After being gone for more than two decades, I was finally able to return to the place I was born—Mexico City. This time I was a tourist, bringing along my wife and kids. I was proud to show my kids their heritage and what “real” Mexican food is all about. In between stuffing our faces with authentic cochinita pibile tacos and carnitas tostadas, we managed to hit a few sights.
Right outside our hotel stood the Angel of Independence, better known to the locals as El Ángel. Built on Paseo de Reforma, the main face of the base faces downtown Mexico City with the arm of Nike on top holding a laurel crown over Miguel Hidalgo’s head.
Zocalo, is the biggest plaza in all of Latin America and was once the center of the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan. Built over the ruins of the palace of Montezuma, the building houses a giant mural painted by Diego Rivera that shows the entire history of Mexico. Anyone can enter the National Palace and take pictures of the murals, fountains, and gardens on site. (Well, entrance depends on the guard’s mood.)
We also hit both the Cathedral Metropolitana and the Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe, dedicated to the assumption of the Virgin Guadalupe. The shrine was actually built in the 70’s because—like everything else in Mexico City—the old basilica is sinking. Every year millions of people make the pilgrimage to get a glimpse of her.
We visited Teotihuacán where we visited the Temple of Quetzacoatl and scaled both the Pyramid of the Moon and the Pyramid of the Sun. Tigerlily was a champ and climbed all the way to the top with no help. She definitely has Aztec blood in her.
After all that hiking, we decided to soak in some culture in the traditional way—by going to a museum. The Museo Nacional de Antropología was designed by famed Mexican architect Pedro Ramirez Vazquez, who also designed Azteca Stadium and the Basilica we visited earlier.
Surrounding the museum is Chapultepec Park, a huge park containing a (free!) zoo, a bunch of museums, and has statues of Mexican heroes every few feet. With Mexico City’s population reaching over 21 million people, this park helps pump much-needed oxygen into the largest metropolitan area in the Western Hemisphere.
Unfortunately, vacations end and after too few days, the family had to head back to San Francisco and resume our daily lives. I’m back on the grind at the FAZE shop and my kids are eating beans and rice like they never left Mexico. Until next time…
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