We have a deep love for the Yucatan and have been dreaming to visit Mexico City (and Our Lady).
Buy 1 get 1 from Alaska Airlines + points and SPG points later, we booked 2 nights away! Mexico City is only a 3.5 hour flight from Los Angeles, so leaving felt like no big deal.
We ended up staying in Polanco at Hotel Habita (because that was the hotel our amount of SPG points would cover) and I think that’s the #1 thing we would have changed— almost everywhere we wanted to go was in Roma so we had to take Uber a lot which wasn’t a huge deal because after a weekend of taking Uber everywhere (including to and from the airport), it was only $38 for the entire weekend. But! we just would have been better in Roma.
Felix did great on his first flight! Even did great with the 1.5 hour line through customs.
Once through, we took an Uber from the airport to our hotel, and found somewhere nearby for first dinner. We popped into this seafood restaurant and right after we ordered our drinks this loud siren started blaring but we just assumed it was an ambulance or police outside but then everyone in the restaurant started to stand up and go outside. The server came over and said something to us about going outside and we just stared at him confused then in English he said, “Go outside. Alarm. Earthquake.”……….
Daniel and I speak an okay amount of Spanish but the language barrier felt gigantic in that moment.
We went outside and people were answering their phones saying “Estoy bien!!!!” and we were looking around seeing this— sky scrapers and people pointing at the wires and swaying buildings trying to figure out what was going on.
I was a bitttttt in shock and Daniel pulled up twitter and the top story said, “Huge Earthquake Hits Mexico City posted 1 min ago” and we are like WTF. We are right here and don’t feel anything…. is it coming?? Should we run over to the park?? and then we feel a slight wave and see the power lines shake and then it’s over. We stand around outside for a few and then everyone started going back inside so we follow. We ask the server in Spanish if this is normal and he basically said more or less, everyone is still nervous and cautious since the big earthquake in September. We kept looking up more info and found out that there was an earthquake in Oaxaca which is about 3 hours south of Mexico City. Btw, earthquake is “terramoto” in Spanish.
After having a nice spook, we walked from Polanco to Roma to our reservation at Huset.
Huset at the Huset. I wish we made reservations during daylight so we could have gotten better photos, but the place was so cute! Plus I was still spooked so I didn’t take many photos and by the look of Felix, he was, too.
Next day we woke up and headed back to Roma to have breakfast at Abarrotes Delirio. We ate some bomb torta + they had an awesome Mezcal selection that we filled our suitcase with.
Afterwards we headed to our tour of Casa Luis Barragan. They offer tours in English and Spanish, but the English ones were sold out when we were buying tickets a few weeks before so we just went with the Spanish. We only ended up maybe understanding 20% of the tour, but it was definitely a highlight of the trip and would totally do it again (in English). Biggest takeaways were that he was heavily inspired by the Annunciation and loved Saint Francis, horses, and death. Don’t mind the million pink wall photos— this is the only spot they allow you to take photos during the tour so we took advantage.
Later we realized that the tour is only for ages 10+ which explains the comment we got about smuggling Felix in when we took him out of the carrier for photos because I guess he was kind of unnoticed because he was asleep in the Ergo on my back…. oops! No one cared though. They love babies in Mexico. As soon as I took him out everyone swarmed over with so many “babicito -ito -ito -itos”. Good boy slept 90% of the tour but then woke up and had a massive blowout that we had to try and hide until it was over. Somehow didn’t get on my white jeans. God really was with us this trip.
After we went back to……
We had lunch reservations at Rosetta which was the fanciest place we ate at during the trip. The interior is ridiculously beautiful.
We headed back to the hotel to get ready for the evening itinerary.
We caught an Uber from Polanco to near the Zocalo. Our driver was a recently deported immigrant who used to work in the Hamptons. He gave us a bunch of tips and said everywhere is pretty safe but when walking around the zocalo, don’t stop to talk to anyone…probably even the police….
ANYWAY. We got the bombest bomb churros from El Moro.
And walked down 16 de Septiembre (Felix’s birthday) that leads to the zocalo.
The zocalo was giant, but also very touristy so we didn’t stay there long. We caught a taxi to go to the basilica which is a good 20-30 minutes north from there. The driver didn’t speak English but we were having good chats with him on the way. Once we got there, all the lights around the basilica area were off and he said it’s a bad neighborhood so we probably shouldn’t go wander around so we decided to just head back in the morning so instead, we drove another 30 minutes with him back to Roma to go to a mezcal bar and get more churros. But that hour conversation in Spanish was exhausting! We were laughing afterwards how we filtered through all our high school Spanish. Talked about how we live near a beach and it doesn’t snow. Our family. At one point Daniel asked him his favorite kind of meat is. I was dying. “Que carne es tu favorito? Carne asada? Pollo? Barbacoa?…” I made fun of him that he was just going down the chipotle menu. BTW, Fidel’s favorite meat was pollo and he doesn’t like barbacoa.
Next morning, the final day.
We woke up and headed straight to the Basilica.
¿NO ESTOY YO AQUÍ, QUE SOY TU MADRE?
So we arrived at the side entrance and walked in and followed a couple signs but planned to walk around a little before we went to see her, but all of a sudden we were on a conveyer belt and there she was right above us. I wasn’t expecting to get emotional, but definitely teared up and am so glad it was a shock to see her. I have seen images of Our Lady of Guadalupe everywhere forever, but seeing the real one in front of me was amazing. It was some how so much more beautiful in person. There was this softness and glow, or dare I say VIBE from it that felt so powerful.
It was amazing to witness the Mexicans strong devotion to her. An elderly woman was crying staring at her praying a rosary. Huge tour groups and school groups cycling through all genuflecting and in awe when in front of the image.
The basilica grounds are massive. We passed a Baptistry where there was a long line of people and their children waiting to get baptized. A few impressive chapels. Supposedly there are 30 Masses on the grounds everyday.
We climbed up Tepeyac Hill to the spot where Our Lady appeared to Juan Diego. It was a cool experience, but could have done without the vendors set up selling a bunch of memorabilia.
Anyway, we went to Mass, bought a bunch of stuff, and hopped in an Uber to head back to Polanco to eat.
Guys, if you go you have to go to Taqueria El Turix. I am still dreaming of the tacos but moreso THE TOSTADA from here.
After the best meal of the trip, we headed over to the Museo Nacional de Antropología to hop in real quick to check out the Aztec calendar and a couple other rooms.
We quickly went back to Roma to check out Mercado 101, a little artisan farmers market, grabbed one last margarita, and then finally headed to the airport.
They upgraded us to first class which has always been a dream so I got to cross that off the ol’ bucky list. Don’t be too jealous— we woke up that morning with only 1 diaper left and I didn’t want to sacrifice valuable suitcase space to buy a new pack of diapers so I ran the risk and had leaky nighttime AND daytime diapered Felix on my lap because I knew if I changed his pee diaper too early, he’d for sure have a blow out. Spoiler alert: no blow out.
All in all, it was such fun, easy trip. Honestly, I imagined it to be more charming rather than just feeling like I was in LA, but it was still great. I would definitely say it’s more of an adult trip— I don’t think our kids would have enjoyed it and we probably wouldn’t have enjoyed it with them. Felix was even a litttttle too old to make it super easy bringing him along but it was fine. We could have used 1 more day to tack on a few places we wished to see, but like good Rick Steves says— always plan your trip like you’re going to come back which we would definitely do (with friends, not kiddos).
Oye y ten entendido, hijo mío el más pequeño, que es nada lo que te asusta y aflige. No se turbe tu corazón, no temas esa ni ninguna otra enfermedad o angustia. ¿Acaso no estoy aquí yo, que soy tu madre? ¿No estás bajo mi sombra? ¿No soy tu salud? ¿Qué más te falta?