My first 36 hours in Oaxaca – 2016

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I can’t believe I’ve been in Oaxaca for 3 days and it’s my first opportunity to write. I took the red-eye flight from YVR to Mexico City and arrived in Oaxaca early Friday morning. Usually I love the red-eye because I feel like I’m gaining a whole extra day of adventures because of it. But on this trip, I was wiped out when I arrived and needed the full day to recover. Recovering in my Oaxaca means I spent the day lying in the dry heat and soaking up the sun.


I purposely planned arriving in Oaxaca on a Friday morning so I could go to Llano Park’s market for chicken. I’ve had this chicken every time I’ve visited Oaxaca and then dream about it in the months between. It wasn’t until the night I left though, that I learned that the chicken man was no longer at the park on Fridays. With so much anticipation of this chicken, I felt like nothing I could have for my first taste of Oaxaca would be close to satisfying me the same way. Feeling dejected, I shrugged and said I would let my in-laws choose a simple lunch instead.

Chile relleno de queso con cameron which was crispy and light, despite it being deep fried.

Such a simple few bites, but the flavours were bang on. My mood perked to happy because my first taste in Oaxaca was as delicious as I’ve been dreaming for it to be and I was ready for a nap.

I am in Oaxaca for almost 2 weeks this year. It seems like a lot, but I know if I’m not conscientious about planning my time,  2 weeks will go by in a flash. I’m usually not so excited to eat dinner at the Casa I’m staying at, but know how much the gang I’m with gets excited about eating in. I was still exhausted from my red-eye that I didn’t mind an evening to recharge, so I could hit the ground running the next day.

While I love eating in is never my first choice, I know if I do, the  meal is always excellent!

Saturday morning started with a Zumba class. It’s the only time of the year I go to a fitness class and I love “shaky shaky-ing” with the locals. That and by starting my day with a bit of exercise, I feel justified in attacking my eating agenda.

I don’t eat breakfast at home but look forward to it in Oaxaca as the bright colours and flavours of the fruits and vegetables are a wonderful way to start the day. My absolute favourite breakfast treat? Avocado (&tomato) toast.

It always amazes me to taste avocados that have so much flavour. I just can’t get enough!

Over the years, I’ve found it so easy to get sucked in to the slow and easy pace of the Casa. Not that it’s a bad thing, but as I end my trip each year, I’m always regretful that I didn’t spend more time out and about. This year I was motivated to make myself leave the house and if I was just going to sit and relax, I’d do it in funky coffee shops or lovely courtyards.

Sitting having my coffee outside the Santa Domingo Church with the sun hitting my shoulders. There’s so much happy in this photo!

I was excited to have plans for luch on my first real day in Oaxaca. I have been following Oaxacking on Facebook and Instagram for almost as long as he’d started 3 years ago. I love his photos and feel like I’m keeping in touch with Oaxaca, even when I not around. I met Omar in person a couple years ago, but after he took my group on the most amazing tour last year exploring Matatlan, I realized that he was not only a wonderful Oaxaca resource, but a great person to get to know as well. When he said he’d keep me entertained while I was in Oaxaca this trip, I was ever so thankful.

I met Omar for lunch at Los Danzantes, which I’ve never been to before. He brought along his friend who he wanted me to meet, and it turned out I had last year at Mezcaloteca where I had the most informative tasting with her.

Thanks for the photo and lunch Omar!

Of course there was too much food, but all of it was so good.

Rib eye tacos
Prawn tlayuda – apparently Los Danzantes is the only place in town that does prawn tlayudas. After tasting these, I wonder why?
Textures of Hoja Santa dessert was more interesting in concept than delivery.

After lunch, we wandered in and out of places and it felt like I was seeing Oaxaca with new eyes. I had a bounce in my step in anticipation. I knew that hanging out with Omar was going to give me a whole new appreciation for Oaxaca, (not that I needed more reason to love it here).

It’s funny, when I see @Oaxacking post amazing events through his Instagram & Facebook pages and I get FOMO throughout the year from all the wonderful things going on in the  city. I felt so much happiness when I saw him post this:

and then a few hours later, I found myself here:


It was a fantastic evening at Archivo Maguey with great music, wonderful company and perhaps too much mezcal. I felt an honest to goodness happiness about being in Oaxaca, a feeling that is sometimes hard to achieve when I’m busy in my every day life. I know it’s why I long to return every year. Jubilant about my first 36 hours in Oaxaca, I cannot wait for what is to come in the next 2 weeks, because I know it will be amazing!

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