Colors of Cuernavaca

Wednesday, 30 de marzo
Today was bittersweet for Kevin and for me.  It’s my daughter Ellie’s 18th birthday. She chose to stay in the States rather than come on this trip.  Through text and email, we are kept in touch throughout the day.  Both Kevin and I missed being a part of her celebration.  It made for an evening of homesickness for all of us!  However, the day was full of lots of things, so here is a recap.

Breakfast with Marilu

We began our day around 8am with a lovely breakfast prepared by Marilu, our house mom.  She made us scrambled eggs with onion and potatoes, bananas, yogurt and bread.  The coffee here, even though it is just from the grocery store, tastes so much better than anything we can buy back home.  Kevin and I want to get some before we leave to bring back with us.  The beans are actually grown in the Veracruz area of Mexico (about 4 hours from here).  After breakfast, we walked to the center of town.  It’s about 2.2 miles from our house (all uphill).

Walking to el Centro
Along the way, there is so much to see (and smell).  Cuernavaca is a large town.  There is a lot of traffic, trash and graffiti.  There are also beautiful gardens with flowers of all colors blooming year round.  It’s hot here this week (about 90 degrees each day).  We stopped along the way to take pictures in front of colorful houses.  Here is one of me in front of a restaurante and one of Anna in front of another restaurant.  
Tour of Cathedral
Our first stop was the Cuernavaca Cathedral.  The newly restored facade is gorgeous.  When I was here in June, there were workers and tarps covering the entire front.  It looks great! We took a couple of pictures inside as well, but did not go to mass as they do not have a daily mass on Wednesdays.
This is one of the smaller chapels outside of the cathedral.

Museo Morelense de Arte Popular
I love, love, love this place.  It is a free art museum close to the cathedral where there are different folk art displays from around the state of Morelos.  The art on display today was different from what we saw in June.  This is made from tissue paper and the one below is made from wax.  I picked up some artisan beads (6 feet long) to bring back home to decorate my new “yellow room” in my house.  I think I paid $6.00 for these!

Starbucks
Well, we had to stop at the brand new Starbucks at the zocalo (main plaza)!  It was probably the most beautiful Starbucks I’ve ever seen. It included local artwork and three floors (the top was an outdoor terrace with five separate lounging areas).  The view from the terrace was amazing as we could watch everything that was going on in the zocalo from above.  What a cool place!
Palacio de Cortés
I took the kids to see the Diego Rivera mural at Cortez’s Palace.  It was fun to walk through and see the different artifacts from the time period when Cortez would come to Cuernavaca and stay at his palace (when not obliterating the Aztecs).  

Protest

While sitting in one of the balconies of the Palace, we were able to watch a protest happening below around the zocalo.  Cuernavaca has protests on a daily basis.  We aren’t even sure what this group was protesting, but we did hear the words campesino (rural farmer) often.  Last summer, the teachers’ union staged protests every day that closed down major highways.  It’s definitely a politically charged part of the country.  It’s the largest city in the state of Morelos (think Columbus or Indianapolis), so things happen here a lot!  It definitely gave the kids something to think about on our walk home!
Shopping in artesan market
We did some shopping in the artesan market of Cuernavaca centro.  I purchased a few huichol paintings along with a couple of yarn stitched wall hangings.  At the stall where I bought my wall hangings, the owner gave Anna a free ring.  It was so cute!

Grocery store 
On our way home from the center of town, we stopped at the grocery store to check things out.  We bought a few snacks and drinks.  Again, we were amazed at how cheap everything is here.  Three full sized water bottles for less than a $1.00.  
Meal with Marilu
We returned home to have ground beef with potatoes, bread, salad and cactus salad for dinner.  I don’t think it was the kids’ favorite, but they politely ate it.  We agreed to go back to the grocery store after our siesta to get some snacks for the evening.
Rest and walk
While the kids rested after comida, I took a walk.  Four miles to and from the zocalo was not enough for me so I walked around our neighborhood a few times.  I snapped a few photos of some of the more colorful houses in our gated community.  There’s no such thing as neutral design here in Mexico. I’ve always loved the colors here. Nothing matches, yet it all goes together.

Grocery store

When I returned from my walk, the kids and I walked back to the Soriana (aka Mexican Kroger) to pick up snacks (botanas).  We got some crackers, some cheese, mangos, nuts and a couple of Mexican beers for me.  By the time we got home, it was super dark.  We wanted to sit by the pool, but couldn’t find a light or a match to light candles.  Marilu was at a late meeting, so we couldn’t ask her.  We set up shop in Anna’s room and had a little part while watching Friends on Netflix.  It was a really fun way to end the day!

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