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I have to admit something to you. I’m a workaholic. The worst kind. For my calm and well being, I try to take a vacation twice a year. Usually only for 3 – 4 days. However, last Fall, I took my first full week vacation ever.
My fiancée Morgan and I headed to the sprawling metropolis known as Mexico City. We explored both the famous sites and tried many less-famous excursions. We made memories for a lifetime.
The food was heavenly and aside from Pujol, we ate exclusively at streetside vendors and small locally-owned restaurants. We’ve traveled all over the USA and have been to Canada, but this was the first time in Mexico. And certainly not the last.
It felt like queer life was loud and proud in Mexico City. While walking outside to La Casa de Toño for dinner, we were blown away. There were queer people everywhere! Holding hands. Being affectionate. Men walking down the street hand-in-hand; a sight that can be unfamiliar in many parts of the United States.
We were ready to take on our vacation in the best way we knew how. Together, hand-in-hand, like school girls with our open flirtation and affection. Here are a few moments we wanted to share with you:
Our first full day was a Sunday and it was hot! We (or to be completely honest, ME) dressed in as little clothing as possible. The night before, our sleep was pretty rough, due to the bad bed, so we nearly skipped our first scheduled experience.
Hopping into an Uber, we certainly didn’t expect what ended up being close to an hour and a half long drive. Driving through the city is its own little experience. We saw the mountains and felt like we were in a bumper car rink at Six Flags. So very many cars, getting so mighty close to each other that we constantly felt on the verge of an accident.
At Xochimilco, we boarded a wooden boat and were propelled manually with a long stick down the channels of the city. While we took in the sites of a channel overflowing with boats, vibrant colors, stray dogs and of course, the vendors floating around on their own little boats, we dined.
There was homemade Mexican food including a tostada with beans, cheese and lettuce, an absolutely delicious mole with chicken and of course, all the mezcal we could drink. Among the 15 or so variations, the tamarind mezcal was a favorite. Alcohol was flowing, the people were super friendly and the atmosphere delightful.
We were definitely not the only queer couple aboard this boat. In fact, no matter where we went in Mexico City, there were visibly queer folks being affectionate or just experiencing and living their lives.
Even before we knew we were headed to Mexico City, we had wanted to try the world famous Pujol Restaurant. When I booked our flights, you better believe Pujol was the next thing I booked, even before our hotel!
We ended up with a late reservation at 9:45 p.m. Dressed in our nicest clothes, we hopped into an Uber with tummies rumbling, ready for this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Pujol was everything we dreamed of. As we struck up a conversation with the people at the table next to ours, we learned more about the restaurant’s story. We tried five courses, drank wine and cocktails and admired the detail and intricacy that went into each dish.
Dinner started with the most mouth-watering baby corn, roasted Mexican street style, which is so delicious. Courses included corn fungus, crickets and the most delicate striped sea bass with crispy skin and overwhelming flavor.
We ended the evening with three desserts, one to clear our taste buds, the main act, and our favorite, a freshly fried churro.
Having just gotten engaged, going to Mexico City was more than just a vacation. It was a celebration of us and our future. I wanted to have a photo shoot to commemorate the adventure.
After looking for over a month for the best photographer I could find, we settled on a Venezuelan photographer – Carlos Ratti – whose style was quite different than what I usually shoot. I was thrilled when I brought to his attention that we were a queer couple and instead of being disappointed, he was downright thrilled!
Our shoot was one filled with intimacy. You can feel the love and burning desire we feel for each other jumping out from the photographs. Shooting together is one of the more difficult things we do as a couple, but this occasion was different. Carlos knew exactly how to work with us for the most laid-back and fun experience!
Gourmet Coffee Tasting
I don’t like hot coffee or black coffee very much, but Morgan does. When I came across a gourmet coffee tasting experience in a local coffee shop called Borola Café, I knew it was going to be our next stop.
Ricardo, the owner, made us feel at home in his shop. We loved that this adventure was so much more than a coffee tasting. Ricardo and his staff taught us about how coffee is grown. They challenged our sense of smell to encourage us to think of coffee on a deeper level.
It was such a beautiful experience. We talked about how we met, love and challenges and what we wanted to explore next as they taught us how to measure and pour coffee for the absolute best flavors. When it ended with some fresh-baked Mexican pastries, we felt like we had made lifelong friends.
Even though I wasn’t wildly excited about the thought of experiencing black coffee with strangers, I fell in love with coffee and the people I shared it with.
All-Natural Soap Making
One of the final activities we did before heading back home was to learn how to make all-natural soap. We were pleasantly surprised to be welcomed by a queer couple, who were also artisan soap makers.
It was incredible to learn how ingredients like oatmeal, coconut oil and essential oils can be customized to tackle the hardest hair problems. Zai and Bere were so excited to share this art form with us and we left with two beautiful bars of shampoo.
Are you planning your next vacation?
If you are, definitely consider putting Mexico City on your list of future destinations. It will leave you with some life-long memories.