Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My 7 seconds as a Superhero

I was seven years old.

when my mom and dad took me and my younger sister, The Bug, to Mexico City.

I don't remember a whole lot about this trip, except seeing panda bears in the zoo...

and the lobby of the hotel we stayed in, Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico.

The lobby had antique bird-cage looking elevators and a Tiffany glass ceiling.

It was very memorable.

These pictures above were all taken by my mom in 1984.

Below are recent photos from the hotel's current website:

It was built in the 1800's and is located in Mexico City,
right off the main square, Zocalo Plaza.

When you enter from the street, this is the first thing you see:

This lobby is where my story takes place.

My parents were checking us out of the hotel,
and I was sitting on that round red settee thing (the same one in the photo!) with our bags...

and my mom's purse.

A young man came and sat near me but I wasn't really paying any attention to him.

I was probably practicing the few Spanish phrases I knew, in my head.

Como se llama?

Me llamo Rhea.

Donde esta el bano?


De nada.

Then I heard a strange swooshing, dragging sound.

I looked over and saw that my mom's purse, which had been next to me,
was now next to the young man.

I looked at him.
He looked at me.

I reached over and grabbed the purse back.
And the guy took off.

I saved the day!!

My 7 seconds as a superhero.

I'll never forget that hotel.

Here's one more look at that incredible ceiling.

Have you ever thwarted a crime?
Have you ever been to Mexico City?
Do you know any Spanish?

Como esta usted hoy?


Valarie Lea said...

Look at you! I can just see the look on your face as a 7 year old. Looking at him like "what do you think you are doing?"

Awesome hotel and I love the mexican panda's :)

Unknown said...

You were/are so adorable!!! I find it refreshing that a trip like that made such an impact on you at that age...you are such an instinctive person, that is doesn't surprise me in the least that you are a super hero. Remy looks just like you!

sassy stephanie said...

That hotel is amazing.

I have been to Mex City, but only passing through to Ixtapa. I rode a bus from the border to Ixtapa. I was young and very stupid.

Unknown said...

I'm fine today, Rhea, thank you for asking. :-) (think that's the correct reply)

I'm slowly picking up words/phrases in Spanish. The Hispanic kids, at school, are having fun teaching me. I usually have to make sure that the word/phrase is not a rude one. They've already tried teaching me one of those, much to their amusement!

I've never been to Mexico. However, I just need to walk out my door to feel as though I'm there :-)

Good on you for saving your Mum's purse. That's a pretty brave thing to do at that age!!

I've stopped my car, leapt out and confronted this man that was slapping his wife around. I acted before I thought, but I was sooo angry when I saw what was going on. I was really lucky that he backed down and didn't smack me as well.

I also helped collar a young man, that was trying to grab an old lady's hand bag. I had help with that one though. A man, who was passing by, also jumped into help and the old lady ended up belting the young man with the same hand bag that he'd tried to grab off her. She was really furious at him.

Krystyn @ Really, Are You Serious? said...

Super hero Rhea to the rescue.

I don't think I ever did anything that heroic. I did find a purse in a bathroom at the airport (pre 9/11) and took it directly to security.

I hope that woman was thankful I didn't take a single thing out of it.

steenky bee said...

Holla! You tough chick. Tengo un gato en mi pantelones. That is Spanish for I have a cat in my pants. This phrase has never been helpful to me whatsoever. But maybe you and I could travel together and if someone comes to hassel us, I will shout the cat thing at them and you can protect us.

Monogramchick said...

What an amazing hotel! I have never been to Mexico City, speak ZERO spanish, and am not really a super hero nor have I had any super hero like moments (unless you count taking 11 students, age 11-13 to Chicago for 2 nights with only 1 other adult).
Love the story, in my mind you're still a rock star!

Lula! said...

I have never thwarted a crime. I'm not Super Rhea. I can dream, though.

Never been to Mexico City. Never been to Mexico! Have you ever been to Ida-HO? I haven't.

And I can say "Punta." An exchange student in high school taught me that. It's been helpful the past 15 years. Every now and then I'll say it and someone will ask, "Do you now you just cussed i Spanish?"

NO! Really? You're kidding!

Yeesh, people can be lame sometimes.

Keys to the Magic Travel said...

I am not a superhero. I've never thwarted a crime. At least not that I can think of. But I've lots of brain cells in the past 10 years.

I don't know any Spanish. I can translate the graffiti from Pompeii for you. And can read Russian. I don't suppose that would help me in Mexico though.

Keys to the Magic Travel said...

Oh, and I have been to Mexico. Sort of. To Cozumel on two cruises. We swam with dolphins in Mexico. I didn't need to know any Spanish to do that.

Mama Dawg said...

Before I forget what I want to say, I had to stop reading and post this...

Remy totally looks like you.

Mama Dawg said...

I haven't thwarted a crime, but my aunt did. Someone was trying to steal my purse at the movies and my aunt totally busted them! She was my superhero for the day!

Anonymous said...

I can't say I have ever thwarted a crime. I use to work at a Dollar General and I saw a gal steal one of those Plug In smelly things. When I confronted her out by their car I thought the mother was going to beat me up. She got right in my face. So I backed down and went back to the store.

You know if I was a mother and found out my teenager stole something I would beat the crap out of them then turn them over to the cops. But that's just me and what my mother would have done to me.

scargosun said...

I think I have thwarted a couple shoplifters but that's about it. I have been to Mexico and I speak a little Spanish.

Anonymous said...

Wow--who knew?! That's amazing! That hotel looks awesome! I have never been to Mexico, I've never thwarted a crime and un piquito on the Spanish.

Danyele Easterhaus said...

i am so gla du posted the story behind saving mom's purse! what a great super hero you are! super fun! and that hotel...super fantastic! does it get any more beat than that??? i want to go!

Cristin said...

I haven't thwarted any crimes... I may have gotten away with a couple though...

That's a great story... you brave little thing...

I'd love to go to Mexico...maybe in my next life.

Anonymous said...

Great story! I love that you told it with pictures. Great pictures too!

I like to think there's just some instinct in us that pops up whenever stuff like that goes down. But it's especially remarkable at the age of 7.

I walked out of an AM/PM(convenience store) once to find a strange man sitting in the drivers seat of my car going through my glove box. (stupid me parked in the back of the store and left my doors unlocked. but it was broad daylight and I thought I lived in a safe town)Looking back I probably should've gone back inside to call the police but something in me made me go "Hey! What're you doing in my car!" (still can't believe I did that) He jumped out & started apoligizing. I shut the car door,locked it and then went back inside to tell them to call the police. The guy followed me! and kept apoligizing! Pretty sure he was on something...Turns out he'd been stealing stuff from cars in the parking lot all afternoon. FREAKY!!

Darcy @ m3b said...

Oh my stinkin' heck. You were the cutest kid.

So - confessions -

you asked why I don't leave you a ton of comments. I do. I actually give you verbal giggles and feedback all the time. You just can't HEAR me. HA! I actually love your blog and have it on my reader.

But wanna know why?

'Cause you get soooo stinkin' many comments already. And you know I love you already. So besides being a little lazy, I also tend to give the comment love to those bloggers who don't have anyone who give them any appreciation.

I have a tendency to root for the underdog.

I might be diagnosable. ;)

But I love ya' anyway.
<-----------------------------------this much----------------------------------->

ps - same with Kat. She's already called me out for lurking on her blog, too. Shame on me!

Darcy @ m3b said...

by the way. those pics of La Cuidad de Mexico son bonitas bonitas!

And this concludes my Spanish speaking ability.

Anonymous said...

Awesome pics! That is a beautiful hotel. Great job being a super-hero!!

Skeller said...

Yay, Rhea, yay!!! You were one tough little cookie, weren't you?!?

Gorgeous hotel. But gosh, this post made me feel kinda old. When you were 7 and being a super adorable superhero, I was a year away from graduating highschool. oy.

Kat said...

Wow. That is an awesome story and and awesome ceiling. I think I would have been laying on the red settee and just admiring the ceiling. I have always been a sucker for the ornate.

Jen said...

Sadly, I have to answer no to all your questions. But good for you saving the day.

Mind of MadMan said...

You where 7 in '84, damn I'm old and that is courage to do what you did BRAVO...

cheatymoon said...

How cute are you at 7?! Cool story. Amazing ceiling. I have not been to Mexico, but would love to go. My Spanish is ok. I taught at a bilingual school.

Susie said...

Were you wearing a cape? Hee, hee, hee.

Momma Trish said...

I can't recall any superhero moments, and I've never been to Mexico City, though I'm sure it's nice. As to your third question: while honeymooning in Varadero, I had occasion to ask "Donde esta el Casa de Al Capone?"

Sadly, the answer was given in a fluid stream of Spanish. I know no other Spanish phrases. I was really hoping for some hand gestures that would point us in the right direction. No such luck.

Andrea said...

You go! See?!? You were destined for greatness ;D.

I have been to Mexico many times, and awkwardly practiced my 7-years of spanish classes.

I still try out my spanish occasionall here in Germany as well. If I don't remember the word or phrase, I use spanish so the person might think I was some other ttype of foreigner or "auslander". Hehe. Silly when I think about it.

Heather said...

Super Rhea to the rescue!! That hotel looks amazing!!

Claremont First Ward said...

Sadly, I've never been a super hero. But now I know one. So I'm fine with it. :)

The hotel does look amazing.

Jennifer said...

whoa!! you go girl. that is totally wicked that you just took your mom's purse back. :)

would you do that now if someone was trying to take your purse??

i bet you could give them a good boot kick to the ass!! :)

great story. great pics.

sorry I haven't been around... things are crazy here... but thank you very much for checking on me. :)


Utter Basketcase said...

hahaha you brave lil thing!!!

I've saved the day many times... in the Adventures of RAT GiRL :-P *GiGGLeS*!!!

The best thing I've done in real life though is saved a little girl from drowning!

I was only about 8yrs old and I spotted a toddler fall into a public pool. The little girls Mother was distracted by her other kids putting suncream on them and didn't even notice that her little girl had fallen into the pool.

In fact no body noticed!

Luckily I did... and jumped straight in pulled her out.

Boy was I appreciated!!!

A second too late and she would have died! xx

Captain Dumbass said...

Mi esposa esta loca. Never been to Mexico City, but I have been to Spain. Wait, I was in Cancun. Closer. Was that, stopped a crime or committed a crime?

Unknown said...

Wow! I'm impressed! Maybe you should have the Superman logo (but with an "R") instead of the TWT decal on the back of your car....

Tu eres muy adorable cuando eres una pequena nina. Y ahora...eres una mujer fantastico!!


tearese said...

wow that Hotel looks amazing! I beet it cost a pretty penny to stay there. Good job saving the day!

tearese said...

Oh, my favorite Spanish phraze came from Ren and Stimpy, even though I took 25 credits of it in college. It's " Las cucarachas entran, pero no pueden salir.)

Putting the FUN in DysFUNctional said...

I am proud to say I knew all of the spanish in this post, and maybe a few more words. A couple of years of Spanish in high school served me well! haha
I can't decide what I'm more in awe of, those amazing pictures or your amazing bravery. Wow!!

Insane Mama said...

Those photos are amazing. AND look at you, sassy and all superheroish. Can we be friends?

Justine said...

Holy cow, you were a brave little thing, weren't you? Go Rhea!!!!!!! I've only been to Tijuana and Cozumel and know absolutely no Spanish! Don't think I've ever stopped a crime either.

Justine :o )

April said...

You were a very brave, very cute little girl. And now, you are just a crazy lady leaving a billion comments on my blog and making me laugh.

WheresMyAngels said...

You are a nut! Love the pictures that really make this story.

Thanks for asking about me and Mercede. I'm working mad hours and only home enought to sleep this week, so I'm not going to be catching up with everyone til later :( I should never have given my internet on my phone to my husband!

Casey's trio said...

What a great story...I love how you saved the day. And all the pictures that went with it are amazing:)

Tiffany said...

I have been to Cabo, Cancun, Belize, Cancun, Cozumel, Acapulco but never Mexico City and I don't speak a lick of Spanish.

Those pictures are beautiful!

Shannon said...

Woo hoo! Go on with your bad self!

Shannon said...

"Hola" and "adios" are about all I know in Spanish.

Oh wait,... I know delicioso! Thanks, Dora the Explorer!

Shannon said...

And love the pics!

I have never thwarted a crime, nor have I been to Mexico. Maybe one day.

Shannon said...

On the going to Mexico... not maybe one day on the "thwarting a crime" part!

Neasa said...

Oh what a wonderful story! The only Spanish I know is what I hear on Dora the explorer, "Come on, bamanos!" Thanks for popping by my blog. The little creatures are hedgehogs. Do ye get them there? Take care. x

Unknown said...

Ponga la cabeza en la basura.

That's all I know....

3 years of Spanish in high school and that's all I got.

Nik said...


I can't say that I've ever been a hero and stopped a crime...about the only thing would be to make sure we pay for something the boys picked up - or put itback on the shelf.

I took two years of spanish and know very little

CrystalChick said...

You were a very cute 7 year old superhero!
Nice pictures!
I used to know some Spanish, but having not used it since High School, I've forgotten most all of it.
I have not been to Mexico City but went to Tulum, Cozumel, and Xel Ha as part of a cruise in '89.
We always thought it would be nice to go back, so for our 25th anniversary next month, we booked a trip to Cancun. Can't wait!

Angie's Spot said...

Muy bien, gracias. Tengo un dolor de cabeza.

My father is from Nicarauga, so I've picked up some Spanish along the way. Not nearly as much as I would like though.

That hotel is gorgeous! Way to save the day! I probably would've taken off and the guy would've had an easy time keeping that purse.