PHOTOS THROUGH MEXICO:
MEXICO CITY, PUEBLA, TLAXCALA





MEXICO CITY: CHRISTMAS



We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas in Mexico City. Staying at an Airbnb in La Condesa, we enjoyed two days of a quiet, not crowded city. With perfect 70 degree weather, we explored Chapultepec Park, the Zocalo, and tried many tacos. However, only a fraction of restaurants and stores were open - it was not easy to find places to eat dinner - but was doable. We spent Christmas eating ceviche, tacos, drinking mezcal and beers, and watching the Liga MX futbol championship game at Moxie.





If you take a red eye flight to Mexico City, try to secure a window seat - you'll have views of mountains and volcanoes coming in.





La Condesa neighborhood is a comfortable, beautiful area with lots of parks, beautiful plants and trees, clean boulevards, running paths, well behaved dogs, and a multitude of restaurants and cafes.





On Christmas morning, this dog enjoyed a swim in the fountain.





On Christmas day, not much was open - this taco stand was our haven. For less than $2, we enjoyed incredible chicken/cheese/green sauce tacos.





Ecobici is a great way to get around the city. For approx $9 USD we rented bikes for an entire day, docking them every 45 minutes. There are plenty of bike lanes too.





Street art is prevalent in Mexico City. This was near the Zocalo (main square).





Mexico was full of Volkswagen Beetles, but this car...





Probably our best taco experience - you can always trust a place based on the crowd around it. We had delicious pork tacos with fresh lime, cilantro and onions.



PUEBLA



We took a bus from Benito Juarez Int'l Airport (Terminal 1) using Estrella Roja. Though not the best website, it was incredibly easy and efficient to buy our tickets and get on the bus to Puebla, which was about a 2.5 hour drive. The bus was magnificent. Not only did they give us snacks and water, but also our seats fully reclined and we had wifi.


Puebla was cool. It's an old colonial town and there are many churches, lots of cute side streets with boutiques and markets, tons of restaurants, and Monday night Lucha Libre fights. We stayed at a beautiful hotel built in the 17th Century called Hotel Posada XVII. It was my favorite part of Puebla, such a quaint, charming hotel with a nice roof, views of both volcanoes, and a very friendly, helpful staff.


The best food I ate was at a market in Puebla - it was chicken and rice smothered in the tastiest mole sauce - along with all the freshly fried tortilla chips a girl or boy could want.





When in Puebla, eat a bug.





Balloons and candy are prevalent in all of Mexico.





Main Zocalo church.





We took a drive to the highest point in Puebla to catch sunset over the city and Popocatépetl volcano. Stunning.





Monday night was spent in the company of every Lucha Libre fan in Puebla. Not my favorite, but it could be yours.





The french window doors swing open to show off beautiful flowers and colorful walls at Hotel Posado XVII.





Nice colors.





The cathedral in the main Zocalo is grand and beautiful.





Some of the best gems are just along the streets - so many buildings are painted in bright colors.



TLAXCALA



Originally we were supposed to stay overnight in Tlaxcala, but instead did a day trip from Puebla. It was about a 45 minute ride, and taxis graciously fit 4 people into the back seat for a less than $10 ride. Tlaxcala is at a higher elevation so it's hillier, windier, and greener. It was a beautiful drive and very nice city. We mostly explored the markets.





More churches, more colors.





There's no being shy about the amount of chickens sold in Mexico.





Same goes for the pigs...





The market in Tlaxcala had a little bit of everything - meat, veggies, fruit, flowers, piñatas, trinkets, clothes, toys, candy...





Bananas cost about.... a penny.





Market tacos: two tortillas, a bed of fried potatoes, onion and garlic, two layers of chicken, grilled spicy green peppers, avocado, fresh lime - for $1.50.





We were surprised at how few American tourists we saw while in Puebla and Tlaxcala. And we stood out like sore thumbs too.



MEXICO CITY: NEW YEARS



We went back to Mexico City via Uber instead of bus. It cost about $15/per person since we had to pay for tolls and gas back to/from Puebla. It still ended up being incredibly affordable (less than the bus) and quick. We stayed in another Airbnb in La Condesa, closer to Chapultepec Park. This leg of the trip was oriented around art museums and eating delicious food.

We visited the Museo de Arte Moderno, Jumex Museum, Museo Soumaya, Museo Anahuacalli, and Museo Frida Kahlo (La Casa Azul). Again, everything is way too affordable. The fee for the Museum of Modern Art was $3, and to visit both Museo Anahuacalli and Frida Kahlo was $9 for both. Frida Kahlo's house was the busiest, most crowded place we visited and we almost didn't get in... but here's your hacker guide to bypassing the entire line at Museo Frida Kahlo...


1. Go to Museo Anahuacalli first (your ticket there grants access to Frida Kahlos)

2. Enjoy Museo Anahuacalli - very interesting, old building, lots of Mexican artifacts and great view of the city from the roof.

3. Go to Museo Frida Kahlo.

4. Show your ticket to someone who works there.

5. Be escorted to the front of the line, and enjoy the incredible work of Frida Kahlo immediately.


I really enjoyed the Jumex Museum and Museum of Modern Art. I didn't love Museo Soumaya but it's free and right next to Jumex (and it is the really cool building that you need to see).


We had some fantastic dinners in Mexico City, and only tried a fraction of what was available. We were amazed at how much a $25/per person meal could buy - ceviche, octopus, flank steak, appetizers, desserts, bottles of wine - fine and affordable dining. People eat fairly late, so we often weren't eating until 10:30pm. Note: EVERYTHING is closed by 5pm on New Years Eve. If you get shut out from a reservation, there was one bakery open that also served rotisserie chickens if you must do a DIY taco night =)


La Docena in Roma: great octopus, sandwiches, and service

El Palenquito in Roma: quaint mezcal bar

Fonda Fina in Condesa: delicious steak, fish, octopus, and wine

La Capital in Condesa: excellent ceviche, risotto, and cocktails

Ojo de Agua in Condesa: great place to get your vegetable and fruit intake (in juice or raw form)

Maque in Condesa: our Airbnb was conveniently located by this beautiful bakery and breakfast spot. It was even open on Christmas! Fresh baked goods, sidewalk seating, nice staff.





Trois poèmes d'Henri Michaux by Kazuya Sakai, representing musical notes as waves of color. (Museum of Modern Art)





Creacion de las aves, 1957. (Museum of Modern Art)





Graciela Iturbide. Nuestra senora de las iguanas, Juchitan, Mexico, 1979. (Museum of Modern Art)





Any building seems to be fair game for nice artwork.





Still can't figure out who made this instillation - but it's on the first floor of the Jumex Museum, and it's foam boards and stuffed animal seals, and it's so clever.





View of Mexico City from Museo Anahuacalli.





At La Casa Azul, beautiful exhibit.





Some funky flowers to end the journey on a bright note.



I was really impressed with my time in Mexico City. Though I saw only a fraction of what was available, and stayed near my Airbnb for a lot of the time, it felt like a place where I could relax. I ran in the parks, went to the same nice cafes in the morning and afternoon, and bought bananas on the street corner. It felt like it was a place I could have an easy, enjoyable routine in.