Unas Días en la Ciudad de México – A few days in Mexico City (Parte Dos)

This is part two from my first post about our recent Mexico City vacation. I know I suggested that this would be done Tuesday, but between getting home late from the airport and starting to catch up on work – it didn’t happen! AND as you know, there was just too much info to include in one blog post! Part one: here—aquí.

Other trip highlights:

Walking everywhere (and a run!)

B and I stayed in La Zona la Condesa, a really cute neighborhood just a few miles from the main downtown and historic areas. Our neighborhood had a lot of coffee shops, mezcalerias and restaurants for us to choose from. AND plenty of large parques and green spaces where people were walking, running and just relaxing with their families and dogs. B and I walked everywhere the first few days before we figured out how easy their subway system is and the first full day alone I got 34,000+ steps (that’s without a run). Also, there are rental bikes everywhere (like in most cities) where you can rent a bike from one destination and drop it off at another for really cheap. I don’t ride a bike, but they have bike lanes and we saw plenty of people riding along the city streets.

love the parks!

love the parks!

walking around downtown

walking around downtown

walking around the old part of town

walking around the old part of town

beautiful architecture

beautiful architecture

love the way these houses look

love the way these houses look

B and I finally got out for a run through our neighborhood and the park areas on my birthday. We had been in town for nearly a week but the high altitude was still killing me – I was burnt after nearly 3.5 miles! Still, I enjoyed it – running in short sleeves and sunshine in January isn’t something I get to do often 🙂

during our run - downtown in the distance

during our run – downtown in the distance

Lucha Libre

I’m not going to lie – I was a little skeptical at first about going to see the luchadores. I’ve never been a boxing or wrestling or fighting fan – but when in Rome Mexico … the event was so much fun! People (especially kids) get all dressed up in the máscaras de luchadores (masks of their favorite fighters) and watch fight after fight after fight in a crowded arena. I didn’t quite understand what was going on in each fight, but I do know that it was quite the experience I won’t soon forget. (if you’re going to Mexico, you can buy tickets when you get there pretty easily. Or, if you want to buy them in advance, ticketmaster sells international tickets and you can buy them from the U.S.)

before the fight, vendors sell masks, snacks, shirts, etc.

before the fight, vendors sell masks, snacks, shirts, etc.

some of one of the fights

some of one of the fights

B (in his mask) and me at the fights

B (in his mask) and me at the fights

The old pyramids of Teotihuacan

This was one of the favorite things we did on our entire trip. B had arranged for a private tour of Teotihuacan, an old city with pyramids from before the Mayans and Aztecs arrived in Mexico.

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The ruins are amazing. During the tour, we were able to see the old huge pyramids, some old paintings and other areas of the old city. We even climbed the Moon and Sun Pyramids, which was a lot of fun. I was a little nervous about being out of breath climbing all the stairs in such high altitude, but we made it and in not that bad shape. I guess the running helps 🙂 (if you’re going to Mexico – we used this tour service: ToursByLocals.com).

on the steps

on the steps

in front of the sun pyramid - we climbed to the top!

in front of the sun pyramid – we climbed to the top!

All in all it was an amazing trip. Mexico City is a great tourist destination and I would definitely recommend you add it to your travel bucket list. Here’s why:

  • B and I felt pretty safe the entire time (it’s like any major city – I’m sure there are worse parts, but we stuck to areas we felt safe in), and it was easy to get around in – we walked a ton and even took the Metro (they also have Uber if you’re taxi or train-averse). Just be smart and aware.
  • Once we were there, things were very affordable (even our nicest dinner out for my birthday at a nice restaurant was more affordable than a nice dinner out in Cleveland … and museum admission was all under $10).
  • It was not a huge tourist (at least tourists outside Mexico) destination. Which means that things weren’t tooooo crowded (Teotihuacan during the week was nearly empty – you can see from our photos we had no lines!) and you didn’t feel like you were an outsider invading their space (as you often feel in touristy areas); instead, you felt like you were sharing it. It was great to practice our Spanish, see the sites and go somewhere that wasn’t too touristy but still had a ton to do.
  • All of the above! The food, the museums, the churches, the history – unless you’re only looking for a place with tropical beaches (sorry, Mexico City is too far inland), Mexico City really does have it all.

Some questions for you:

  • Have you been to Mexico? Where?
  • What type of things do you look for when planning a vacation?
  • What’s next on your travel bucket list? Have I convinced you to add Mexico City?

What I Ate in Mexico City (Comida en la Ciudad de México)

Have you read either of my previous posts about our trip to Mexico City last week during my birthday? If not, you should stop and read Part One now (or at least look at the pictures) because I guarantee that seeing the food will make you want to stop everything and go. Okay? (Part two is coming!) Bueno. Now that that’s over with, for this week’s What I Ate Wednesday, here are some food highlights from our week in Mexico City.

Breakfasts/Desayunos

Most days, B and I just walked to a local coffee shop and enjoyed something quick before a full day ahead of us. My favorite breakfast was the guava bread and fresh mango B and I shared on my birthday. B’s favorite breakfast was probably Huevos Divorciados – fried eggs with green salsa on one side, red on the other.

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Lunches/Almuerzos

We stuck to the local typical food and enjoyed tacos, guacamole, enchiladas, molcajete and other Mexican local cuisine for lunch and dinner most days. Some of my favorites included the guacamole with grasshoppers we made in the cooking class, the molcajete (look at all that food in that mortar/pestle style bowl) and the tacos we sampled at Tacos Califa on my birthday.

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amazing tacos and guacamole and cactus.

amazing tacos and guacamole and cactus.

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cactus leaves!

tamal!

tamal!

guacamole with grasshoppers.

guacamole with grasshoppers.

grasshoppers up close.

grasshoppers up close.

Dinners/Cenas

Depending on what we had for lunch, dinner varied. We enjoyed seafood, more tacos and guacamole and even local soup. I enjoyed it all!

me with the tacos al pastor meat in the background

me with the tacos al pastor meat in the background

a mescal mixed drink. how gorgeous is it?!

a mescal mixed drink. how gorgeous is it?!

more guacamole. without grasshoppers but with cheese and pomegranate seeds. And look - DP - the name of our restaurant (Dulce Patria!)

more guacamole. without grasshoppers but with cheese and pomegranate seeds. And look – DP – the name of our restaurant (Dulce Patria!)

fish fish fish!

fish fish fish!

local tortilla soup. so good!

local tortilla soup. so good!

Desserts/Postres

Mexico City has a ton of bakeries and we definitely enjoyed our fair share of treats. Some of my favorites included their Conchas (the cookies below the heart-shaped cookie) and the pastel de elote (this super moist corn cake).

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pastel de elote. YUM.

pastel de elote. YUM.

so many baked goods!

so many baked goods!

flan imposible

flan imposible

YUM. I want to go back now and eat it all again!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you like Mexican food? What’s your favorite?
  • Ever eaten grasshoppers? What’s the weirdest thing you’ve eaten?

Unas Días en la Ciudad de México (A few days in Mexico City)

I know I’ve been somewhat incommunicado the past few days, but if you follow me on Instagram (@koskim), you probably noticed that B and I are on a fabulous vacation to Mexico City.  It had been a year since we’d been abroad (see: trip to Asia posts), and the vacation was definitely needed. It was (semi) warm (60-70 degrees as opposed to the Cleveland winter), and we got to enjoy some great food, culture, lots of walking and practicing our Spanish.

Have you ever been to Mexico City? It was our first time, and there was SO much to do. I’d definitely recommend the city if you’re looking for a fun getaway. I didn’t know what to expect, but overall the city had much MORE than I expected – more walking-friendly and safe areas, more clean streets, more parks, more fun restaurants and really just had more to offer.

Some highlights from our trip – I’ve put this in two blog posts because there’s just too much to include in one. Pardon the Spanglish – Here’s Parte Uno:

All of the food

I’ll do a whole What I Ate Wednesday post on the food from our trip, but overall everything was tan rico. Neither B nor I got sick from the food (yay! Let’s just say that B got sick twice in Asia so I was hoping for the best but prepared for the not-so-good) and we enjoyed some great tacos al pastor and other tacos, seafood, guacamole (even with grasshoppers!), roasted cactus, tons of meat and cheese and even some fruit.

enchiladas

enchiladas

tacos al pastor - featuring this amazing meat

tacos al pastor – featuring this amazing meat on a stick

said tacos al pastor

said al pastor meat

flan imposible

flan imposible

torta! (great sandwiches)

torta! (great sandwiches)

Cooking class

Speaking of food, B surprised me with a Mexican cooking class for my birthday. It was increíble! We started out with a local market tour (and of course we got some stuff to take home with us, along with some fresh fruit, ice cream, cheese and coffee to enjoy during the tour), and ended up with a multi-course cooking experience at the instructors homes. If you’re ever in Mexico City and have a day to spare, I highly recommend the course. The instructors, Jorge and Beto, were perfecto – friendly, knowledgeable and welcoming us in their home. They shared with us some family recipes as well as some tips on what to do during the rest of our time in their city.

beautiful setup for course

beautiful setup for course

learning how to roll our tamales

learning how to roll our tamales

B and me at the table

B and me at the table

And of course – la comida. Also great. We made chalupas, guacamole (with roasted grasshoppers), tamales, salsas, tacos al pastor de pescado (fish tacos al pastor style) and even enjoyed some wine and a local mescal tasting. (if you’re going to Mexico, I highly recommend you book this class – Casa Jacaranda)

Museums, art and churches

Mexico City and the surrounding areas are known for their great culture – both history and art scene. We didn’t have enough time to take it all in sadly, but we did enjoy our visits to the Anthropology Museum, Frida Kahlo home and museum, National Palace and a few other museums and cathedrals in the old part of downtown and beyond.

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Diego Rivera mural

loved the Frida Kahlo museum.

loved the Frida Kahlo museum.

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So many old churches!

So many old churches!

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Stay tuned for Parte Dos (hopefully tomorrow) AND have a great week! I’m linking up with Erin for my weekend snapshot post, Katie for MIMM and as usual, the weekly wraps.

Training Tuesday: First Two Weeks of Jan

It’s mid-January – you know what that means?

No, not that it’s almost time to celebrate my birthday (well, it is … hint hint!) – but that it’s marathon training season for so many! While I’m not training for a full marathon this year, I am getting ready to train for the Rite Aid Cleveland race series, which means I’m building some base miles to get ready for when training begins.

Once again, I’m excited to be an ambassador for the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon. Which means I’ll be sharing my training with you and even a race giveaway (if you haven’t registered yet–>you can do so here).

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I haven’t started seriously training yet, or created my training program, but I’m building up the miles, getting reacquainted with the treadmill again (ugh! winter) and getting excited for spring. Here’s some of the highlights of my running so far:

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YAY! I’m keeping track of miles this year.

Weekly miles:

Week of 1/1: 4.3 miles total

Okay, there were only two days in the week – Friday and Saturday. I ran 4.3 miles on New Years Day and that was it!

first run of 2016

first run of 2016

Week of 1/8: 29.35 miles total (includes running and walking)

S: 4.6 (some snowy outdoor miles!)

M: 5

T: 4.6 (running on the treadmill and then 20 minutes on the  elliptical)

W: 6.2 (treadmill 10k)

Th: 4.7 (running and walking on the treadmill)

F: .25 (warmup run before the elliptical)

S: 4 (Cleveland Marathon Kickoff Run!! Last outdoor run in a while)

 

 

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Before the Kickoff Run – a photo opp with some of my Marathon Ambassadors!

 

Week of 1/15: 29.6 miles total (includes running and walking)

S: 3.1 (treadmill 5k, then the elliptical and some weights/kettlebells)

M: 6.3

T: 6.2 (4.5 miles running, rest was walking warm up and cool down)

W: 2.25 (2.25 miles running plus 48 min on the elliptical)

Th: 6.25 (5 miles running inside and 1.25 miles walking)

F: 0 (50 minutes on the elliptical)

S: 5.5 miles (3.5 miles running inside plus 2 miles walking on the treadmill)

 

And that’s it so far! I’m pretty proud of all the miles I’ve already got in this year. This week is going to be a little slow – I’m on vacation – but looking forward to keeping up miles and sharing training with you this year!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you have any races coming up?
  • What’s your favorite marathon/half marathon?

WIAW #45: Friday, Friday

Sorry to get your hopes up – it’s not quite Friday yet. I know – I’m a tease. BUT these are my eats from last Friday and I am counting down the days until it’s Friday here because I’m on vacation next week!

Sorry in advance – this was a pretty standard day. Egg whites and veggies for breakfast, a few snacks, more veggies, more snacks, fruit, etc. We did go out for dinner (sushi!) but other than that, pretty standard. See for yourself:

Breakfast was some eggwhites and spinach and veggies and sauerkraut. Pretty standard, but delicious nonetheless. Oh, and since I was feeling pretty sleepy, I had some pumpkin spice chai tea. A perfect pick-me-up!

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Snacks that morning included an apple and clementine. Love me some fruit.20160104_093126

Lunch was a whole veggie medley, plus some chicken. Brussels sprouts, roasted sweet potato, some breaded eggplant, cauliflower and snap peas. So good!20160108_130525

And grapes on the side at my desk. 20160108_131941

And I was craving something sweet that afternoon – and our peanut M&M supply at work is gone! So I made due with what I had – some spaghetti squash. I mixed it up with some honey and cinnamon and it was pretty good. 20160108_135347

That night, B and I went to Sushi 86 for dinner. I started with miso soup (of course)!20160108_181517

And then this. ❤ sushi!sushi

And that was it. I was stuffed after all that goodness. I’m not a big rice fan (more of a pasta girl) but in sushi, I can tolerate it. It’s just filling 🙂

Some questions for you:

  • Are you a sushi fan? What’s your favorite kind?
  • Do you have the same breakfasts daily?
  • What’s your go-to snack if you’re cravings something sweet?

Wintry Weekend

So it seems like winter is here in Northeast Ohio. We finally got our first real snow downtown – meaning it actually stuck – and it feels cold. So it was the perfect weekend to hang in and do pretty much nothing. Yup, B and I had a relaxing weekend and it felt so good!

Some scenes from our relaxing weekend (in no certain order):

Making pizza for dinner. We babysat Celia Saturday night and that meant making pizza and watching the final Star Wars movie I need to see – Return of the Jedi!

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Participating in the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon kickoff run. 4 somewhat hill miles with these ladies (and about 200 other people).

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Oh, and I got to see some of my fellow Cleveland Marathon Ambassadors, who were also at the run! (photo from Steph)

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A Friday night staple – sushi.

sushi

Saturdays at the West Side Market. Picked up some food to meal prep for the week.

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Trying out new tea from Cleveland Tea Revival.

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Brunch after the race. Yes, that’s a turkey burger with eggs. It was an interesting combo. And it made me remember that I don’t really like scrambled eggs.

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Some meal prep for the week. Making chili, salsa (for stuffed potatoes), cornbread and some other photo-shy items.

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And then catching up on OITNB. I kinda got lost in Season 3 and am working on getting through it. I love the show, but admit that I’m having trouble getting through this season.

orange-is-the-new-black

Some questions for you:

  • Do you like Orange Is The New Black? Have you gotten through Season 3?
  • What’s your favorite kind of sushi?

Have a great week! I’m linking up with Erin for my weekend snapshot post, Katie for MIMM and of course, the weekly wraps.

WIAW #44: A Semi-Meatless Monday

Ohmygoodness it’s only Wednesday. This week. Amiright? Thank goodness for good eats, good friends, and dinner dates to keep me occupied when the weather is COLD and excitement from the holidays starts to dwindle.

I almost forgot about WIAW. Because let’s face it, with the holidays, I’ve been less than stellar with my eating. Not so many veggies, too many cookies and I’m feeling it. I’m slowly getting back into the swing of things – but as you can see, my sweet tooth is still somewhat winning! At least I’m getting more vegetables and fruits in my life.

Speaking of veggies, I had eggs and veggies for breakfast again. It has been SO LONG! So here was Monday’s breakfast – egg whites, some sauerkraut, spinach, carrots and cauliflower and broccoli. Yum yum.

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As if that wasn’t enough, I also had a clementine and apple for a snack midway through the morning.

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For lunch, I had prepared some grilled chicken, along with some roasted veggies – cauliflower, eggplant (leftover breaded and baked from my eggplant parm last weekend) and sweet potato – and some sugar snap peas. Yay for veggies!

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For snacks in the afternoon, I had some hard candies (werthers, ginger and these caramel asian candies) and grapes and carrots.

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For dinner, I made a Meatless Monday dish. I know – I had meat for lunch. I’m not perfect. But dinner was a caprese salad and spaghetti squash with tomato sauce and cheese. Perfection.

dinner

And that wasn’t it. I also had dessert- a little bit of this Mitchell’s and a lemon bar that I had baked. Again, I’m not perfect.

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I had a semi-active day — I had run 5 miles in the morning, done a few weights, and tried to get in some steps during the day.

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So that was my Monday! Not a bad first day back. Some questions for you:

 

 

 

 

  • What was the best thing you had over the holidays?
  • Do you like fruity desserts? Like lemon bars?