) and Ixtapa.

When the opportunity here in Patzcuaro first came up we weren’t sure about moving so far from the ocean. I mean that’s a big part of why we moved to Playa del Carmen in the first place. But one of the lovely homeowners here in Patzcuaro gave me a reality check when she so astutely pointed out that there are so many amazing places in Mexico away from the water and we would be doing ourselves a disservice if we ignored them. Of course she was right. This country is diverse and vast and full of all kinds of amazing art, architecture, history and environments to be explored and wonderful people that should be engaged with. Plus, we know can do beach living no problem. It’s comfortable and familiar and, as we’ve mentioned before, those are two words that strike fear in us. So we said yes to a change and here we are. And by here I mean an incredibly beautiful town with equally impressive surroundings.

It's slightly, just slightly, more hilly here than Xcalak.
The drive into town. It’s slightly, just slightly, more hilly here than Xcalak.
The drive to Patzcuaro
And not a palm tree or piece of sand in sight.

Slowly we are adjusting to the change in altitude and climate.  Honestly when we first arrived we were a bit surprised about how cold it is in Patzcuaro. It’s winter time here too and so temperatures range from somewhere in the 40s at night to 60s – 70s (Fahrenheit) during the day. (Sorry, after 2 years in Mexico I still haven’t figure out how to translate to Celsius – it’s either 7 or 17 or 300 degrees). Thankfully we had gotten a heads up about the temperature so while in the States we did some repacking of our car – both unloaded some items and added a few long pants, shirts and shoes. Looks like for now the shorts and flip flops are staying packed and we are layering up.

We had read that Patzcuaro is about 500 years old and has a population of about 80,000, a few hundred (or so) of which are expats. The day we pulled into town though we thought maybe we had read some outdated information because the city was packed. Bumper to bumper traffic. Wall to wall people. It seemed like somewhere along the drive we had taken a wrong turn and ended up in Mexico City. Turns out, we just have impeccable timing. We happened to pull into town on the eve of Three Kings Day (Día de los Reyes) or ‘Feast of the Epiphany’ a Christian celebration that is widely celebrated in Mexico. I don’t know a whole lot about the holiday, but here in Patzcuaro it means a huge party, I mean they went all out. People came from surrounding towns and converged in the main square for singing, performances and, best of all, Rosca de Reyes – cake!

Three Kings Day in Patzcuaro
An impressive lineup of events, including magic!
Three Kings Day Celebration in Patzcuaro
I believe this is the most famous music act in Patzcuaro. Also, I totally just made that up.
Three Kings Day in Patzcuaro
Turns out this was not a party to welcome us to town -although we like to pretend.

A return to the square the next day and we saw Patzcuaro as it normally is. So far we are utterly charmed by the town, the people and the beautiful house we are taking care of. Not to mention the beautiful views that we’ve encountered on our daily walks.

Town of Patzcuaro
I mean…
View over Patzcuaro
And also?

I think part of why I didn’t get much writing done over the holidays is that I just felt out of sorts. But in Mexico? Well, Mexico is starting to feel more and more where we feel we fit in best. It just makes sense here, I mean not really, but even when it doesn’t, it’s part of what I love about this country and it’s what I expect. So now we are working on getting settled, getting back to work, finding our way around Patzcuaro and figuring out what kind of day trips to take to start exploring the surrounding area. It feels fun, exciting and most of all like the adventure continues.