To Know Mexico Start in Mexico City

Arriving at Mexico City International Airport, officially, Aeropuerto Internacional Benito Juarez, we were chauffeured in a brand-new, private vehicle to the Hilton Reforma in Mexico City–which was more convenient and fair-priced than most of the taxi services at the airport. We were also able to immediately see our chauffeur holding up a sign with our last name printed on it at the baggage pickup area, allowing us to skip the long lines waiting for transfers.

We were whisked away from the airport. One-hour later, we arrived at the Hilton Hotel. The bell hop extended his hospitality and warm welcome, as he transferred our luggage to our room.

Hilton Mexico City / Reforma Hotel, Mexico - Exterior View From Distance

Gazing out our hotel suite window, panoramic views of the city were observed. The hotel is situated within walking distance around the financial, cultural and entertainment center of Mexico City. Cultural centers such as Palacio de Bellas Artes–te Fine Arts Museum, Museo Nacional De Arte–The National Art Museum, Teatro Metropolitan–The Metropolitan Theatre, Torre Latinoamericana, and Alameda Central were on our list for places to visit. The streets were crowded with international tourists numbering more than 14 million a year who visit the numerous attractions of the city each year.

Hilton Mexico City / Reforma Hotel, Mexico - Terraza Alameda Restaurant

The next morning after breakfast, while sitting at the desk in our hotel room, the building began to shake from left to right about eight times, prompting the hotel officials to immediately evacuate the entire hotel by stairs to the main plaza in front of the building. After an hour, we were allowed to return to the hotel. With a population over 23 million in the metropolitan area alone, protection from an earthquake is a massive undertaking. With numerous seismic activity in the city it is no wonder that this area has been sinking around four inches annually. When we visited the Metropolitan Cathedral, we found proof with its sloping floors, which suggest the building is sinking.

Before we left Mexico City we arranged for a private tour of The Great Tenochtitlan: Mexico City History Tour. After five hours, we learned “Mexico City was built in the years following the conquest in 1521, on the ruins of Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec empire, in the middle of the now drained Lake Texcoco. Today, it’s the oldest capital city of the Americas, blending native Indian (Nahuatl) and Spanish heritages. It has become one of the most dynamic and exciting cities of the world with it’s highest elevation 12,890 feet and located in the central Valley of Mexico in the highland plateau region.”


We toured the historical centre of Mexico City, listed by UNESCO as World Heritage. Our tour included the “Zocalo”, the heart of the city where we visited the National Palace and admired the famous murals of Diego Rivera and saw the ruins of the Templo Mayor, one of the most important temples of the Aztecs in their ancient capital city of Tenochtitlan.

Costa Rican Pura Vida…way of life!

Come along and journey with us to Costa Rica. Find out why the culture has the happiest people on earth. The Costa Rican people are referred to as Ticos–Tico for the male and Tica for the female. The word Tico means “little brother”, which describes the people very well. Hospitality and friendliness are a way of life to them. We were considered part of their family and enjoyed warmth and generosity within the community.

The Costa Ricans respect and honor senior citizens. If one comes into a bank or any public place and standing at the back of the line, they will insist the senior go to the head of line before them. We had many occasions to experience their politeness, respect and hospitality. On one occasion, we stayed with a family who rented a room to us.

Each morning our daily food was delivered to the third floor room on a tray. No food was included in our rent, but it was their concern that we receive food for the day because we had no transportation of our own and had some disability to travel a distance by foot to a restaurant.
The word”No” is not in their vocabulary. No matter what request, they complied with “yes, we would be happy to do that for you!” Another time, the family expressed their pleasure to please us when we were treated to a delicious meal at a restaurant in downtown San Jose. The host sat us and graciously translated the menu, while giving us suggestions for our meal selection. Prompt and courteous response throughout the mealtime produced a relaxed and stress-free event.

Our experience with the Costa Rican lifestyle made us consider never wanting to leaving this bio- diverse ecosystem, with its mountains that meet the Pacific Ocean and all-natural food, with no additives or GMO’s, just to name a few reasons on our list. In fact, one American resident, after moving to the country stated he lost 100 pounds eating the Cost Rican food, without trying to lose weight.

Even though the people are easy going and less stressed, they are not slack workers but diligently seek and work to provide for their families on a daily basis. It was evident everywhere.