If New York City is the city that never sleeps, Mexico City is the city does not even stop to catch its breath. For us, the home of Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and David Alfaro Siqueiros; is a magical place that often elevates people beyond OZ, Narnia, and Neverland.
We first would like to thank Aeromexico for takings us there safely and timely. Also, thanks for the apple soda, you guys are the first airline we have seen that carries apple soda. We love it.
Secondly, special thanks to the entire staff of the Hotel Grand Prix. Their service was amazing, and their convenient location near the Palacios de Los Deportes, Foro Sol, and the Autodromo made it a flawless trip.
Here’s our travel advice. We highly recommend that you always exchange your currency in your country of origin. Exchanges rates can vary widely, and it is our experience, that if people wait to exchange currency until they arrive, they will get the tourist rate, also known as not-the-best-rate. Also, if possible, avoid using a debit card. Protect your yourself by using a credit card (only if necessary) – Credit cards companies such as American Express offer travel protections such as baggage insurance plan, global assist hotline, and travel accident insurance. (“Retail, entertainment, and travel benefits,” 2017)
For this adventure, we broke one of our golden rules, “Go with the flow, and explore away” – Mexico City is such an immense and majestic city, that we simply could not afford to venture out. Due to our allowed time frame, we had to have some sort of plan. Our adventure began in the San Juan market, great street food, and a unique market where everything could be found. Can you tell we like food? We always start out by trying out the local food joints.
While asking locally for food recommendations, it was clear that most people were leaning towards one place, La Casa De Toño. La Casa de Toño’s restaurant concept was unique. Great food, fast and attentive service. What we found unique about this place, was their teamwork. We had no set server /waiter; their ultimate goal was to provide the best possible services in the quickest possible way.
After we were fueled up, we headed to Coyoacan to try the world-famous mezcal. Unexpectedly we spent an entire day in the Coyoacan; this colonial town inside a city had a lot to offer. The next day our adventure continued at the Basilica de la Virgen de Guadalupe, and the Chapultepec Castle. Then, it was time to kick into high gear, so we headed to the Tlalpan district, in the outskirts of the city. We had previously been advised to not venture out to less populated areas, and that we should stay safe in condensed metropolitan areas. Well, we didn’t listen, so we headed out to the outskirts of the city, to the Tlalpan district. There, we discovered Restaurante Arroyo. They have the best barbacoa we have ever tasted. Not only that, but they also had a full music and dance show. We ended up spending the entire day at Restaurante Arroyo. Needless to say, we were definitely behind schedule. On the agenda for the next day, as many museums as possible.
In our humble opinion, The Frida Kahlo Museum, and El Palacio de Bellas Artes can easily take on any European museum. Mauro, our highly-educated tour guide, (yes, we used a tour guide for the museum visits) – was extremely knowledgeable, as he shared his love for the rich history of his country, and the arts. As we listened to Mauro, it was discouraging to see how such a powerful realm that used to encompassed California, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and a small section of Wyoming, had fallen to be a synonym of undocumented immigration, drug trafficking, El Chapo and corrupted politicians. At the end of the tour, we thanked Mauro for his passionate presentation and encouraged him to continue to educate people on all the majestic places, and talented people Mexico City has to offer. As it is our policy to no get involved in political matters, so we left Mauro with our message of love, progress, and hope.
We decided to spend our final day mingling with the locals and learning more about their worldviews, at El Zocalo. As we arrived, we saw a group of people gathering around a protester, so by nature, we decided to check it out. The protester’s name was Julia Klug. A Guatemalan-born Mexican activist, who protests the Catholic church weekly. Julia was kind enough to share her story with us. We witnessed a lot of resilient people within the heart of the city.
It seemed only a few minutes had passed by, but 4 hours flew right by us without noticing as we talked to Julia. We did not get a chance to engage with more people since we consumed the majority of the time discussing worldwide topics with Julia. Once again, we were behind schedule. It looked as if we could not keep up with this city.
We concluded our adventure with a visit to the Angel de la Independencia. A magnificent structure in downtown Mexico City. The Monument is a tribute to Mexico’s independent from Spain, in 1821. As we looked around, took it all in, and simply enjoyed the moment, we noticed that the monument went unnoticed by the locals and was used mostly as a background for international news links. Somehow, the angel who led the way for the expansion of the former Mexican empire had been forgotten. In some way, the world had also forgotten about the vast amount of human power, wealth, and culture that can be found in Mexico City.
American Express Card Benefits | American Express. (n.d.). Retrieved April 05, 2017, from https://www.americanexpress.com/us/content/card-benefits/
George Lockhart Rives. The United States and Mexico, 1821-1848. pp. 634–636.zocalo, diego rivera, la casa de toño, coyoacan, american express, mexico city, restaurante arroy, frida kahlo, aeromexico, julia klug