Hi everyone! This is the second half of my trip to Mexico!
Oh and I do still plan to do a little post on what I’ve brought back from Mexico but that likely won’t be until next weekend or the following week as I’m doing my usual “monthly wrap up” posts next week.
Anyway, here’s what I did for the second half of my trip!
Day 4 – Saturday and Chapultepec!
So we did a lot on this day! My aunt joined my mom, sister, and me to explore Chapultepec. It’s a giant park in Mexico City and absolutely beautiful. We started at the castle and my mom hired a tour guide for us. We were eventually joined by a lovely couple from Columbia I believe. At first I was skeptical about the guide but it was actually great as I didn’t know the history. The castle was amazing and here’s a photo of the view from the castle.
It must have been amazing to live here!
This castle has served many purposes, including a military academy and the home of the nation’s leaders. Now it serves as a gorgeous museum on top of the hill and even a concert hall at times!
As we ended the tour we were told there would be a piano recital in the courtyard. So we walked around a bit desperately searching for food or the gift shop (we never found food until after we left the castle and the gift shop after the performance). We did stay for the recital though!
The music was amazing! The player was celebrating 50 years of concert performances and it sounded beautiful. My mom and aunt were totally over it after a few minutes but my sister and I loved every moment of it! Afterwards we left, found food, and continued on.
Check out this adorable Starbucks with a tree growing right in the middle of it! I had already had too many tacos so I couldn’t possibly fit in a drink unfortunately.
We walked across the park and came across this super modern interpretation of the legend that founded Mexico. I love the colors and so I had to get a photo! The legend says that travelers were searching for an eagle eating a serpent on a cactus. When they found this scene they’d know that they’d arrived at their new home, which is why that’s also depicted on the Mexican flag.
We went into the Museo National de Antropologia, or the National Museum of Anthropology. As my mom and aunt grew up in Mexico City they fondly remembered playing in this fountain as children.
We went to each of the exhibits which were full of amazing sights. I absolutely loved it. Since it was late afternoon on a Saturday I expected more people but towards the end of our visit we were almost the only ones there. I suspect most people had left as the museum was nearly closing but we managed to get to see everything that was open and we then headed to my uncle’s home in the city center (brother of my mom and aunt).
We took a cab down to the Angel de Independencia and then walked to my uncle’s home. Once we arrived my other uncle (my aunt’s husband) picked us up and we headed back to their home. While on the way he drove us around a ton of major sights in the city. Since we were in a moving car and it was dark the pictures weren’t the best but it was so nice to see these places!
Day 6 – Sunday with a theatre morning and city exploring!
The next morning we all got up early and headed to the Palacio de Bellas Artes, or the Palace of Fine Arts. This building is gorgeous! We caught a performance of the Ballet Folklorico de Mexico de Amalia Hernandez, which I did review!
It was so nice that my family went with us to see this. As my cousin pointed out, we were the guests and they rarely got to see us so they were up to whatever we wanted to do. We were a pretty large group, it was my mom, my sister, and myself along with my aunt and uncle, another uncle (my aunt and mom’s brother, not the one from the day before) (my mom is one of 9 children so there’s a lot of uncles and aunts), as well as one of my cousins.
While we waited for more of my cousins to appear after the performance, my sister, cousin, and I went upstairs to go see some of the art. Here’s just one of the murals, this one is by Diego Rivera. We later left and arrived at the restaurant where my family was gathered. At this point it was one aunt, two uncles, one sister, one mommy, and four cousins. Plus me! I have barely any family in the US so having a huge group of family around me was an absolutely incredible feeling.
We walked around the city center to find the Zocalo, which has an official name that I can’t remember. The cathedral is there as well as the balcony where the country’s president does “el grito de la independencia”. My family is not a fan of the president so there was a bit of ridiculing of him when they pointed out which balcony it was exactly. There was also a health expo or something going on in the Zocalo. Oh, and you might recognize this from the opening of the Spectre James Bond movie! (My cousin broke my heart two years ago when she revealed that Day of the Dead parade doesn’t actually happen. Well, now it does because the city wants to draw more tourists. But originally no, it did not.)
We walked over to the Templo Mayor, which is an archeological site that was accidentally discovered when there was construction in this area. The site is full of ruins of buildings that used to stand here so now there’s pathways for people to see this place as well as a museum. It was Sunday, and I believe most museums are free on all Sundays. This one was so we waited some time to get in but overall not that much. The pamphlet that guy gave us in the Zocalo earlier about healthy eating proved to be very useful to block the sun and as fans.
We then walked around the museum. My mom, sister, aunt and I kind of wizzed through this one as it was very similar to the museum from the day before. We would stop occasionally to regroup with the others. Two cousins did go shopping instead as they weren’t really into the idea and we met up with them afterwards for ice cream.
After we were done we headed back and my cousins headed to their own homes. My grandfather had chosen to stay at the house so we wanted to spend the rest of the day with him and it was getting late. At one point, once we got back, everyone disappeared leaving my sister and I to have some time with our grandfather alone, which was lovely. My sister was amused when my grandfather said he could “die happy now that he’d seen [both of us]” and she jokingly said later that now it would be her fault if he died because she had been the one of us that hadn’t been to Mexico in over a decade. This might not sound funny from the outside but you have to understand that we are a very dramatic family. Like, over the top. I have no idea how no one in the family has won an Oscar because literally the entire family is just one drama queen after another. Now, my grandfather is 90 so he could be right, but he’s also has been saying he feels close to death for at least 10 years now so it’s really a “boy who cried wolf” sort of situation.
He also tried to give us life advice such as don’t get married young, come visit again when you get the chance, take care of your parents, don’t stay out late, and such. He’s adorable and I think my mom is quite miffed that he acts so nicely towards us because he was quite strict with his children. We always point out that he literally only sees us every few years (or decades in my sister’s case) so he probably feels that he has to be extra nice or we won’t want to go back.
Eventually everyone came back with food and we ate dinner and talked some more. At one point my grandfather asked if it was possible to video chat with my dad from my phone. When I said yes he asked me to video chat him, so naturally I did. My dad got to say hi to everyone and even showed all the snow that had fallen while we were gone (there had been a huge snowstorm the day after we left followed by even more snow that weekend). Oh, another fun thing that happened was that my grandfather told my dad he looked fat so you know, we’re also really kind to each other apparently!
After all that we packed everything up and prepared to head back home to the USA. My cousin came home too and she hung out with my sister and I as well for a bit and it was nice to chat with her too. I also had a chance to ask her about her studies as she’s an opera student. We’re also a very musically inclined family. You’re learning so much about us!
We did say goodbye to my grandfather before bed as we were leaving quite early the next day and didn’t want to wake him the next day. I have to say, I hate saying goodbye so I was NOT HAPPY about this but I just tried to focus on how nice it was to be able to see him for a few days and spend time together. He’s my last living grandparent so anytime spent together is cherished.
Day 6 – Airport and heading home!
We arrived at the airport three hours early, as you’re meant to do for an international flight. I never see the point of doing so because we got through checking in and security in about 30 minutes and then had to just sit there for awhile. Oh this might be a good place to say that I’d had a cold since Day 2 so you know, that was fun. We had some food at the airport, ate some more on the plane, and I managed to knock out nearly three pages of my paper that was due the next day. (An Apple Case Study for my marketing class.)
My sister and I also managed to get through all of The Grand Budapest Hotel (second time’s the charm!). Then I tried to watch Caberet but it’s not a good writing movie as I just wanted to watch it (I haven’t seen it before) so I had to stop that and I put on The Lego Movie because I got that song stuck in my head when I saw it as an option.
Eventually we landed, found my dad, ate some McDonald’s (so American) real quick at the airport and my sister took the blue line back to the city to her apartment while we headed home. Once home we ditched out luggage in the garage and went in to shower and sleep, or in my case finish my case study and do my finance class homework. I have to admit, I rushed through it and I was not very proud of my work. I’m not saying I didn’t try or that it was bad, but in terms of my own personal expectations I wasn’t that happy with it. Luckily my professors loved it and gave me A’s anyway so phew!
And that’s my trip! To be honest I still have my suitcase in my home office as I keep forgetting to put it in the basement but for the most part everything is back to normal. Oh! And you get bonus posts this weekend! I’m going to post my Sephora Play Box tomorrow and a post on my Dr. Brandt Influenster VoxBox on Sunday (with a video!). So I’m basically trying to make it up to everyone for my spotty posts lately.
So let me know, what would you take your family to if they were visiting your city?
Thanks for reading!
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