Sunday, January 09, 2011 11:40 PM
Travels in the Yucatan - Exploring Colonial Ruins
As this trip was planned to be for work as well as pleasure, we did our best to get the work out of the way first. In all honesty, even the kids have grown accustomed to and now find the fun in poking around old ruins...even the ruins of Colonial Merida! It was interesting to see what we would find behind the grand facades and elegant entries. Considering our price point, we were looking for the most part at buildings that were quite dilapidated and would require both imagination and renovation. Some of the best building we toured were those that had been virtually untouched since they were first built. In other words, no one had gone in and screwed them up yet with awful new tile and drop ceilings. Uugh.
Our real estate focus on this trip had a two pronged approach: we would we looking for well located historic homes, requiring a full overhaul that could then be either flipped or held as income generating vacation rentals AND buildings in any condition that could be converted for use as a hostel, guest house or small hotel. Suffice it to say we started out with a lot on our plate. After driving around and acquainting ourselves with the historic centro and the popular surrounding neighborhoods, we were able to cull our list to just a handful of the most viable options. This was my favorite of the day.
The real estate agent we were working with recommended lunch at Los Almendros, one of the most traditional local restaurants serving authentic Yucatecan cuisine such as queso relleno, sopa de lima, lomitas, pavo en escabeche, salbutes, panuchos and more. I was pleased to see that we were the only gringos in the place despite the desirable location on the pretty Parque Mejorada which commemorates the 6 “niños heroes” who lost their lives defending the Chapultapec Castle in Mexico City during the Mexican-American War of 1847. While the dining rooms are bright and lacking in much charm, the food and the service are both top notch. Rob and I split an order of panuchos and tried out the spicy pavo en relleno negro and the juicy cochinita pibil.
After lunch we returned to Casa Esplendid to catch up on email, relax by the pool and generally get our bearings for the evening. Lunch will still sitting pretty well with us all so we opted for a stroll through the Gran Plaza and in and out of the nearby shops. The kids each grabbed a sweet sorbet while Rob and I sat and enjoyed some coffee, reviewed our viewings from the day and watched the zocalo come to life.
After coffee in the park, Rob and I were looking for a light dinner so
we ended up stopping in to the restaurant at Hotel Casa Lucia located
close by the park of the same name. They had some good Italian and
middle eastern menu options which kept us all happy. The coup de gras
was the incredible chocolate cake the children ordered for dessert.......
.......which I gladly helped them finish when we returned home. Hey, it's my vacation too, right?
Go to: Day 3 - Parque Centenario and the Merida Zoo