Saturday, September 26, 2009


I met Aileen about 2 years ago when I was doing a build for Habitat for Humanity in India. She worked with Habitat then and was helping organize the build. We connected I year later when I wrote to her asking about volunteering for Habitat in Costa Rica.
Another year passed, and when she saw on Facebook that Ernesto and I were coming to Mexico, she invited us to her house in Tepotzlan, where she lives with her husband Jay.  I think she was surprised that I actually took her offer.  WARNING: Friends and acquaintances beware, if you invite me somewhere new, I will come.

I am glad for so many reasons that we decided to take Aileen up on her offer. We were there only a couple days, but immediately the 4 of us hit it off. They are such generous and genuinely nice people. I know that we will meet up with them again. (hopefully in South Africa, where they are moving next year)
Tepotzlan is a small town surrounded by soaring jagged cliffs just one hour south of Mexico City. It is one that has kept its true Mexican feel with small cobblestone streets, a bunch of charming hotels and restaurants, a great crafts market. Its has also retains its old traditions, and protests new ones. (no Starbucks here)Tepotzlan is the birthplace of Quetzalcoatl, the serpent god of the Aztecs over 1200 years ago. It is known as pueblo magico (magic town) and is a destination for many creative types coming for the energy.  There is a pyramid Tepoztocal built here on top of a mountain that leaves you wondering ¨How in the hell?¨
It also leaves you out of breath after the steep 30 minute climb to the top.

So worth it! Check out this view overlooking the town. 
Can you see me sitting on the edge up there?? 

I´m not very new-agey, but I definitely felt the energy in this town, a peacefulness that I didn´t want to end.  This also could have been a result of staying with Aileen and Jay in their beautiful home.  Here is the gorgeous couple in their backyard .  

Yes, the jagged cliffs of Tepotzlan are in their backyard, and because it had been raining the last week or so, there was a waterfall running. I wanted to stay there forever! Here are just a few pics so you can see what I mean.  My. Dream. Home.  

The bathrooms were gorgeous as well, so many details.  I love this color blue on the walls.  I also loved this painted aluminum mask...and that is why I copied her and bought the same one. 

The kitchen is a beautiful mix of modern and rustic.  Ernesto made us breakfast.  I asked him if he could get used to cooking in this kitchen.  His answer? Heeeeell Yeah!

 The 2 terraces come with spectacular views. 

OK, Have I sold you on this house yet?  Well, unfortunately it´s not for sale, but we would be interested buyers if the opportunity arises. (hint hint Aileen!) 
Something I love about Mexico is that you never know what you are going to get when you go beyond the tall walls that surround the houses.   The one night we stayed in Tepotzlan, Aileen & Jay took us to a wonderful hotel (where their whole family stayed when they got married a couple years ago)  called  Villa del Tepoz Fuego.  It was rated the no.1 hotel in Tepotzlan and I understood why.  As soon as we walked in I was imagining my  whole family relaxing there.  

The owner, Bruce and his wife´s personal attention gives this hotel a bed B&B feel.  There are only 8 rooms and each one is decorated with a different feel, although distinctly Mexican. 

There is a spa, they do tours and there is a full restaurant with wonderful chefs cooking up a wide range of food.  (my chile relleno was superb. Ernesto had the mole and it was great too!)  I told Bruce I would be sure to pass on Villa del Tepoz Fuego  to all my friends, as many of them are travelers and would appreciate this!  Thanks Bruce! 
** special thanks again to Aileen and Jay for the wonderful couple days.  We really fell in love with Tepoz and could see ourselves living there...really, we just want to be your neighbors! 

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