Hey everyone! Now that I’m back from my vacation I wanted to share my trip and pictures with you.
Some background: my parents are both from Mexico but moved to the USA where my little sister and I were born and never went back. So while this trip was also a vacation, the actual primary reason for the trip was for my mom and I to see family. The last time I went to Mexico was about ten years ago but before then I would go every few years.
The main person I went to go see was my grandfather, my mom’s dad. He always asks for my sister and me when he talks to my mom on the phone and has missed us terribly so I really, really wanted to see him. Also he’s quite a dramatic man and now likes to tell me “todavia vivo” which is Spanish for “I’m still alive” but in a tone that makes it sound like “I’m still alive you know” which makes me laugh and want to see him even more.
Also my mom thought it would be a good idea to not tell her family that I was going with her. Surprise!
And that’s basically it. Now onto the trip! Here we go!
The first day my mom and I took an early morning flight (we flew out at midnight) from O’Hare to Benito Juarez. Forgive the blurry and ill lit selfie. Oh and I quickly found a Starbucks!
We were picked up by my uncle and he drove us to his home where we saw my mom’s older sister as she hurried off to work and a few of my mom’s siblings and some of my cousins and they headed out too. And then I surprised my gramps who was so happy to see us! Oh and we then met the various pets in the house too, a white fluffy dog Argos, who was actually already living there the last time I visited, and a little kitten Encimas, who I wanted to catnap.
After some happy reunions I went to take a nap aka go to bed and slept for pretty much the whole morning. My mom joined me at some point as well. After naps were had my grandfather then napped himself. My mom and I went to the market down the street with one of my cousins and started to prepare for dinner.
Then my cousin sent us off to the zoo while she finished dinner. I actually didn’t realize that it was a zoo, I thought it was just a large park so it was such a lovely surprise! It was very nice and we had a great time walking around before heading back for dinner. It’s not the main one for Mexico City, this one is known as the “People’s Park” and was small for a zoo and has a small natural history museum as well. This park is located in the Ciudad Nezahualcoyotl area of the city.
After dinner we all sat around and talked for awhile, everyone catching up and then one of mom’s brothers called her fat. I’m so happy I don’t have brothers! Anyway, I should probably pause again here to explain. While we were staying with my mom’s sister and her family, they only live in part of the house they own. Three of my mom’s other siblings live there in other parts of the house, as the parts of the home open up to a courtyard, sort of like apartments, so they all live together but separate as well. One of my cousins also lives in one of the apartments upstairs with his girlfriend and their little boy (he’s the son of one of the brothers that lives in the house). And my aunt and uncle who own the house have two of their four kids still living with them as well.
And that’s a wrap on Day 1!
The next day we headed out a little early to go to Teotihuacan which was about an hour away from where my mom’s family lives. We went with my aunt and uncle, along with one of my cousins (their daughter). Now, this was something that I told my mom I absolutely wanted to do.
We finally got there and paid our entrance fee and there it was! The Pyramid of the Sun! As we got closer it I got even more excited and determined to reach the top. Now, the pyramid actually turned out to be quite dangerous, in my opinion. The stairs were narrow and tall and actually of different sizes. I was a little terrified for my life at a few points. But we all made it to the top!
It was a truly beautiful view and I was so happy that we were able to go. It was early enough that we beat the heat of the day and crowds but we were stopped at the top to take it all in before heading back down those scary stairs.
On the way down we noticed that people were also climbing the smaller Pyramid of the Moon and we decided to head over. Only my uncle, cousin, and I climbed this one, with my mom and aunt staying behind on safe and firm ground. Oh, and if you stand at a specific spot marked on the ground and clap the pyramid will echo it!
We bought a few souvenirs, walked around a bit more, and then stopped for lunch before heading back to Mexico City.
We didn’t want to spend too much time out as we were actually going home to pack for travel the next day. My grandfather had left earlier in the day back to his home as we would all be traveling to Acapulco for a short vacation the next day!
So mom had a surprise for me for our trip. We were going to Acapulco! My uncle’s side of the family had planned a trip and they invited us along. We got up very, very early at 5am as we were supposed to leave at 6am from our meeting point across the city. There was a hold up with the van that had been rented so we didn’t get to the meeting point at one of my mom’s other brother’s home until around 8am and even then the van wasn’t ready so we all hung out for a bit and my cousin went to go get our aunt, another of my mom’s sisters who would be coming with us. She was a last minute addition to the group as my grandfather was originally going to attend but he chose to go to his hometown for a funeral instead.
Oh I should also mention that my mom has 8 siblings so you’re not surprised every time I mention another one of my aunts or uncles.
Since the van was taking so long we went off to get lunch and go shopping. My mom had lived in that area for a while when she was younger so she took me around the area. We saw the Angel of Independence!
We also bought a gluten free cupcake from a student selling them, saw another Starbucks, a few stores I recognized from the US, and spotted a church my mom used to attend.
Eventually the van completely fell through and another was rented. The problem now was that we were nearly 12 hours behind schedule and the van was going to be very small. The original van would have accommodated all 18 of us but the new van only fit 11 people. A few people ended up taking a bus separately because of the change of schedule and for comfort as it would have been a tight squeeze. In fact, it was a tight squeeze with some people sitting on the floor. But we were finally off! At 4pm… For what would be a 6 hour drive. ROAD TRIP!
I slept most of the way but did wake up for this lovely shot!
We finally got to the hotel and settled in for our stay. We stayed at Las Torres Gemelas, or the “Twin Towers”, a hotel split into two towers (hence the name). Then we headed back out for a very, very late dinner. By the time everyone got checked in, moved in, and downstairs again it was around 10:30pm. But then…
The hotel hit our van when they parked it! A group of my uncle’s family was occupied with the van issue as they were the ones that had rented it and put the trip together. Another group of his family went to the front desk to change their room in the meantime as something was wrong with the room. I talked to one of my cousin’s, my aunt and uncle’s youngest, and he and I had a good time catching up. We’d been teenagers when we last saw each other and hadn’t really talked since so we spoke on what we were doing work wise and such. We also talked a bit about standard transmission cars versus automatic transmission cars as well since most cars in Mexico are standard and in the US they’re mostly automatic.
Eventually we did go off to find dinner. As we drove hoards of restaurant employees would chase after the van to try and get our business. The thing in Acapulco is that it’s a huge tourism spot and lots of people fighting to make a living. I haven’t experienced anything like it before at how much people come up to you to try to get you to buy what they’re selling.
We all split off to eat at different restaurants and from the sound of it the food tasted better at our restaurant but the service was equally as bad. It took forever to get the food, every time we ordered we had to remind the staff that we were waiting. Our beverages were also not delivered until much after we started eating. At least the tacos were good!
After that we headed back to the hotel for bed and prepared to get up early the next day to make up for lost time in Acapulco!
So that’s where I’ll leave off for today. Next week I’ll talk more about my time in Acapulco! Now, I won’t be putting up photos of my family because I want to respect their privacy and I’m not sure how they would feel about it and because I honestly don’t have many pictures of them. I wanted to focus on spending time with them so I left my phone in my bag when talking to them. In addition, as a tourist in Mexico I didn’t want to attract too much attention so I didn’t take too many pictures. I mean, everyone has an iPhone, but still, wanted to play it safe.
Let me know if you’ve taken a vacation lately and, if so, where you went. I’m missing my vacation so much and I wish it hadn’t taken nearly all of my vacation days at work so I could take another vacay!
Thanks for reading!