Travel Weekly MEXICO CITY Fam Trip - 07/30/2015

Hit the road at 2am to get to LAX.  Amazingly, there was no traffic, so I was there early.  Sat around for an hour waiting for the AeroMexico check in to open.  They showed up promptly at 4:25, mas o menos.

Got all checked in, and headed to the concourse to get some coffee, but Starbucks wasn't open yet.  Standing on line, the 3 flight attendants were right behind me, so I chatted them up for a few minutes.  When they opened, I got my coffee and handed the barrista a twenty and told her to get the next 3, on me (the flight attendants).  Boarding the plane about 20 minutes later, a flight attendant asked me if I wanted to move up to the premium coach seats at the bulkhead.  So that was a good move.  Leg room for yards and yards.

I deliberately picked this flight because it was on one of AM's new 737's with the Sky Interior (basically it's all the good stuff from a 787 Dreamliner, like indirect lighting and better carryon storage and what not, as well as 9inch monitors at every seat).  Beautiful plane.  Doesn't even feel like a narrow body.  And with the extra legroom, I was pretty comfy.  Dozed off before takeoff.   Then we got in the air, and had a turkey croissant and some fresh fruit and yogurt for breakfast.  Something you don't see much on domestic airlines these days.  Certainly not an a 4 hour flight.  So, the flight was uneventful, and promptly at 12:15 we landed in Mexico City.  The airport was not too zoo-like, but yeah...Immigration, then Customs, then finally out the door to be greeted by the shuttle rep.  He told me we were waiting for some 1:30 flights, and to meet him back there, then.  Which was perfect.  Gave me time to wander the airport, get a bit of lunch and make some calls.  When I went back we hopped in a van and headed over to Terminal 1 to pick up the others, and had an interesting drive from MEX to our hotel, El Presidente Intercontinental.  First off, traffic is horrendous, everywhere at all times.  Rather like Los Angeles.  Possibly worse.  Secondly, the driver made no attempt to route us through the nicer areas.  We plowed through quite a variety, from the pretty sketchy slums near the airport, on to our Polanco district, with its Bentley and Rolls Royce dealerships. 

Got checked in to the Presidente, and it was very very nice.  Rooms were decent size and had a huge window overlooking the Auditorio Nacional and Chapultepec Park, the biggest greenway in the city.  Akin to a Central Park view in NYC.

Chilled out for a bit, got unpacked, and it was time for a reception and dinner.  There were some tasty tapas at the reception.  Little tostadas with pulpo (octopus), quesadillas, sopes that were quite good.  And then on the first of several outstanding meals.  Dinner began with Ensalada de Texturas.  Greens with mango, almond, tomato, cucumber and some sort of queso fresco.  So you had sweet, salty and acid, as well as crunchy, crispy and creamy.  Really, a diverse little party in your mouth.  The entrée was a tilapia filet, smothered in a creamy adobo and topped with sauted spinach.  Again, quite tasty.  Oh, and it was at this point someone finally asked about the salt.  They had a marble tray with plain salt, a reddish colored salt, and salt with some sort of black flaky things in it.  I thought they were some sort of flower bud or hip or something.  Turns out that was Sal con Hormigas (ants).  Yeah, dried ants.  The other was salt with chiles arboles.  The ant thing threw a couple people, but, frankly, I couldn't really taste any difference.  I kept using it.  And for desert was a Bunuelo covered in what they called meringue, but I would say was crème fraiche, almonds and a sweet crumble.  A tad cloying for those of us who don't really dig sugar.  But nicely presented.

So, after dinner a few people made half-hearted attempts to organize some night lifing, but frankly, we were all tired from flying and looking forward to a 5am wake up call so we could head out to Teotihuacan for a sunrise balloon flight.  Which was AMAZING!  And which I will tell you all about in the next installment!

Adios mi amigos!

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