An early morning saw most of us clutching our coffee cups at Terminal 1, but the TSA check wasn’t quite as ugly as we’d feared. Our direct flight was a godsend, and four hours later, we came through the clouds and were greeted by the misty blue mountains that watch over Mexico City.
At the airport, Carlos and Gloria, our guides and guardians from Orquesta de Mineria last year as well, met us; one by one, they embraced us and led us to the buses to the hotel. The city is filled with public art and colorful buildings; someone saw a woman on a stepstool in the middle of the road juggling lit torches while traffic sped around her.
When we arrived at the Hotel Royal Pedregal, Philip rounded us up in the lobby where he regaled us with tales of the wonderful Orquesta de Mineria concert he’d been to just before we arrived: Messaien & Tchaikovsky.
We spent the rest of the day in a daze, catching our breath, getting bottled water, and snacks, resting. Near the hotel, a woman runs a small taco stand under an orange tarp. One family eating there welcomed us over to her stand and explained to us that this woman is famous in the area for her cooking. We had cochinita pibil, a traditional pork dish with Mayan origins: exquisite. It is so good to be back in this warm and beautiful city!
Tonight, some singers will go to the Ballet Folklorico at the gorgeous Bellas Artes to see the precision dancing and spectacular costumes.
Others of us will turn in early. Tomorrow, we get to work!