A taste of Toluca

Last week Captain Andy and I were having coffee on the square when we saw a young couple walking around. They looked like American/Canadian/European tourists and we were somewhat surprised to see them because non-Mexican tourists are few and far between in these parts. In fact, we can go for days and days without seeing gringos or gringas. This twenty something couple asked us where they should eat and after they had eaten, they stopped by our table to tell us they had enjoyed our restaurant recommendation.

Conversation ensued and we found out that they are currently on a world tour! They had saved money for an entire year and then they carefully budgeted their money to allow them to travel on a world adventure.  I started asking them about their planning and they shared a bunch of cool travel stories with us. After they left, I looked up their blog and I just could not believe how much they were moving around! I realize that “20 something” is a lot different from “50 something” but reading their highly ambitious travel schedule left me exhausted.  One thing Andy and I are both starting to realize is that we really prefer slow travel over speedy travel. We can’t imagine moving from place to place for more than four or five weeks at a time. We just get too burned out and while we love to see new places, we also like to have our own kitchen and not living out of suitcases. But this couple was on a mission to see it all and see it fast.

This past weekend we went to Toluca in Central Mexico for a quick overnight jaunt. Andy had been there once before without me and really wanted me to see it.  It was a fun last minute adventure having decided to go just  the night before. We found out that there was a bus leaving for Toluca every hour from Morelia. We booked a $50 a night hotel on-line and off we went. We boarded a first class bus and 3.5 hours later we arrived. We visited the botanical garden (stunning stained glass was everywhere), hung out in a coffee shop, (I had a virtual reading date with a friend), went to the professional soccer game, (Toluca won), and ate dinner in a vegetarian restaurant. On Sunday morning we had brunch, and then boarded the bus to return home. I really liked Toluca. It had a nice historical district, a lot of modern stores, and it was very vibrant.  I would enjoy visiting again. The botantical garden was definately the highlight.

Besides the fun we had in Toluca, this past week was fun in other ways.  The international Morelia guitar festival was in town so we saw a lot of great guitar music and got to see the Michoacan symphony perform – all for free!  The amount of culture activities here is crazy.  Theater events, musical concerts, fireworks. It never ends. Soon the international film festival is going to start, (not free) and I know we’ll be able to see a lot of cool films. Day of the Dead festivities will follow. Before you know it, we’ll be back in Zihuatanejo!

We think we’re going to have to visit the U.S. sometime in the next six weeks. Andy has to get some chest x-rays and I’m due for a mammogram. Plus, we’ll need to restart our tourist visa…sooner is better than later because we don’t want to have to leave Zihuatanejo when the weather is so lovely in January. Our tourist visas will expire in January (we are only allowed 180 days) so it’s probably better to leave now and re-set the 180 day clock. Then we will leave again after our juant in Zihuatenjo is up in March. We actually are just finalizing our plans post Zihuatanejo. No announcment yet, but I can disclose the plans will involve 1) Travel outside of Mexico  2) Baseball watching  3) A big lifestyle change!

We think our trip to the U.S. will be a quick. Our tentative plan is to fly from Morelia to Tijuana, walk across the border via the pedestrian bridge, and then go to Kaiser in San Diego for medical tests. Then we will fly right back to Morelia via Tijuana.  Not sure if this plan will work, but research will commence shortly.

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2 thoughts on “A taste of Toluca

  1. I’m so glad you are still loving Morelia! We fly to San Diego in three days and will walk across the border for dental work. The tram into San Diego from the border is something like $4 and works great. We have two weeks so will hope to devote 5 days to dental and then take a bus south to the Guadalupe wine valley area for a week or so. Keep exploring and I’m excited to hear about your plan after Zihua!

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  2. We’ve used the CBX bridge from San Diego (where we live) to Tijuana three times now (going to La Laz, Oaxaca, and San Miguel de Allende) and it’s really so easy. Morelia sounds wonderful; I’m always looking for places to visit that aren’t overrun by American and Canadian tourists and expats. I hope your medical check-ups go well!

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