On March 21st I boarded a plane bound for Mexico City. I did not return to the states until April 4th. Two weeks spent in a city, a country which many Americans have a skewed point of view thanks to EVERY media outlet.
I did not get robbed, I did not get murdered, I did not witness any terrorizing by the big bad Cartel. What I came to realize was, just like anywhere else, be aware of your surroundings and a trip to anywhere in the world will be an adventure to never forget. Maybe even an adventure you’ll want to take again. I recommend you visit Mexico City and the surrounding area. My girlfriend, Shannon, is there and has 14 months left on a teaching contract.
Mexico City, nearly twice the elevation of Denver, CO, was beautiful sight upon the plane’s descent. The sunset was breaking through the clouds and mountains, revealing a masterpiece Picasso couldn’t paint.
The first weekend I was there we took a luxury bus line to Acapulco. Our destination, about 5 miles north, Pie de la Cuesta where we stayed at a 21 room Hotel Nirvana. Our room had ocean and pool views with our own hammock. At night you could hear the waves pound the shore. The giant waves were so loud they seemed to vibrate our bed in the middle of the night.
After a few days of hanging out on the beach, by the pool and submerging ourselves in delicious Mexican food it was time to head back.
Before we caught our bus to Mexico City we took in the Acapulco cliff divers. INCREDIBLE! Before the 75, 100 foot and higher dives we were in aw of what must have been an eight year old boy. He would take six to ten foot dives into the rough waters and make the tough swim back all alone. I guess you must start young if one day you will make the 100 foot dive.
The divers would climb up the side of the cliff to get to their jumping point. They were very patient upon their acrobatic dives, having to wait for a current to bring the water to the correct depth. Once they had a read on the current it was go time. Each and every time they successfully jumped into the water our hearts were in our throats. It looks as if they are going to hit the rocks!
After the show, which our cabbie stayed to watch with us, it was time for our journey to the bus station. Five hours later, we were back in Mexico City.
The next day we drove about 60 kilometers from Mexico City to the pyramids of Teotihuacan. This city had a population of 125,000 just over 2,000 years ago!!! The pyramid de sol (sun) & pyramid de luna (moon) are the two biggest pyramids of the city. What a view you get from them, and what a hike it is. They get quite steep!
That night it was game time. Yes, from the front row we were able to catch the action of a World Cup qualifying soccer match between the United States and Mexico at Aztec Stadium. Mexico is nearly unbeatable (& untieable) in Aztec Stadium due to the elevation and the 100,000 explicative screaming Mexican fans who hate opposing fans and players alike! (For more on the atmosphere, click here, for ESPN’s Bill Simmons’ experience in ’09)
The fans, splurging obscenities, also threw many beers on us. It was an experience of a lifetime. I’ve been to many sporting events, and this was possibly the best atmosphere I’ve witnessed. Once again, if you haven’t yet, checkout Bill Simmons’ article!!!
The game ended in a 0-0 tie. I think I watched the fans and took in the atmosphere more than I actually watched the game.
Already it’s Wednesday. We went with some of Shannon’s friends to Xochimilco where we took a flat-bottomed boat down a series of canals. We enjoyed some drinks and food along with many mariachi bands.
On Thursday and Friday we took in the sites of Mexico City. We did the “touristy” attractions.
Castillo de Chapultepec, I found very interesting and was absolutely fascinated with this castle. It was actually lived in, until the mid 1930’s, by the Mexican President. After that time it was turned into the museum it still is today. Every part of the castle was beautiful. The architecture, the views, even the garden on the roof top.
The Zocalo was very cool. It is a huge square and is the area where Mexico City began. The square, rarely empty, usually holds very large events. It includes a building, where the Mexican President addresses the city, a HUGE cathedral and what is left from the original pyramids; which isn’t much.
Saturday, March 30th was Shannon’s 28th birthday! She wanted to celebrate by going to the rooftop pool that we had heard of. We chose to sneak to the top of the Plaza de Galleria’s pool instead of making the longer trek to the pool everyone talked about. It was a nice relaxing day in a shallow pool in the warm Mexican sun, just what she was looking for.
After the rooftop pool we made the worst decision of the trip. We stopped at a restaurant called “50 Friends.” Needless to say, it wasn’t very friendly. The next day we each got food poisoning from, not Mexican street food, but this sit down, American style restaurant! I finally got completely over mine about four days after I returned to the United States.
That night Shannon’s friends made her a birthday dinner. It was enjoyed with many friends and a meal of salad, bread, and a chicken and mushroom pasta. A cake was the finisher.
To close out Shannon’s spring break, after a day and a half of lounging, watching basketball, and some movies, it was time for Shannon to go back to school. I attended two days of her gym classes and played capture the flag with the kids. Some classes participated more than others but it was a blast. It was also intriguing to hear where the kids went for spring break; ALL OVER THE WORLD! They might not yet realize how privileged they are to travel and see the things many never will.
My flight left early Thursday morning. I dreaded leaving Shannon and the awesome weather knowing that back home it was 25 to 30 degrees cooler. But the trip was great. Mexico and Mexico City are places I will definitely return to and would recommend to everyone else.
The media puts such a spin, negative spin, on topics because they can. Don’t listen to what they say, just turn off the TV!
Thanks for checking out my trip to Mexico!