toluca – my hometown. i was born in mexico city, but raised here in the capital of the state of mexico.  just one look at this picture brings a river of memories to my mind that inevitably well up as nostalgia in my heart.

my mom and i moved from toluca to san antonio, tx when i was 5 years old. from the age of 5 to the age of 17 i would spend every summer, christmas, and spring break in this town alongside my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins (more on them in a future post).

to be honest, i didn’t much appreciate being sent off to this place for the entire 3 months of summer vacation. although i did get to travel to another country, most of my time there was what some might call – sedentary. in the late mornings i could be found at the kitchen table helping my grandmother separate the ugly beans from the pretty beans in preparation for her daily cooking marathon. i’d also spend some afternoons staring at my grandfather sleep in his lounge chair – jumping at his every gurgle hoping it might be the one that’d finally wake him – there was a slim chance he would play a game of cards or chess with me. unless, of course, he chose the more likely option which was to enlighten me with stories of his youth for a few hours – it was a risk i was willing to take.  and then there were the evenings my grandmother and i would spend in front of the tv knitting and watching 3 – 4 hours worth of telenovelas – and oh, the things i learned those days.

obviously, these weren’t worthy “i had a blast” stories to bring back to the states where my american friends had spent their time off mall shopping, soaking in the rays and making BFFs at camp. did i also mention june through august  is rainy season in toluca? so, most of the time – in fact all the time – i kept my “what i did this summer” to myself.

so, here i am 14 years later telling you how i spent those cloudy summer days. and also here to tell you that i miss them – the slow, the quiet, the lack of anything else but the sounds of my grandmother cooking to beat of my grandfather’s snore.

* i hope to have a regular “mexico monday” post where i share a little snippet or two of the things i miss of my mexico.  que viva mexico! al menos que vivan los bellos recuerdos que llevo de ti en mi corazon.