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.

A Week Off … Cape Cod 2012 (Part One)

A few months ago, B booked us a week at a cottage in Wellfleet, Cape Cod. It would be his first time in the Cape, and my first time staying in Wellfleet. Growing up on the east coast, I had many fond memories of spending summer weeks on the Cape with my family, but this would be my first time going just with B and to the Lower Cape.

I was not disappointed. The house was just as VRBO had suggested – down the street from the beach and the perfect size for a week’s retreat. AND without Internet or great cell reception, which meant we were truly able to unplug (at least for the most part).

Friday evening we left Cleveland and then drove into Albany and spent the night with my parents. Saturday morning we got up early, enjoyed a quick breakfast with my parents, including our year-old wedding cake (which was still absolutely delicious! How is that possible?!), and then we were on our way to Cape Cod for the week! Well, sorta – we had to stop at the most amazing place first – Prime Outlets in Lee, Mass.! I miss this place so much. (Sidenote – yes I know we have “outlet” in Northeast Ohio, but show me one with J Crew, Polo, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, GAP AND Brooks Brothers in one place!)

380-something day old wedding cake

I knew I was back east when I saw BC gear at Brooks Brothers…

As soon as we got to the Cape we checked out our place, walked to the beach, and then enjoyed a typical casual Cape Cod meal on the harbor – lobster rolls and fried oysters. Delicious! I gobbled up the food before grabbing a photo – but was able to get in a quick pic of our scenery.

Outdoor dining – with a great view!

Sunday, the weather was gorgeous so B and I spent most of the day outside. In the morning, we walked to the nearby French bakery and split a Parisian sandwich (again, no photo.. too delicious!) and bought some lardon et fromage bread to go. Then we hit the beach. I lay down outside, enjoyed my newest reading material (11/22/63 by Stephen King. Run, do not walk, to your nearest bookstore to get this. It’s no 50 Shades, but it’s impossible to put down!) and got in a healthy dose of Vitamin D (hey, doctor’s orders, right?). That evening, B and I checked out Wellfleet’s Main Street and then enjoyed a seafood dinner and drinks at the Bookstore. We split a dozen oysters on the halfshell (A Wellfleet specialty! The restaurant literally walks across the street to the harbor twice a day to pick them fresh) and I enjoyed the Fisherman’s Dish which was cod mussels, shrimp and clams in an awesome broth.

One of many seafood dishes

Monday, B and I spent some more time on Main Street and visited all the galleries and shops. But on the way, PJ’s Family Restaurant caught our eye – I’d heard that it was known for its lobster rolls, so we had to stop and check it out. B even loved it – and he’s not a lobster guy! After our delicious lunch, we headed to the downtown area. Fun fact – besides being the first place in the world to have wireless telegraph technology – and not the phone wireless technology – (Did you know the Titanic’s SOS signal went to the wireless station in Wellfleet?) Wellfleet also is known for having an abundance of galleries and being extremely welcome to artists. We enjoyed an afternoon ice cream on the harbor and a few drinks at Winslow’s Tavern, another great eatery on Main Street. For dinner, I was craving lobster so we returned to PJ’s where I got the lobster dinner and B got a burger. Are you keeping track of the lobster? That’s 2 lobster rolls and one 1 ¼ lb lobster so far …

Waaay too excited for my lobster

Tuesday we decided to check out Provincetown and then go whale watching! I could write a blog post on whale watching alone. While Provincetown and its shops and ice cream were great, whale watching was spectacular. We went on a 3 hour cruise with the Dolphin Fleet Whale Watch, led by an amazing naturalist. We saw 20+ whales (and some of them, multiple times) and a few dozen dolphins. It was amazing to watch them feed and just hang out in the wild. We even saw a baby whale play around while his mother fed. Some photos and video from the trip:

Cape Cod - Provincetown Whale Watching

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3tI9rEarw8&feature=g-upl]

At night B and I decided to eat dinner in our cottage – and we chose fresh lobster from the local seafood shop. New lobster total: 2 lobster rolls and 2 lobsters.

More to come on the fabulous week we had .. and possibly some more lobster!
(Part Two of the post can be found here)