“Flurry of activity” barely begins to describe our 2nd weekend in Mexico City. John managed to come across invites to multiple events at our apartment complex, which kicked off Friday evening with a “Christmas in July” party. Theme parties are only the best thing ever, and Bertie executed this one to its fullest with a 10-foot inflatable lawn Santa outside her door, Christmas lights a-go-go, Christmas caroling to live piano music, egg nog, Christmas cookies galore, and even a yule log cake with meringue mushrooms (love love meringue).
Saturday night followed with a poolside welcome BBQ with more meat than I could even dream of. The now internationally renowned Carmann Family Pizza Dip made an appearance and was promptly devoured, though I was generously offered the last bite. The feeding frenzy continued on Sunday with a beautifully planned baby shower for Raquel, also down by the pool. We ladies daintly ate a tasty bacon quiche, apple crisp w/homemade caramel sauce, a tasty crab concoction, mini crab cakes, mini pigs in blankets, and more.
So perhaps it was because of all of this other excitement, that our daytime activity on Saturday paled slightly in comparsion… Things started off well; we wandered through Lincoln Park near our house, which is filled with interesting sculptures, an aviary, and beatiful trees. We visited the aviary in honor of our bird-owning friends Alek & Kate, and made a few purchases at the market, which was filled with vendors ready to make a deal.
We also witnessed girls sprinting to keep their car from being towed (they succeeded), and a older man operating a remote-control boat made of water bottles being “driven” by a half-nude Barbie doll.
Then, we decided to go the Chapultepec Zoo… We entered off the main street (Reforma) into what we assumed would be the zoo. The optimistic “Zoo –>” signs ran us through the gamut of vendors selling everything under the sun, with a particularly high frequency of cotton candy vendors. After walking for about 15-20 minutes & seeing no animals besides oddly-colored squirrels, we finally arrived at what appeared to be the offical zoo entrance and picked a direction to start exploring.
We were a bit uncertain what the zoo was going to be like, because one of the first things we saw was a big crowd of people clustered around a glass window, snapping photos like madmen. What was the exciting animal in this exhibit???, we wondered, rushing over to the action. Well, it was two STUFFED PANDAS. Hmm. Uh, what kind of ho-tel is this?
The frenzy over the stuffed pandas was made all the more amusing by the fact that when we walked another 50 feet around the corner, there were two LIVE PANDAS, virtually ignored. Guess I have some things to learn about operating a successful zoo in Mexico.
Other highlights included exhibits of:
- a lone black crow (un cuervo, as in Jose)
- two prairie dogs (perritos de las praderas), living in the least prairie-looking environment I’ve recently seen
- and a cool, massive rhinocerous who began jogging around his pen, giving me new appreciation for why you wouldn’t want to be on the jeep side of a rhino vs. jeep faceoff.
I think I will also add myself to the list of “highlighted exhibits”, because that’s what I felt like by the time we left the zoo (and no, I didn’t exacerbate things by wearing heels). As we walked through the zoo, numerous young children seemed torn between staring at the animals & staring at la guera alta. I also enjoyed the minimum 3-4 “Send a Sentry” incidences I observed throughout the day.
For those of you who have never been out with me standing in a public setting, “Send a Sentry” involves a group of people sending one member of their group to not-so-subtly a) walk by me, b) walk around me, or c) stand near me, so the remainder of the group can assess how short that person is in comparison. I am thinking about simply attaching a tape measure to my back to make things simpler for everyone. A tape measure in meters, of course.