March 9, 2020
After lunch we got up, cleaned, packed and closed up Rover in preparation to going to Mexico City. Although we have stayed at hotels several times since we left Sacramento this is the first time we have left Rover behind and it was a bit strange. We packed a large suitcase, Holly’s camera backpack and the computer backpack and made the short walk to the bus station. There it was very cheap 41 peso (about US$2) ticket per person for the hour long bus ride into Mexico City. This is the first time we had taken an inter-city bus and it is ridiculously cheap.
Soon we arrived at Mexico City’s north central bus station and as we got off the bus it was huge and like we were in an airport with different terminals for different bus companies. We made our way out of the bus terminal and caught a 103 peso Uber ride to our hotel, the Holiday Inn Express Reforma. As we started through Mexico City it was mostly low rise buildings and it didn’t seem like we were in a city of over 20 million people. The warm sunny skies also defied my perception of the city as a dirty, polluted place. Eventually we neared downtown and we got onto a wide, tree lined boulevard with modern high rise buildings all around and we felt like we were in a real city.
The Uber dropped us off in front of the Holiday Inn which was a modern high rise hotel building and the first thing we noticed was that right next to the entrance of the hotel was a Krispy Crème Doughnut store. Unfortunately they didn’t have a doughnut machine in it so we passed. For me, Krispy Crème doughnuts must be consumed within 5 minutes of cooking or they just aren’t as good. We checked in to the hotel and found our double bed room to be sunny and spacious with huge floor to ceiling windows. After unpacking we went out to walk around, explore the neighborhood and get some dinner.
We got out on the street and found that right next door was a shopping mall/office building complex. There we found a modern mall with all the regular stores, food court and Cineplex. Our hotel was located in one of the nicer business/entertainment areas of Mexico City called Reforma and we found it much like you would expect a modern city to be with clean streets, lots of cars in the street and people on the sidewalks.
We were looking for our first meal in Mexico City and found it at the El Dragon restaurant. Yes, our first meal in Mexico City was Chinese food and I will not apologize. We will be in Mexico for months and have eaten a lot of tacos, enchiladas, gorditas, quesadillas, nachos, pasties, etc. We expect as we go further south real Chinese food will become harder and harder to find so when we get to a place with real Chinese food we are going to get it.
The EL Dragon restaurant was decorated a bit of the top 1980’s Chinese restaurant style but the owner and cooks were Chinese and food was decent. I particularly like the Hot and Sour soup. Holly wanted to try the Peking Duck but at US$50 for that single dish it was way too expensive.
After dinner we walked around some more down a walking street lined with restaurants and bars and then back to the hotel to turn in for the night.
As we put Olivia to bed it became apparent that it was going to be a lot harder to get her to sleep than usual. In Rover she had her own bed and curtains and we had curtains around our bed too. This allowed her to go to sleep while we played on our phones, computers or watched a movie. However in the hotel room there were no curtains and the light from our electronic devices would distract her from sleeping. Eventually we just had to turn everything off, wait until she fell asleep before catching up on our news.