The Big Mexico Trip

Old Oct 4th, 2021, 04:51 PM
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The Big Mexico Trip

The day has come to depart on our 3 1/2 month trip to Mexico. Needless to say very excited. Arrived to LAX around 7AM and we can't get our boarding pass. It seems Delta has cancelled part of our return flight. The attendant says, well I'm sure they contacted you? Big no. So we'll deal with that in Mexico it's not until January 2022. Long of the short, they cancelled our Guadalajara leg of our home flight. Finally prints a boarding pass for today's trip. Get on the plane, push back and sit on the ground for 20 minutes. The pilot comes on and says we have a passenger who's put their luggage on the plane, but they are not on the plane. We can go through all of the luggage, find theirs and take it off...or go back to the gate and pick her up. Picked her up and she practically sprinted past all of us to the back of the plane. Has anyone experienced that before?
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Good flight, only 20 minutes late. Immigration is a zoo! Weird, snaking lines, foreigner's line colliding with the national's line and kind of chaos. Takes us over an hour. There's a story going around that the airlines are not giving the FMM entry card anymore so we've done ours online. Delta does hand them out but we keep our original ones from online, MISTAKE. We get to the Immigration Officer, he tells us Delta has changed the flight number since we filled this out online so it is invalid! Ending up stepping out of line and filling out a new one.

Grab a taxi. Two years ago, there was a simple taxi stand, we paid about $250 pesos went to the curb got a taxi. Now there are a number of stands, and they want you to take a SUV and its $410. I had read about this and was determined to just get a simple taxi but after more than an hour in line, we said sure. You pay and a guy escorts to to the SUV. If you are counting the difference is only about $5 US so it's not a big deal, but kind of a scam. Nice driver though.

We are finally in La Condesa. It's such a great neighborhood, clean, great buildings, nice streets. I will add more later. All in all one of those days, we were look at each other and say glad we are travelers and not turistas.
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Old Oct 4th, 2021, 07:35 PM
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Thanks, looking forward to the saga.
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Old Oct 4th, 2021, 07:59 PM
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Looking forward to your real time report. I leave for Mexico on Oct. 30th. 4 nights in Oaxaca City, 2 in Puebla, 4 in CDMX, 2 in Taxco and then my last night back in CDMX. I am also staying in La Condesa in CDMX.
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Old Oct 4th, 2021, 09:37 PM
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MinnBeef - Have you stayed in La Condesa before? If not I think you will love it. Very green, plenty of strolling, tons of restaurants. This is our first time in this area and we have fallen in love with it. I hope you like dogs because this place is packed with them. Haven't been to Puebla or Taxco but Oaxaca City is awesome also
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Old Oct 5th, 2021, 06:42 AM
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I will enjoy following along. I finally was able to go to Mexico including CDMX just before COVID (flew home on Feb 5, 2019). I hope that the sights and activities I enjoyed in Mexico City will be open to you in post-pandemic times. There wasn't a single place in CDMX that I would not revisit, and many that I did not have time for.

Loving Mexico City

I never followed up on more trip reporting but also enjoyed going to the Frida Kahlo Blue House and having lunch (twice) at the famous tostada stand inside the market in Coyoacan. I'm curious as to how the markets are handliing COVID?

Last edited by mlgb; Oct 5th, 2021 at 06:53 AM.
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Old Oct 5th, 2021, 07:09 AM
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We took a very long walk in Condesa during our last trip (Feb 2019) and were quite taken with the parks and median on Amsterdam and many of the buildings. I'd like to stay there on our return (hoping this winter) and in fact have plans similar to yours to make an extended stay in CDMX after full retirement. I look forward to following your report!
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Old Oct 5th, 2021, 02:21 PM
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Fra Diavolo - Yes, Avenida Amsterdam is a must. I've learned that in the 1920's there was a horse racing track, later cars, I believe and now Amsterdam is an oval with Parque Mexico in the center of the oval. Great place to stroll!
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Old Oct 5th, 2021, 02:31 PM
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La Condesa - Spent the day walking around our "neighborhood". Condesa is Spanish for Countess and indeed La Condesa is named for Condesa de Miravalle, Maria Magdalena Catarina Davalos de Bracamonte y Orozco. It's rumored it took her forever to sign a check. The thing about La Condesa is the trees and parks. It has more great steets than any place I've been Mexico. We are just south of Parque Espana and 2 block west of Parque Mexico. The other great thing about the area is the medians or Camellons in the middle of large streets. Mazatlan, Amsterdam to name a few. Right in between two busy one way lanes you can stroll down the tree covered medians and take in the architecture. The buildings are the stars, late period Art Moderne, all curves and interesting balconies along with traditional Mexican style bright colored buildings. The area has become hip since the 1985 earthquake and there are modern buildings mixed in with the old. In fact our building has an elevator, not to the floors but to our individual apartment, the elevator door opens up to our living room! I feel like Eva Gabor before she moved to Green Acres.

So many restaurants, but we went old school today and ate at Mercado Michoacan, soup, agua fresca, rice and chicken enchiladas. Price $3.50 US. Met a guy named Roberto on the stool next to us and he told us all about the changes to La Condesa. It is a very relaxing place to stay. I would highly recommend it.
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Old Oct 5th, 2021, 03:18 PM
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Visit to Museo de Antropologia. La Condesa is a great place to head to the Bosque de Chapultepec. Everything you might have read about the Museo de Antropologia is true. It's massive, with out a doubt the most important thing to see in Mexico City and so well curated and displayed. It's hard to come up with a strategy for a short term visit. If you only have short time, head to Sala 6, the Mexica. That's where the show stoppers are but the supporting cast in all the other Salas are excellent also. The breadth of Mexican history is so fascinating. Huge societies live, thrive, create great artifacts and then disappear. It c.ould tear your heart out. Literally!

Great cafe, had the quac, carnitas and a salad with these funny crispy things. Oh yeah, grass hoppers. After 5 hours we are pooped which leads us to THE GREAT TAXI SCAM.
Please don't take a taxi in Mexico, Uber, We know that, we've been around, we've never caught the baby when the gypsy woman throws it at us, but after 5 hours a demons and Gods we are tired at opt for the quick fix.

Here's the scam. Cabbie under cuts his amigos to give us a ride home. $80 pesos, so he's pretty sure we will give him two $50's. Which we do, then he turns around and shows us that the Fifties are counterfeit . What? I just got those in the States. OK, here's a $100 note. Now he turns around, gives us $1000 peso note and says you have given me way to much! He gives us the $1000 and we give him another $100 and get out of the car. I'm embarrassed just to report this but I have to warn people. So he palmed the first two $50 and gave us back HIS two fakes, then he palms the hundred and gives us a fake $1000. The guy could have cheated Harry Houdini.

So lesson learned. Take Uber, they are cheap and generally on time.
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Old Oct 5th, 2021, 04:49 PM
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I've always believed that taxistas are probably the most dishonest people a visitor to Mexico will meet (not all of course). If they're not slipping you bogus bills then they'll try to overcharge you. Then in places like PV people still insist on tipping them. They do a pretty good job of tipping themselves.
And don't be embarrassed. First trip we made to CDMX, I read in a guidebook to avoid the Hidalgo metro station during rush hour because of pickpockets. But we didn't. So I warned the other couple we were with. We got off at Chapultepec and my money was gone. I even had it my front pocket. Didn't feel a thing but my wife and her friend got groped pretty good.
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Old Oct 6th, 2021, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Tdiddy12 View Post
Visit to Museo de Antropologia. La Condesa is a great place to head to the Bosque de Chapultepec. Everything you might have read about the Museo de Antropologia is true. It's massive, with out a doubt the most important thing to see in Mexico City and so well curated and displayed. It's hard to come up with a strategy for a short term visit. If you only have short time, head to Sala 6, the Mexica. That's where the show stoppers are but the supporting cast in all the other Salas are excellent also. The breadth of Mexican history is so fascinating. Huge societies live, thrive, create great artifacts and then disappear. It c.ould tear your heart out. Literally!

Great cafe, had the quac, carnitas and a salad with these funny crispy things. Oh yeah, grass hoppers. After 5 hours we are pooped which leads us to THE GREAT TAXI SCAM.
Please don't take a taxi in Mexico, Uber, We know that, we've been around, we've never caught the baby when the gypsy woman throws it at us, but after 5 hours a demons and Gods we are tired at opt for the quick fix.

Here's the scam. Cabbie under cuts his amigos to give us a ride home. $80 pesos, so he's pretty sure we will give him two $50's. Which we do, then he turns around and shows us that the Fifties are counterfeit . What? I just got those in the States. OK, here's a $100 note. Now he turns around, gives us $1000 peso note and says you have given me way to much! He gives us the $1000 and we give him another $100 and get out of the car. I'm embarrassed just to report this but I have to warn people. So he palmed the first two $50 and gave us back HIS two fakes, then he palms the hundred and gives us a fake $1000. The guy could have cheated Harry Houdini.

So lesson learned. Take Uber, they are cheap and generally on time.
I loved the Museo Antropologia when I visited in Dec. 2018. I think I had about 2 hours which felt like I was rushing through and missed many of the rooms. Like you, I want to give it a good 5 hours when I go back next month. And La Condesa sounds charming. Canít wait to stay there.
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Old Oct 6th, 2021, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Tdiddy12 View Post
Visit to Museo de Antropologia. La Condesa is a great place to head to the Bosque de Chapultepec. Everything you might have read about the Museo de Antropologia is true. It's massive, with out a doubt the most important thing to see in Mexico City and so well curated and displayed. It's hard to come up with a strategy for a short term visit. If you only have short time, head to Sala 6, the Mexica. That's where the show stoppers are but the supporting cast in all the other Salas are excellent also. The breadth of Mexican history is so fascinating. Huge societies live, thrive, create great artifacts and then disappear. It c.ould tear your heart out. Literally!

Great cafe, had the quac, carnitas and a salad with these funny crispy things. Oh yeah, grass hoppers. After 5 hours we are pooped which leads us to THE GREAT TAXI SCAM.
Please don't take a taxi in Mexico, Uber, We know that, we've been around, we've never caught the baby when the gypsy woman throws it at us, but after 5 hours a demons and Gods we are tired at opt for the quick fix.

Here's the scam. Cabbie under cuts his amigos to give us a ride home. $80 pesos, so he's pretty sure we will give him two $50's. Which we do, then he turns around and shows us that the Fifties are counterfeit . What? I just got those in the States. OK, here's a $100 note. Now he turns around, gives us $1000 peso note and says you have given me way to much! He gives us the $1000 and we give him another $100 and get out of the car. I'm embarrassed just to report this but I have to warn people. So he palmed the first two $50 and gave us back HIS two fakes, then he palms the hundred and gives us a fake $1000. The guy could have cheated Harry Houdini.

So lesson learned. Take Uber, they are cheap and generally on time.
Weíve all been there, whether in Mexico, Italy or somewhere else. Truly, I hate taxis and avoid them whenever possible. I found Uber as easy to use in Mexico as I do here in the States. And when Uber isnít available in the country Iím in and public transport isnít an option, I will generally walk the extra couple of miles vs. The hassle of dealing with a taxi.
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Old Oct 6th, 2021, 10:44 AM
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+2 on the Uber. No scamming of the cash bills. Billed to your credit card, just like at home. They use GPS, rate is fixed at the outset.

I spent most of the day at the museum and still felt like I was rushed! If you have time, go back. Sounds as if the mercados are open for inside dining, or was this on an outside patio?

I ate at a lot of the street stalls.. No tummy issues at all. My favorite probably the barbacoa/nopales taco before flying home. Saw there was a security guard/cop seated there and figured that was as good a recommendation as any Michelin guide.
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Old Oct 6th, 2021, 03:37 PM
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MLGB - We ate at the restaurant in the museum. The Mercados are open however we didn't see them until we had left the museum for the day. Great idea following the security guards, also always look for the place with the biggest crowd.
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Old Oct 6th, 2021, 09:17 PM
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Today we continued our Culture Crawl by visiting the Soumaya Museo. I have read about a lot of the great museums in Mexico City but somehow missed this one last time. The Soumaya is the child of Carlos Slim, the richest man in the world. Side note, if I become the richest man in the world I'm changing my name to Carlos FatBoy at a minimum. Anyways, it's in Polanca, about an $85 peso Uber ride away from Condesa. The outside is so unique. It has a Frank Gehry feel, although I'm not comparing it to the Disney Hall or Bilbao, it definitely is it's own outstanding building, but it's covered in silver, honeycombed plates that give it that Gehry look. It is supposed to resemble a turned neck and it is named after Mr. Slim's wife.

It has the largest collection of Rodins in the world. Someone help me out here, so a bronze is cast in a mold, but if the mold still exists, you can continue to re-cast them. So a lot of the pieces stated, created in 1888, but re-cast in various years. Some early like 1915 and others as late as 1985. I would imagine that changes the value but they are still impressive. Side note, when I become the richest man in the world, I'm going to commission a Rodin but cast with crushed nuts, I'll call it the Pecan Rodin. We took the elevator to the 5th floor and it is an entire room of sculpture mostly Rodin with painting from the same period around the perimeter of the room. Degas, Renoir and others.

The museum continues down in a circular manner like the Guggenheim in New York. So you can walk from floor to floor. Incredible collection of Mexican art as you might expect, but a real decent collection of European art. I've read Carlos Slim has a reputation as an accumulator vs. a collector, so he doesn't have the most famous European artist's most know paintings but the big guys are represented, Monet, Renoir,Van Gogh. I say accumulator because he has about 20 Maurice Vlaminck's and 20 Georges Roualt, people you might only see one of in some museums, he has a bunch. Most interesting was a whole collection of Kahil Gibran. He was actually a really good artist along with being a Prophet.

He also has a cast of Rodin's Gates of Hell, which is the first thing you see when you walk in. All in all, a most unique experience and well worth a visit. In addition it's right next store to a mall, so if you are homesick, you can go to Applebee's! Ah, American chains, can't you just stay home!

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Old Oct 6th, 2021, 11:48 PM
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Looking forward to following along. "I'm going to commission a Rodin but cast with crushed nuts,” The mind boggles!!
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Old Oct 7th, 2021, 07:08 AM
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Carlos is no longer the world's richest man (It's Jeff Bezos), but the museum sounds interesting. Thanks! I think Slim was behind many of the improvements in the Centro area.
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Old Oct 7th, 2021, 11:25 AM
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Enjoying your report. A few months before Covid I was able to do a long weekend in CDMX (have been there before on longer trips). Finally made it to Soumaya--I don't know what took me so long.

I agree Condesa is lovely. I'm a runner, so appreciated the leafy streets for morning jogs. Also seeing everyone out in the Parque Mexico in the evening with their dogs.

Looking forward to reading more.
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Old Oct 7th, 2021, 01:57 PM
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We found a wonderful driver/guide for Mexico City.
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Old Oct 7th, 2021, 02:16 PM
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Fra_Diavolo - I figured Carlos wasn't the richest man anymore, but look at all the good he has done. The only thing Jeff Bezos ever gave me was free Prime Delivery. Oh wait...I pay $13.99 a month for that!
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