Thursday, July 29, 2010

Mexico City - Part 2

After our overnight bus trip and a fabulous meal and some visiting with Cinthia's family, we started our first day with some sight-seeing in Coyoacan.

Coyoacán was home to Dolores del Río, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera (famous artists), and also to Leon Trotsky, and the houses they lived in are now both museums. It is a trendy and tranquil residential area in the southwest part of the city, with parks, squares, and cobblestone streets, and is now a favourite spot for university students, tourists and artsy visitors.

We went to Coyoacan on a Sunday, and the streets were bustling with locals walking their dogs (their pets all decked out in fancy sweaters and doggie clothes), artsy types, along with some tourists.

There is so much to see and do in this area so we decided to spend our first day walking around, eating all the lovely food, and going to the local artisan markets. We decided to save the museums and the home of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo for another day.

Cinthia's childhood friend Berenice,her boyfriend Jesus (Chucho) and Cinthia. We stopped to have some drinks at this outdoor cafe and watch the world go by!

Coyoacan is well known for it's coffee and there is a famous coffee shop called "Cafe El Jarocho" that was recommended to me by many of my friends in MZO from Mexico City. This place is definitely somewhat of an "institution" which was evidenced by the lineup all the way down the block. The coffee was absolutely delicious and we paired it with a "churro" from next door which was a match made in heaven! Churros are a fried pastry that is then sprinkled with sugar. You can then have it topped with melted chocolate, strawberry, etc.

Our eating frenzy had only just begun. I had told Cinthia that I wanted to try as many as the local foods as I could. Our next stop was to try "Elote". Elote is the spanish word for corn and is a very popular street food in Mexico. It is basically corn on the cob, Mexican style. They take regular corn on the cob and then lather it in mayonnaise,grated cheese and of course, sprinkle it with CHILE. It is definitely an interesting flavour combination and I was a little skeptical at first but was pleasantly surprised. Definitely a flavorful snack!

One thing that surprised me about Mexico City was the sheer number of beautiful parks and green spaces.

For those of you who may visit Coyoacan, definitely plan for at least 2 days MINIMUM. There is so much to see and do. After a lovely day eating and wandering around, we decided to go back later in the week and tackle the museums.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Puppy available for adoption

I was walking on the beach with the dogs and found this beautiful puppy on the beach abandoned, very mal-nourished and what appeared to be a very large tumour the size of a cantaloupe. She was covered in ticks and was having a very hard time walking with the large growth. She was very shy and timid when I approached her, but after she realized I was not going to hurt her, she was very affectionate and loving. My heart was breaking seeing her suffer and she was clearly abandoned and living on the beach eating whatever scraps of food she could find.

After much thought and talking with my friend who was there with me, I decided I just could not leave her there to suffer and had to do something. We coaxed her into the car and immediately brought her to my vet. My vet looked her over and informed me that it was not a tumour but a large hernia - the result of being hit by someone/something. She was able to operate and repair the hernia and after a few days of recuperating and medicine to kill the ticks, the puppy came home with me. She is staying with me until we can find her a home. All my friends think that I am going to end up adopting her since I am not so good at this foster thing and always seem to keep them! Since I already have 5 animals, I need to find her a home.

She is recovering from the hernia surgery but in one week or so, she will be fully recuperated and will be able to live a good life. Vacinations and spay surgery will be also be provided.

So, to all my Manzanillo and area readers, please forward this to all your contacts. She is a beautiful and caring dog and once full grown, will be small to medium sized. She is approx 3 months of age. If anyone is interested or wants more info, please contact me at

UPDATE - I have found someone in Calgary, Alberta that is interested in adopting this animal. We just need to find someone that is flying from Manzanillo to Calgary that is willing to take the dog with them. The dog would be flying in cargo in a kennel and all costs/paperwork would be organized and paid for. Animals can not fly unaccompanied which is why I need to find someone that is already going. If anyone can help, it would be greatly appreciated!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Vacation to Mexico City!

I recently returned from a trip to Mexico City with my room-mate and BFF here, Cinthia. She is originally from there so we went to visit her family and go see some of the many amazing museums, architectural wonders and the famous ruins, the Sun and Moon pyramids. I am just going through and editing the HUNDREDS of photos I shot. I will definitely have to blog about it in stages as there is sooooooooo much to share with you!

All in all, it was an amazing vacation. It was wonderful to see where Cinthia grew up and finally meet her VERY LARGE and lovely family. I enjoyed every moment...........every day was chocked full of sight-seeing, trying new foods and spending time with her family and friends. The food was incredible........I have to say that I never thought I liked tamales..........until I tried them in Mexico City. Hmmmmm, still dreaming about them. They are so much different there - super moist and packed full of flavor. Oh, and the lamb barbacoa........that was my favorite local dish. It is a famous dish in the region where they dig a hole in the ground and cook lamb overnight in a pit covered with Maguey leaves. Maguey is a local cactus type plant (cousin of the agave plant used to make tequila). The maguey leaves impart an amazing flavour and the meat is so tender, it falls off the bone.

To start our road trip to Mexico City, we took the overnight bus. We boarded at 9:30pm and arrived there at 9:00am the following morning.

Cinthia was super excited as she had not visited her family in over a year

The seats on the bus were very comfy and extend back quite far. We managed to get a good sleep and arrived in Mexico City reasonably well rested. Cinthia's childhood friend Berenice came to pick us up from the bus station and we immediately went for a hearty breakfast of carnitas (chopped pork tacos), chicharon (fried pig skin) and arrachera (flank steak)tacos. Hmmm, delicious!!! This meal was definitely a sign of wonderful culinary delights to come.

We then went to Berenice's house to shower and change. Her and her mother Hilda, had graciously offered for Cinthia and I to stay the week in their home. Their house is conveniently located three houses down from the house of Cinthia's family. And since 12 people live in Cinthia's house, this was definitely the best option!

We then went to Cinthia's house where I was graciously welcomed by her large family. It was a tearful reunion with Cinthia and her family - it was heartwarming to witness. Of the 12 family members that live there, there are 7 nieces/nephews, her parents, 2 sisters, and one spouse. Her brother and his two children live in another house and arrived later.

Cinthia, with 7 of her 9 nieces/nephews

The children were very excited to see their aunty and the girls had dressed up in special dresses to welcome their "tia".

Out of her 9 nieces/nephews, there are only 2 girls

After visiting and getting to know the family, we sat down to eat a delicious meal of tacos and nopales (vegetable prepared from the native cactus plant - they shave off all the spines). Her mom definitely deserves an award for cooking 3 meals on a daily basis for 12 or more people!

Stay tuned for more of our adventures in Mexico City!