Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year

2013 is drawing to a close.  Even though it wasn't the greatest year for the world in general, it was a good year for me.  I took three trips to Mexico during the course of the year, and last summer my friend Alejandro came up to the United States for a visit.

In January I went to Mérida with a dear friend and former teaching colleague and showed her the sights of the Yucatán for 10 days.

Mérida at night

From Mérida, I continued to Mexico City to visit my friend Alejandro.

 Mexico City's Monument to Independence

In addition to seeing a number of places in Mexico City that I had not seen before, we took a day's excursion to the lovely lakeside town of Valle del Bravo.

In April I returned to Mexico City to be there for Alejandro's birthday.  We visited the little town of Huichapan, north of the city, and saw this impressive aqueduct dating back to the colonial era.

We also visited the ruins of Xochicalco a couple hours to the the south of the capital.

In August, Alejandro flew up to Chicago, and I met him there.
He then spent some time with me in Ohio

 Coe Lake in Berea, Ohio
My trip to Mexico City in November of 2013 has already been well documented on the blog.
 Mexico City from the Latin American Tower
Now as the year comes to an end, I am getting ready for my next trip.  I have no plans for New Year's Eve or New Year's Day, since I am busy with my preparations.  My suitcases are nearly packed, but there are many last minute things that I have to do.
I was thinking back many, many years ago to a New Year's Eve that I spent in Mexico City.  In those days, New Year's Eve in Mexico had none of the "hoopla" that it has here in the United States.  People would spend the evening with family and quietly ring in the New Year at home.  (From what I have read things have changed since then.  It is now more common to celebrate with a night out on the town, and there are even places where there are outdoor crowds... a la Times Square... waiting for midnight.)  
Anyway, one year back in the 1980's, during Christmas vacation, I had taken a group of teachers from the school where I taught down to Mexico.  We were staying at the Gran Hotel which is located right on the Zócalo, the main plaza of Mexico City.  On New Year's Eve we had a very nice supper in the hotel restaurant.  But we were practically the only ones there, and it was obvious that the waiters were eager to go home.  I suggested to the group that we wait for midnight out on the Zócalo.  I figured that, at very least, the bells of the great Cathedral would ring in the New Year.  There we were, six gringos, standing in the middle of the vast Zócalo.  Except for a couple other tourists, and a stumbling, harmless drunk, we were all by ourselves.  We waited for twelve o'clock.  It came and went, and not a single bell chimed.  So, a bit disappointed, we trudged back to our hotel, and went to bed.
Whether your plans call for a big night of celebrating (in which case, please drive safely) or a quiet evening at home, I wish you all a very happy New Year!!
¡Feliz Año Nuevo!    


  1. I love your description of your New Year's Eve in the Zócalo, all alone. LOL. To this day, a lot of restaurants are closed on New Year's Eve in DF, and it's hard to find a place to eat. We've had more such dinners at Sanborn's than I care to think about. But for celebration, the action is on Reforma. At least for the past several years, they've been blocking off Reforma and/or the area around the Monumento de la Revolución for fireworks and concerts. One year they had Los Tigres del Norte playing. I was dying to stay and listen to them, but F was tired and wanted to go home.

    This year I spent New Year's Eve in San Francisco and had a blast anyway.


    Kim G
    San Francisco, CA
    Where we need to get to bed soon as we are running on sleep deficit.

    1. I was talking to Alejandro and he also said that the celebration is on Reforma. I had a very exciting New Year's Eve cleaning house. LOL. My only nod to the occasion was to poke outside at midnight and ring my great-grandmother's dinner bell.