Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Hola, DF!

I decided to go to Mexico City to visit Tim so we could revive our New Year's Eve tradition.  And revive we did - 5 years strong!  With one day home after Utah Christmas, I threw some things in a suitcase without paying any attention, got in a Super Shuttle at 5am, made it through LAX to DFW, and voila!

Hola, DF!

I had zero idea what to except (though I've been in Latin American plenty of times) and did very little research about what I was going to do while there, but that's sometimes it's better that way.  

We broke through the clouds upon landing, and whoa, hazy, smoggy air quality.  
Caught a cab to Tim and Nestor's place, and found their grand staircase. 
The view from their balcony in Polanco.  I think we took a walk through Parque Lincoln that night, got some groceries and caught up at home.  I hadn't seen Tim since our February reunion, and I hadn't yet met Nestor, so we had lots to say.  
The next morning Tim went to work, and Nestor and I hung out for a bit.  I'd planned to take Turibus around to get a sense of the city and decide where I wanted to spend more time, but whoa.  Mexicans take their tourism really seriously and since it was a holiday week, those bus routes were packed!  They weren't making any hop on/hop off stops and there was no switching to the other route, so they could accommodate everyone.  No thanks.

Plan B - Nestor and I decided on the special exhibit from the British Museum at the Anthropology Museum.
The line for the permanent exhibit was ridiculously long, so I skipped it.  I know, I know, it's one of the best museums in the world, but sometimes my museum tolerance is low (especially when it's lots of sculpture-type things).  I'll have to go back for my dose of Mayan and Aztec life.

We were hungry afterward, so we ate these.  
I forgot what a low tolerance for spicy I have.  The rest of my family got the spicy lovers gene; I did not.
 There were some voladores.
Nestor decided to head home, and I continued my exploration of Chapultepec Park.  I really wanted to go to the Modern Art Museum, but for some reason it was closed.  Instead, here's the Niños Héroes monument. 
I walked up the hill to the castle, formerly a presidential home, now the National Museum of History.

Standing in line to enter museums, you'll soon realize there's something 'Mexico' about the process (I say that in a loving way, because DF didn't hate me as much as Cancun did, that was a terrible trip).  I saw a security guard going down the line asking people something.  As I got towards the front, I realized that the price of admission for all these places is 51 pesos - but almost no one has 1 peso coins and the ticket office doesn't have change. The security guard asked everyone in line (at every single place I went) if people could pay using 1 peso coins.  Um, try changing the price?  Make more runs to the bank?  Efficiency in payment is not one of their strong suits.  But that's okay.  Next year the price goes up to 57 pesos. Let's see how that works next time I'm there.

Back to the exhibits.

The place is pretty big.  I spent a solid couple of hours walking around.  Anything you want to know about the history of Mexico, you can find it here.

Mexican Independence Day (same as my birthday!)

This room below was really hot and smelly and I didn't stay in it.

Looking down Reforma.

Okay, enough of that.  Sun was starting to go down a little, I was cold, so I started the walk back home through the park.  In all the things I packed, light jacket was not one of them.  But I think I did have 17 shirts.  Not kidding.

I could totally eat that Christmas tree, sponsored by Ferrero Rocher.
Chapulín!  Not an edible one, thank goodness.  
Okay - dinner time.  Tim knew a couple other DC people who were around, so they came over for appetizers, then we headed towards Condesa for dinner at Sobrinos.

I had tacos milanesa.  Solid.
Afterwards we met up with Tim's work crew on top of Hotel Condesa.  Embassy staff live together, work together, play together.  It might be a little much.
We're old now, so no staying out to 4am like we used to.  Instead we went to bed at a respectable hour so we could start our drive to San Miguel early on Saturday.  Well, by early we mean 11am.

We did not stop at Tako's for food the next morning, because Tim says it's gross.
But Polanco has nice bakeries.

We snagged some empanadas for the road trip.
Walked by Biko on the way home, one of the world's 50 best restaurants.  Maybe next time?
Okay - time to get in the car and drive towards San Miguel de Allende.  On the 'beltway.'
The Satelite Towers.  Nestor, the architect, told me all about them.
The sky was pretty gorgeous that morning.
Next up - NYE in SM!

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