Ten Tacos, Please


From Guanajuato we backtracked and spent a few more days bumming around San Miguel. It’s the kind of town you can get to know really quickly. There are only a handful of streets you walk around as a tourist, and the rest is just sort of wandering the neighborhoods. We enjoyed our days there, but despite its charms I doubt we’ll be going out of our way to head back again. I do wish they could pick one of these nice colonial towns up and drop it on a Pacific surf beach.

In Guanajuato the other day we had a weird restaurant experience. The place was a nothing fancy kind of joint serving up tacos and chicken. My menu showed tacos costing 15 pesos—so obviously that was for one taco. Ali’s menu showed them at 45 pesos—obviously an order of 3 tacos. Anyway, the lady came to take our order and I told her we were getting all tacos (no full plate dinners). I ordered six chicken tacos, pointing to Ali and the kids and indicating two for each of them, then I ordered 4 steak tacos for myself. Seemed pretty straightforward to me. Ordering tacos, guacamole, and beer does not in any way tax my Spanish.

A few minutes later the waitress brought out a couple plates with three tacos on each. Then she brought two more plates, bringing the total to twelve tacos. I had ordered ten, but wasn’t going to make a fuss over getting two extra. But then she brought two more plates of tacos, bringing the total to six plates with eighteen tacos on them. And these were big tacos, not the tiny three-biters you sometimes get for five or six pesos. So now we stopped her and asked what was going on. It took some doing, but eventually we figured out that she was bringing us six orders of chicken tacos. Then she pointed over at the kitchen where we could see four plates consisting of steak, guacamole, beans, and rice. On top of all of this we had ordered side orders of rice, and guacamole.

Somehow it never occurred to her that something was off. She was happy to bring us—two adults and two small children—eighteen tacos, four full plate meals, and two heaping plates of side items. Plus beer. All we really wanted were ten tacos. On top of everything, the food wasn’t very good, and the kids didn’t eat it at all. Fortunately a manager arrived, realized the absurdity of it all, and took care of things. We paid a bit more than we should have, then left a nice tip and a ton of food piled up on our table.


Wicked tricks with wicked fake teeth.

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He’s started asking us to put Ouest’s seat down so he can try the pedal bike. He doesn’t totally have the pedal direction down yet, but it won’t take much for that to click—then it’s off to the races. We’re going to have to start the search for another bike.


A friend of ours happened to be passing through on his way south. We both took the opportunity the concrete parking lot provided to jack our rigs up. He changed oil and alternated his tires, I just got the wheels up and adjusted the brakes. We were both happy to have a little housekeeping taken care of.

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We passed through Querétaro years ago without so much as glancing at the downtown core, just a mile from the hotel/campground. That was a mistake. It’s a sprawling city of half a million people, but the old centro is nicely packed and holds some four-hundred-year old gems.

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Elections are coming up next weekend, which for us only means no buying beer for a couple of days.

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Today I discovered that Ali has no idea who Rihanna is. None. It doesn’t even begin to ring a bell. I mention this just in case you were under the illusion that we are the hippest GenXers on the planet.


31 Comments on “Ten Tacos, Please”

  1. Hi Pat.
    Is your friend travelling around in his 4×4 or just commuting home? If he is blogging his travels what is his site?

    Thanks Muzza

    1. He’s traveling south. In Guatemala now. And no, he is one of a rare breed of today’s traveler who doesn’t have a blog. At least as far as I know. Maybe he keeps it a secret so he can talk about us afterwards. I’ve been known to do that myself.

  2. There are no words to describe the picture of the guy with the Stetson and the balloons. How do you manage to catch these moments over and over again???

  3. The pictures on this post are the bomb. I mean, your photos are generally awesome, but these were more so. I’m pretty disillusioned in you guys though, not being the GenXers I thought you were… (I joke. I know who Rhianna is, but couldn’t tell you a single song of hers, and I seem to be OK with that.)

  4. I WISH I didn’t know who Rhianna is…….don’t know any of her “songs” either! Lovely pictures of Ali—now SHE is beautiful!

  5. Great shots as usual. I can’t believe how big Lowe is. I would love to know in what conversation Rhianna’s name even came up!

    1. We heard a song and I told Ali, “That’s Rihanna.”


      “Rihanna. You know, Reee-anna.”

      blank stare

      “Reeeeeee-annnnna.” I repeated, thinking she just couldn’t understand me.

      “I have no idea what you are talking about.”

      Me: “Wow, we have really fallen all the way out of the loop.”

  6. Oh that Mystery Machine bug, hilarious! And I have no idea who Rihanna is either. Just googled at your mention. My first thought was that old song by Fleetwood Mac. But I guess that just makes me old.

  7. I see so many photos of balloon sellers in your posts. Are they only out for festivals or is there really enough tourism/demand for inflatable spidermen and other cartoon characters all the time in these towns?

    Should be some exciting protests and possibly roadblocks going on until June 7.

    1. Every day, man. Can you imagine? Everything they sell costs between fifty cents and two dollars, so there is always some demand. People playing in the parks with their kids, kids see bright colorful thing with favorite character on it, parent inquires as to the price, finds out it is twenty pesos, and can’t think of a good reason to say no.

      And yeah, we’re probably staying put for a few days to wait the election out.

  8. Kudos on how you handled the taco situation. More people should be so accepting of an honest mistake. Clearly, Ali and Pat, you are not “ugly Americans” (the kids, of course, are Mexican . . . so one would expect good manners from them). 🙂

  9. As always, the photos are so unique. I especially love the one of Ali getting some “alone” time on top of the red steps.

    Just finished reading your blog from start to finish. Can’t begin to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed seeing the world through your photographic eyes. You seem to be really taken with unusual textures and architectural features that I think most of us look right past.

    Thanks for sharing with us.

    1. Hi Nikki, I’ve seen your comments throughout the blog the past week or so and I knew you were pulling a start to finish marathon. Congrats on the completion! 🙂 Happy to have you along.

      1. Taken me 9 non stop days so far and I have read every comment too. Less than a year to go 😉

        BTW so you know my entry point- found Bumfuzzle book on Top free 100 Amazon in Travel section, and then had immediately to sit down and read the blog – BumNumb is me at mo! You have a copy sold of Live on the Margin shortly too – just gotta finish this marathon first 🙂

    1. All right, for you boomers, it’s sort of like you not having any idea who Cher is. (This is me trying to think of a one-name singer.)

  10. One of your BEST collections of photography. Your family is just TOO PRETTY! I would frame that one of Ouest doing the bike trick. That will be great when she is 80. All the best!

  11. Once again, wonderful family pictures. I loved the one of Ouest on the bike and Ali gets prettier every day.

  12. I guess sobering the voters up for a few days keeps the voting on the up and up. Our son is one of those world travelers who keeps it all to himself, he wouldn’t think of having a blog. He just returned from Costa Rica and Nicaragua 2 weeks ago and next week he’s headed to China. It’s all I can do to get a picture out of him when he’s away. Lastly, Ali should be glad she doesn’t know who these people are, I can’t say it’s added to my life having them shoved in my face daily.

  13. I love hanging out in San Miguel. There is always so much going on with their festivals with art and music happenings. Tough place to find a camp spot for a big rig tho.

  14. This whole “not allowed to buy beer (or any alcohol) during an election weekend” is for the birds. There clearly needs to be some clause for those of us “hunkering down for a hurricane” ….

    1. No hurricane for us – but we found a fabulous pizza restaurant with an attached play room for the kids. We didn’t see or hear them for an hour and a half – only problem was Pat and I had nothing to do as there was no beer being served. I could have enjoyed a whole beer without playing cars on the table for once. 🙂
      Hope you guys are okay.

  15. I’ve been binge reading your blog from the beginning for many months. I kept thinking I need to send your kids some Native shoes and then I see Lowe wearing them. My son lives in his and your lifestyle screams out for them!

  16. Love the “Mystery Machine”! I think you mentioned in a previous post how VW bugs are photoworthy. Looks like there are many such photo ops in Mexico!

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