Dec 4, 2012

Dancing down the streets of Mexico is one of my favorite things to do. Naturally.

The day after Halloween we set out on our vacation for Day of the Dead weekend. If we could do it again, I'd do it differently, but it was a good weekend none the less. I think we spent more time on buses than anything else, but we saw and did some awesome things! Bus to Puebla: 2 hours. Bus to Cuernavaca: 3.5 hours. Bus to Taxco: 1.5 hours. Taxi ride to Monastery: .5 hours. Total: 7.5 hours. Repeat. But backwards. 
Vladik came along for this trip! For those of you who don't know, the story of Vladik is a very sad one. He was found abandoned on the streets of St. Petersburg, Russia near the bus station. Lucky for him, some very young-spirited American girls on there way to Estonia for vacation saw him laying there. They picked him up, and he was soon adopted by the 6 of us, forever holding a place in our hearts. Clarie, Jessica, Leslie, Jodi, Heather, and I have found joy and the bonds of friendship held together through little Vladik. Think of him as the "traveling pants" of our sisterhood. He has joined several of us at school, but for now, he is spending his time loving the relaxed life of Mexico with me. 
Little did we know that this bus... we going to be the fanciest bus I have ever seen and ridden in and probably EVER will ride in, in my life. 
Do you see this bus??
It was called a "superturismo" bus. It even came with a box lunch! Let me just tell you, these bus seats were like recliners. It was wonderful, although somewhat surprisingly, I think they were easier to get car sick in :/
This was our "box lunch". It was good, but not exactly the meal we were hoping for. 
When we got to Cuernavaca, we found out that we had to wait several hours to take us bus because the buses leaving every 1/2 hour until then were already full, so we decided to explore a little of course. We walked outside, ate, and then looked both directions. We saw a lot of buildings. But, there was a church to our left, and those always seem at least slightly promising, so we headed there. This is what we found!
Vladik loves exploring new cultures!
At the church, there was some slightly suspicious activity going on involving some very traditional and religious looking costumes...
We walked by this lovely lady on the street.
Exploring brought us all here, to the edge of the world. Or so it seemed. Really it was just a ledge on a hill, but it was fun! There didn't really seem to be too much going on, so we decided to head back up to the church to play some Phase 10 together, and maybe see if we would be lucky enough to witness any special events for Día de los Muertos. 
I took a picture of the door because I liked that it was old saloon style. But, there was a funny moment that happened right after we walked by it. The story goes like this. Earlier we had walked by this room/shop that was open and FULL of Coke. Mexicans love Coke (the kind that you drink. and probably the other kind too...). I think it's because Coke tastes a lot more like Pepsi down here. I mean it actually tastes pretty good, and doesn't make me want to gag like the stuff in the States does. Anyways, I thought it was cool, but at the same time was annoyed that it was Coke, just like the way I'm always slightly annoyed by Coke down here. Well, right after we walked by this door, I saw a room just like that, except it was full of Pepsi!! I was so amazed that I said Pepsi in this quiet, longing tone. Then I realized that right as I had said it, I was walking behind a girl that was standing there and I probably sounded super creepy. And then I laughed. Ok, so maybe you had to be there.

When we got back to the church we were not disappointed. We found even more kids, costumes, and parents! We sat there and looked around and watched, very interested. Let me just say, I am so glad that we did. 
This is the parade that we saw!
We didn't actually get to watch the parade very long, because...
right about now...
These guys started pulling us in to dance with them! Initially we thought it'd just be for a minute, and then we'd be done. I mean, it was a Día de los Muertos parade for goodness sake! But no, we danced down the streets with them for almost 1/2 an hour! It was very tiring! Especially with our backpacks on, but it was so much fun! Turns out, as annoying as it is whistled, and yelled, and honked at constantly, there are some advantages to being cute little white girls in Mexico :)
This is an awful picture, but hey, I was excited! This is the Mexican I danced with. They spoke in like... Spanish gibberish. It was really interesting. Sometimes, I just can't believe how awesome my life is. The whole time I just kept thinking, "I'm dancing in a parade for Day of the Dead down the streets of Mexico! This is so cool!"

After that, we finally got on our last bus of the day to Taxco! When we got there we caught a taxi to take us to the monastery we were going to stay at. That's right, we stayed with the nuns! It was a good thing I knew that the monastery was a decent distance away, because our taxi driver started taking us down hills on narrow, windy roads, out into the boonies in the middle of nowhere. There was more than once that I questioned if he was going to kill us. Mostly though, we just laughed :)
Luckily, the nuns had a delicious, warm meal waiting for us! It was so cold there. I had heard that the food the nuns provided wasn't very goo, but that girl must have been crazy, because everything was wonderful!
This was my bed. I used my towel as an extra blanket because I was so cold that night. See that blanket on my bed? It's now on my bed at home. You may ask why. Well, that's a story for another day, but I promise it will come! I shared a room with Sophia while we were there, and after she was a very, very courageous soul and killed a spider the size of her hand by literally punching it on the wall, we settled down, talked the way girls always do at sleepovers, and finally went to sleep.

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