Posts Tagged ‘Mexico City’

Fountains. I am a fan. I always find myself taking a break to relax, unwind, and enjoy the cityscape around fountains. Big, small, historic, or just simply communal – fountains inspire and energize.

When in Mexico City, I worked as a consultant for Banamex. And when I think of my favorite spots in Mexico City – the fountain at Banamex’s offices in Santa Fe would make my list.

walking into Banamex, you can see the fountain

Every morning I walked down stairs, passed through security and stopped at the fountain. Call it my moment of ‘Zen.’ And actually any time I needed a break, I took a walk to the fountain. Stressful situations at work seemed to disappear when feeling the the mist of the water. Somehow, a perspective gained watching the water spray.

the fountain in the evening

Visitors to Mexico City can’t access the fountain. In fact, some days access seemed difficult for me even though I worked in the building (security). But my visits, those moments by the Banamex fountain, will always remain some of my special moments of my days in DF. Days I cherish.

stay adventurous, Craig

Day 14 of 20 day Mexico Bicentennial Tribute


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The view from the hotel suite where I spent many of my nights when I called Mexico City home faced the “Paseo de la Reforma,” the main artery of the city.  And although the traffic caused headaches and at time heartaches to the me along with the other 20+ million that call DF home, in the center of the street stood an angel.

the angel of independence....

The Angel of Independence. A statue rising to the sky representing the independence of nation. Mexico. So on today (not “Cinco de Mayo“), the first day after the 200th anniversary of Mexico’s independence – I decided to share that view. Enjoy.

Stay adventurous, Craig

Day 13 of 20 day Mexico Bicentennial Tribute.

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All cities contain weekend escapes. Places within a driving distance where people can unwind and spend time away from city life.

the streets of San Miguel

Mexico City is no different. Within driving distance (once outside the city traffic) you can find yourself sunning on the beaches of Acapulco, exploring the mountains and forests of Michocan, or walking the colonial cobble stone streets San Miguel de Allende.

Eventually, my travels would take me to all three, but first up – San Miguel. And my visit fortunately coincided with Mexican Independence Day.  An event not to be missed anywhere in Mexico (this year marks its bicentennial), and an event especially not to be missed in a place like San Miguel.

decorations adorn the streets

I left Mexico City early the morning of the 16th the official holiday, with little sleep from the party the prior night. Impressed with the patriotism and celebration during the ‘El Grito’ in Coyoacan (inside Mexico City) I wondered how San Miguel de Allende might compare.

When I arrived at the town square I paused. This was Mexico. The Mexico you first imagine when you think of the country. Not Mexico City, not the beaches, nope, you think of the charming streets, the town square, and the local fiestas.  You think of a place like San Miguel.

The town, apparently popular with American expats, was all about Mexico this day. Horses and history paraded around the square and streets to cheering fans. People waved flags and sipped tequila in cantinas singing sad songs of celebration.  The celebration of a people and a place. The celebration of Mexico.  And on a special day for all Mexicans, this gringo took something away.

Sure, I learned the fact Mexican Independence had nothing to do with Cinco de Mayo (although I already knew that). But I also learned more. I learned Mexico was a place I wanted to explore, a place I wanted to stay.

singing songs of sadness....

At the time, I just started working in DF. And I loved living and working abroad, but I am not sure I loved Mexico. Not yet.  Yes, I loved my time in DF and I also loved my birthday weekend in Puerto, but with the project off to a shaky start (my reason for being in Mexico at the time) I wondered where I’d be next.

But after that day and night, I changed my attitude. I decided I wanted to see more and realized there was so much more to see. Mexico got under my skin that day. It settled in. It never left.

Stay adventurous, Craig

Day 12 of 20 day Mexico bicentennial tribute. Happy Independence Day to Mexico Today. Viva!

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sometimes simple is best

In social circles, people often ask, “so, what is your favorite drink?” And perhaps I have too many. But if I needed to make a choice, a spirit to spend my days on the deserted island with, my choice, my Blue Agave friend. Si, Tequila.

Many might not be surprised, after all Mexico and me do hold a tight bond of friendship. But the reason might surprise. It’s the triple play. Tequila is perfectly suited for all times of the day. Suited for all three meals; breakfast, lunch and dinner.

No, I don’t imagine myself constantly drinking on the island, but if I was on the island, lost, I do imagine days when one might welcome a drink at any hour. A good one too. That’s Tequila.

the tequila sunrise

For breakfast: The Tequila Sunrise. This delicious cocktail is best with fresh squeezed OJ just the like the one shown in the photo. Served as my morning welcome drink at Rancho Pescadero, it created the perfect mood.  I requested it. Good choice.

the poolside frozen margarita

For Lunch: Although I prefer the Margarita on the rocks usually, with only fresh squeezed lime juice of course (I squeeze my own when necessary), when I am poolside sometimes the frozen refreshment is the proper call. Here, at Pueblo Bonito I am about to enjoy the afternoon.

the scene I imagine for tonight in DF. Photo: Aadam Lortz

For Dinner: And in the evening its straight sipping for Tequila. One of my favorites from my days in D.F. (Mexico City) was Herradura Repasado.  The night shown in this photo turned into quite the party as you might imagine. And I suspect on the eve of Independence Day in Mexico (El Grito) – this will be a common scene around all of Mexico.

stay adventurous, Craig

Day 11 of 20 day Mexico Bicentennial Tribute

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For those that know me, know I love Mexico.  The romance, the music, the adventure, the history, the culture, the cuisine, the cervezas… Ah, the list can continue and continue.  Essentially it can go on for an entire blog post; there are many more than seven reasons.

But I know Mexico, do you?

a native celebration comes to Zocalo, Mexico City

I lived in Mexico City for nearly 16 months and only came back kicking and screaming (from a consulting project). At some point, I even plan to write a book titled, “The true danger of DF, falling in love with the city.” But my affair runs even deeper. I traveled across the diverse country from Baja to MazatlanCancun to even scratching the surface of its vast eco-tourism opportunities and green travel. Each trip an adventure. And after each journey, I only discovered that my love affair only continues to grow.

I am not alone.

Craig chats up the Mexico Sec. of Tourism

Just last Thursday, I attended the Mexico Tourism Board’s (MTB) road show in New York City. There, I met the new Secretary of Tourism, Gloria Guevara Manzo and others as they presented the new direction for tourism in Mexico. The direction that strikes right at the core of what makes Mexico magical. A direction that promotes Mexico as more than a beach destination, but offers and opens its culture to its visitors.

About time.

Listening that evening, I noticed, the message seemed to come from the heart of each speaker and every presenter including the secretary herself. They are promoting the Mexico they love. But, will people, tourists finally start to understand all that Mexico offers.

a typical view on the streets of a puebla

Mexico is a diverse country of 31 states. Places where you can find wineries to tequila distilleries, beautiful beaches to majestic mountains, tropical jungles to forests, caves to cenotes, ancient ruins to modern art, mariachi bands to Mayan mysteries, and colonial pueblas to cosmopolitan cities. So much to see, explore, and enjoy. So much.

a young mexican girl shows her colors...

But how can you show all this or even explain it?  It’s not easy, but the video presentation we watched that evening did an excellent job. It provided a new way to look at Mexico. It also explained the Mexico I love.

So, tell me after you watch this – Rutas de Mexico – Do you want to experience Mexico?

Thought so. And if you like that video, you’ll love this one too and Visit Mexico.

I’ll see you south of the Rio Grande.

Stay adventurous, Craig

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Viva Mexico!  Happy Independence Day Mexico! Right? Actually no.

Independence Day celebrations start in Mexico on the 15th of September with the reenactment of the “El Grito.” The entire country prepares and watches as the cry for independence that began by Catholic priest Miguel Hidalgo is staged again at 11pm.

for ten pesos, you get your face painted....

Then the celebration officially begins and lasts through the 16th, the Independence Day holiday and sometimes even the 17th (Well it did for me). And this September the fiesta marks the country’s bicentennial. Two hundred years. After being in Mexico for prior celebrations, I can’t imagine a bigger party. But I plan to tweet from the inside this year and let you know. (fingers crossed)

So then, what is Cinco de Mayo?

the painting details the french surrender on Cinco de Mayo

The day actually commemorates the victory of an outnumbered Mexican Army over French troops at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.  (Yes, On May 5th). Eventually France defeated Mexico in the conflict and installed a King (an Emperor). The US did not intervene and cite the Monroe doctrine because of its Civil War. But the US never recognized the government and it did not last too long. A few short years.

But Maximilian, a member of the royal Habsberg family did rule from El Castillo in the heart of Mexico City. Now the castle inside Chapultepec Park serves as the national history museum. Inside you can learn all about Mexico struggles for independence, its revolution, its civil war and its conflict against foreign powers including the US. Definitely worth a visit when touring Mexico City. Additionally, the museum provides outstanding views of the city and numerous amazing murals that tell the history of the country through art.

And when I look back, I am very thankful for my Mexican friend and tour guide, an actual descendant from French Army. She offered tremendous insight that day and on all my time in Mexico. You’d be surprised by the French influence on the country. I was.

Ok, but then why the large celebration in the US?

It seems the mad men of Madison Avenue certainly know how to market. Or maybe Americans just like to celebrate French military defeats? Perhaps, Corona wanted a pre-summer party to start the beach buying beer season? To be honest, not sure. If you know or have an opinion, please share it. But no matter whatever the true reason, the day marks little significance in Mexico outside the town of Puebla.

But who I am to stop a party. And especially one that involves tequila. Feliz Cinco de Mayo y Viva Mexico!

Stay adventurous, Craig

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