viva mexico

Last week I made my very first trip to Mexico with my very own Mexican. In all of my twenty-six years, I have never ventured south of the border… No spring breaks in college, no family vacation. Granted I have been on some pretty fabulous trips, but finally visiting Mexico was quite exciting. It was a lovely vacation; we went to celebrate Lu’s grandma’s 84th birthday and spend some time at la playa. Let’s recap. Be forewarned that many pictures lie ahead. Seriously, a lot of pictures.
We landed in Mexico City Friday afternoon, and we were ravenous. Immediately we looked for some local grub while waiting for Lu’s brother to land from Atlanta. By local grub I mean…. Carl’s Jr where I had quite possibly the best hamburger I’ve ever eaten. Once joined by Steve, we boarded a bus from the airport to Lu’s uncle’s house in Cuernavaca. I don’t mean to be judgmental but riding a bus in Mexico City? Sounded a bit shady to me at first. I am happy to say that I was sorely mistaken. It was really nice and comfortable. There was an attendant who served drinks and cookies, we watched a movie, and the scenery was gorgeous. Despite all of the negative press Mexico gets for the violence and danger in the country, I felt so safe the entire time. Not once did I feel threatened or nervous even for a moment. 
Cuernavaca is known for being the city of eternal spring. It was in the upper 60s when we arrived and I was freezing! I packed shorts, tanks and summer dresses anticipating some hot heat. Note to self: check weather forecast prior to packing and don’t assume closer to the equator means hotter. Cuernavaca is in the mountains, which is one reason it was chilly. This also happens to be their rainy season. Anyway, Lu’s grandmother, aunt, uncle and cousins live in Cuernavaca [La abulea de Lu, tio, tia y sus primos viven en Cuernavaca]. I got to work on my Spanish skills! Lu’s abulea doesn’t speak a lick of English although she understands a lot. His aunt and uncle can get their point across well. His cousins can converse more fluidly. But needless to say, the majority of the vacation was in Spanish. Many thanks to Senor Rosenthal for giving me the gift of Spanish fluency…. oh wait… not.

Lu’s family’s house was very cool. I love these brick ceilings.
grandma & grandons

In Cuernavaca, we stayed in a cute, quaint hotel called Hotel Villa del Conquistador.  My favorite thing about this place was probably their brunch buffet. I love breakfast and they had quite the spread each morning. Abuela’s birthday party was also held in a salon room there on Saturday night. There was a lot of love for Lu’s grandmother in that room. She is a wonderful lady, and it was a wonderful evening complete with good company, a Mariachi band and lots of Coronitas!

our room
the pool
lots of fountains at the hotel (and in the city) and lots of foliage!
the party room
Walkers are beautiful people!

senora walker
los nietos con abuela
let us eat cake
self portrait. can ya tell?

On Sunday, Lu, his dad and I walked around el centro, the downtown of Cuernavaca. We toured a mansion owned by a man born in, where else, Iowa. Ha! I got a kick out of that. His name was Robert Brady and he was a rich man who moved to Mexico, collected art, and built a huge house. We went to the city market, which engaged all of the senses – vibrant colors, city buzzing, smells from food vendors, and the sun on our faces.

narrow brick streets were charming
colorful buildings, also charming
courtyard in the mansion
the mansion. not so shabby.
lu and his dulce papa
the market
the market

On Monday, we took off for the beach. Lu’s family has a fabulous condo in Alcapulco. We spent the next couple days at the beaches and pools. It was paradise. We took a boat ride to a remote beach one day, and I saw the largest waves I’ve ever seen in my life. They were towering over us. It looked very dangerous and intimidating. One evening we went to a spectacular event at La Quebrada where young men climb up cliffs in speedos and then dive off when the tide comes in (timing is key!). I couldn’t help but wonder how they felt on their very first cliff dive. And what gives somebody the gusto to do that? I had knots in my stomach just watching. Acapulco was awesome.

take us to the beach!
Acapulco is a three hour car ride from Cuernavaca. the landscape was picturesque the entire way.
overlooking acapulco bay
beans in stripes
steve & i decided that Lu is happiest when splashing around in water. he’ll be a fun dad one day.

primos y el mar
men being men & braving the huge waves
i had to yell at Lu to get out of the water! era muy peligroso. he’s not stronger than the ocean.
beach. with beds and hammocks. what more could you want?

On the drive home from Acapulco, we stopped at a small town, Taxco. This town is known for mining silver and crafting jewelry. It’s situated on a very steep mountain. It was such a delightful little Mexican town. Above the town, there is a Christ monument. The statue is situated at the highest point of the city and overlooks Taxco with arms outstretched. We ventured up the steep grade to see the site.

the church of taxco
townsmen crafts
too cute. mother & son.
photo bomb in bottom left. she didn’t want to be in my picture! and the little boy wonders why.
Taxco. Cool buildings.
of all of the jewlry in all of Taxco, she chose the world’s smallest earrings. just to be a little different.

christ monument

A note on the cuisine– Mexican food is good! We ate chilaquiles. We had several meals of tacos and quesadillas. On our second to last day, I had to say no to tacos for breakfast because I was starting to overdo it on Mexican food. Overdo it on Mexican? Those are words I never thought I’d say. I love Mexican food but I suppose everything is best in moderation.  One thing I didn’t try was the chicarron… I probably would have liked it but I just couldn’t pull the trigger. It goes without saying but the fresh fruit and juices in Mexico were out of this world. Mmmmm. I couldn’t get enough. The esquites may have stolen the show. Esquites is a snack of corn, lime juice, mayo, and hot sauce. We had ours served in a doritos bag and it reminded me of walking tacos sold in the ped mall in Iowa City…. but better! I had sweet bread, pan dulce, such as churros at the hotel brunch. Yum. We had barritas, one of Lu’s favorite childhood treats. Yum yum yum. Treats indeed.

the best grapefruit juice i’ve ever had. me encanta la toronja.
kind of like a poptart. without the best part frosting

I had a wonderful vacation. Of course it went all too fast. I wish we had more days there to explore the country and be with family. I’m sure we’ll venture back sometime soon but in the meantime it’s back to reality and back to work for both of us tomorrow. I wish my life was a permanent vacation! Don’t you?



2 thoughts on “viva mexico

  1. I loved, loved this posting! The pictures were so amazing, and it is so neat to see Mexico from a different perspective than all the “spring break all-inclusive resorts” pictures people most typically see! Now, I want to go. You married into a wonderful family. Love you!!

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