Our flight left Pittsburgh at 4:30, but even with a brief layover in Houston, we didn’t make it to Mexico City until 10pm local time. After customs and getting to our Airbnb, we weren’t up for much more on our first night in CDMX.

We woke up early the next day to meet our tour guide and driver for a day excursion to teotihuacan. A nearly hour drive there let us experience the enormity of Mexico City and the surrounding suburbs first hand. Our tour guide Dina gave us some helpful info along the way, before the looming pyramids showed up on the horizon. The weather was lovely, in the 50s and 60s that morning, and clear of clouds all around.

Dina took us through the ruins of teotihuacan pyramid by pyramid, stopping at multiple sights along the way. Explanations ranged from the history, to the religion, the the archaeological steps along the way to get to our current understanding. The pyramid of the Sun was a very long climb (66 meters tall!) but gave a magnificent view of the entire complex.

l By late morning the sun was out in full force, and the final climb of the moon temple was the hardest one yet. A view back down the entire road of the dead was followed by a walk through a restored section of the housing structures, which looked eerily similar to housing we had seen in ancient housing across the Atlantic.

We grabbed some delicious home made fruit popsicles before taking a brief ride to a nearby restaurant. Our large group had a single table with a wide variety of foods and beers brought to it. After a relaxing refueling, we made our last stop at a close by store. The proprietor gave a brief workshop on the agave plant and its many uses: paper, fiber for weaving, the related aloe Vera and of course: mezcal and tequila. After, we had a sampling of some amazingly diverse spirits made from the plant and then were encouraged to shop around the store. A brilliant sales tactic that did have us buy a few things.

The return to downtown Mexico City took far longer with much heavier traffic, which the majority of us slept through. We made it back to the Airbnb to freshen up, revived by bus naps. After some essential grocery shopping, we went back out to find drinks and food. The former was a great little spot where we had a variety of mezcal cocktails and local beers. We then set off to a restaurant on our list to have some more traditional Oaxacan cuisine. Some misunderstanding of the menu had us all order the equivalent of two entrees a piece, accompanied by quite the selection of mezcal again. Exhausted by such a physical day, we made it back and promptly passed out.