Our route to Mexico D.F. (D.F. meaning ‘Distrito Federal’, or Federal District, similar to Washington D.C.) took us from Nuevo Laredo through/around/near Monterrey, Saltillo, Matehuala, San Luis Potosi, Queretaro, and southeast on into the city. We stuck with the toll roads most of the way there, and were pleasantly surprised by the road quality on our first day of driving. The mix of flat, arid terrain and harsh hills/mountains provided some interesting scenery, as did the numerous dust storms I kept struggling to capture on film. (Note to self: dust storms, much like ranchers, do not like to be fenced in.)
After about 8 hours & merely one experience with the heralded seat-less, toilet paper-less toilets of Mexican gas stations (note to self: I need to start doing squats again in the gym; my quads have atrophied), we arrived at the Holiday Inn in San Luis Potosi. Hotel was decent, and although paled in comparison to the hallowed La Posada, we did get a coupon for a free tequila. And so we had our first experience with proper Mexican tequila drinking.
- You sip the tequila (is that even allowed in the USA?)
- You alternate sips of tequila with sips of chilled sangrita (different from sangria, BTW)
At any rate, John & I figured we were basically locals now, until the next morning. We needed to get on the road, so didn’t have time for another cushy, sit-down brekkie at the hotel. And as embarassed as we were about propagating the classic stereotype of Americans loving to eat at McDonalds abroad, we decided to drive through the McDs across the street as an issue of efficiency. One would assume the breakfast menu would be posted at the drive-through, right? But you’d be wrong; all we saw were pictures of hamburguesas and papas a la francesa.
John began a polite conversation in Spanish to clarify that yes, they had breakfast, but whatever else he said just made the McDonaldite keep asking whether he wanted a hamburguesa. Apparently “Yo quisiera un ‘sausage biscuit’” wasn’t cutting it. I leapt into action, grabbing our dictionary, flipping to the ‘S’ section, and began yelping “Salchicha! Salchicha! Ask for something with a salchicha!” Finally, after requesting algo con salchicha, we were promised two desayunos especiales, which sounded right up our alley: special. And so we departed what was hopefully our first and last Mexican McDonalds, contentedly stuffing our faces with eggs, sausages, english muffins, coffee, and a variety of salsas.