Travel Tuesday: A trip down the canals of Xochimilco

las trajineras

When we were visiting Mexico back in December, it turned out that my dear friend Ana and her family were also visiting at the same time. We were determined to see each other, and after some previously derailed plans thanks to illnesses we finally settled on a date and an activity. We’d check out the Museo Dolores Olmedo (which I’ll write about another day), the floating gardens of Xochimilco and then have lunch together on the day after Christmas.

I was so excited when Ana and her family picked me up – first because I’d be exploring some places I’d never visited before, but also because I was so happy to be able to share in these experiences with someone who I knew cherished them as much as I did. Thank you, Ana, Alan, Camila and Patricia for sharing this special day with me.

(Be sure to check out the video after the jump.)… 

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Wordless Wednesday: Las Bugambilias

If you’re a frequent visitor here or on our Facebook fan page, then you probably already know that I’m completamente loca about bugambilias. In English, they’re called bougainvilleas, and they’re one of my favorite species of flowers. These particular flowers were photographed on our family trip to Huatulco in December 2010. The bright pink color just stirs my soul.

  • What kind of plant life reminds you of Mexico?

Travel Tuesday: Antojitos en Aguascalientes

Last summer, I traveled to Aguascalientes to visit José’s abuelita for her 90th birthday. And of the many things I discovered while visiting this centrally-located city (and state), I learned that antojitos are king! Antojitos are like the Mexican cousin to Spanish tapas.

This past week, the Mexico Tourism Board in Chicago began a campaign called “Share Mexico/Comparte México” to educate the public about each of Mexico’s 31 states and the Distrito Federal. Each week will promote a new state and I’ll be blogging about all the states that I’ve visited to share my experiences. The first week is all about Aguascalientes, and I’m so happy to have the chance to share some photos from my trip.

There are several typical antojitos that you’ll see on just about every menu in Aguascalientes. In any lonchería or cenaduría, you’ll find some version of each of these dishes:


Enchiladas estilo Aguascalientes’n – These enchiladas are filled with chicken and cheese, and the tortilla is bathed in a chile mixture and lightly fried (just enough to make it pliable) before they’re stuffed. Usually, they’re topped with lettuce, diced tomato, cheese and crema Mexicana, and served with a generous side of potatoes and carrots, sort of cooked hash brown-style…. 

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Travel Tuesday: Escape to Guanajuato

It’s no secret that I love Mexican playwright Tanya Saracho’s work. This past weekend I was in the third row of the opening night of her newest show, El Nogalar, playing at the Goodman Theatre through April 24. It was so amazing, I’m going to have to go back to see it again. I cried, I laughed, and at the end I was sad it was over. My only regret about the show is that there is no Act II; despite the 1 hour 40 minute run time with no intermission, I could have watched that story continue to unfold for a few hours longer. You can listen to Tanya talk about the play in a clip from Chicago Public Radio’s Eight Forty-Eight show from last week.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Tanya last year for a feature in Café magazine, in which she was named one of the publication’s 2010 Latino Luminaries – an award for Latino leaders who served as inspiration and for the contributions made in their respective fields and communities. And she’s so brilliant, even the New York Times has taken note.

So suffice it to say that I was absolutely thrilled to see a travel piece in the April issue of Chicago magazine about Guanajuato, featuring Tanya as the trusty tour guide. Originally from Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Tanya is a longtime Chicago resident. The article touts Guanajuato as “the anti-spring break,” a different alternative to visiting Mexico than just heading to typical places such as Cancún…. 

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Wordless Wednesday: La Iguana

When we were vacationing in Huatulco this past December, we found our hotel had another kind of guest… It’s hard to tell from the photo, but this iguana was rather large and lived in a little sinkhole between the grass and the concrete along the path to our room.

Each morning, the hotel staff set fruits and vegetables by the opening to the iguana’s little cave. José tried to bribe his sister with $200 USD to stick her fingers into the cave but her answer was “¡ni de chiste!” and rightly so.

Still, we were all fascinated with this iguana – who seemed to be molting quite a bit and the end of his tail was bare, which really gave me the willies when I saw him crawling around – and he was a topic of daily discussion during our visit.

  • What kind of animals have you seen in Mexico that you don’t normally get to see where you live?
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