Saturday, September 12, 2009

Mexico Part 2

Tulca is a very large city but one of Alan’s cousins lives there so we stopped for the night. We went to dinner on taco street and had some Al Pastor. Ummm Al Pastor is my absolute favorite. Alan’s cousin has three young children. It made me laugh because they kept talking to me not understanding that I did not know what they were saying. The next day we headed to some ruins outside of Tulca. These ruins were beautiful. They hadn’t done as much to fix the buildings up as they have at other cites so it was cool to see the buildings in more of their real form.

We then left to the city to return our car and just take Alan’s cousin’s car the rest of the trip. We ended that night in Cernavaca. We have been to Cernavaca before so we just slept there and headed to Acapulco. We arrived in Acapulco around 1:00. We decided to stop at the store and get bread and drinks before checked in to the motel. When Jessie and James went to Acapulco for their honeymoon I told them to do the same. I guess I didn’t explain it as well as I should because they were completely surprised when they went to the bread store. Going and getting bread is really going and getting a little piece of heaven. You walk into the store and get your large pizza like pan and tongs. Then you go up and down the isles piling it high with all kinds of sweet breads, plain rolls, rolls with cheese in them, rolls with ham and cheese, soft breads, hard breads, bread with chocolate, cream, fruit, sugar, nuts. All kinds of delicious treats. (I don’t advise the doughnuts, cakes, or brownie… they are always dry and yucky). You take your overflowing tray to the checkout stand. They add it all up and the grand total is never over $5 dollars. It is the best.

We checked into the hotel and for the next two days we just played at the beach, swam in the pool, and ate. Life does not get much better than this.

Normally it would be sad to leave Acapulco but this time is was not because we were heading to Taxco. Taxco is a silver mining town where they still mine the silver. It is a city built on a hill with cobble stone streets. Of all Mexico, Acapulco and Taxco are my favorite. There is just something about the cobble stone roads and lots of jewelry that makes me smile. I love eating on the balconies around the center and watching people. It is almost enchanting.

From Taxco we went back to Mexico City.

Our last experience with a wedding in Mexico taught us a lot and we were determined to be smarter about the Quinceanera. We checked into our motel around 2 and then headed down for a large meal. Then we headed back to the motel for a nap. We showered and got ready then ate again. I was not about to go hungry this time. Around 6 O’clock our ride came and picked us up and took us to the church for the ceremony. The Ceremony was supposed to take around 20 minutes but took and hour. The Ceremony was extremely boring to those that understood the language but to me that could not understand a thing it was beyond boring. I was so glad once it was over. From the ceremony we went to the party. The party was elaborately decorated and so were the people. The fifteen year old boys all had suits, and all the girls had on fancy party dresses. The party finally started at 9:30 with Xareni dancing with her dad. Then for the next hour she danced 4 choreographed dances with professional male dancers by her side. At 10:30 they started to serve dinner. It was only a 4 course meal this time starting with soup and ending with cake and ice cream. While dinner was served a string quartet played what the announcer called “romantic music.” After dinner the dancing started. I love parties in Mexico with dancing. Even the 80 year old grandmas and grandpas dance the night away. Finally at 2:00 we called a taxi and went back to the motel. While in the taxi a car rear ended us. But the Mexican way is to look at the damage then just drive off, and so we did.

The next morning (almost afternoon) when we woke up, Alan and I went to the Zoo. The Zoo is free and if there was a Mexican PETA the whole place would be shut down. Thankfully there is not and we got to see a lot of animals and a lot closer up than here in the States. Then we went to Coaycan, (a park in Mexico City) where they have the best quesadillas. We meet up with more of Alan’s relatives… a lot more. This means a lot of kisses on the cheek, and me just stand there and smiling. Not much else to do when there are a bunch of people you have never met before speaking a language you don’t understand. It is a lot of fun though meeting family from another country. They are so nice and accommodating. Later that night we went to see some friend's shop and ended up getting cought in a huge rain storm instead. I wish it would rain like that here in Utah.

Monday was our last real day in Mexico. We just wanted to do our same ole same ole in Mexico City, which consists of riding on the metro (without catching the swine flu), shopping, and walking the streets by the center.
While we were walking we came across this protest. The people are really mad at their government for giving Obama such luxuries when he came to visit a couple of weeks ago. They want the government to spend money on the people starving in Mexico, not on foreign leaders.
This was a great way to end our trip to Mexico. We had a blast while we were here but we are finally ready to be home and eat real American food. Oh and drink water, good old water and ice, from the tap.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Mexico Part 1

Leaving for Mexico was not as easy this time as it has been in the past. Now that Alan and I work for Adams & Co/ Krumpet’s, we live our jobs more than we used to. It is different working for a company that you really like and enjoy. Before when we would leave for vacation we would just leave and forget everything else behind. But just leaving our jobs behind this time was not as easy. Alan in fact still works while we are here in Mexico. He has his phone and makes and receives phone calls and emails all day long. It amazes me how much technology has changed and developed that we are able to send emails from anywhere in the world. As hard has it has been to leave for Mexico now that we are here I am loving it.

We left for Las Vegas on Thursday, and flew into Dallas Thursday night. The flight was supposed to be 3 hours with a 1 hour layover. There was a storm so we got stuck in a holding pattern in the sky for an extra hour. Luckily everyone was behind schedule and we were able to make our next flight from Dallas to Mexico City. On our flight from Dallas we saw an amazing lightning storm from the plane. It was beautiful to watch the sky light up without ever seeing the lighting bolts.

Finally we made it to Mexico. There is just something about being in Mexico that excites me. It is truly a different world. We went straight to our motel room and slept a few hours. On Friday morning we went to the Mexico City Temple. Anyone that knows me knows that I get a little teary eyed more than normal people do. The temple was beautiful and it was absolutely amazing how the spirit in the temple is the same all over the world and no matter what language the ceremony are preformed in it is all true and the same. Going to the temple made the trip worth it all.

After the temple we got our rent-a-car and headed to our first stop Tula. Tula was meant to be a short stop where we were going to buy some leather. We never found the leather market but we did find some ruins instead. I love going to the ruins and seeing how people lived and worshipped so many years ago. It always fascinates me how there is little bits and pieces from our beliefs just distorted.

Next we went to Queretaro. (Don’t ask me to say the name of this town. For the life of me I can’t say it.) This is where most of Rosa’s family that still lives in Mexico lives. I was able to meet Alan’s Grandfather and uncle for the first time. We meet in the center of town ate on the patio then went and explored the town.

In Mexico the center or Zocolo is the best place to be. Everyone comes and just sits, eats, and shops. There is always beautiful architecture and a few grand cathedrals, all in a few block ratios.

We spent the night in Queretaro then moved on to San Miguel De Allende in the morning. Because it was a Friday the center was buzzing with people, and venders selling everything from balloons to bracelets. Mariachi bands filled the air with music and the smell of corn on the cob smothered in mayonnaise and cheese completed the ambiance of being in a small town of Mexico. We had churros and hot chocolate and just enjoyed being surrounded by culture. We spent the night a block from the center in an old rundown hotel, with an amazing view of the city.

Dolores Hidalgo was our next stop. This was a very short stop but we still had time to buy some handmade pottery and ice cream. Dolores Hidalgo is known for having homemade ice cream vendors in the four corners of the center. After trying 20 different flavors of ice cream including sausage and Alan trying shrimp I settled on “Beso De Angel”.
Guanajuato is a favorite of Rosa and she wanted to spend as much time there as possible. So we quickly left and drove to the Motel in Guanajuato. In Guanajuato the streets are so narrow that we left the car and took the bus to the center of town. We walked up and down the streets until our feet gave out. It was a beautiful city full of color and buildings built hundreds of years ago. There is a street that the buildings are so close that they say people on opposite balconies could kiss. The street was adequately named “Callejon Del Beso.”

After Guanajuato we started our 3 hour drive to Tlelpujahua. This town is known for it’s hand blown Christmas ornaments. Not many people know this but it is not Christmas time and it was hard to find any of the ornaments. After some “Mexican directions” (Mexican directions take a simple direction like “walk two blocks then head north 3 blocks, turn left then at the next block turn right, half way down this block there is a black door that is the factory. No their directions are oh “just up that street, you will see it.”) If you are ever in Mexico and need directions ask someone then a block or two later ask again, keep doing this until you are at your destination. You will never find it by asking only one person. We finally found the factory which is no bigger than my house. It was really cool to see them painting and making the ornaments. Interestingly we found out that they are the suppliers for some of Wal Mart’s ornaments.

We then went to El Oro. Oro means gold. This is an old mining town, it was a busy town but the mine has been shut down many years ago. There wasn’t much to see so we drove around for a minute then headed to Tulca.

From El Oro to Tulca it was only supposed to take an hour to an hour and a half but I missed a turn and took us down a yellow road. On the Map we were only supposed to take red roads with yellow line in it or solid red roads. Yellow roads take much longer and are not safe in Mexico. I did not realize until we were half way down it that we were on a yellow road and it seemed faster to continue on the road than turn back. We safely made it but not without a lot of speed bumps and massive potholes in the road. Hours later we found the red road and quickly made it to Tulca.