MEXICO CITY FAM Trip, 7/30-8/2/2015 pt II

Well...still waiting on airplane arrangements.  While I do, I thought I might share some of the planned itinerary with y'all.

So, Day One, I'm flying in.  No idea when I will get there.  But when I do, I'll be met and transferred to the El Presidente Intercontinental.  By all accounts a solid 4.5* hotel in the Polanco district, just off the Paseo de la Reforma.  Polanco is kind of the 90210 of Mexico City.  Dinner that night will probably be in one of the 6 or 7 restaurants onsite, though that is TBD.

On Day Two, I might have mentioned earlier, we're getting up at 5am to fly in a balloon and all that.  And be to breakfast by 8:30 at the Gran Teocalli restaurant.  Looks nice.  Well reviewed.  After breakfast is the tour of Teotihuacan, which goes til 1:30, then lunch at La Gruta.  I have actually heard of this place before.  It is located in a cave, specializes in pre-Hispanic food, has live entertainment, and serves not just grasshoppers and rabbit cooked in a hole in the ground, but both red AND white worms! 

If you've ever had Mezcal (like tequila, but from the maguey plant instead of the agave), you've seen the worm at the bottom of the bottle.  You may even have finished a bottle and downed the worm.  It's even possible you did this on the beach in Ensenada, before you were old enough to drink back home, in order to impress a girl, and shortly thereafter hurled it back up in to said girls lap, ruining the impression and your chance of knocking off a little on the beach in Ensenada. 

But I digress - so, yeah...La Gruta serves some very interesting cuisine, including piles of those worms, and in a pretty unique locale.  Looking forward to that, for sure.

After that, we return to the El Presidente for that blessed 90 minutes of free time, before heading out to another restaurant, TBD, until 10:30 or so.

Day Three begins at 7:45 when we head over to the JW Marriott Mexico City for some breakfast and a site inspection.  It is also in the Polanco area, and I assume we're walking.  JW is Marriotts luxury brand, maybe a half-step below their Ritz Carlton properties.  I am anxious to have a look at it.

After that we're hopping on the Turibus to check out the San Angel and Coyoacan areas of the city.  Lot's of history both places.  And in Coyoacan, we'll be touring both the Frida Kahlo Museum, and the Anahuacalli Museum.  The Anahuacalli has over 60,000 items on display representing pretty much every indigenous Mexican civilization.  And it was built (or at least, started) by Frida Kahlo's on-again/off-again husband, Diego Rivera. 

Which will take us right to our 2pm lunch at the Corazon de Maguey, a restaurant/mezcaleria.  Apparently a range of Mexican cuisines, from Oaxaca to Veracruz - and mescal, so, you know...more worms.  Oh, and I see grasshoppers are on the menu. 

Then it's back to the Presidente for another short break before dinner at some other upscale restaurant.  Til 10:30.

Finally, on Day Four, we'll be sleeping in until 7:45 (it is Sunday, after all), before heading to the St Regis Mexico City.  St Regis being Starwoods main luxury brand, in the same space JW occupies for Marriott.  I have stayed at the St Regis in San Francisco, and it's fabulous.  If the Mexico City property is similar, it would be my go to for a luxe vacation.  So, I am REALLY looking forward to this site inspection. 

After breakfast it's off to the Palacio Bellas Artes  for a performance of the Amalia Hernandez Ballet Folklorico de Mexico.  I am sure you've all seen some sort of ballet folklorico somewhere.  Amalia Hernandes pretty much invented the modern form.  The word "iconic" is not too strong here.  I have to say, it's an inspired choice, as far as ways to end a trip to Mexico!  Because, after that, it's grab the bags and get to the airport.

So, there you have it.  About 72 hours on the ground, and damn few of them wasted. 

Of course, I'll be reporting live...and I really hope all these activities and restaurants and hotels meet or exceed expectations.  Either way, you'll be the first to know

Hasta Luego, mi amigos!


MEXICO CITY FAM Trip, 7/30-8/2/2015

In 2 weeks I'll be in Mexico City, with a little help from my friends at NorthStar Travel Media (Travel Weekly).  Going for a 4 day familiarization trip.

I am really looking forward to it, as I have never, believe it or not, been to Mexico City.  I have probably spent close to a year of my life in Mexico, including Baja, Mexicali, Nogales, Juarez, Nuevo Laredo, Matamoros, Cabo, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta,  Manzanillo, Ixtapa, Acapulco, San Felipe, Cozumel, Cancun, etc.  You'll notice, those are all on the coast...I just never made it inland.  I have had the opportunity to go on FAM trips to some of those places, and I have passed, because, frankly, I know them well enough to represent them.  Mexico City, not so much.

This is going to be interesting.  And educational.  Because the TW folks don't like to see people sitting around doing nothing.  We're actually starting our first full day there at FIVE AM!  Yeah...5.  In the morning. 

That is when we head out to Teotihuacan (The City of the Gods) for a daybreak balloon ride.  Which sounds, like, awesome.  Teotihuacan is just north of Mexico City, and is a city so old, no one really knows who built it.  At it's height it was the biggest city in the Western Hemisphere, except maybe Rome, with a population estimated at 250,000 or more.  The Pyramid of the Sun, the largest structure in the city has about the same size perimeter as the Great Pyramid at Giza, though it's only half as tall.  So...looking forward to the balloon ride and then a ground tour.

Then back to the city for some hotel inspections, and restaurants, and ground tours and a trip to the Frida Kahlo Museum, etc.  Three full days of it.  I think we have, like, 2 hours of free time one evening.  Unless they find something to fill that hole.

Okay, just kidding...it's actually one of the things I love about this organization.  They are aware that some of us don't have a week or two to lollygag around the pool.  Every event I have been to with them is jampacked with information, learning, networking, yet organized properly so it doesn't feel too rushed.  So, if anyone can show a bunch of us everything we need to know to convince you you need to go to Mexico City on your next vacation, it will be these guys.

I will, of course, be posting live, daily, during the trip, and I hope to get some great pictures and video.  Especially from the hot air balloon.  So, stay tuned, and follow along!