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Albert Maywood Courtright II

Trip to Mexico, Summer 1940

Monday, July 22

Drove to Cuernavaca. Road leads up over mts. to south. Good view of valley of Mexico - or plateau. At 10,000 ft. found pine forests. Little cultivation. Passed old cobblestone road which used to lead to Acapulco through Cuernavaca. Ate our lunch of bread & butter & bananas in car. Visited Borda Gardens. Cathedral not very interesting. Has two exterior chapels & a garden connected with it. City park had swimming pool (for boys only) & play ground equipment. Soldiers hospital over looks it. Sewer runs in street covered (here or there) with slabs of stone making a sidewalk. Drove down to Plaza. Drank coca-cola & ate chicken sandwich (6¢ U.S.) at a clean place then visited Palace of Cortez (Municipal palace). Murals by Riviera on balcony & new work by a modern artist in court room showing pre-conquest scenes. Chairs hand carved each of different design. (Tip 50¢) to official guide who as usual received no salary. Too hazy to see Popo from balcony but we did see a pyramid in distance which we decided to visit. After several false starts found the place & spent the rest of the afternoon there. Guide spoke very clear Spanish & seemed much better informed than majority. Original pyramid built by Toltec's. Surrounding pyramid built by Aztecs. Only partially uncovered as yet. Apparently is vary large. Got into rain on the mountains but not hard until we had almost reached Mexico City. Ate hamburgers & malted milk in a restaurant as it was dark by the time we got near home. Hamburgers 30¢ malted milk 50¢. Total 14¢ U.S. Got home and found we had no water. Servant brought us two pails full - one leaked.

Tuesday, July 23

No electricity again this morning. German wiring fixtures & American fuses don't fit together. Managed to have breakfast about 11 a.m. Went downtown alone to post office & to get money changed. Exchange down to 4.90 per $1. Visited art gallery in Palacio del Belles Artes. Got home & found Yvette preparing to cook chicken (pollo). Pollo is a young chicken & gallina is a hen. Both sell at the same price per kilo. Went out after pictures while waiting for diner [sic] to cook. Came back and found electricity had gone off again. After a couple of hours we managed to eat scrambled eggs.

Wednesday, July 24

Drove to Puebla. Took along our grocer's wife & daughter Martha, 3 or 4 yrs old. After we got through the extensive Merced Market we made good time until we reached the mountains. Fine pine forests on mountain tops. Passed by Cholula close enough to see a lot of churches - especially the one on top of the pyramid. The grocer's wife took Yvette through her home then went with us through the "Secret Convent." Very bloody images & pictures, nice gardens (patios), many vestments & robes by nuns. Had Spanish speaking guide. Found gas station that had a toilet after some search, then ate our lunch in the car, accompanied by small boys who desired to show us the city. Located a tile factory after some little trouble but it was siesta hours so we drove back to the plaza & visited the Cathedral which was much better kept than any we had so far visited. Some sort of office going on. Several priests in red robes going through the motions. Bought two straw musicians. Looked for interesting pieces of onyx but couldn't find any. Went back to tile factory & watched all the processes of making cups, tiles, etc. Each of us had a piece made especially for us. Bought some dishes and tiles. Got home at 10 p.m. EST.

Thursday, July 25

Visited British Consul who had nothing to do but was very polite. A full passport is necessary. Found a Piggly-Wiggly store with a full stock of goods, domestic & imported. Had car washed while it was parked in front of Palacio. $1.00 (Mex.). Had exceptionally hard rain in the afternoon accompanied by a strong wind. Got another bad dose of flea bites. Antonio, our watchman, has been bringing beggars around to our door.

Friday, July 26

Went downtown on the bus - 3 tickets for 25¢ - 5¢ U.S. - cheaper than I can drive the car. Bus & st car employees wear no uniforms. Arrived at Zocalo just before 3:30 when the stores open. Streets lined with store employees waiting for opening time. Bought Reader's Digest - 30¢ U.S. & Time. Bought some Mozart sonatas for Yolande. All music stores are German owned. Sell only foreign publications - no American. Walked back home - legs got tired but didn't give out this time. Yvette sick. Blames it on pork we got at Piggly-Wiggly.

Saturday, July 27

Yvette in bed all day. Slept 3 hrs. myself in afternoon. Youngsters got badly sunburned in the pool. Our evening meal mostly tortillas which we bought from an old lady on the corner. 4 de papas, 2 de carne, 2 de pancita.

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Sunday, July 14 through Saturday, July 20
Sunday, July 28 through Saturday, August 3

Last modified on 15 April 2021 18:02