November 6, 2006

Ciudad de Mexico and the long Fiesta

Monday, November 6, 2006

With the wedding on Saturday in Cuernavaca, we only spent one night in Mexico City and stayed at the very modern Habita Hotel, which inside looked more Japanese and new wave than Mexican. Until now my experience of Mexico has been limited to only border towns and spring break destinations.

During the day we woke up early after the rooftop bar outing at night so that we could explore the city on one of those double-decker tour busses, toribus. It was a great way to see the entire city in 3 hours before leaving for the countryside. Although it is one of the largest cities in the world, I was surprised to see that it wasn't compact or as crowded as New York. Granted there's a lot more space but traffic seemed manageable. Apparently their metro is the best subway in the world too. We only saw the stops for it, but didn't have a chance to ride it. 

The city itself is beautiful, fairly clean for a metropolis and had a European feel mixed with of course Latin America, plus Spanish and ancient Aztec influences. I was surprised to see so many modern buildings as well, but none were run of the mill or simply skyscrapers, each had a unique style and I found myself commenting on the architecture of these buildings throughout the bus ride. Most had the shiny windows like Vegas hotels and varied in shapes and angles, while sitting right next to ancient haciendas and old fashion mansions.  Most of the houses were made of stone and had painted and detailed tiles along the surface, as well as interesting arches, doorways and copulas. As you can see, I was very impressed and kept pointing at a new building each block. Fact--the tallest building in Latin America resides in Mexico City

We actually arrived on Nov. 2, which is Dia de los Muertos (day of the dead). So many of the popular tourist areas had alters set up or remnants from the holiday. In Zocalo the main center of the city where the grand cathedral can be found, there were large sculptures of skeletons in neon yellow and pink.  

Mexico City is known to be a bit dangerous but luckily we didn't encounter any problems, but we took precautions just in case and we weren't really out at night other than at our hotel's rooftop bar, which was fortunately popular and chic.



I unfortunately can't write about the town itself, since we didn't leave the oasis of our hotel and adjacent wedding site, except to visit a Mercado across the street. But then again, we didn't have to. The hotel, Hacienda de Cortes, a former sugar plantation was so absolutely gorgeous, that we didn't really have the desire to leave it. On the grounds there were ruins, waterfalls, rustic buildings, a nice staff, exotic flowers, exquisite grounds and secret passage ways.  I felt like I was in the secret garden and on the set of Zorro or in some Spaniard Don's castle. It was amazing. Our room had a 30ft high brick ceiling with a copula at the top, and at night I could out it to the full moon through the opening. On the grounds was also this enormous tree, whose roots quite literally have taken over one of the stone buildings and entrance ways.

archwaysFree Image Hosting at

The wedding itself was equally as elegant and cultural.  The ceremony started at 1:00 in the afternoon and had ended by 2:00 p.m. as the guests were given cocktails including tequila housed inside cucumber carved cups. 

wedding ceremony areathier cake topperthe receptiontableFree Image Hosting at

So what time do you think the party ended? Come on guess? Midnight? Wrong! The party went from two in the afternoon to six o' clock in the morning. I only lasted to 3:10 a.m., but mind you that was 14 hours at the wedding and 13 hours of drinking and dancing. I was never more than buzzed though since we all worked it off by dancing and eating the three sets of meals that came out during the long evening/day. The DJ, which played everything from salsa, cumbia, techno to REM and ABBA. He also provided flip flops for all the ladies as the night wore on and kept giving out weird props like a little clown hat and nose, devil horns and tails, balloon guitars and luchodor wrestling masks like from Nacho Libre. I guess it would have made more sense if we knew the songs that were being played at the time. Yet, we still had fun improvising just the same. Easily one of the best weddings I've ever been to.

the LuchadorasFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.ustears of a clown

PS: Four more days and I'll be in Vegas baby. Yes, I do work too, lol. It's just all at once now.  

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