Miles We have a bunch of American Miles that are expiring, and of course we are not about to let them expire — we are not stupid — so Dan suggests a quick trip to Mexico City. Mexico City officially changed its name from Distrito Federal, or D.F., to Ciudad de México, or CDMX.
We seldom travel to repeat destinations. But we discover there is something comforting about it: the familiarity the area, the hotel, the food, the fact that you are not in a rush to “see it all”, it all makes for a low-key and relaxing trip.
Food We are staying at the Four Seasons, and as always, it does not disappoint. After a two hour delay in DFW because of a busted plane we are picked up from the airport, welcomed with goodies in our room, and have dinner reservations every night.
The in-house FS restaurant, Zanaya, is lovely, and the home of our favorite dish — queso fundido — which they make for us off-menu! The other restaurants, at no fault of the FS, deliver with various success. Carmela y Sal is great, albeit they first seat us at the worst possible table — no surprise there — but once we move to a normal table, everything is great. Azul Historico has great ambiance and table-side showmanship, but their “specialty” soup is bland, and Assana’s food is mediocre. The third place, La Barra Buena, some fancy ass restaurant, could not get any worse: it is so freaking loud that we can’t not each ourselves even yelling! First they seat up in the smoking zone, then by the bathroom + kitchen + bussing station, which is equally loud. The menu only has red meat. They keep trying to bring us hard liquor. Assana is very unhappy, So we get up and leave and return to the safe comfort of Zanaya restaurant. Boom!
45 Minutes In Mexico City, the unit of time is 45 minutes. Regardless of where you are going, it will take 45 minutes. 20 miles away? 45 minutes. 2 miles? 45 minutes. Next block? 45 minutes. One the way to a restaurant it took the Über driver 20 minutes to basically work his way from Eastbound Reforma to Westbound Reforma. And another 25 minutes to get us to the restaurant… cause everything is a minimum of 45 minutes. The next time we are going Westbound, we cross Reforma on foot and call for the Über on the Westbound side. It still took us 45 minutes to get to the restaurant.
Wiggly Since our trip to Rome with our friend Chris — geeez, ten years ago! — we have been looking for other oppurtunities to travel with him, and we figured a short trip to Mexico City would be a perfect case. So we ask, and he accepts! But as the trip date approaches, he becomes more and more anxious and wiggly… and finally, just a few days before the trip he cancels! But not before doing a bunch of research on things to do, which we totally take advantage of. Too bad for Chris.
Inbreeding One of Chris’ wishlist items is the Castle in Chapultepec park, which surprisingly we have not been to before. It is more of a museum. Room after room full of paintings and murals of, what appears to be, people with Down Syndrome! Too much inbreeding among the royals? Either that, or only the ugly ones were painted. Never seen so many unflattering paintings!
First day: 9.5 miles of Castillo de Chapultepec, botanical garden, the park, orchid greenhouse, one set of shoe change, tacos, and meandering in the fancy street of Polanco, including walking by the Miele Experience store! Whew!
Caballos Next we head to Cento Historico. After 45 minutes, of course, we are in such a deadlock traffic that we decide to just walk the rest of the way. Good thing we do cause Assana gets to pet a police horse!
We skip the pyramids since we’ve already seen them in a previous trip. But Zócalo and its giant flag are as ginormous as we remember. And so many people! Get us out of here! We work our way back by meandering the backstreets, hopping from small park to small park. We walk through the art supply section, electrical wires, lighting, dueling car stereo stores trying to blast each other into submission, etc. — such a funny Mexican thing to do, clumping similar store together. Guess you don’t have to look far for what the competitors are offering.
Tequila Later that evening we see the same three policemen and their horses at Plaza Garibaldi, where the mariachi bands gather. We are there for a “Tequila and Mariachi Night” tour, which ended up being more of a Mezcal and very little Mariachi evening. Turns out our assumption that the Mariachi bands gather for jam sessions is wrong. They do gather, but only play one song for those who pay. Yes, we pay, and listened to a song about a couple of drug dealers with car full of pot... and how the woman killed the guy cause he went back to his girlfriend. Good times! The evening is kind of a bust. We did try some pulque… only to add it to the list alcohol we don’t really like. But Assana pets the horses again!
Oldest We spend a day in the beautiful San Ángel & Coyoacán. Avenida Francisco Sosa is supposed to be the most picturesque and oldest street in CDMX and it really is both. Compared to the craziness of the rest of Mexico City, this area is so serene and quiet. Of course the traffic finds us because of a movie filming. No worries! We walk half a kilometer away from the movie before calling the Über… which takes 45 minutes to get us back to the hotel.
Quick and very nice first international trip since Covid!