Thursday, February 10, 2011

1st trip to Mexico

*Originally posted February 2011

OK, i'm taking some deep breathes and trying to relax enough to write this post due to The Mexican just telling me all of our Mexico pictures are GONE!  OK, that's a story for a different day! (counting to ten....1,2,3,4)

We were not married yet and The Mexican wanted to take me to Mexico to meet his family and to show me where he was from.  I remember I was EXCITED! I had this magical Mexican dream already formed in my head.  Palm trees, mariachi men playing music, little adobe houses, the sweet smell of churros, breezes coming off of the ocean, etc....

What I had dreamt up in my head and what I experienced were 2 different things!  It's an experience I'll never forget and one I will always treasure!  Out of all of our trips to Mexico, I believe this one was my favorite!

The Mexican wanted to drive.  I was cool with that, I mean really how long could it take to drive to Mexico?  We apparently only had to drive 5 hours to where he was from once we crossed the border... we were already in Georgia...really, how long could it take????

Well it took over 18 HOURS!!!!! and I made a mental side note that I needed some valium for the drive home!

The whole drive there, we stopped  4 times.  The Mexican drove 85-100 mph the whole way!  I was afraid to close my eyes because if I did, I was afraid he was going to close his eyes....

We finally made it!  I remember crossing over the border and the IMMEDIATE change.  There were no longer those yellow lines in the street and 3 cars would be driving down a road big enough for 2!

Men were standing in the middle of the roads selling papers.  I remember this because the man who was standing right outside my window was shouting in spanish to buy the paper and on the front page was a picture (a very graphic picture) of someone who had been assasinated. (we do not have front pages like that in the U.S.!...... trust me, when i say this!)

There was music playing everywhere you went.  Which I liked.    A lot of people walking and a lot of cars!  Gas was EXPENSIVE!  We had to stop and check "me" in.....  not sure what they thought I was going to do....... but whatever.  I had my Mexican "papers"!

We made it to The Mexican's little town!  It was almost like out of a dream..... a different dream, but still out of a dream.

No palm trees.....  We were more in the desert area not the tropical area like i had imagined.  There were NO TREES only some that grew alongside a creek that flowed for miles and was beautiful!  You could see the mountains all around us.  The street was no longer paved but dirt.

Then a dude came flying by on a horse!  Yes, I was no longer in the states.....

The houses were very ummmm........modest!  Just the basics!  The Mexican had his parents set up pretty good compared to neighbors in the area.  They had indoor plumbing! 

The Mexican's parents.......let's call them Los Padres.  They were very very very nice to me!  I was almost like a novelty....  It was pretty funny.  My green eyes and blonde hair were the topic of many conversations and I remember someone saying "She's so white"!  HAHAHAAAA  I'd never heard that one before!

Every morning when we woke up we had coffee (instant)....  Now, I had always thought... Mexico, coffee beans, Juan Valdez.... (maybe he's from Colombia).....  anyways, Instant coffee was a surprise!   I thought we'd be drinking the real deal...but nope!  We usually had some form of eggs, potatoes, and of course tortillas.  Flour tortillas.  They were a staple at EVERY MEAL!

Speaking of meals, that was a major deal there!  I remember La madre (mother) and The Mexican's sisters making tortillas with so much ease!  It was 2nd nature.  They'd roll it into a little ball, roll it out, pat it out with their hands, then bam! on the "sarten"! (little heater griddle thing).  They would make tons of tortillas!  The 1st time I saw them working so hard to make so many, i thought...."they are making way to many!  we aren't going to eat all of these!"  WRONG!  We ate them all.  Basically, a tortilla made from scratch in Mexico by a mother and daughters is the best tasting tortilla you will ever have!  It melts in your mouth!  DELICIOUS and everyone uses them like a fork or spoon to scoop up the food after tearing a piece off.  They knew to give me a fork and spoon because it is an aquired talent and takes some practice!  I would've been there all day.....

Tortillas at breakfast, tortillas at lunch, and tortillas at dinner!  I didn't mind, they were delicious!  We ate some really good dishes.  Every where you went people offered you food.  If you didn't accept it was taken as an offense!  I remember eating breakfast twice!  Once at Los Padres house then right after that AGAIN at grandma's who lives one house down!  I had a Mexican breakfast at Los Padres, then The Mexican's aunts cooked me a traditional American breakfast (pancakes and eggs, Orange juice) at grandma's house!  I WAS STUFFED!  I think the Mexican and I rolled ourselves back to Los Padres' house!

Ok, the point i'm making is FOOD was a major  part of our trip and the Mexican food you get at Mexican restaurants is not authentic folks.  It's been Americanized........... it's been cheesed up.......etc.  The tortillas you get at the restaurants and at the store ARE NOT THE SAME or AS GOOD!

Part 2 to continue............ (hey, lots to cover!  i was there for a week, giving an american's perspective!  I wasn't in Cancun, a touristy area, i was in MEXICO baby! Coahuila to be exact and there was nothing touristy about it).....


  1. I enjoyed your post! ;)

    Juan Valdez is a marketing invented character to advertise Colombian Coffee! :)

  2. Thanks La Alicia! and thanks for filling me in on who the "real" Juan Valdez is! LOL
    Take care! Muah

  3. The trip back to the husband's home country usually involves some culture shock for sure.

    My husband's family prefers instant coffee too (and El Salvador is known for coffee)... I've come to drink it too because I'm lazy. LOL.

    I can imagine how shocking the newspaper graphics were. I still remember the first few times I watched the Spanish language news on TV. I was like, "Oh my God?! They can't show that!" ... Apparently they can, but English language news just doesn't. Got to keep the kids out of the room when the "noticias" are on, even now that they're older so they don't see dead bodies laying in the street.

    Your in-laws sound nice. How lucky :)

  4. Tracy,
    culture shock is so true, but i would not trade that experience for anything!

    I couldn't agree w/u more on "las noticias" and the news women look like they are ready to go clubbing compared to our English language news....jaja

    Si mis suegros son muy pero muy lindos!

    Thanks for commenting!

  5. HA! You are so funny! It is very different down here. I remember when I first told people that I was moving to Mexico they replied with "OH, how wonderful". Because similar to your "dream" they associate Mexico with the ocean and the lovely resorts and such. I was moving to a place no where close to that image.

  6. Valerie,
    Thanks for commenting. Yes, i'll never forget my 1st trip to Mexico. It was a real eye opener. I'm loving ur blog!

  7. Your blog is adorable!! I had a Spanish teacher in college who called herself a "born again Mexican." You remind me of her. Someone who just really took to the culture and values! I've shared your blog, it's adorable!

    1. Thank you Brenda! I'm so glad you like my blog. Thanks for sharing it also. I really appreciate your sweet words!

  8. I stumbled upon your blog today after searching for a mexican cabbage patch kid lol. I enjoyed reading your stories. I am Mexican-American. I was born and raised in the US but my parents were born and raised in Mexico. I think your perspective is very interesting because you notice things I have overlooked like using tortillas as utensils... I also value your appreciation for Mexican culture. Having moved to the south away from my parents (to a different state) after marriage I have felt very disconnected with my Mexican heritage. You reminded me how beautiful it is...

    1. Thank you so much for your sweet comment. I'm so glad you enjoyed my post. The culture is beautiful and I feel honored to be included in so many parts of it.