and get into the country.

Because you’ve got to travel here, in the central part of Mexico, to experience the soul of this marvelous place.

And I was inspired by one of today’s better New York Times travel section articles entitled,  Ignoring the Warnings for a Honeymoon in Mexico.

So here are a couple of excerpts that speak to this wonderful, mostly misunderstood, and majorly misrepresented state of Michoacán.

…”But don’t go south of Puerto Vallarta, we were warned. And don’t go to Michoacán, maybe the deadliest state of them all. The warnings were coupled with tales of tragedy. An American’s sailboat had washed ashore on the Michoacán coast, its owner never found, foul play suspected. A Canadian man had been shot and killed near Barra de Navidad. Even in our bucolic town of condo palapas, an American child was murdered by the babysitter’s strung-out boyfriend…

…And then one afternoon, as the sun crept toward the ocean horizon and I worried that we might not find a place to stay (driving at night is considered near suicidal, even by Mexicans), we crossed into Michoacán. This is a state where a female mayor was assassinated, where the cartel men threw hand grenades into the plaza on Independence Day and killed eight bystanders, where severed heads were rolled onto the dance floor of a nightclub.

At dusk we rolled down a cobblestone hill into a village, and found the slice of Mexico we had dreamed of: a smattering of palapas, a clear river flowing between palms and velvety waves peeling off the sunset…”

I have been living here in Michoacán for 2 years now and I have to echo their sentiments – and found the slice of Mexico we had dreamed of – which underscores my experience that Michoacán is truly a magical place inhabited by some of the warmest and friendliest people I have ever met.

So get off the gringo trail my friend and come experience the real Mexico.