We recently flew to Mérida for a long weekend – our excuse was to attend the Latin American blogger conference, but we were both just in the mood to get away. It had been more than two years since our last visit, which is just too long! Jonna and Mimi invited us to stay with them, so once we arranged for all our critters to be cared for we were ready to go! Of course their dogs patiently waited for us to arrive:>
If you haven’t visited Mérida before, I really recommend it. It is a very elegant city, with a very large historic centro, a beautiful, mansion lined boulevard (Paseo Montejo) and a lively cultural scene. And all this within a thirty miles of the beach and a short distance to a number of archeological sites worth visiting. It’s a city of a million people sprinkled with several thousand expats. I wrote about the city when we attended the 2009 blogger’s conference and there are pictures of Mérida and our trip to the ruins at Uxmal on my Photos page, too.
What do I love most about the city? Besides the gorgeous architecture, colorful floor tiles, busy plazas, and wonderful food? It feels very orderly, and part of that is because it’s so clean. Traffic cops direct traffic. No parking means no parking. Below is an example of a house in Centro undergoing restoration. Scaffolding, signage indicating its historic status… all very orderly.
We arrived on Thursday afternoon and enjoyed doing errands with Jonna that included visiting an upscale grocery store and exploring the mercado. For comida we went to an excellent new vegetarian restaurant, even!
Friday Paul and I headed out to explore, walking our legs off but enjoying every minute. We remembered a wonderful restaurant from our last visit – Amaro – with many vegetarian options for me and a nice cochinita pibil for Paul. We had a delightful comida and then strolled back to the house for a bit of a siesta before helping prepare for the welcome party that night. The party was lots of fun, we renewed acquaintances with a few and met a lot of new bloggers, too.
Saturday was the conference – it was great to get to know such an enthusiastic group of writers! Mérida must be something different to attract so many people who like to write as it seems they have more bloggers than almost anywhere in México! After a morning of presentations we all ate lunch together and afterward was the panel discussion. That night Debi and Tom, Jonna & Mimi and us met for tacos at their favorite place. Delicious food and fine company, perfect.
Sunday afternoon we went on the Mérida home tour. Wow. It was amazing. I love the extremely high ceilings and beautiful pasta tile the most. We ran into many of our new blogger friends on the tour and got a feeling for the open and welcoming expat community there.
I took lots of pictures around the mercado, the city, and on the home tour. I hope you’ll take a look at the album below to see a bit more of this wonderful city.