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Snoozing into the New Year

MEXICO | Saturday, 31 December 2016 | Views [271]

Often on vacation you don't have the luxury of time; one shot at something and never again. Our trip is much different as we take our time, do not try to fill our days with too much and if something is busy, try again another time. Today would be our third attempt at the Castillo (Castle in the park). We arrived shortly after it opened and were happy to see the place was practically deserted. A far cry from the days past where there were lineups a half kilometre long; some 1000 people.

 

The castle was build by the Spanish and taken over by the Mexican's after their revolution. It was a military college for many years, but also a states house. It truly is a castle, filled with opulence and extravagance. From the elaborate dining hall to the smoking room, we could picture aristocrats scheming an evening away; smoking large cigars and imported cognac.

 

From the art to the decor; the plaster and mill work, the building is filled with detail.

 

What also struck us as interesting was the castle is built with the view in mind; every room opening to the spectacular view of the Paseo de la Reforma.

 

 

On the top of the castle was a large tower overlooking a beautiful, hand trimmed garden filled with fountains, art and sculptures.

 

While the castle was interesting, we are very glad to have explored it practically empty. We had the time to enjoy the view, take in the experience and not feel rushed. Admission is 65 pesos ($4) each, opens at 0930, recommended time for sure.

After a romantic walk in the quiet park, we were feeling a bit hungry. I just wanted a burger and fries! We have been using the app FourSquare to find restaurants with marginal success. Today I found one that looked promising and not far.


We arrived to Antonio's just after noon and the place was still pretty dead. We were told Mexicans typically don't eat lunch until mid afternoon, thus the noon opening was a bit early for any sort of crowd. Without hesitation we ordered a couple beverages, a chicken burger and curly fries (220 pesos, $13). The place is not cheap, but we are not talking fancy restaurant either.

 

The Waiter was really nice, spoke English, and was helpful. He chuckled that I ordered a beer and Tim was having a water. The food was quick, large portion, and the fries were of the best curly fries ever; probably because they were just normal. Very crispy!

 

We enjoyed the afternoon just chilling, catching up on the blog and resting for the evening. We had a very loose plan to go out for dinner and then to the Angel of Independence. We didn't end up going out for dinner, partially because we weren't hungry, but mainly because we felt lazy. I had more time to spend getting ready, FaceTiming with family and enjoying a couple cold beverages.

After getting into my best, we left for the Angel at about 10:00 PM. It is a short walk from our hotel but we did not know what to expect, security, beer gardens, washrooms, etcetera. Additionally, it wasn't exactly warm out and my dress was shoulder straps and sleeveless.

 

We arrived just at a good time as they were just closing a road very close to the stage and we were able to snag front row standing. This was when we started to notice the problems, which I won't dwell too much on. There was a lot of people and moving around was very difficult. Where we were there were no facilities, no vendors, beverages, etcetera. But, the main issue was the music! This party, was a snooze fest! Every song the live band performed was slow, sounded like a ballad. Everyone, especially us, looked like we were at a funeral or simply wanted to go to bed. It was depressing and the most excruciating 90 minutes. Where was the great music we had been hearing in stores, beaches and restaurants?

 

At about 11:55 the band finally retired and they started playing amazing music for the final minutes leading up until midnight. The crowd finally came alive and I felt like I was pulled from the grave.

 

When the clock hit midnight the explosion of fireworks was defining. They set them off between skyscrapers directly behind the Angel; about 100 feet from us. At first our view was obstructed by a tree, but we moved into an opening and enjoyed the ear shattering grand finale.

 

 

Happy New Years!

 

 

 

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