The boy and I are freshly back from Mexico, swine flu be damned! Our week long vacation was too short, but that is really my only complaint.
We tooled around the Yucatán Peninsula, hitting city highlights Valladolid, Mérida, and Isla Holbox.
When we arrived in Valladolid, there was a movie or some other sort of show being shot right outside of our hotel room. That giant orb is the light for the set.
Valladolid had a restaurant that we loved so much we hit it twice: once when we were in town and once when we were passing by it on the way to Isla Holbox. La Hosteria El Meson del Marques served several traditional Yucatecan dishes with panache.
Shark pie! And, yes, that is a habanero on top. I've read that shark pie is more commonly made from dogfish, and I think that this was the case here.
My dish, the gazpacho divorciado - tomato and avocado soups with the same densities made for a dramatic presentation.
I cannot remember what the boy's dish was called, and an Internet search is not helping me, but he had chicken with a tomato/raisin/caper relish (the sweet and salty flavor combo was going on) on the inside and a masa thickened pepita sauce on the outside. It was the clear winner!
When on vacation from my normal foods, I like to sample the regional junk food. It's funny how I'll turn my nose up at such food in my day to day life, but once vacation hits, bring it! This was a barley soda. It tasted like a vanilla cream soda to me, and it was so sweet I could only drink half of it before handing it over to the boy.
Other junk food I sampled were grape flavored gummy penguins, gummy ears, feet and thumbs that had a liquid filling (these were fairly gross because the red thumbs were filled with what tasted like cherry cough syrup), and my favorite: Kranky! My intention was to keep this bag of Krankies and hand them out to people when they were showing some krankitude, but I ended up eating them when I felt my blood sugar dip, making me a bit cranky. The snack itself wasn't really drool worthy. It was simply cornflakes covered in cheap chocolate. (The background for the Kranky photo is my second Mexico Cami.)
Our next stop was Mérida, a city I have been wanting to visit for ages since I've heard it described by many a the food capital of Mexico, and this is by people who have visited Oaxaca. How can I resist that?
We stayed at the charming Hotel Medio Mundo. You're going to see the word "charming" overused because it neatly sums up this town. The hotel's bright blue exterior is just a teaser to the beautiful courtyard and charming rooms.
And speaking of colonial architecture, here are some more examples of the charming buildings we saw in Mérida. The Mexican colors combined with the colonial buildings made these so unique.
These little street signs pepper the city. They are replicas of signs the Spaniards made for the Mayans to teach the Mayans Spanish. I didn't see any of the really cool signs, like the one with the decapitated man (a man was decapitated by a window pane on that street, so hence the name). Oh, well. That means that I'll have to go there again.
The market was just as colorful as the buildings.
For a few pesos, I got to watch this craftsman weave on his loom. He was fast! Seeing the colossal size of this loom crushed any hopes I had of making a rug for our living room. It's OK, though. I have plenty of other things I can do.
Here's a cute couple I spied ahead of me. They were walking slowly, but I didn't feel like ruining their mood by rushing past. I took a cue from them and enjoyed the stroll.
Mérida even had a recycling program in place and free WiFi in their central square. How cool is that?
Next was Isla Holbox. I'm running out of steam (vacation is hard!), so I'll let the images speak for themselves.
Until we meet again, Mexico...