Our departure was routine. Delta flight 513 from SLC to MEX left on time and arrived 30 minutes early. We bought food in the terminal to tide us over so that we wouldn’t be starving when we arrived. Phone calls and intermittent internet service allowed some last minute communications. On board, the flight was almost full. We napped, read a little, and enjoyed the views. The views to the east were different than I’m used to from the other side of the airplane (I usually sit on the right side, viewing west). We could see the Granddaddy Lakes basin where I love to go backpacking in the High Uintahs.
We were the last to disembark and clear customs, but it all went really fast, and we got the green light in customs. We called Lily when we came out into the terminal to tell her we had arrived early, and she said, “I see you. I’m over here in the Burger King.” Waving from the restaurant adjacent to customs, we knew we were off to a good start.
We exchanged dollars for pesos, loaded up her car with our heavy suitcases filled with camping and snorkeling gear, and hit the streets. We promptly missed the turn to the Circuito Interior, and ended up crossing the city on Eje 1 through the poorer Doctor’s colonia and past the Tepito metro station, and eventually reached Turmix on Sinaloa and Insurgentes via Chapultepec. It was closed for a Friday night, but the guard had our keys, and we loaded up our white Chevy Aveo, a small 4 door sedan that wouldn’t admit more than one of our big bags through its narrow mouth into the otherwise ample trunk space.
Susie drove while I navigated. Stopping at Costco in Polanco along the way, we purchased case of water, fruit, and snacks for our journey. Stopping at Beto Levy’s apartment on La Grange, I started making use of my cell phone in Mexico, which has been handy, but will end up costing me a lot in expensive roaming fees (the bill eventually came to $250). He came down and presented us with the book, Sefarad de Ayer, Oy, I Manana, and we enjoyed a brief visit interrupted by his incoming calls.
Continuing on to Lily’s condo above La Herradura on Bosques de las Minas, I was impressed at how much progress has been made on the second level of the Periferico freeway since last July when construction hadn’t even started. Now, intermittent pillars of second-level sections dot the roadway, like something out of a Yes album. We managed to squeeze along from Homero past a few exits and dive deep under the freeway to familiar ground on the west side and ascended into the hills along Avenida Conscripto and our home for the night.
The first night with Lily and Lily was wonderful. Greetings were warm, and we brought out three of Lily’s constrictors and played with them for a while, then presented gifts. Lily showed off her painting, bright colors of geometric patterns. Calling Mauricio, he concluded that he was coming to join us, but that his parents, David and Tina, and Jacobo’s family, were not coming, as David did not feel well. Eventually, we ate a wonderful meal of braised beef tenderloin and potatoes, salad, and luxurious desserts, long before Mauricio arrived at 10pm with a friend, by which time we had already set up our nest on the living room floor. Then the amiable chit chat began until we were falling asleep sitting or standing, and at last we went to sleep while they continued chatting in the foyer.