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Posted by Tim on Mar 18, 2009
Getting an Early Start

It's just after six o'clock in the morning right now, which means that exactly 24 hours from now we'll be receiving safety instructions from a flight attendant as our plane begins to taxi towards a runway. And about six and a half hours after that, we'll be landing in Mexico.

On our first trip to the DF*, we took an overnight flight and landed at about five in the morning, which was just perfect from the hedgehog point of view. It meant that we could take our time puttering around the airport, enjoy a couple of mole poblano empanadas, plot out a plan of attack, and still be on the Metro at the crack of dawn.

*DF stands for Distrito Federal, roughly pronounced "day effay." Inhabitants would no sooner refer to it as "Mexico City" than would residents of DC call it "Washington." To do so would make them sound, well, like tourists.

We've always been big fans of arriving as early in the day as possible to a new city. One of the main reasons for this is because we never make reservations: after our trip, we're just vehemently opposed to it, at home or abroad. And that means that whenever we arrive somewhere new, our first task at hand is to figure out where we'll be sleeping that night. The earlier in the day it is, the less pressure there is on us.

This approach of getting started earlier than we need to also applies to food when we're traveling. In the US, it's easy enough for one of us to say, "You know what? I'm starving. Let's grab something to eat." But when we're traveling, we prefer to start figuring out our next meal before either of us is actually all that hungry yet. Trying to decide where to eat when you might not speak the language or be all that familiar with the regional cuisine can be a little more time-consuming than you might expect, and it's a lot easier to approach if there isn't that pounding urgency that comes with being famished.

This time when we get to Mexico, we'll likely be emerging from customs at around 2pm. Now, if this was our first time there, we'd both probably be slightly uncomfortable with that. But because we already know our way around, and because we're plan on staying at the same hotel as last time, it's not a problem at all. And I can't wait. Just 24 hours to go. Almost there now.

I think I'm especially looking forward to having those mole empanadas again...

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Jessica the hedgehog
April 12, 2009 at 6:07pm

…which means that exactly 24 hours from now we'll be receiving safety instructions from a flight attendant as our plane begins to taxi towards a runway.

Little did we recall that we'd be flying Delta – and so the safety video was a bit more entertaining with the red head stewardess wagging her finger about no smoking on flights! (The finger wagging starts around the 1:50 mark.)


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