Sunday, February 24, 2013

Match Day Two - Chicago to Albuquerque

A draw on Tuesday left neither the Magical Unicorn Pony God of Travel or de-I feeling very satisfied.  So it was back at it we went on Thursday for my return trip.

  • Mini Equine Horned Voyaging Deity comes out with hooves and horn ablaze.  He arranges for a major snow storm to be coming in...and it will hit all three cities I have to travel to - Chicago originating, Denver transferring, and Albuquerque arrival.  Used a lot of deity points to pull that one off.  Just show he means business, I get an email at Noon from United that my Denver to Albuquerque flight at 10 PM is already running an hour late!  Score MUPGT!
  • But no, de-I has a major strategic trick up his sleeve.  His flight schedule has him leaving 3 hours before the storm hits Chicago and 4 hours after it leaves Denver!  No problem getting out or getting to.  Bwahahahaha.  Point de-I!
  • Infuriated minor member of heavenly pantheon who is short on points has to resort to trying to cause a delay on the train I'm taking to go from downtown Chicago to O'Hare.  Hardly works at all.  No points.
  • And I have TSA Pre which means I skate through security in just minutes.  Instead of rushing to get on plane because of delay planned by MUPGT, I have time to both get dinner and download my email.  Point de-I - I'm in the lead again!
  • I use my powers of positive thinking and get my Denver to Albuquerque flight to be only 30 minutes late.  With time we can make up in the air, I might even be back at scheduled time...a huge de-I victory.  But when we get on the ground in Albuquerque, all the gates are full and we sit on the ground for 30 minutes waiting for them to open one up for us.  Magical Unicorn Pony God gets the point he needs for the tie :(
 Nonetheless, I've put the Unicorn God of Travel that I'm not going to be a pushover any longer.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

de-I-3 / MUPGT-3

I have a bunch business travel the next month or so.  I'm in Chicago and have short trips to Phoenix and Denver also coming up.  So you know what that means... and Magical Unicorn Pony God of Travel SMACKDOWN!

Match Day One - Albuquerque to Chicago
  • de-I gets text on way to airport that his flight to Denver is going to 1 hour late.  Flight ends up being two hours late getting off.  Score Unicorn Pony God.
  • de-I has specifically chosen a flight with a 2 & a half hour connection time through Denver, rather than the 50 minute connect time through Houston (which flight was also late BTW).  I still make it to Denver on time.  Score de-I!
  • Flight into Denver lands in the absolutely farthest gate out possible with only minutes to get to boarding flight.  Score Unicorn Pony God
  • My connecting flight is only a few gates away from the arrival gate.  de-I Ties it Up!
  • Once on the plane I get the last First Class Upgrade and it isn't even a bulkhead road.  I will get dinner after all!! de-I surges into the Lead!
  • This is one of the only First Class flights ever where they don't serve any food.  Unicorn Pony God snatches a draw :(

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Last San Miguel Pictures

Just getting around to my last set of pictures after a busy short work week.

A few more church shots

A Bit More Food

This is the front of Don Tomas, our favorite breakfast place

On our last day I had these cheese enchiladas in salsa verde
I eat beaucoups of enchiladas here in NM but these were of a different order altogether with again those fantastic corn tortillas.  They were so good Wife made me trade with her so she could have half of them :(

The Instituto Allende

This is the famous art school that has been at the center of San Miguel's rise to fame as an art and expat destination

Wife taking art shots of art

Murals done by students

I believe this one was entitled 
"Grading Final Exams"

And this one was called
"Thesis Review Committee"

Friday, February 15, 2013

Valintines Day Dinner

We got back from Mexico on Tuesday.  We had a crazy ass flight schedule because I was using some frequent flyer miles from a partner airline so your choices can get very limited.  We were catching a 7:20 AM flight from Mexico which meant a 3:45 AM pick up in San Miguel.  Then it was routed through LA which is an hour longer flight than through Houston.  Then we had a 3 hour layover so it was a long, long day before we got back to Albuquerque.

Then Wednesday was a full busy work day so I didn't have much time at all to even think about Valentines Day.  So Thursday morning I realize I haven't done anything.  I wrote a very heartfelt love note to Wife.  I thought about making a meal but was concerned that we'd been eating so much in Mexico that we shouldn't be splurging. Then I concluded that could do a luxurious but portion controlled meal even though I would get back from meetings pretty late.  Here is what I made.

First Course
  • Shrimp Cocktail - I made a special cocktail sauce by making Chinese flavor base and infusing it into mayo
Main Course
  • Beef Tenderloin - Wrapped in bacon, seared it, cooked it in a low oven so it was equally done all the way through.  Made a deglazing sauce with reduction of red wine and beef broth.  We split an 8 oz portion
  • Mashed Potatoes in the style of Robochon - This master chef is noted for a mashed potato that is about 50% potato and 50% butter.  I didn't go that far but it is about emulsifying a lot of butter into the potatoes like making a vinaigrette or mayonnaise.  In the spirit of portion control I only served a few spoonfuls of this each
  • Sauteed Mushrooms Top Chef - On this season I saw one of the contestants use a technique of roasting the mushrooms first to get rid of some of the moisture before the final saute.  It resulted in the best mushrooms ever.
  • Crepes with Caramelized Pears - I whipped up a crepe batter and caramelized some pear slices before dinner.  I made the crepes put the pears inside and whipped up a small amount of cream with honey and vanilla.  This was my least successful dish as I was a little too light with the sugar and it needed to be a bit sweeter for my love.
We had a 2000 Pomerol to go along with it.  In spite of not starting cooking until around 6 PM, we were still eating by 7:30.  

Monday, February 11, 2013

San Miguel Pictures - Streets and Vistas

While we were walking around it was really very busy, much more so than on Friday.  Not sure why.  None the less we were able to get off of a number of the busy roads and find clear shots to show what the city looks like.  We also wanted to give you an idea of how steep some of the hills are.  Unfortunately a lot of those pictures gave me lots of contrast and light difference issues so I apologize for the quality of them.

More San Miguel Pictures - Windows and Doors

Wife and I were up early and up and about to take more city pictures.  We ranged far and wide around the city so I'm going to break our pictures into a number of posts.  This one is dedicated strictly to doors and windows.  There are artists that have dedicated books to this subject so I follow a fine artistic trend.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Pictures from San Miguel

Barry is a total tech geek and has every connection cord one could imagine.  Hence, even though I forgot mine, he had one that allowed me to connect my ancient Fakeberry to my computer.


From the roof patio of Barry and Melissa's house


Everything in San Miguel goes on behind the doors.  The entrance to a restaurant or building will lead you into rooms a courtyards.  One could fill a picture album with nothing but pictures of doors.



There are nothing if not a ton of beautiful churches


Ignatio Allende initiator of Mexican independence

The San Miguel statues take a dim view of hot air balloons invading the town and will attack them on sight.

No Luck at the Bull Ring

Located the Bull Ring on the map and walked to it

But it was completely behind walls that made it indistinguishable from the street.  
All I could do was take a picture through a crack the big wooden door.


No de-I travel blog would be complete without some kind of food picture :)
Mexican Hot Chocolate (on the left) is for people who don't want US chemical and sugar powder but want something with real chocolate flavor.

Huevos Ontoni
Eggs scrambled with sausage in a chile soup 

Mandatory chocolate cake following spicy eggs