I spent the first week of my trip studying Spanish at Instituto Cultural de Oaxaca in Oaxaca City. I loved it! The school is in a charming colonial-style campus, the teacher was great, and I even made friends with some of my fellow students.
|Fun with new friends in Oaxaca|
I also stayed with a Mexican family, which really added to the whole experience. My family was quite hospitable and served delicious food. If my room was just a tiny bit on the stuffy and noisy side, it didn't matter. The house felt welcoming and homey to me. My Spanish definitely improved there too, since they didn't speak a lick of English.
|My Mexican hosts|
Next I met up with Dave in Mexico City, where we stayed at a B&B called The Red Treehouse. After only a few hours there I understood why this place is so popular. The rooms are beautiful, the staff goes out of there way to make you feel at home, and there are free happy hours and delicious breakfasts every morning. Plus it's in one of Mexico City's hippest and most walkable neighborhoods, La Condesa.
|Courtyard at the Red Treehouse|
Among the highlights of our time in DF (Distrito Federale, as Mexico City is also known), we went out to the famous pyramids at Teotitihicaun and the Museo de Arte Moderno. Plus TACOS.
|At the Teotihuacan pyramids|
We spent our final few days back in the state of Oaxaca, in a coastal resort area called Huatulco.
The warm weather also meant warm water and the ocean was divine for swimming. I'd forgotten how warm the ocean can be in Mexico; you can slip into it almost like a bath (but a bath with colorful fish!)
|Plunge pools are fun!|
And I loved eating meals al fresco with the waves lapping the shore nearby. Our last day we did a private snorkeling tour with Pilo Vazquez (highly recommended) who took us out in his boat The Black Pearl. Along the way, we saw sea turtles mating, various pristine bays and beaches, and blowholes. My favorite snorkeling spot was Playa San Augustin, where we saw an eagle ray.
|With Captain Pilo|
Welcome home, muchacha!
At least now I can work on my tan. And my novel. My garden. My Spanish. My guitar practice.
And, oh yes, finding my next job too. (Sigh).