Hola from Mexico

Paul and Karen enter the vagabond life

Paul and Karen enter the vagabond life

Four days in Mexico and four firsts

Upon leaving dear Marsha's home for the airport, I was tired and nervous. Marsha looked at me and said, "It's like the first day of college!" What a great analogy, the main difference being that I was 18 when I started college and now I'm 65. Like then, this is a great adventure that I feel ready for.

Following the good advice of Lynn Martin, I had arranged for a driver to pick us up from the airport of this  vast, sprawling city of 22,000,000. It was a clear day and we arrived without incident at the AirBnB to find it just as advertised, clean and with a great patio for wining and unwinding. After unpacking what we were already regretting as way too much luggage, we headed to the big box supermarket to pick up the essentials. Along the way we found a little Spanish market with manchego and Spanish chorizo, two of our favorites snacks.

The First First

Starving, Paul and I tried following our google maps and our instincts, and after much wandering, found the the central plaza and garden. The plaza teemed with sweethearts, groups of friends, extended families, vendors of every kind and musicians. We settled into a cute open air restaurant and ordered our favorite food in the world--guacamole. What they brought is very common in Mexico now, guacamole accompanied by garlic fried crickets, onion and jalapenos. Ever the food adventurists. we dumped some crickets on our guac and dove it.  I think the fried crickets are an acquired taste, but they are everywhere--sold by the scoopful on the plaza and in the market.

Gucamole with garlic crickets, onion and jalabeno. And of course a beer.

Gucamole with garlic crickets, onion and jalabeno. And of course a beer.

The Second First

On Sunday, we grabbed some coffee and went exploring, hoping to visit a couple of museums. On our route we went back through the same plaza and found the Museum of Popular Culture, where the enchanting exhibit was hundreds of handcrafted nativity sets or nacimientos from all over Mexico. We finally found the museums and discovered that everyone else in Mexico City thought that was a good idea as well. We decided to postpone and went back to the plaza for some refreshment, where I took a flyer for a play.

We had no idea what the La Pastorela of Coyoacan would be. It was a lively, raucous, funny traditional play about Satan interfering with the shepherds' finding the baby Jesus. Paul was a great sport, as his Spanish is limited to a few important words, beer, vine, bathroom and the check. He laughed when he understood what was happening, and that was the same for me--as it was way too involved and too fast paced for my current language skills. It was great fun and we were so happy we decided to go. Checkout the auditorium backdrop and three members of the 6 member cast.

The Third First

Monday morning our charming hostess Ana visited for about an hour and we are now armed with ideas for local restaurants. With more exploring in mind, we walked to the Viveros, a place where plants and trees are cultivated, good for joggers and walkers. We explored, found the eucalyptus trees and more. I stopped to observe one of the gardens and shrieked as I discovered a squirrel running up my pant leg! I turned to Paul, who had taken in the whole scene, who shrugged his shoulders as he had seen it coming. The rest of our day was much less eventful.

The Fourth First

Tuesday we headed back to the museums of Leon Trotsky and Frida Khalo. It turned out that the lines were still long and the afternoon hot. I asked a museum employee about ordering tickets online. She responded by asking me my age! When I told her that we are 65 and 66, she ushered us to the front of the line to buy discount tickets and enter immediately. I love the Blue House, as it is known, and it was great to be treated with such respect. Later we took the long google maps way to a hole in the wall restaurant recommended by Ana, El Tucan. We were delighted by the delicious food, the people and the cost.

Check out Paul on the patio of our home, the plaza at night, the plaza during the day with a juggler, one of the nativity pieces, some female high security protection on the plaza, and Paul looking happy at dinner. See you soon with an update on Our Vagabond Life.