Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Daily Life: 2012 January to May

The May edition of our daily life roundup is coming shortly. In the meantime, we thought you might want to see a compilation we made for the first half of 2012. We love our photobooks as a great way to easily revisit some of our favorite travel moments.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Andares Shopping Mall

Just before our trip to Mexico City, we had a great excursion to Andares Shopping Mall. This is the nicest mall in Guadalajara and has lot of top end shops but more importantly, has a wonderful open courtyard with year-round activities that take advantage of the beautiful weather here. No wonder it was the first place we were taken when we first came to the city! Little N is old enough to enjoy some of the offerings, so it was the perfect little activity for us.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Jalisco Artisans Fair

Shortly after coming back from Mexico City, we hopped downtown to see the Jalisco Artisanal Fair going on downtown. There was a nice variety of goods, mostly things we had seen before, but generally of a good quality.

Then of course, since D was in town, we hit up a couple other landmarks: the Teatro Degollado and Hospicio Cabañas. And what centro visit is complete without a lunch at La Chata?

Teatro Degollado

Hospicio Cabañas

La Chata

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Daily Life: April 2012

We traveled to Mexico City: bribed cops, rode the metro, ate Indian food, saw the pyramids and an Easter parade.

We had a family visit from D.

D hosted a lunch for the wives of medical students.

Little N got his first tooth!

We attended an event for families of the medical school.

And semi- celebrated Independence Day.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mexico City: Easter and the Alameda Central Museums

Our final full day in Mexico City, we again stayed near the Centro. As it was Passover, we opted to go back to the Indian restaurant, for another excellent bread-less meal. After getting re-adjusted (read: making up sleep) from the previous late night, we were ready to go. This time we headed towards the Alameda Central, a public park we visited last time, that was totally closed under construction. The park wasn't actually our destination but rather, we wanted to check out the area and a couple more museums. Before we could get very far, our walk was intercepted by a huge Easter parade heading towards the Zocalo.

We ended up having to take quite the trek around the closed park in order to get to the Museo Mural Diego Rivera, housing a huge mural (and a few other pieces).

our guide

We were thoroughly impressed, and since it was still early enough, decided to check out the Museo de Arte Popular. This one was quite amazing- full of handicrafts and folkloric themed pieces from all over Mexico.

We made one more stop, taking the elevator in the Sears building to see the Palacio de Bellas Artes from above (again, we had been inside last time). We then spent way too long searching for a place to dine in the overwhelming, never-ending crowds. It was time to retire, pack our things and get ready for the long drive back.

Contrary to the drive down, this time we left early and made excellent time. Little N was mostly cooperative, the drive was pretty uneventful, and we were happy to get back to "small town" Guadalajara.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mexico City: Teotihuacan (and Condesa)

Having been in the city for the better part of a week, we were more than ready to visit the site that was our primary reason for coming: climbing the pyramids of Teotihuacan. We had been schooled in the Anthropology museum about the religious importance of the place "where the gods were born" and so proceeded to make our way through the site.

ready to go

We started at the Ciudadela, market place, then walked down the Avenue of the Dead to the Pyramid of the Sun. Luckily we got there just before most of the crowds, and our wait time to ascend to the top was relatively short. We kept going down the Avenue to the Pyramid of the Moon, and then made our way back to the entrance. Climbing the pyramids was a bit trying, as the size of the steps (tall and narrow) make it a bit awkward, but overall, other than the scorching heat, it was a great experience.

Avenue of the Dead

Pyramid of the Sun

with Pyramid of the Moon (view from Pyramid of the Sun); on small pyramid

with Pyramid of the Moon

still have to trek back...(view from Pyramid of the Moon)

At the end of the visit, we cooled off in the restaurant and then drove back to town. We had two more tasks: buying flowers (on Good Friday, when almost everything is closed), and eating carbohydrates before Passover began later that night. We were able to take care of both by checking out the neighborhood of Condesa. We had excellent pasta at a nice restaurant, soaked in the trendy atmosphere, found flowers, and retired to rest before the evening Seder.

cooling off

Monday, May 7, 2012

Mexico City: Templo Mayor and the Centro Historico

The next day, we decided to stay even closer: we would explore the Centro Historico on foot. We left our apartment, right next to the Iglesia de Santo Domingo*, and walk a couple of blocks down to the Zocalo, Mexico City's main plaza. By this time it was Maudy Thursday, and so the main Catedral Metropolitana (de la Asunción de María) was packed. Walking by it, and by the Palacio Nacional we realized that we had visited both on our last trip.

Catedral Metropolitana

We continued straight to the Templo Mayor, the main temple of the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan. We perused the temple ruins, and by perused we mean, dragging the stroller up and down lots of stairs, and tried to decipher what the cryptic signs were explaining. Then we headed into the attached museum, to see some of the artifacts that had been found there.

Templo Mayor

best way to see a museum

By this time we were starving and excited to find a fabulous Indian restaurant, hidden in the portales along the edge of the Zocalo. It took a bit of searching but it was well worth it! We took the opportunity of being so close to retire to the apartment for an afternoon break before heading back out to dinner, in an overpriced mediocre restaurant with fabulous views from the top of a hotel right on the Zocalo. It was an appropriate ending to our Centro Historico Day.

heading out again, Plaza Santo Domingo (opposite church)

the Zocalo

Cathedral from above, lots of people in line on Maudy Thursday

*The place we stayed in was an apartment in the former monastery of the church!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Mexico City: Anthropology Museum, Chapultepec Park and Zona Rosa

Our second full day in the city, we were sick of driving (and knew that parking was a problem) and so decided to venture out on the metro. This was Little N's very first time on the subway and he was a little overwhelmed by all the people, but was definitely a good sport about it. On the way to the metro (a few blocks away), we were hit by hunger and ended up eating at the only non-fast food spot around- Los Bisquets*.

On the way to the metro; please stop playing!

first time on the metro

Once we got to metro Auditorio, we walked down Reforma Blvd, to the Anthropology Museum. The museum is massive, so we decided to devote our time to the exhibits about Teotihuacan (which we would visit later in the week), the Aztecs, and the Maya. Little N was again a great sport, and kept us moving along at a nice pace.

Anthropology Museum, main courtyard

By the time we were heading out to the museum, it was time for lunch. Other than snack stands, the closest place to get food was the zoo in Chapultepec Park. So we headed into the madness of the park, and D and Little N ended up waiting for M to get a (free**) pizza from inside the zoo.

The lake in Chapultepec Park

Don't lose your kid! - Snacks



Re-energized we decided to continue making our way down Reforma. It was too late in the day to visit the Castle, and we were too tired to enter another museum, but we did enjoy the recycled water bottle statues along the pedestrian pathway. And just as we were about to head back to the metro, we happened upon a Coffee Bean cafe. In Guadalajara we feel a little deprived of some major chains, and so we decided the find warranted a stop.


*Funny enough, last time we were in D.F. (Distrito Federal, i.e. Mexico City), the same exact thing happened!

**Free because it took over 30 minutes, thank you Dominos.