Thursday, August 13, 2015

Adventures in Mexico with a Toddler (part 2)

Mexico City is my mom’s birthplace.
I’ve been there many times throughout my childhood but this one was probably the busiest trip ever.
First of all, we traveled there from Guadalajara to be a part of my little niece’s First Communion.
But since my aunt’s house was going to be so busy with tons of guests arriving for the celebration we didn’t want to add additional stress and decided to rent a hotel and explore the city on our own.
The challenge of course-- traveling with Benny. He proved to be a good little trooper considering we hardly stuck to a napping/mealtime schedule.
But Mexico City is so big and crowded and scary at times that my biggest concern always was making sure Benny was protected while enjoying the sights and views of places he’d never seen before.
The only problem is, the vibes from certain places (like the Mercado Sonora) were so chilling that all I could think of was—let’s get back to the hotel (we witnessed a lady get robbed)!
The traffic is insane… it would take us an hour to get to places that should’ve been 20 minutes away (not too different from L.A., I know but the driving culture in Mexico City is a rollercoaster of its own).
This is not to dissuade anyone from going… Mexico City is a colorful world of adventure with different sounds, smells and events at every corner, definitely worth a visit. For us, it was extra memorable because we met a newfound cousin (Dani Luna) who was our host, tour guide and driver!
What I am saying is that I got a perfect dose of Mexico City, good enough to last me several years before I plan another visit. Here are a few pictures of our adventures in the city.
Thanks for reading!

Our hotel was located near "El Angel" a symbolic tower in Mexico City built in 1910 that stands with a gold angel on top representing the beginning of Mexico's War of Independence. 

Here we enjoyed a colorful water fountain display where Benny wanted to join the other kids and splash in the water. This was at the Revolution monument, near "El Angel", where dozens of demonstrators are camping out, protesting against the Mexican government.

We visited Mexico City's Basilica, dedicated to the Virgin Mary of Guadalupe. The basilica is situated in the same place believed to have been the site where the Virgin appeared on the cloak of a native indian named Juan Diego. Pictured above is the cloak, which has been preserved for hundreds of years. 

My sister Irene tries to explain to my inquisitive toddler the significance of the Virgin Mary of Guadalupe.

Later we visited Mexico City's Anthropology Museum

And enjoyed a refreshing snack!

We also visited Coyoacan, where Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera's home is located!

On our final weekend, we celebrated my niece's first communion. Here, a mischievous Benny stands outside the church wearing a "manta" outfit. Manta is a type of  cotton fabric made popular in Mexico! 

Here's my niece who asked me to be her godmother (so sweet!).

At the First Communion celebration, the party went on till the wee hours of the night. At one point, they brought out the "toritos" or bulls, used for a special dance!

En español

La Ciudad de México es la ciudad natal de mi mamá.
He visitado el Distrito Federal muchas veces pero éste viaje fue quizá el más cansado de todos.
En primer lugar, llegamos en autobús desde Guadalajara para acompañar a mi pequeña sobrina en su Primera Comunión (yo fui la madrina).
Pero como la casa de mi tía iba a estar llena de huéspedes que llegaron de todas partes para la celebración, decidimos alquilar un hotel y explorar la ciudad por cuenta propia.
El reto por supuesto, fue de andar tras de Benny a todas horas. Mi niño demostró ser un buen pasajero, considerando que jamás logré tenerlo apegado a un horario de siesta o comida.
En fin, la ciudad de México es tan grande y llena de gente y personalidades que mi mayor preocupación fue siempre de asegurar que Benny estuviera protegido mientras disfrutaba de lugares que nunca había visto antes.
El único problema es que la vibra de ciertos lugares (como el Mercado Sonora) era tan pesada que lo único que venía a la mente era el deseo de regresar al hotel inmediatamente (fuimos testigos de un asalto a una mujer que iba al mercado)!
El tráfico es una locura ... tardábamos una hora para llegar a lugares que quedaban a 20 minutos de distancia (no muy diferente a Los Ángeles, lo sé, pero la cultura de conducción en la ciudad de México es una experiencia como de montaña rusa).
Esto no es para disuadir a nadie de visitar el D.F. La Ciudad de México es un colorido mundo de aventuras con diferentes sonidos, olores y eventos en cada esquina, que definitivamente ameritan una visita. Para nosotros el viaje quedará entre los mejores recuerdos, especialmente porque nuestra nueva prima Dani fue una excelente anfitriona, guía turística y conductora!!
Lo que sí estoy pensando es que por lo pronto, este viaje fue una dosis perfecta como para durarme varios años antes de planear otra visita la Ciudad de México. Aquí les comparto algunas fotos de nuestras aventuras en la ciudad.

¡Gracias por leer!

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