We had brought a tin of real Canadian maple syrup with us, so when we got up Saturday morning Ruth made some of her famous corn flour hotcakes. Delicious pancakes with real maple syrup and butter. Then Paco got out the juicer and made us a glass of fresh orange juice. Can the day start off any better??
Ruth making hotcakes for breakfast.
While Paco made the fresh orange juice.
Of course most Mexicans have never tried real maple syrup, and it's a real treat for them. In this case, we had made hotcakes and maple syrup for Paco and Oti last February when we had Sherman at Valle de Bravo. So it wasn't new for them but it was just as enjoyable as before.
After breakfast, Paco drove us all into downtown Toluca. Ruth wanted to visit the Cosmovitral Jardin Botanico (Cosmic Stained Glass Botanical Gardens), and they needed to buy a small gift for their niece as we were invited to Paco's brother's house for her 16th birthday party. They dropped us off at the corner of the plaza and we agreed to be at the same spot an hour later.
The botanical gardens are fabulous. More interesting because the building used to house the central market from 1909 to 1975 when it was decided to turn it into a botanical garden. The building was restored using stained glass and it took 60 artisans three years to complete the glasswork. Cost to enter...10 pesos (80 cents) each.
Ruth at the entrance to the botanical gardens in downtown Toluca.
Beautiful glasswork and gardens.
Easy place to wander around for a half an hour so or. And at a great price...well worth a visit!
Ruth in the botanical gardens.
After that, we still had a few minutes left before we were to meet Paco and Oti again so we wandered the central core and took a few photos.
The Convento de Iglesias del Carmen in centro Toluca. Original construction in 1698, the church is still in use, while the convent now houses the Museum of Fine Arts.
The entrance to the cathedral has been turned into a modern glass lobby. Really well done, and another sight worth seeing. No photos of the interior of the cathedral because there was a service going on.
Paco and Oti wanted us to try some traditional local food so we headed to a nearby park where there was an older lady making and selling "huaraches". This is a fried mesa (corn meal) base topped with salsa, onions, nopal, cilantro. Very spicy!
This lady has been making and selling huaraches in this park for over 50 years!
Ruth and Oti enjoying their huaraches!
From there, we drove to the other side of the city to visit with Paco's brother Pepe and his wife and family to celebrate his daughter's 16th birthday.
Paco's brother Pepe, cooking up some chirizo sausage and onions.
Oti, Kevin, Ruth, Paco, Pepe.
Pepe is a great bartender...he has a bar shaped like a ship! Notice Popeye on the far left doing the steering!
Pepe is also a good cook. The food was delicious and the carne asada was the most tender we have ever had, along with special Toluca chirizo sausage. We were stuffed! And we still had a wedding to go to! The other pics didn't turn out, so no pics of the birthday girl!
From there, we headed to the north side of Toluca to a village about a half hour outside of the city. There, we found a former co-worker of Paco's whose niece had been married that afternoon. It was a huge wedding reception with probably 300 people or more!
What a fiesta!
Antonio and Margarita, the happy couple.
Six wedding cakes! They were all gone before we left!
Paco and Oti and more food!
First we had tamales, then carnitas with rice and veggies. We were still full from the BBQ birthday party in the afternoon.
Ruth, with a pretty fancy bottle of tequila!
Our party at the wedding. Ruth didn't think she was in the picture! Too funny...
What a great day we had. Enough time to get some sleep, and then we were in the car again by 7:30 am this morning. Another great day Sunday, but you'll have to wait until Monday morning to find out about it!