Friday, October 8, 2010

Greetings from Mexico City!!

I'm not going to lie to you - I'm a tad bit tipsy. I just drank a frozen tamarindo margarita the size of a toilet bowl. Oh, that sounds gross. Maybe the size of a fish bowl. Not much better. Let's just say the bowl of the glass was about the size of my head. But I'm getting ahead of myself...

I arrived in Mexico City Thursday night at about 8 PM. An hour and a half later, I was through customs and the longest taxi line I have seen in life, and on my way to the JW Marriott. For some reason unbeknownst to me, I was upgraded upon arrival, so I'm staying on the Executive Level on the 23rd floor where everything is free. No joke. I can have two items of clothes pressed each day within one hour - free. I can have 5 articles of clothing laundered every day - free. Wi fi, free. I have access to the Executive Lounge with free food and drink at all hours - I'm nursing a coffee right now, hoping to counteract some of my tequila buzz. And get this, I can have fresh hot coffee and all the fixings, including real cream, delivered to my room each morning at a time that I specify - FREE! I am being royally spoiled right now.

But that is good because you need something to make up for the HOURS spent in traffic. I presented 2 sessions at the American School Foundation this morning, then sat in traffic for hours getting to an Education USA event, then sat in traffic some more on the way back to the hotel. I didn't even go to my room - I made a beeline for the Executive Lounge and poured myself a hefty glass of Merlot and snacked on the hor's d'oerves.

Then I got together with some other college counselors and set off in search of some Mexican goodies - after all, I have a giveaway to start collecting goodies for. Speaking of that, according to one of the online random number generators, the winners of the giveaway are:

#23 - Rachel, who said, "Oh Erin, you ARE a busy girl. Your adventures wear me out haha. Love the photo of your adorable nephew on that beautiful quilt. I agree - that is why we do this!
Have a great trip. You deserve some fun...and a rest!"

#18 - ShelleyK, who said, "I bought a house ~7 months ago. The only room that I got around to painting was my guest room - with a Central American theme! I've been to Guatemala and El Salvador, so I've sworn to only fill the room with authentic artwork - whether it be colorful paintings or woven fabrics. I would absolutely LOVE another piece to put in there! By the way, I don't comment often, but love following your blog. Your quilts really get me in the sewing mood."

#20 - Debbie, who said, "I hope you have a safe and uneventful trip. I don't comment often but I do enjoy reading your blog. I have even checked out some of your reading suggestions from my local library. I would love to entered into your giveaway."

So, ladies, congratulations, and be sure to stay tuned to see what treasures I find in my travels. Not too much today, because of all the time spent in the bus, but I did find some drink stirrers with red and green chiles on top, and some typical colorful paintings on parchement-like paper.
I've just arrived back at the hotel after a late dinner with an alum from the university where I work who wants to be involved in spreading the word about Washington & Lee University in Mexico. He is a delightful young man, and I had a great time talking with him. Plus, he took me to a wonderful traditional Mexican restaurant with fantastic food (I had fish tacos - yum!), a live mariachi band, and drinks the size of toilet bowls. But we've covered that already, haven't we?

Tomorrow afternoon, after the college fair, I am hoping to hop on the subway back to Templo Mayor, where I visited 2 years ago during my last visit to Mexico City, to look for some traditional local crafts. Then, early Sunday morning it is off to San Jose, Costa Rica. But for now, it is off to bed for me. Despite my reservations about all the unrest in Mexico right now, I've been having a great time. Here's hoping the rest of the week goes as well!