Mexico Day 1/2

We left New York City on a Sunday afternoon and getting sorted out at the airport with all five kids and checking bags and going through security brought back lots of memories.  I forgot what a circus it can be.  It has been a long time since we’ve taken an international flight with the kids and we were a bit rusty.  The five hour flight went relatively smoothly,  we have no rules about screen time on airplanes and the kids just watched movies and ate snacks the entire time.  Amirah was pretty thrilled to sit in a big seat like the other kids and I had a hard time getting her to take a nap and understand some basic airplane courtesy, but otherwise it was uneventful.

Arriving at the Mexico City airport also went relatively smoothly, if not a bit tedious and tiring after a long flight.  When we arrived it was well past the kids bedtimes, and they were not very helpful.  But once we gathered our suitcases and car seats and met up with my parents the kids had a burst of energy – which was good because procuring the rental car took another two hours.  We arrived past midnight and exhausted at the MTC (CCM) and put the kids straight to bed.  Richard and I stayed up for a little while chatting with my parents and then called it a night.

In the morning the kids couldn’t get enough of the huge green space just outside our front door.  My mom also took the them on a little tour of the CCM, where my parents are serving their mission.  Richard and I got organized and ready to hit the road, but it was hard to drag the kids away from my parents after being freshly reunited.  So we took our time and then headed out of the comfort of the CCM to see some of the great country of Mexico!

Of course we had to make our first stop at Walmart because I forgot to pack underwear for Simon. But Walmart in another country is always a cultural experience and I didn’t leave without grabbing some Mexican snacks and drinks to try.

It was a long drive to our destination in Veracruz, but that was part of the point. I wanted to see Mexico outside of the city and although I didn’t take any pictures I enjoyed the scenery. The kids not so much, they are not accustomed to long car rides since moving to NYC.  But we stopped for lunch at a place that felt like the middle of nowhere in hot Mexican desert.  We were the only people in the “restaurant” and they served us whatever they happened to be cooking. Which was soup, warm homemade tortillas and ham in a verde sauce.  There was something for everyone and it hit the spot.

The restaurant was also a tire shop.

This picture is not a great picture for many reasons, but I love it because it captures the Mexican Spirit. We saw so many altars and shrines dedicated to Mary and other saints. They were all similar in general ways but so unique too. I find expressions of faith to be touching and never felt it was appropriate to take a picture just for the sake of the picture, but happened to get this one in the landscape of my hangry children.

The second half of the drive to Veracruz was a completely different climate than the first half. It was foggy and wet and jungle-like. We made a serious climb in elevation and then a quick descent back down to sea-level. Our ears were popping like crazy.  Then the earth beneath us got flat and I knew we were close to the ocean!

Veracruz sits right on the Gulf Coast.

We drove to our hotel, which turned out to be a little disappointing, but the view on the balcony was major consolation.  We walked down to the beach and played around until it started to get dark and then we walked up along the boardwalk until we found  a place to eat.  We ordered way too much food in our eagerness to try everything, and then went back to our hotel to sleep.  All seven of us in one room, which was not ideal but we survived.

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