Mexico: CDMX

VIVA MEXICO!

After a lot of convincing my wife was finally on board for a trip to Mexico City. I figured, its cheap, close, and relatively easy to get to and it did not disappoint! I think you have to realize that CDMX is a true Megacity. It has everything any other city has to offer from culture, food, entertainment, and also a lot of history and natural wonders. For some reason, I don’t think it peaks very high on many US travelers lists, but after a week there I would have no problem going back. Also, as a goal for the year, I told myself I would attempt to keep this blog up to date…so this is being written quite a few months after the trip ;(

The flight was fairly easy, since we were dropping of the kid in Jackson, we ended up flying out of Jackson through Dallas and onto CDMX. We were able to get to our neighborhood and check into the AirBnB easily and it had a great view! We stayed in Roma (based on some recommendations), and for the most part and it would easily be the place to stay if ever there again. It was a vibrant neighborhood easily walking distance from all the restaurants and place to be. We landed, dropped our stuff off, wifey was annoyed I accidentally booked a shared apartment AirBnB (oops), and started exploring. Basically all we did was get our bearings, walk and eat!

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Tuesday:

This day was super packed, but it only made sense since we were only there for a few days. We woke up early, and our tour guides, a mother and daughter, picked us up so we could check out the Basilica de Guadalupe and Teotihuacan.

The Basilica was a huge compound and even on a random Tuesday (although around Christmas) it was fairly busy with most likely tourists or people on holiday. A sermon was being given among all the people walking around/praying/watching and we watched for a few minutes then proceeded to see do the walking escalator ride to see Our Lady of Guadalupe up close and her cloak.

After checking this out, we walked to up the hill passed a few sculptures to the Cerrito Chapel.

 

Next up, Teotihuacan! These were pyramids build A LONG TIME ago and are some of the most architecturally significant pyramids build in Central America. It’s probably a 40 minute drive from Mexico City and we had made an attempt to get there as early as possible because it get’s hot quick, and at a high altitude it doesn’t take much to get dehydrated and sun-burnt.  The car ride was pretty quick and when we got there the tour guides stopped us at the typical everyone must stop tourist trap to see some of the ways that stones was carved back in the day, a Mexican hairless dog, and some liquor specific to that area made from Cactus flowers.  The best part was the liquor and I purchased a bottle for consumption at home! We kept moving and as we were pulling up wifey and I noticed the heat starting to settle in. She used her quick bargaining skills and some Spanish to get us some very stylish hats before we entered the parking lot. This also greatly impressed out tour guides which realized we would not be taken for suckers, and everything is negotiable (except their pre-negotiated tour rate of course).

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We parked, meandered in and got in line with the daughter of the tour guide (back from college) so she could climb the main pyramid with us.

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FANCY HATS

After some sweating and up some fairly steep stairs, we made it to the top!

Everyone was doing this photo where they raise their hands, so we did it to. We enjoyed the view and walked around the top then headed back down to climb the smaller pyramids. It was only getting hotter, and once you’ve climbed the biggest one, I wasn’t as interested in climbing the smaller ones to see a less significant view.  We also forced our tour guide to take an obligatory jumping photo. She complied and we were on our way.

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We headed back to the city to get cleaned up and kicked our feet up for a few since I had a busy evening planed for us.

At around 4:30 we headed out to take a cooking class at a local’s apartment. This was awesome! We met the chef, and us and another couple then went to the local market to buy the ingredients and get to cooking. The menu consisted of a Mole sauce, fresh quesadillas, salsa’s, and some other items which were delicious.

We enjoyed the instructions and cooking, but eating is really where we excelled. Fresh corn tortillas were legit, and we basically couldn’t stop eating them. The other couple taking the class with us prepped one other chicken dish (it was easy to be veg here) with the chef but we all just basically ate and cooked until we were full, then sat down and had dinner.  Finally, as Sag thought the day was wrapping up, I informed here we had ONE more thing to do and we headed to the arena for one of the best shows on earth, LUCHA LIBRE!

Wifey had no clue what Lucha Libre is, and was more along for the ride. It was great. Without going into all the details, I’ll just share some pics. I bought the most expensive seats I could so we were close (still cheap), and one of the highlights was the crowd reaction to an American wrestler with a Trump flag. It was brilliant! He knew how to play the crowd and it was a sight to behold.

Wednesday

The next day we decided to head into the main city square where all the Christmas decorations and shopping are located. I had picked a few restaurants to try and we walked around until we saw most of the government buildings and found the spot we were looking for to eat. We took the subway which was super convenient and quick.  I also got the image of this man carrying a large back of meat to work. Odd sight, but I guess when you gotta move your meat, you gotta move your meat….

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Subway Meat Man

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Zocalo

 

We then headed down to Coyoacan, which was the area where Frida Kahlo’s house is located, as well as the Coyoacan Market where my b-school friends Deepa was meeting us. I enjoy going to markets and this one was pretty cool. It had tons of great places to eat, as well as some interesting shopping and we perused around. We had plans to see The Blue House, but it was sold out so we booked tickets for the next day, I bought my skulls which I wanted for my study, and we went to Leon Trotsky’s house.

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Mercado de Coyoacan: Tostadas!

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We then headed to Mercado Roma, which I had been recommended but unable to find earlier. It was a large space with a collection of fancy food vendors and we sat down and enjoyed some Churros from El Moro.

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Churros!

We headed back to Roma and to met up Deepa’s brother and sister-in-law for drinks followed by dinner at a restaurant called Rosetta. It was again, delicious. If you enjoy eating, Mexico City is amazing. I didn’t realize it was such a foody city but you need reservations to eat just about anywhere and it is well worth it for any cuisine.  After some great convo, concerns about the political climate, making fun of me, and enlightening conversation (not because of me), Deepa’s fam dipped and we headed to this fancy mixology bar I wanted to try called Licorería Limantour. Long story short, I don’t like Mezcal.

After drinks which were not good (bourbon > tequila) and a sad good bye, we headed home and prepped for the next day.

Thursday

We woke up fairly early and headed down to the Floating Gardens of Xochimilco. This was pretty cool, and while wifey and I did have loads of fun I think it was one of those things where you gather a bunch of people and spend the day drinking/eating and buying random nonsense. It’s known for the floating mariachi bands so we enjoyed the music and discussed how we overpaid for our ride.

We had a set time to get to Frida Kahlo’s house so after we finished up we headed back to the Mercado de Coyoacan to get some delicious food and so I could stare at this tortilla machine:

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I Love You Machine

We enjoyed learning about Kahlo’s story as well as the difficult life she lead. Wiki it if you want know more.

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We wrapped this up and headed to Casa de Tono for some veg posole then to our new hotel. I had used a ton of points to get us in the Hilton for the last night, and after the whole roommate situation along with our pet Gato, I think it was a nice treat. The hotel was near Zocalo so at night we moved with the huge crowds, did some shopping, and enjoyed the culture of Ciudad de Mexico.

 

Friday

One last coffee

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Adios