Wednesday, November 27, 2013

El Castillo de Chapultapec

So, I am now back from Mexico, but I was too busy having adventures my last few weeks to record them, so I am now going to try to catch up.  I think I will enjoy the time to reminisce.  

A couple weeks ago, I decided to go explore Mexico's very own castle.  It wasn't too far away, so one  Saturday in between shifts, we headed out!

There was a beautiful view off of one of the many balconies that we could see a portion of the city and the Mexico flag waved beautifully in the skyline.  Viva!

Beautiful stained glass

There were several carriages.  This one was my favorites.

One of the many grand staircases.

An elevator!  I can't imagine living in a house that had an elevator.  The metal work was just so beautiful.  The picture doesn't really do it justice, so you are just going to have to trust me on that one, or go visit yourself.


Bryton and I in the courtyard

More of the courtyard

After visiting the castle, I realized Valerie would love it.  Stay tuned for part two, where Valerie comes to Mexico and I take her to the castle!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Puebla, Part Two

So, that afternoon we left our wonderful hosts for the morning and headed over to a different part of the city to spend the rest of the day with Edgar's family. (If you didn't read the last post, Diana and Edgar and a wonderful family that got baptized on my mission that are from Puebla, Mexico.)  They also treated us better than we deserved.  We had the most delicious comida with them and I ate more than I should have.  I should have taken a picture of the food, but I was enjoying the company and busy eating!  We then went out to see some sites with Edgar's Sister, brother-in-law, and son Derik.  We first stopped by the mall and they had these incredible ofrendas, oops, I mean offerings for the Dia de los Muertos o sea Day of the Dead.

We then went to this enormous ferris wheel!  One of the biggest in the world.  Here I am with the crew.  They were so good to us.  I just can't get over their generosity.

By this point it was getting dark, so the pictures weren't as good, but I thought I would include it anyway.

Here are Edgar's parents.  I think this was taken By Sara who is the little girl in the picture below.  She got ahold of my phone and had some fun.  We were good friends by the end of the day. :)

Here we all are at the house.  I'm sad the picture was blurry, but I had to include it.  I feel like I now have a new family in Puebla.  It was so good to visit.  I could´t believe how we started at the beginning of the day as complete strangers and they opened their hearts and homes to us and the greatest hosts any one could ask for and we left with some new dear friends.  It was a good day.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Puebla, Part One

Last week I had the wonderful opportunity to go visit Puebla last week, which is about two-and-a-half hours south of Mexico City.  I went to go visit the extended family of the Leon's who are a family that I taught on my mission.  I will let the pictures tell most of the story.  We spent the morning with Diana's parents who were so kind and generous to us.  They took us around the city and showed us the wonderful highlights of the city.
Here I am in a beautiful cathedral.  The cathedrals here are just magnificent.

Here Sarah and I are in the Zocolo.  It isn't the best picture, but I loved how clean, beautiful, and safe the city felt.

We went to see an old fort.

 Here were our hosts for the morning.  Diana's parents Gabriel and Consuelo.  They were so generous and good to us.  They treated us so well and were kinder than we deserved.
We went to go see a pyramid in Cholula which was close by.  It was pretty cool, because we could go inside and walk through tunnels.  It was hard to get good pictures with my phone, because it was pretty dark, but this one turned out pretty well.

Here are the ruins outside the pyramid.  There were so many that just went on and on and on.

Sarah and I

Here are some more of the ruins and a church that has been built on top of the pyramid.

One side of the pyramid.

Sarah and I on top of the pyramid.

I ate a grasshopper!!!  Sarah loved them.  I didn't feel the same way.  Kind of crunchy with a strange after taste.

This was the church on top.  I loved how it was yellow.  There are tons of churches in the city, appearently 365, one for each day of the year.

Here is our whole group up on top with the beautiful city of Puebla in the background.  Stay tuned for part two!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

To the Ballet!

So, I don't have any pictures of us actually at the ballet, but this lovely group of ladies and I headed off to the ballet two weeks ago.  We started out by heading to Casa del Tono for dinner, which is super yummy food.  I have been there multiple times and am never disappointed.  Their pozole is sooo good!  The next picture is kind of dark, but I just wanted to show a typical scene for us here in Mexico.  Taxis don't have seat belts and don't care how many people you squeeze it.  We have put five of us in the back seat many a time.

Wait, here are some pictures off of google of the actual venue.
We bought the cheapest tickets in the back and as you can see, it is a huge venue!  We ended up getting lucky and they didn't end up selling a lot of the closer seats and didn't want the dancers to look out on empty seats, so they moved us up close.  It was great!  It was a Russian ballet company that came to town and it was well worth every peso.  An evening well spent!

La Plaza de las Tres Culturas and a 5K

So, I have been too busy having adventures to record my adventures, so I'm going to try to catch up, but no promises.  A few weeks ago, we headed out on a little adventure to see the Plaza de las Tres Culturas.  Translation, the plaza of the three cultures.  It is tucked into the downtown of Mexico City and there are Aztec ruins, a Spainard temple, and modern structures.  It was super interesting.  It was also very informative.  To me, it was kind of a sad story.  The Spaniards came in and wanted to demonstrate their superiority to the Aztecs, so the tore down part of the Aztec temple and used the stones to build a large and majestic cathedral.  The wanted to show their dominion over the Aztecs in a symbolic manner, which I found to be tragic.  The third culture is modern day buildings in the surrounding areas.  It has been a while since we went and I'm trying to get this up, so I will let the pictures tell most of the story.

This was a park a short distance away.  I LOVE the architecture here in this city.

And last, but not least the first annual CCM 5K!  Some took it more seriously than others.  I was definitely in the other group.  Don't ask me my time, but I ran the whole time, which was all I was shooting for, since I haven't really been running hardly at all here and we are over 7,000 feet of altitude.  We decided taking pictures along the way was more important than our time, but seriously, how could we not?  We had to jump over a trench and through caution tape!  We ended up mostly running on grass, this campus wasn't actually built to hold 5Ks, but we made it work and had a great time!