Please enjoy this post from guest contributor Dr. Laurie Zivetz, MPH, PhD, aka “Sara’s Mom,” who joined us in CDMX for five lovely days in early April.
This is my first blog ever. In my travels as a youth, I kept a handwritten journal and wrote long aerograms to friends (the handwriting sometimes indecipherable, apparently). My trip to meet Sara and Drew was my third international trip this year—after Delhi in February and Beirut in March, I joined Sara and Drew on their 21st century round the world adventure in a city they had fallen in love with—Mexico City.
I was swept up in the romance. My darling daughter had done her planning magic to entice me in: finding vegan restaurants sprinkled about the city; getting tickets that would bring us into the compelling story of feminist artist Frida Kahlo at the home she shared with Diego Rivera—now a museum; and bringing me to the world class Museum of Anthropology—a stunning, colorful celebration of Mexican culture.
Sara and Drew navigated us on walks through leafy neighborhoods, urban parks, Sunday walking streets, towards local watering holes and around the city of 20 million people. I had been to Mexico City as a child—the beginning of a yearlong family trip that would change my worldview—and while there this time, spontaneously remembered the name of the largest urban park in the city—Chapultepec—the grasshopper hill.
The day after I arrived was Drew’s birthday, and as is their tradition, they had an elaborate day planned. We dined in a restaurant reputedly where chefs choose to go on their day off. Ant eggs were theatrically stir fried and presented at the table and several types of indigenous spirits consumed. (I watched.)
More walking, more food, a pedicure and some planned activities deferred to later days (a massage, a trip to the top of the tallest building to view the city, various eateries) and so Drew turned 33 in Mexico City!
Travel has changed since I sent those aerograms, and presumably since I stepped foot in Mexico City last (I can’t remember). The GPS makes getting stranded a thing of the past. Uber, bike share, a metro system and on-line bus information make it almost effortless to move around this complicated city (or at least it felt that way—I was just following along). Drew was completely in his element, and we all racked up a satisfying number of steps on our iPhones.
More people speak English here than in other parts of the world, though Sara and Drew take every opportunity to practice their Spanish. And yes, I have changed too and thoroughly enjoyed the free passes for seniors on public transport and museums. I was tickled to have my identification checked at the pulquería where we tasted the local brew, pulque (reportedly with probiotic benefits).
For all of you who are tracking the travels of Sara and Drew, I can report they are doing fine, eating well, voraciously taking in each new experience and cuisine. It was a treat to drop into their journey and I hope to be able to do so again—maybe in a place where I speak the language!