Posts Tagged ‘ travel ’


Mexico City, the capital of Mexico is less traveled in comparison to Cabo and other resort areas. Mexico was never on my agenda of places to visit for one reason: it felt too close to where I live, California. I’d rather be in Dominican Republic than visit Mexico. On a lazy evening as I was watching TV, I happened to catch an episode of scam city, a show about scams around the world. That specific episode was on cab kidnappings of tourists in Mexico City. My mother was going to Mexico City to visit the Basilica of our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. I decided to go with her along with our bodyguard, my husband. We did lots of research on cabs, the ones to avoid right before our trip. D-day was finally here and we were on our way to the airport.
We arrived at San Francisco airport at 8:30 for our 11:00 flight. Our excitement was snapped when the ladies at the counter said “Sorry, we cannot find your tickets”. For the next 3 hours we were on the phone with Aeromexico to locate our tickets. Needless to say our flight left us as we were trying to locate our tickets. They finally found our tickets and got us a ticket on the next flight out of SF, which was at 9:00 the next morning. We were supposed to have landed in Mexico City at 8 ish, but needless to say we were elated we were still going to visit Mexico City.

A flight ride through Cabo, and we were in Mexico City at 5:35 pm the next day. We had lost a day, so we had to make up for lost time. Our first stop was to get some fuel in our belly before sightseeing. We decided on a small hole in the wall place called “Gotan Argentino Restaurante“. The place was small but it oozed warmth. We knew not an ounce of Spanish and the owner tried her best to help us make our choices. Love transcends languages and it was indeed love at first bite. Love deepened with each bite until she brought out her grandma’s “cheesecake-ish dessert” and I was ready to marry her for it. The pasta was the best I had ever had too. Following gotan, we went to the monumento y museo de revolucio. We walked around looking for it and happened to spot it while finding gotan. It was in our backyard. It was the most chaotic serene ambience ever. People were having fun hanging out by the monument and yet it was serene against the star-studded sky. There was an elevator to the top if you want to soak in the view.

Our second day began early as we took a tourist car to basilica of our Lady of Guadalupe. Our cab driver offered us the pyramids tour as well with him being our tour guide. He spoke English and he offered us a deal for $40 us a person. Can’t complain when our hotel charged $106 per person. The basilica was beautiful with artistic architecture, an pious ambience and goose bumps rising experience. I felt all my problems wash away as we prayed at the basilica. I have never felt lighter in my life. The basilica is the biggest in the Americas and it is believed lady Guadeloupe had appeared in those very grounds. We reached there in time to catch some of the mass, and it was a spiritual experience.

The pyramids of the sun and moon were on my agenda. I have never been to a pyramid before and I sure wasn’t going to miss it. It was hot and humid, and we climbed a million stairs or so it felt like. The pyramid of the sun had more stairs and it was crowded. One piece of advice: do not look down when walking down beyond the next stair… It is eerie! The pyramid of the moon while being smaller with most of it being restrictive areas was the hardest to climb. The stairs were built for 7 ft people and at 5’5 those stairs were tall for me. We rounded our day off with some refreshing cactus fruit and a tour of the Chapultepec Castle. The palace was beautiful and in some areas looking down I felt like the damsel in distress. The palace is up a hill in a park. We ate some mexican snacks (I have no idea what it was called) as we sat around watching children get their faces painted. The innocence in the air was infectious and the hot sauce dripping popcorn definitely transported me back in time.

Third day in Mexico was going to be laid back with some street food. We began with a street tortas. My footballer husband could not finish his torta- they were huge! We were sore from the pyramids and slowly cruised through the few more churches, the palace of fine arts, the national palace from afar ( it is closed on Monday), shopping areas and good old coffee. After walking for almost 3 hrs on a bummed Achilles, coffee and chair was exactly what the doctor ordered. It was our last night in Mexico and we decided to meet my girlfriend for the grandma’s cheesecake. I was in love again and if I could would have brought her with me hidden in my suitcase. We bid our adieu to her amidst pouty faces, hugs and teary eyes. The way to true love is indeed through the stomach- at least for me!

Mexico City was beautiful to say the least. We did not know Spanish but at every corner we met people who were willing to help. Sure, we were tricked by the cab drivers, but we were safe. When in Mexico, try to take the tourist cabs if you don’t know Spanish and you are safe. Mexico City should be known for kidnaping its tourists into a beautiful and culturally rich world with palaces and forts. They call Paris the most romantic city in the world, but I thought Mexico was on par. People hugged and kissed each other, flaunting their love irrespective of their sexual orientation. Mexico City indeed kidnapped my heart and taste buds !monumento y museo de revolucio

Mexico City at night

The Serene Basilica of our lady of Guadelupe

The magnificent pyramid of the sun

The Million stairs we climbed

Pyramid of the Moon

Chapultepec Castle

Mexico City

The Square with All the Government buildings including the National Palace



I felt my heart thumping as I walked through airport security. With my laptop bag on one shoulder and my tickets in my other hand, I tried to portray a picture of confidence. I had walked through these hallways many times before. They know me and I know them. Yet, I was feeling the jitters of a travel novice. There was a difference between the many travels I already did to the one I was on today. I was traveling alone!


While most people who see me refute that I am anywhere close to being shy, I know I am an introvert. Since becoming a professional, I go through a million drills in my head before I can converse with a stranger even if that is professional talk. Eating alone is another completely different ordeal. I never ate in front of my husband until we got married. I am terrified of eating in front of people who are not my family and my girl-friends. In college, my two close friends made sure they made me eat, because everyone close to me knew I would starve rather than eat in front of strangers or even eat alone. I am not exaggerating! Every time I was asked on a date, I refused to eat with the guy. I made excuses such as “I have food at home” or “my mom cooked for me”.


photoI was traveling alone on business to Oregon for three days. Suddenly, I felt the jitters I felt when I first traveled on business to Seattle without family. I still had few people from my work on that trip. An hour and 45 minutes of a flight ride later, we had landed in Portland. I got a cab and made my way to the outskirts of Oregon where the company was located.


Going to work was the easier part. The first night in Oregon, I decided to go to the mall across from my hotel and get something to eat. I decided to eat at the restaurants in the mall, but suddenly as I was walking from work to my hotel, I decided I was not going to eat at any chain restaurants and I was going to eat in a restaurant at least once on my trip. Knowing me, I knew I would chicken out of  the second one real easily. I yelped away to find a Korean Fusion place which in layman’s terms is Korean Chipotle with a twist. I walked to the mall, went to the store and ordered my rice bowl. I wanted to sit right there and eat, but I blamed it on the sprinkling rain and walked back to my hotel to eat my food. I went back to the mall again later and walked around the mall. I have never been alone at the mall before either and I am not much of a mall rat. I decided I need to have a victory today so I walked into every store, touched one of two things and walked out.


The next day I ate my breakfast alone at the breakfast area of my hotel. It didn’t feel as overwhelming, maybe because there were four other people besides me. After a full day at work, I decided I was going to go to visit few parks around here. The total distance between the parks, the hawaiian restaurant I wanted to visit and my hotel was close to 4 miles. I had my direction on my iphone, and made my way to the park. I felt adventurous, and courageous.


I have walked alone to parks before, but being anonymous in a different state felt different. I was welcomed with several hi’s and I responded as I walked through two parks. I am very sure they recognized the tourist in me. I had my google maps on my iphone, following every turn even if I had to jaywalk. I am so bad with directions that I did not want to risk it and complicate my trip further. There were green tall trees everywhere as the Tualatin river flowed in the middle. The sun rays against the water glittered everything. It was serene, and I felt my mind and soul being cleansed by the purity around. I no longer felt lonely. Nature was my companion and I felt serene and peaceful.

After walking through the trails, it was time to feed my belly. I made my way to the hawaiian restaurant by passing through the Tualatin community park. I went up the counter and ordered my Shu-yu chicken, and the dreaded question followed: for here or to go? I said to go and then changed my mind and said for here. I felt my heart beating fast. I got my food, my Sriracha sauce and took the seat right in the middle of the