Well, we all made it safely back to our snowy homes and I wanted to share some of my impressions of Valladolid. This is the 4th time we have visited the town and the third where we have stayed overnight. This time we stayed 6 nights.
I really feel it's well on it's way to becoming a destination in itself and not just a place to grab a bite to eat on the way to some where else. There are a number of excellent restaurants now and the list grows each time I visit. The two top places on the tripadvisor list weren't there when we visited 3 years ago. There are a few museums of interest too like the chocolate museum and the Mayapan mescal distillery. The first time I stayed there Dzitnip was the only cenote I knew of and now they are all "open for business". Great for kids. You can rent bikes or scooters to buzz around on. The shopping is excellent, at least according to my gang(I'm not a shopper myself). I did buy a guyabera though. (trying to blend in?!??). We also took advantage of a festival going on during our visit. The expoferia (candelaria festival) is massive, with a carnival that includes many rides, a bullfight ring, and a rodeo ring. It's huge. I actually got lost for a while wandering the grounds. I can't see any family regretting bringing their kids for some fun at this event. I was by myself and speak almost zero spanish but I never felt uncomfortable for a moment. I even walked the 7 blocks back to my hotel without a worry. The locals seemed very friendly and were helpful as I stumbled when trying to purchase a pastry in the many small bakeries I always wander into. I even atae a small bread shaped like an ear of corn!
But the biggest change to me is the beginning of an expat colony. The american library opened a few years back and through the efforts of Casa Hamaca's Dennis Larson and others fundraising for local school childrens programs is underway. If you've ever been to san miguel de allende you'll know the impact of the library and the donation programs. It's nice to drop in on these places and talk to the expats who are far more informative than any guide books. Casa de los venados is a wonderful visit and a great fundraiser for local youth. A group of people recently carried out a successful spaying program on the stray dog population(a feature in many towns in Mexico). I really enjoyed meeting these people as they enhanced my experience tremendously. Have a beer with Dennis at Casa Hamaca, you won't regret it.
Over all the four of us had a wonderful time and we all agreed we want to go back. And wander around the neighborhoods. You'll find markets and shops many people miss that are worth exploring.Edited: 07 February 2015, 15:43