- Addison Aloian
Mexico City: Good History & Good Eats
May 29 – June 4, 2019
Almost one full year ago, my grandparents took my family on a wonderful trip to Mexico City. I was super psyched because I’d always wanted to explore Mexico, but never had a chance.
This trip was short and sweet, but I left feeling super fulfilled!
Day 1: Arrival
We flew out of Orlando around 3pm, arriving in Mexico City by 6pm—it blew my mind that we were in a totally different country after just three hours of travel.
We took a taxi into the city and drove through different areas of the country; I immediately noticed that there was a ton of color, character and energy there that was so different from the United States. I immediately became excited to immerse myself in a new culture—it’s my favorite thing about traveling.
After checking into our hotel, we ate at a restaurant just a few blocks away called La Terraza on the top floor of the Gran Hotel. The outdoor rooftop view was spectacular—the hotel is surrounded by beautiful cathedrals and other buildings all lit up in bright colors.
We shared a delicious avocado-cheese appetizer and I ate sirloin steak with brussels sprouts as my main. A great ending to a great first day!
Day 2: A History Lesson
For our first full day, we headed to the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, the museum of anthropology. The museum’s exhibits were extremely vast, covering Mexican history from around 10,000 BC to pretty modern times, so we spent basically the whole day there.
For lunch, we ate at a delicious spot on site called Sala Gastronomica. I ate a yummy plate of carnitas tacos.
After checking out the museum a bit more, we left at 4pm after a long day. We rested at the hotel for a few hours before eating at a restaurant next door called Fisher’s. I ordered salmon spaghetti alfredo, because you really can’t go wrong with that.
Day 3: Pyramids
This was probably my favorite day on the whole trip because we learned the most about Mexican history on a couple of different tours.
We had an early wakeup call at 8am and hopped into our tour guide’s car to go to Tlatelolco, which translates to “mountain of sand.” We learned that it was founded as the Promised Land by the Aztecs because it was the very spot they saw an Eagle with a snake in its mouth, which is also the symbol on the Mexican flag.
Next, we stopped at the Shrine of Guadalupe, a gorgeous Catholic Church. The architecture and artwork within old buildings is so rich and always leaves me breathless.
Our final stop was at the Teotihuacán pyramids, but on the way, we stopped by a small village and shopping area where obsidian is made—my family taste-tested different alcohols they made and we learned a bit about how tequila is made.
At the pyramids, we saw some ancient preserved residential structures, then we climbed both the pyramid of the moon and pyramid of the sun. I had never seen pyramids in real life before, so this experience was absolutely unreal. The pyramids were gigantic and took a ton of work to climb, but the views at the top couldn’t have been more magnificent.
After a long day of touring, we ate dinner at the restaurant in our hotel called Garabato’s. We shared a bunch of dishes and reviewed our day together.
Day 4: Mini City Tours
Another great day of touring cities in Mexico! We stopped first in the town of Cholula and hiked up a small hill to see the church on top. The church was huge and yellow, and the inside was gorgeous! Again, the bright colors of the architecture left me stunned and made me so happy.
We then drove to Puebla, a cute, historic city. We walked around a few buildings and heard some interesting stories about the city’s history. I personally loved the unique, old architecture of the buildings—I’d never seen a place quite like it.
At night, we ate dinner at Mayordomo, and I had a giant plate of fried shrimp—YUM.
Day 5: Land of the Flowers
For our last full day in Mexico City, we drove to a city called Xochilmilco, which translates to “land of the flowers.” We rode around in a boat around “floating gardens” down a little river. Every Sunday, the people of the town gathered in these boats and celebrated with feasts for the weekend, which is such a cute tradition!
People were selling food on boats and merchandise to tourists, as well as playing music. It was so beautiful to see so many types of people coming together to celebrate this culture. Again, I was so grateful to experience something totally different from American culture.
At night, we did the damn thing: Mexican wrestling. The show was as goofy as you can imagine, but it was such a fun night. Honestly, it was so entertaining and I would go back in a heartbeat.
For our last meal, I ate with my mom and brother at a restaurant called Downtown, which had a swanky rooftop bar. We ate calamari and a bunch of other dishes and recounted our favorite memories on the trip.
This was one of my favorite vacations I’ve ever been on—I learned so much about a totally different culture and got to experience things I’d never done before. My favorite parts were definitely climbing the pyramids in Teotihuacán and the Mexican wrestling. I hope I can see more of the country someday!