Friday April 5 we welcome our last guests to CDMX, Gayle & Mike Oulighan. Sandy met Gayle through her friend Marjy Kaplan and the Boston Fit Running Club back in 2011. Since that time we have run numerous miles and races together as well as enjoying each others company socially. We all belong to a wonderful family of running friends accumulated and intermixed over the years. The women refer to themselves as “sole sisters” and have supported each other through good times and bad, through injuries and illness, through marathon training and races. They have even traveled across the country and around the world to be together. Some of the sole sisters have reunited in Washington state, Utah, Denver, New York City, Washington DC, Paris, Rome, Bangalore India and now Mexico City. We also plan to be in Germany in September when Gayle and Deb run the Berlin Marathon.
Gayle and Mike got in around 1:30pm on Friday the 5th of April. We never told them but they arrived 24 hours earlier than we expected them. Fortunately we were ready and at home when they texted the news of their touchdown at Benito Juárez International Airport. They arrived tired and hungry so we took them to the Tennessee BBQ restaurant where we had delicious burgers, fries and beers. After a short walk for groceries they went down for a long nap. Our last seven days in this wonderful city and country were spent with Mike and Gayle mostly revisiting places for the last time.
Sandy and Gayle went for a run around Chapultepec Park on their first morning and Jim walked with Mike to the park. Sandy accompanied them to the castle at the top of the hill while Jim rested on a park bench as he had a mild illness with malaise and fever.
After the castle we walked Gayle and Mike through Polanco coming across their annual Festival of Flowers and Gardens which reminded us of Chelsea in Bloom in London. 109 businesses participated in this now annual event which started in 2017 where the hotels, shops and restaurants along Polanco’s opulent Avenida Presidente Masaryk and Parque Lincoln celebrate the arrival of spring with colorful and aromatic displays of multihued blossoms and floral sculptures.Sunday morning Mike and Gayle attended the Ballet Folklórico de México at the Palace of Fine Arts which we had done back in week #5. Jim was still ailing so Sandy met Gayle and Mike after the ballet and took them to all of the downtown sights covering the Palacio des Bellas Artes and its seventeen murals, the Post Office and the blue tiled Sanborns where they had lunch.
After lunch Sandy’s tour moved down Avenida Francisco Madero to the Zócalo and the Metropolitan Cathedral, the National Palace with Diego’s famous murals and Templo Mayor. This would normally take two days of touring but they covered it all in one hot sunny day.
Monday morning Gayle awoke with severe eye pain so we immediately took her to our Optometrist in Polanco where we were picking up new glasses. She informed us that Optometrists in México are not licensed to examine and treat eye problems but she called an Ophthalmologist and scheduled Gayle for an early afternoon appointment. The Opthalmologist diagnosed and treated Gayle for a spontaneous corneal abrasion with antibiotic ointment and an eye patch. With Gayle finally feeling better we wandered Polanco in search of an early afternoon dinner. We stumbled across Sir Winston Churchill’s which is a classic English restaurant set in an old Tudor mansion serving traditional English food such as Roast Prime Rib of Beef and Beef Wellington. It was a great afternoon interlude after the trauma and anxiety of the day.
Tuesday was another “down” day as Sandy awoke with severe lip pain and swelling with sun blisters from the long day of touring in the sun. We spent the afternoon at a farewell lunch with Miguel & Ivonne Kelly who have shown us so much hospitality and have become very close and dear friends.
Final full day in México for all of us, Jim called an Uber to take Gayle, Mike and himself to Teotihuacan while Sandy stayed home and packed everything up for our return to Boston. Jim negotiated a price for the Uber driver to take them to the pyramids, wait 2-3 hours and then bring them back home. The largest structure, Pyramid of the Sun, was closed so Jim was unable to climb this pyramid in two visits to the site as the line had been too long on his prior visit. Gayle and Mike did climb the Pyramid of the Moon and the Temple of the Feathered Serpent Quetzalcoatl.
Our final week did not go as planned with all of our ailments but we hope that Gayle and Mike still enjoyed themselves and had the opportunity to savor some of the joys of México. Our three months here has been a wonderful experience for us getting to know the City, some of the country and really most of all enjoying the people. The city has overwhelmed us with its beauty, modernity, cleanliness, world class museums, traditions, art, history and its truly cosmopolitan attitude. We would encourage all of you to visit México so that you can experience what we have felt. It will surely change your attitude about this marvelous country and its people. We are so grateful to have been able to live here for the past three months. We are sad to leave.