Hello everyone! Welcome back to my Mexico trip posts. This is the second and final post going over my trip, although I’ll likely do a few other ones about specific places I visited on this trip and ones before.
I had a great time on my trip, and I’ve been recapping each day so far. I ended part one after day 8, so onto day 9!
Day 9 – Mexico City’s Xochimilco
The next morning my mom, aunt, uncle, and myself headed out to Xochimilco! The area is full of canals and boats called trajineras that you can take around the area. It’s not super far which was great and I really enjoyed it. First, we walked around the little shops and I found a few things I liked but only ended up getting a hat because of the sun. We had picked up things like snacks and water already and then we looked for a trajinera!
We ended up paying for two hours. At the start it was rough going as all the trajineras bump into each other and it’s chaos as they try to navigate, but as they head into the side canals it’s much better and there’s not so much traffic. It was so nice! I’m glad we went with the two hour option because one would have been much too short.
Along the canal there’s also smaller trajineras that are basically floating shops selling souvenirs, drinks, snacks, flower crowns, etc. Oh, mariachis were available for hire too. We realized it is better to do it with a lot of people because you don’t necessarily pay per person (some you do but most don’t). With more people you also attract the food people that will actually stay on the trajinera to make stuff too. But either way it was a lot of fun and I would recommend checking it out! The end was even more rough as it was later and a ton more trajineras were out by that point. We kept getting rammed into or jammed against the edge or having to stop completely. Overall it didn’t really affect us much more than the water bottles we brought falling over on the table and us having to stand it up again.
After the ride we were running short on time so we went to the first restaurant we found. Big mistake! It was right across the street and wasn’t busy too so that should have been a warning sign. The service was extremely slow even though we were one of three tables and the food was disgusting. I took two or three bites of the main dish and was done. Everything was a wait! From waiting for the staff to bring menus to waiting for change at the end was a pain. Then we ended up having to go back because the hat I’d bought hadn’t been in my bag when I checked in the car. I tried running in but the guy was talking to two men trying to use the restroom. So they were trying to sort through change to pay to use it as they weren’t customers but the doors were closed behind him (a large group had come in when we were trying to leave earlier so they closed the doors due to too many people I guess) so I couldn’t get through until they were finally done. I basically shouted at the guy that I had been ate there and forgot something as he scrambled to get out of the way since I was done waiting and barreled through. I spotted my hat under the table, grabbed it, and ran out again.
We headed to the Auditorio Nacional, which is a beautiful, giant theatre. Two of my cousins are in a mental health support group which was having an event there. I didn’t know anything about it before but it’s much larger than I thought. Anyway, this event had four guest speakers and a coordinator, as well as a musical presentation at the end. We missed the first speaker and part of the second due to the slow service at the restaurant and the hat debacle but what we did catch was interesting. It was very surface level, which I thought was the point, but later my cousin said it actually wasn’t and typically is a lot deeper and emotionally moving. How strange!
After the talks we moved down to the floor area as my cousin had saved us a seat. After the talks there is a music performance. I hadn’t asked who was performing because I was sure I wouldn’t know the performers. Sure enough, I didn’t but then I was very confused when the band name was revealed. It sounded as if the people there both knew the group, but were surprised they were there. They seemed happy about it and I asked my cousin who did say it’s known that there is a musical group but it’s always a surprise who is performing, and it’s not always someone famous. Apparently this group, La Adictiva, is really famous but previously lesser known but up and coming musicians perform too. It was pretty entertaining but we left the performance early to use the bathroom and get a break from how loud it was. Soon after that it was over so it was a short performance. We found the other family members and left.
Day 10 – Mexico City to Tolantongo
We got up pretty early to travel to Tolantongo. We wanted to go ever since we saw a vlog on YouTube about it. It’s like a hot water springs area where the water is naturally warm and you can swim and relax in it. My mom especially wanted to go but we hadn’t been sure we would be able to go this visit. She was really insistent though so off we went! The group ended up consisting of my mom, aunt, uncle, cousin, and myself.
It took quite a long time to get there as we did run into traffic and the food took awhile. However we knew we were getting close when we started going through the windy mountain roads. It’s pretty natural still so the roads leading up to the area aren’t all paved yet although it does look like they’re in the process of getting the entire road done.
We got to the entrance and paid the fees since it’s daily and cash only. There also aren’t reservations so we had to ask if there were rooms in person. We had heard that if there wasn’t you could be on a waitlist or rent a tent but I wasn’t about to rough it so we quickly checked. It was a Monday so we weren’t too worried and it worked out! I don’t remember the exact name of our hotel but it was the first hotel we got to after driving in and it was without taking any of the little roads that led away from the main one.
Once we got to our room we got dressed in our swim suits and ran out to the river! It was right in front of our room so that’s why we went there first. The river was split into smaller pools of sorts and so we managed to find one and hung out there for quite a while. It was so relaxing! The rocks ruined my manicure but I didn’t care in the slightest as it was so nice. The view was amazing too as it looked up to all the mountains. After a bit we decided we wanted to go check out some of the other places in the area too.
As we walked towards the grutas and the tunnel we saw the most amazing waterfall! The photos don’t do it justice at all, especially since the sun was backlighting it but ah well. It was beautiful!
We went into the tunnel first, although my mom refused to go in. It was quite small and really, really hot due to the water. However, the water falling down from the waterfall in front of the entrance was super cold! My mom refused to go in because she doesn’t like the dark or small spaces much. My cousin, aunt, and uncle went in but couldn’t go far without a flashlight so we turned around about half way.
After that we went into the little cave next to it. Again, the waterfall was freezing but the water in the cave was warm and nice! There was a large spout of water coming out from the top that was hot and then a few others that were much smaller either hot or cold. I think I liked that one the best!
We decided we wanted to get to know all the areas that day so that we could pick one for the entire next day, which would be the last. We ate dinner quickly then we got in the car as the other area wasn’t super close. Then we arrived at the pozas, which are jacuzzi like pools. Only my cousin and I got in for a few minutes before the area we were in closed. We moved to the area that stayed open for a bit but that one wasn’t as hot so we quickly left to shower and get warm and sleep for the next day.
Unfortunately neither my mom nor I slept very well at all, but we did manage maybe three hours total. Luckily, that was enough to keep us going.
Day 11 – Tolantongo to Mexico City
The next morning we got up and I was quite annoyed about the whole not sleeping thing. Once we got back out to the river though, all was good! We spent only an hour or so there before we headed off again to the Grutas. Although we wanted to pick one we couldn’t because we loved them all!
At the Grutas my cousin bought a flashlight. My mom went into the entrance and didn’t want to continue so my aunt and I went together. It wasn’t too deep and not much further so we quickly saw all there was to see. It wasn’t hard to get through but it was kind of challenging in the sense that it involved a high ledge with a rope climb, some deeper areas, slippery rocks, and the darkness made it hard. We left the tunnel and went into the cave next to it. I think it might have been my favorite because it was so relaxing and warm. We actually stayed quite a long time as we wanted to pack as late as possible, check out at noon, and then drive to the pozas again. And that’s exactly what we did! My uncle turned in the key while we finished packing and then stuffed everything into the car.
We drove down to the pozas and then we picked an empty one that we liked. It was right in the middle of three and there was a young couple that looked annoyed because they had been going back and forth through all of them. But hey, they’re public so whatever! We could have paid for a private one but we were already there and there were plenty open as it was a Tuesday.
After some time another family left theirs and I beat the annoyed couple to it. It had like a little waterfall in it so it was much cooler. We ended up staying in it the rest of the time before getting food, using the public shower area, and heading back to Mexico City.
On the way, we remembered a beautiful church we had spotted and so we went to see it. It’s still under construction in a tiny town called San Cristobal (I think). We asked the workers who said the church doesn’t have a name yet and we went in to take a few photos. I’m sure it’ll be beautiful!
We got back in record time, as we didn’t stop on the way. It was so nice! Almost immediately everyone went straight to bed. This time, it was an amazing sleep!
Day 12 – Mexico City
Today was another laundry day although my mom had a dentist appointment in the morning. Looks like she’ll have a few! After the dentist we went to the market in order to go get lunch and got ice cream. I really didn’t get photos of anything besides my ice cream cone because it was so low key!
Throughout the day I started giving out some presents to my cousins. I had gone through all my makeup to see what wasn’t used and probably wouldn’t be used so I wanted to give it away to good homes. My cousins were perfect! I had them pick from the Sephora Play bags I had and then they picked a few items for themselves. Well, only one wasn’t able to pick stuff out for herself as I didn’t want to carry my shoebox of stuff around the city the day I saw her but I’m sending her stuff with my mom.
At the end of the day three of my girl cousins ended up deciding to visit for a girls night! We all hung out, talked, and had a pretty good time. One of them is turning 30 this year and is demanding Mariachi’s. I hope she gets them! We all ended up staying up late and they slept over as they live quite far. It was a lovely night!
Day 13 – Mexico City, Centro
I got up fairly late as we didn’t have early plans. After breakfast and a quick shower, my mom and I were ready to go for a new day. My aunt had to go somewhere to sign up for classes at a local community center she goes to. Once she came back we left for the day! The plan was to go shopping in the city center.
We arrived at the street Coreo Mayor which is full of stores. We stopped at quite a few make up stores, some clothing stores, and even a dance store. I’m regretting not buying pink dance tights as I only have black tights and pink shoes. I heard it’s not considered acceptable to wear that combination so I need to get pink tights! Maybe next year… But also it’s not super expensive and I have plenty of dance stores near me so I can just get some easily haha! The two story make up store was my favorite though and I ended up buying a few things, as did my mom.
When we got to Avenida 5 de Mayo we turned and walked into the cultural center at the Palacio Presidencial just outside the Zócalo. Most of it seemed to be under renovation which was a little disappointing but it was free so we couldn’t be that mad. We walked though the Korean and Japanese halls, which are permanent exhibits.
We also checked out two temporary ones. One was on how cultures honor their dead, which had an Egyptian sarcophagus, Day of the Dead ofrenda, and then some videos or photo displays of how various cultures do so. The other was about cabarets. There were costumes, photos of famous cabaret dancers, and videos too. It was really small but interesting too! After that we left to the Zócalo.
After arriving we went to the cathedral. I hadn’t been inside yet, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. It had seemed large from the outside so when we got in I was surprised it was so small! But it was actually a smaller side area and when we moved to the main one, woah, was it huge! That is the one pictured above.
Above is the smaller one we first walked into. Still beautiful!
The church was so beautiful and there was a tiny one off to the side of that one that was equally as stunning. That’s the one in the above photo.
We also paid a little bit to get into a closed off room to see some murals. It ended up being a really small room and half of it was roped off so you couldn’t even see most of them up close but they were still beautiful and only a few pesos so we weren’t super annoyed at it.
After that we continued on 5 de Mayo down to Bellas Artes before turning around to go eat pozole at a place we had passed. While there one of my cousins joined us and then we walked towards Torre Latinoamericana to go to a churros place my mom had heard of. Even though we were full we still enjoyed them and another of my cousins joined us.
We decided to walk back towards Bellas Artes to the park next to it and we watched a street artist show for a bit. However because I’d just watched a movie about pickpocketers I wasn’t able to concentrate fully on it. We left after a few minutes and walked down to the monumento de la revolución. During the walk my cousins told me about earthquakes and their experiences with them. They even did an imitation of the earthquake alarm, which I didn’t hear in person thank goodness but I’m sure they did it well. That’s as close as I want to come to hearing it for sure! They did tell me that people take the alarm much more seriously than they did before due to the big earthquake they had about two years ago.
By this time it was late so the museum at the monument was closed and we decided not to go to the top this time because of that. I would rather go to both at the same time! We walked back to Reforma to get the city bus but the mistake we made was not checking the route that bus was announcing because we got on and soon after it kicked us off. The entire route should have gone all the way to Chapultepec but the bus dropped us off at la Diana fountain stop. We were quite annoyed but oh well. At that point it was getting quite late so we walked to the metro. It was super full, even the women and children only area, so we took it to the opposite direction to get seats (it was only about three stops to the end). When it turned around we had seats the entire time! We were going the entire length of the line so we figured it was worth it.
One of my cousins sat with my mom and I and was telling us about her job. It sounded so cool! She works on photoshoots, movies, and TV shows so it was really interesting to hear about. She ended up getting off before we did, about halfway on the line. The rest of us stayed on until our destination and went on home.
Day 14 – Mexico City’s Coyoacan
My last full day! It’s always so hard to leave even though I was looking forward to going home.
In the morning my mom gave an option of going to a market but it was two hours away and it was late so we decided to go to a nearby mall. My mom, aunt, and I started to head out. They texted their brother they were leaving as they had seen him a bit earlier and he ended up running out of the house to join us. We got to the mall though and my uncle said we should go across the city to Coyoacán which I was so on board for! We turned around and went to the metro to head down.
We headed first to Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. I’d been to Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul museum already but not her husband’s so that was a good option for the day! It was a little further so we took a bus to it. This one was definitely smaller and not as cool as Frida’s but still interesting! We weren’t allowed to take photos inside but I did get some of the outside of all three houses at the site.
The first we went into was Diego’s. His house was more of a workspace and art studio. The biggest room had super high ceilings to accommodate his mural work. Some of his art was there too, as well as sculptures by other artists. There was also the room he died in so that was kinda weird but also cool. He and Frida did live on this property together for a few years and Diego lived there after Frida died.
The roof was open and so we walked around up there too. What a view! I loved how you could see up the curvey street leading up to the house. There was a walkway connecting Diego’s home to Frida’s and so we did walk across but had to walk back as the entrance on Frida’s end was closed.
We went back down and then went to Frida’s home. Although Frida also worked from her home, hers was set up to be their main residence. It was smaller though so kinda confused how that worked. The house seemed tiny! It also had a few works by Frida but they were also small and then a few from other artists.
My mom kept saying she couldn’t imagine seeing Frida go up and down the stairs in the home as they were so narrow and her dresses were quite large. I have to say, yeah I can’t see it either!
The last house belonged to Juan O’Gorman who was the architect of all three houses. His house was full of art of other artists too, I believe the artists featured are changed every so often so that’s cool. I did like how cool the homes looked and the cactus fences that O’Gorman created.
While it was cool, it is small so I was glad that the entry fee was cheap. It was still nice that I got to see it, but the Casa Azul is much cooler and I liked that one more. After that we got a taxi to the center of Coyoacán. After a quick look around their cathedral, we decided to go to the Mercado to eat, and there one of my cousins joined us. We then walked back towards the center to the artisanal market.
I love the market and walking around but my mom was obviously quite bored. We went to the stall where I had previously bought a painting but I didn’t buy another. There was one I really liked but I already have one and I had wanted a larger size. They are handpainted so in order to get a larger one it would have had to be a special order. Ah well. I did end up finding a shirt that I loved though, so I did buy that! We left soon after to get ice cream. You guys won’t believe it. I found a CHAI ice cream! Everyone knows how much I love chai tea lattes so this was great. My cousin bought them for us, what a sweetie!
We found a bench in the plaza and sat for awhile. I really love this area and decided I wanted to live there if I ever were to move to Mexico. I likely wouldn’t but you know, if I did I know where I would want to be! While there we had a lot of people asking for money. One group was raising money for indigenous children to send them to school and were offering hugs to those who donated so I ended up getting a group hug! How lovely! There was also someone raising money for prevention of HIV/AIDS. I think there were more but I can’t recall right now. There were a few street vendors too. It was such a lively area and I loved it!
Soon after a few street performers showed up and started getting ready for a show. My cousin said they do it every Friday night, so that was cool! We watched quite a bit of it, about three of the acts before deciding it was getting late. I was sad to leave the area but I had to get packing so off we went! We said goodbye to my cousin and headed home.
Sadly I gathered my stuff up (which wasn’t that bad as I’d mostly been living out of my suitcase). I was so sad to leave! I had a few things still to finish up though. After I finished packing my mom and I chatted a bit since she was staying a little longer. We are hardly ever apart for long so we knew we’d miss each other! After that I went to bed as I had to be up early for my flight.
Day 15 – Mexico City to Chicago
Travel day! I shoved the last few bits of stuff lying around into my suitcases and we headed to the airport. I quickly checked in and got my boarding pass printed, as well as checked one of my bags. It was a few kilos under the weight limit so that was great! And I’d stuffed almost everything I had in it, so my carry on was almost empty!
I will say, I packed pretty well. I hadn’t been sure if I’d be able to do laundry so I packed as if I wouldn’t be able to. Since I was able to get some laundry done I definitely overpacked! I did wear almost everything but my “fancy” outfit went unused as did my booties that I took as my sneakers were much more comfortable.
I hung out with my mom, aunt, and uncle who went with me for a bit and then headed in about an hour and forty-five minutes before my flight. Security was a breeze, and I picked up breakfast at Starbucks. I got a chai tea latte! I ate at my gate, where I also had to answer a few questions about what I was transporting. Basically they asked if I was taking anything that didn’t belong to me and stuff. I passed their test and got a sticker on my passport that meant I didn’t have to be rescreened later. From what I saw though everyone was getting the sticker yet they were still randomly selecting people to be searched again anyway. Seemed annoying but for safety’s sake of course we went along with it all.
The flight before mine at the gate was headed to Cancun and some people hadn’t shown up! I was about to volunteer to take their place but alas, I had to go home.
Eventually we boarded for Chicago after the Cancun flight left and we were off! The person in the middle seat didn’t show up so I had the aisle, the middle seat was empty, and the guy at the window had earbuds and an eye mask on. So peaceful! I watched Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri for half the flight and then two or three episodes of The Gifted on the flight. I recognized the actress from The Gifted because she’d been at the FIRST Championship event I was at in Houston last year. Apparently she’s an alumni so she goes to the events to promote them sometimes and I remember one of my coworkers there nearly got run over and knocked down by her as she ran through the halls for a video with a cape. My onsite event manager was fangirling so much and refused to say hi to her although I did encourage him to.
There was a little girl in front with her family who was watching Peppa Pig on her dad’s phone and kept dropping it so her dad would have to pick it up again and set it up again. The baby brother kept fussing and the mom had to breastfeed him for forever so he’d stop and there was an older sister who seemed to be well behaved as I didn’t see her the entire flight. Traveling with kids seems to be quite a feat.
Otherwise the flight went well. They had a new safety video that was much improved from the last one and the breakfast was pretty good! Service was great as always and I swear I’m not sponsored so Aeromexico, please reach out if you want to sponsor me.
Upon arrival I went through customs without any issues, picked up my suitcase really fast, and headed out to the waiting area. My dad found me first and we were so happy to see each other! I had packed my coat in my carry on, knowing I’d need it and thank goodness for that! It was so cold as the doors kept opening and since the people mover is down we had to wait for the shuttle. It was chaos almost as they didn’t seem to be very fast. The shuttles for the terminals were over crowded and everyone was stressed trying to make their connections. Some people had express passes from their airlines so they got to go to the front of the line.
Luckily for my dad and I, the shuttle for the parking lots was nearly empty so we didn’t have any issues getting on. The car was really close too so we quickly packed in the suitcases and headed home. We stopped for lunch at Portillos, during which it started to snow. If you read my posts last week you’ll know that I didn’t leave the house until the following Friday due to the weather so what a change of pace!
I’m happy to be home, but I do miss Mexico a ton! It’s always a great time and I do hope to he able to take time off again next year to go.
Well, I’d planned to do an OOTD of each day but didn’t get any outfit photos purposely so I clearly failed at that! I’ll be sure to remember for Houston though.
I did do a slightly better job of taking photos of the food I was enjoying so let’s try that!
These were some of the most delicious foods I had! The top left is a chicken quesadilla that one of my aunts made. She has a food stand outside the house and does well because it’s so delicious! The top right is menudo from Morelia that I got at a market. It was so good and I don’t like the meat in this dish!
Bottom left is a mole with chicken and rice. We got this at a market close to the house in Mexico City. So good! And bottom right is pozole from a restaurant in the city center of Mexico City. I didn’t take photos of any of then enchiladas I had, weirdly enough but those were all really good too!
Here’s some snacks I had! Starting on the left from top to bottom: blackberries from the market, strawberry smoothie with way too much ice that I had to throw half of it out although it was yummy, and bunuelo. Middle column, tiny pan dulce in a basket, and cafe de olla. Far right column is churros from Mexico City center and a strawberry smoothie with them!
Ice cream! I told you I’d get all the photos in. Top left: vanilla topped with chocolate. Top middle: cookies ‘n’ cream. Top right: mamey. Bottom left: coffee (I think). Bottom middle: strawberries ‘n’ cream. Bottom right: chai.
So that’s the wrap up of my trip! I think one of the biggest takeaways I’ve had on the trip is that I should start a second blog in Spanish. Should I? Anyway, hopefully you enjoyed my trip recaps. I really loved writing them and remembering so much about my trip.
My plan is to do more in depth posts of areas or sights in Mexico so if anything jumped out at you that you want to know more about, let me know! I’m talking actual travel posts like prices, how to get there, what to expect, etc. How fun!
Thanks for reading!
Follow me on social media!