Monday, March 11, 2013

Mexico City, Day 2: Parks

Our first night in Mexico City was not easy. Greta barely slept. We had her crib in a room with Lucia, who was sleeping in a twin bed, but we had to move her after a few hours because her screaming was waking up Lucia. We put her crib in a walk-in closet in our bedroom, but every time we so much as moved our heads on our pillows, she woke up screaming. Lucia, for her part, fell out of bed (she was fine and went right back to sleep; the bed is really low to the ground). The girls were exhausted last night, so perhaps it was just all-around over-tiredness plus unfamiliar surroundings. Let's hope.

Today the girls and I started exploring the neighborhood. We went to the playground at Lincoln Park, where the girls got suitably filthy sitting on the ground and drawing with chalk. Spirits were high; but they devolved quickly when I tried to have us eat lunch on a bench near a large, admittedly rather fetid pond: Greta kept running headlong toward the water, and Lucia refused to cooperate with anything. We headed home and recouped during naptime/Quiet Time.

Later this afternoon, I took the girls on a long walk to Chapultepec, a huge park with a zoo and several museums. I should have checked my guidebook, though: it's closed on Mondays. It was a really long walk, and I got turned around on my way back (and had forgotten my map), and it could have been a total disaster if the girls had mutinied. But they didn't; they seemed to enjoy the new sights and sounds. I even walked with them through a small market of food stalls, tantalizing but forbidden. I dredged up some Spanish to ask directions a couple of times.

We ended our long walk back at the playground, where I chatted (in English) with a woman who'd lived in Brooklyn Heights for several years. She gave the girls each a lollipop before she left, thrilling them.

Tonight, after the girls were in bed, Andrew went out to get us some Mexican food. Now I'm ready to lie down, read a book, and then collapse; perhaps we'll get a few hours of sleep tonight...

It really is so amazing to be in a new place. It has been far, far too long. Traveling was such an integral part of my life for a long time, and being here makes me realize how much I missed it during this three-plus-year hiatus--though it's been filled with other adventures of the parenting and house-buying variety. I see bustling cafes out our apartment window; right now I hear a street performer playing a violin. Three years old and one year old are not ideal ages for grand journeys--just the fact that two of our primary concerns were obtaining a crib and a high chair from the corporate-apartment company pretty much says it all. But we managed it, and so far, so good.

A beautiful day at the playground:


Lucia and Andrew, evening swim:

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