Friday, December 31, 2010

Ron & Julie Visit: Day 5: Puebla

New Year's Eve! We took advantage of the day off, and drove over to Puebla for the day. Julie was feeling a bit under the weather, so we hopped on the Puebla Turibus with cameras in hand. It was actually a really cool trip. We saw the fort where the battle of Puebla was fought. FYI, Cinco de Mayo is not actually a celebration of beer and tacos, but actually the anniversary of this battle!

Afterward we grabbed lunch at el Mural de los Poblanos, checked out the churches and browsed the markets before heading home. Our trusty GPS knew the way, but me....not so much! After a few wrong turned and few "recalculating...when possible make a u-turn", we were back on the right track.

When we got home, we had some snacks, drinks, and played Trivial Pursuit while we watched the ball drop in New York - LIVE via internet!

...What else floats in water? Bread. Apples. Very small rocks. Cider. Gravy. Cherries. Mud.

Inside the tallest church in Mexico.

Turibus time!


Town Hall decorated for the holidays!

Unlike the low-hanging tree branch face-slapping of the Turibus of Mexico City...
...the Puebla version utilized tangled nests of high-voltage wires!

View of the volcano from the fort.



...and more churches!

Lunch started with the world's tiniest soup!

Talavera peacock!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ron & Julie Visit: Day 3 & 4

Wednesday R&J took another spin on the Turibus to check out a few more locations and met up with Autumn for lunch at P.F. Chang's.

Thursday, Autumn took the day off and went shopping at the Ciudadela Artesania to browse handicrafts from all around Mexico. Autumn got a cool, new plate and her parents picked up a few souvenirs too. Afterward, they stopped by the office to have street tacos with me, and then continued on their merry way.

Julie and Autumn at the Ciudadela


After our drive back from Puebla, we barbequed steaks and green onions. The green onions are a thing here that Autumn learned about from her warehouse guys. You just barbeque them until their soft and kind of blackened, and then you just bite the white tips off. They're very sweet and delicious...

Anyway, I forgot to buy charcoal briquettes at the commissary, so I had picked up some Mexican "charcoal," which I've used before, and it's fine...but definitely not the same as it's American counterpart. It's basically just a bag of semi-burnt leaves, sticks and twigs, and it puts on quite a show after you finally get it lit.

Yes, that's about a 10 foot high inferno of sparks and flames shooting out of the chimney starter that we use for lighting the barbecue!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ron & Julie Visit: Day 2

Autumn's mom and Ron were on their own today, and took the Turibus around town today while we were at work. The highlight of their day was the shenanigans going on in Centro Historico!

With a wonderful disregard for human safety, this "ride" entailed the following:

1.) Place child in giant plastic bubble.
2.) Zip up child in bubble and inflate bubble with gas-powered leaf blower
3.) Deposit bubble-child in an above ground pool
4.) Instruct child to run around like an enormous hamster
5.) Wait 12 minutes or until child passes out!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Ron & Julie Visit: Day 1

Ron and Julie arrived yesterday for a holiday visit. Autumn had to work today, so the three of us drove up to the pyramids at Teotihuacan. It was a great day! Nice and warm. As usual, we were immediately accosted by the unstoppable entrepreneurial spirit of Mexico, and Ron picked up a few items within minutes of arriving. We climbed the pyramids, went to the museum and then had lunch at La Gruta. No big show today, but at least we had mariachis!

For Julie's birthday dinner, we went out to Villa Maria. She wouldn't let us have he mariachis there sing "Happy Birthday," but we still had fun!

View from the Temple of the Moon

Up we went! (My third time!)

Ron & Julie at the top.


Saturday, November 27, 2010


After our week with Carri, we headed out of town with our friend visiting from Ciudad Juarez to the town of Taxco which is famous for its silversmiths and is known as a piece of the Mediterranean in Mexico. The town was built into the side of a hill near silver mines and is filled with super steep, twisting cobblestone streets. All the houses are all white stucco with red tile roofs, and it is very picturesque. So much so that we didn't get a single picture of ourselves, so I guess you'll just have to take our word for it that we actually went there.

Nestled into the hillside

Water anyone? BYO Bucket!
Views of town

The church in the main square

After a busy morning of silver shopping, we started looking for someplace to have lunch. Our guidebook recommended "Bertha's Bar" since it is apparently where the margarita was invented, although they call it a I wasn't totally convinced of that alleged story. Anyway, we checked it out but it took the term "hole in the wall" a little too literally, and we decided that if the food didn't kill us, the clientele would.

After wandering around looking lost, we were approached by a promotore for one of the rooftop restaurants. He showed us a picture of the restaurant and the food, and we agreed to follow him up about 1,000 flights of stairs, hallways, alleys and sketchy looking "shops" to what turned out to be a really great restaurant with views of the zocalo, church, town and the surrounding mountains. Naturally, we were given English menus and encouraged to get busy with the drinkin' like good Americans!

We thought about getting the hot bbq WIGS,
but thought they might be a bit too hairy..

Then considered the NOODIE soup,
but were nervous about what that might imply...

Although the CHISTORRA sounded delicious,
the lack of translation or explanation caused some apprehension among all three diners...

We settled for a guacamole stegosaurus...rawr...and some enchiladas

Despite it's sign, this was actually a really nice jewelry mall
...although our arrival at 10:30 in the morning beat most of the shopkeepers by at least 3 hours
Ok, I guess I did get one shot of Autumn from the back!

This was on our way back to the "valet" parking where after checking the car in, we were pretty sure we would not be seeing that car again, and would probably just have to ride the bus home. Happily, it was returned to us in perfect condition...a 50 cents well spent!
The drive back down this street was
interesting to say the least.

It was so great to hang out with Katie all day, and we all came home with some fabulous silver gifts and treasures.

...And finally, a shout out to Mrs. Winston in the Buj!

You'd be very proud of the locals representin' for your Minnesota Vikings...or maybe they're just regular be the judge.

Translation: The Vikings Restaurant: Bar - Cake Shop

That's right...Carnitas Vikingos! in Cuernavaca
I'll take one ludefisk carnita please!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Carri Visit: Day 5

Carri's final day in Mexico City...sniff sniff tear!

She and Autumn made the most of it with a power-packed day that started off at the Torre Latinoamericana...our Empire State Building of sorts:

Ok, its really only the second tallest building in the city!

Smoggy fun!

BFF's 4ever!!

After touring the Torre, Autumn and Carri stopped by the office to grab some tacos with me. I think the only reason I was invited was that Autumn didn't want to speak Spanish to the street vendor guy, but Carri assured me that she had been wheeling and dealing in Spanish all week. They apparently even got some Spanish-speaking only deals at the Ciudadela on Monday...I was so proud!!
Maybe that was the inspiration for the outfits of those ladies behind us!

MMMMM!!! Autumn went with the standard street tacos al pastor.
I get mine "con todo" with onions and's risky, but worth it!

After lunch, the ladies headed over to the Anthropology Museum, which is incredible and really gives you a better understanding of the stuff that you see around Mexico.
I'll be leading the next tour your reservation now!

Tree of Life sculpture

Apparently the downfall of the Olmecs was that they let their power go to their heads...PUN!

Hidden jungle temple...take a right past the gift shop and if you get to the cafeteria, you've gone too far!

Apparently they took all the good paintings and stuff from the big pyramids and put it here in the museum...

And one last plug for Carri's photos posted to Facebook.
There really are so many that if you click them fast enough it's like watching a video of her trip!

Thanks for the great visit Carri! We love you! Come back any time!!!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Carri Visit: Day 4

Tuesday, our heroines Autumn and Carri braved the many dangers and wonders of the world-renowned TURIBUS!!!

FIRST STOP: Polanco with our wonderful abundance of fancy shops and malls, including Antara:
Ok...I love Christmas as much as anyone...but it's only November 23!!

The small army of city gardeners changing out the median decorations...poinsettias!
Aka the "Noche Buena" en espanol

I'm on a BUS!

Snack-bike!! Lunch...? weird cheetos for me thanks!

That's more like it...and highly recommended for a bite to eat in Condesa
Although the sign might make you think otherwise, this restaurant actually served food to people, not dogs!

NEXT STOP: Centro Historico and the Templo Mayor

The Central Cathedral, which is partially built on top of the ruins of the pyramid...thanks Spanish Conquistadors!!

Down into the pyramid!

Hola Quetzacoatl!

Please note that this temple was destroyed by flying skeletons wielding flame-throwing spears...
at least according to the picture!

The biggest surprise was the huge museum of pre-Colombian artifacts included with the tour of the temple.

Oh, you want to see more from the museum? Well, just come visit us...or you can check out Carri's Facebook for an extensive collection of photos.

Or go back in time to August and see our first Turibus adventure!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Carri Visit: Day 3

Well since my darling wife seems to have come down with a bad case of blogaphobia, I'll be giving you the play-by-play for the rest of Carri's visit...even though I was working the whole time!!

Autumn did go into work for the morning on Monday, leaving Carri at home for some much-needed downtime and sightseeing research. They met up for lunch and then went shopping at the Ciudadela Artesania, which is a really great arts and crafts market that brings in products from all over Mexico, and I have to say has the nicest, un-pushy shopkeepers. It's a must see for all of our visitors!

Since the shoportunites were so abundant...there were no pictures from here's one from Google images:

Carved and painted gourd "boxes" of the many crafts available at the Ciudadela!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Teotihuacan, Take 2.

Our second trip to Teotihuacan brought much better weather than the first.  We got to leave the raincoats at home this time, and the stairs were not as slippery on the sun temple, but that didn't make the climb up or down any easier.  It was a beautiful day, though, and we thoroughly enjoyed taking Carri to on of Mexico's most famous archaeological sites.  Also, we learned that Sundays are free at Teotihuacan for anyone holding an ID issued by Mexico.  That is very good to know!

Carri in the "wild" agave we know agave is a very useful plant!  It produces paper, thread, needles and, most importantly, many types of booze.

Carri and Autumn on the steps of the Temple of Quetzalcoatl.  (Say that one 10 times fast!)  It is extremely steep, and note that the stair we are standing in front of comes up to our knees.  The former residents of Teotihuacan must have had quads of steel!
Eric looking sharp in front of the Temple of the Sun.

Ancient bird painting, marvel of the past.

Person who decided 3" wedge sandals were perfect temple climbing shoe, marvel of the present.