This is my contribution to the A to Z Blogging Challenge, in which I'm focusing on overseas destinations I've visited.
X is for Oaxaca, Mexico (February 1996)
Right before I got pregnant with Christopher, and soon after I just took on a massive new position at work, with tons more responsibility, we spent a little over a week in Oaxaca, Mexico. It was our first time to Mexico, and as we tend to do, we decided to focus on one area instead of moving around through the country.
I remember our initial discomfort when we arrived, because even though we'd traveled in a number of developing countries, including India, you get out of the habit. It had been six and a half years since our big trip. It took us a bit of getting used to at first.
We loved Oaxaca...it was the perfect first trip to Mexico for us. We stayed in a simple Mexican hotel there, Hotel Las Rosas, which was only a block from the zocalo. The zocalo (city's main square) was our favorite place to be--it had fantastic people watching, free musical entertainment, and great restaurants ringed around the square.
|Free marimba music one night in the zocalo|
We enjoyed going to the markets, both in and outside of the city, and one day we went to see Monte Alban, a great archaeological site. Oaxaca is known as a city of artisans, and it's especially famous for its painted wood sculptures and black pottery.
|Art in a shop|
|Black pottery in the market|
|Chiles in the market|
|Grasshoppers in the market|
|Panorama of zocalo|
We went into Oaxaca's church in the main square, Catedral de Oaxaca, or the Cathedral of Our Lady the Assumption, which offered a fascinating glimpse into the ornate Catholicism of Mexico, full of gaudy statues.
|Catedral de Oaxaca|
|Ornate statue of Mary|
|Mike in the zocalo|
They took us on an adventure one day, to Zaachila, where they had some great ruins and a wonderful market. Of course, Jerry and Carolyn seemed to know everyone at the market! I took a risk and had fresh pineapple on a stick with chile powder. (I did have fresh fruit in Mexico, and I was okay...but when my sister and her husband went to stay in an all-inclusive resort in Mexico, she ended up getting sick...so you never know!)
Then we went to the most amazing outdoor restaurant, called La Capilla, where we had the best food during our entire trip. The other thing Jerry introduced us to was the drink "michelada," which is like a beer cocktail--made of beer, lime juice, tomato juice, maggi, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce. We attempted to make it when we returned to Oregon, but it just didn't taste the same without the warm weather, Mexican vibe, and of course Jerry and Carolyn.
|Jerry and Carolyn on the bus|
|At the ruins|
|Mike in Oaxaca|
|Altar in a restaurant|
|Drinking micheladas in a little hole-in-the-wall cantina in Oaxaca |
(with Jerry's son and daughter-in-law)
|Visiting Jerry and Carolyn's apartment in 2007, 11 years after we me them|
We have visited Jerry and Carolyn a few times in Manhattan, but we always talked about returning to Oaxaca one day...and we have yet to go back...now 17 years later. I hope we can return one of these days!
|Lovely Oaxaca at night|
Visit here to read my A-W posts. Monday, back to Indonesia.