Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Vacation posts are so intimidating!

This one has been stumping me for weeks. . . so instead of stewing about it any longer, I'm just going to post some of my favorite pics (hard, because there are a MILLION!) and let you guess where we went. . .

Clue #1: We went to see our good friends the Pratts who are living thereClue #2: We had really some good food(Easter Breakfast)(I can't remember what these are called but its corn on the cob smothered in mayo, cheese and chili powder)(Tostada bar at a neighborhood market. . . mmmm)

Clue #3: And some pretty strange food

(Yup, those are fried grub worms. . . and what looks like couscous is actually ant eggs)(but Wendy liked it!)
The weird thing is, those grubs and ant eggs were served at one of the most beautiful restaurants I've ever seen where macaws and toucans and peacocks entertain the guests (especially the kids) in the amazing open garden and courtyard. . . maybe they fed us the bird food by mistake. . .

Clue #4: We did some shoppingClue #5: We saw an amazing array of architecture

From a belle epoque opera house. . .
To 16th century chapels. . .
and a baroque cathedral. . .in an old white-washed, hilltop town

a castle built by one of Napolean's brothers. . .a modern mecca where pilgrams flock from all over the country to see this miraculous image. . .
To ancient meccas where temples stand today as majestic as they did 800 years ago. . . (that might have just given it away. . .)

Clue #6: We played at a state of the art playground and went to one of the best zoos in the world (if you ask me!)(oh, and Lucy got kissed by a french boy named Simon!)

Clue #7: We were there for Holy Week, or Semena Santa (the week leading up to Easter) and witnessed the religious fervor and pageantry of the faithful

. . . and a near riot when the crowded square emptied in a matter of seconds when a transformer blew somewhere down the procession and terrified thousands of people ran to the relative safety of tiny winding streets. We happened to be in a restaurant watching the festivities fromt he second floor when this panic riot hit . . . one of the strangest, most surreal events of my life.
Clue #8: We went to Frieda and Diego's houses(okay, that one is not at their house, its a mural at a government palace)

Clue #9: One week after we were there, President Obama was there. . . and stayed in a hotel we could see from Annie and Emron's balcony.

Clue #10: One week after that, the swine flu broke out. Don't worry, the Laws and the Pratts are all okay. Annie and the girls evacuated to Virginia for a while to be with her family and Emron is our live correspondant from _____ who says that fantastic zoo and playground are shut down, the subways and restaurants are closed and noone is going to work. So in a city of 22 million people, there is suddenly no traffic and nothing to do.

Clue #11: And if all that hasn't given it away yet, this will. . . some of my souvenirs: luchadores action figures from lucha libre! Yes, we went and saw the real deal and it was an absolute blast. We sat about three rows back from ring-side, people were back-flipping and flying over the ropes right at us. Amazing.Alright, alright. . . you guessed it! We went to Mexico City and some surrounding towns (Taxco and Cuernovaca) and had a wonderful time. It far exceded my expectations and I would recommend it as a vacation destination to anyone.
(I was fascinated with the little drawings in the Aztec and Mayan codex's that we saw in the museums.)
Colorful boats on the canals of Xochimilco
Xochimilco is known as the Venice of the Western Hemisphere, but I disagree. I don't think Venice has ever seen such a party, even in the middle of carnival. The canals were packed with boats, some with traveling mariachis and bands competing to be the loudest. Boats held up to twenty people and food cart and souvenir boats would pull up along side selling their goods. . .
Thanks, Mexico City! We love you!

6 comments:

Jenni said...

How fun!!! And scary that you were there during the whole Swine flu thing! Glad everyone is ok. Your pictures are awesome! One of these days (when this thing called residency is over) we want to tag alongwith you on one of your fun trips!! =)

missy said...

I've been anxiously awaiting this post for a long time! I loved looking at the pics, what an amazing trip you guys had! And what a cool trip for Lucy's first time out of the country! I'm sold, I've added Mexico City to my "to do" list!

Mary said...

What gorgeous pictures! At first I was thinking Mexico, but then I considered Europe (the "French" kiss caught me off-guard). It looks like you had so much fun, and I'm glad you are H1N1 free!

Kristine said...

Mexico City! What a blast. You do such a good job photographing your trips....and it gives me the travel bug BAD.

Lucy is adorable and looking grown up.

and that riot sounded scary.

Amy Lynn said...

Oh my goodness...what an amazing trip! And the photography...wow! Looks like it was a fantastic trip! Now I'm just going to have to go google "Mexico City"...I was dreaming about Greece but I've been influenced...

Anonymous said...

Fantastic pictures Juliann... you definitely win the competition especially since Annie has been too lazy to post anything. We had such a fantastic time with you guys. Can't wait until the next trip. What a surreal month it has been.

And great to see that the J&J Smith's are talking about getting back into the trip club. They have been playing hookie for way too long.