Happy Birthday Pops!!!!!

Posted by Lisa on October 24th, 2005 — Posted in Misc

Today is my dad’s birthday. We should all take a minute and wish him a happy birthday, and thank him for creating such a beautiful, wonderful, awesome daughter!!!! Happy birthday dad!! I hope you have a wonderful day, and that you get a big piece of angel food cake with chocolate frosting. YUMMY!!! Love you!!!!

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Desert in Bloom

Posted by Lisa on October 24th, 2005 — Posted in Travel

Yesterday Steve and I along with our friends Joanna and Rob, went on search of the flowering desert. In my head I pictured fields of flowers in the middle of the desert. We didn’t find that, but we had a fun time trying. We drove up north for a few hours at first following the coast, and then headed inland. After a while, we took this dirt road back out to the sea, through a Chilean National Park. The only misfortune we had on our 10 hour drive, was that a rock got kicked up into our windshield and cracked it. Oh well, easy to fix. Anyways, more about our drive. On the way up I saw Chilean road kill, mainly cows. I thought it was pretty funny and wanted to take a picture, but it was deemed too gruesome. The desert was beautiful. It had splashes of green with some occasional flowers- mainly yellow, purple, periwinkle and white flowers. While we were driving through the park we saw at least 12 dust devils, which I had never seen before. I had the bright idea that I should stand in one and get a picture, but I think Steve thought I was crazy, and we decided that I would probably get too dirty, maybe next time :) (that would have been a great picture though). After driving through the national park we ended up in this small little fishing village, where I found a cool sea urchin shell- purple with purple spikes, nestled in the rocks on the beach. We then drove south along the coast and ended up back home. We had a wonderful time, and Steve and I are thinking about going up north again in the next couple of weeks in search for my fields of flowers.

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Caleta Los Hornos

Posted by Lisa on October 20th, 2005 — Posted in Travel

Today, four of us went out to lunch in Caleta Los Hornos. Some of you may recall a previous posting on this quaint fishing village which is about a half hour drive north of La Serena. It boasts a wonderful restaurant that sits on the water with outdoor seating offering a beautiful view, from roosters, goats, boats and water. The village is nestled on a rocky cove, and has the most blue pristine water I’ve seen, well at-least here in Chile. Unfortunately, unlike the caribbean, the beach is pure rocks. Not nice to lay on, but fun to walk along. As with most of Chile, the roads are unkept dirt roads. Thankfully we were in Joanna’s high clearance SUV, because the roads are filled with ruts and rocks. On the way back to La Serena, there was a small house on the side of the road, that had the below skins drying on the line. The owners had goats, donkeys, dogs and chickens running around their yard. As you can imagine, a very stinky yard!!!

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Caleta San Pedro

Posted by Lisa on October 20th, 2005 — Posted in Travel

Yesterday, Joanna and I went out to lunch to the neighboring town of Caleta San Pedro. Apparently, it’s a town that has mostly restaurants run by women. Basically, there’s a town square with a long building running the length of the square. This building has multiple small window restaurants with in it. We both got empanadas, mine was with scallops and Joanna’s was with shrimp. The weird thing was that the scallops had a orange leg type thing coming off of them. Very weird. Apparently in the US we cut them off before selling. ONe of my Aussie friends said that it’s the best part. To be honest after seeing the orange I got kinda grossed out and pulled them out and just ate the cheese. I wasn’t sure what the orange part was. I imagined it being some type of foot or leg that pops out of the shell to help it move. Any ideas anyone what it really is. I should’ve taken a picture! After lunch we drove around a little bit and went to the beach. The beach here was nice. It had dunes and good waves. You were able to really hear the ocean here. We found this little shrine in the dunes. You see these shrines all over Chile where people have died. Apparently someone had drowned. The nice thing is that family or community members keep the shrines decorated. THere is always fresh flowers at the shrines I see. Someone told me that the shrines are for the persons spirit walking the earth. Steve did say that if I was to die, he would make me the best and biggest shrine ever. Now that’s true love!!

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A very sad day

Posted by Lisa on October 18th, 2005 — Posted in Activities

Yesterday, I went to the beach with my friend Joanna and with a new woman Anne Marie who has just moved down here from New Hampshire. Her husband is on sabbatical, and is a professor of marine biology. He is currently studying some type of seaweed found here in Chile. Last weekend they were up in the northern part of Chile and said that the desert is blooming. This happens every couple of years, when there has been a large amount of rainfall. Steve and I are thinking about driving up north this weekend to see the flowers. Anyways I digress, about my bad day. So after laying out on the beach for a while, it was a beautiful, and sunny day with a small breeze, we decided to go to Coquimbo for fish sandwiches. We walked around the market in Coquimbo where everybody peddles their goods, and then went to the fish market. After a terrific sandwich, I wanted to go see the sea-lions. So picture this, we are walking down a dirt road along the ocean. On the left hand side of us is the ocean, but you couldn’t really see it do to the construction going on, on the right hand side are a bunch of beautifully colored boats. On our way to the pier, a small kitten popped out from under a boat. It was the cutest thing. I decided to take a picture of the tiny kitten. I got out my camera and was bent down and taking a picture when out of no where my camera is ripped from my hand. I stand up and see a guy running away with my camera. What nerve!!! So of course, I start yelling like an idiot, my camera, he stole my camera, stop, arrete!!! And give chase. Not really sure what I was thinking of as I started to run after him, I mean really. Even if I was able to catch up to him, and then miracle of miracles knock him down, then what would I do? “Uh, hey man, that’s my camera??” He ran too fast and got away. There was a group of guys out by their truck (definitely smelling like they had been smoking), that said that he had got away. Luckily Joanna was with me and was able to communicate with them. We think that wanted us to go for a ride in their truck and go looking, but we declined. We think they also said that this guy was from Santiago, and was robbing lots of tourists, his nickname being, ironically enough “the robber”. I’m so sad. I was so excited to get a bunch of pictures this weekend of the desert to share with you guys, though lucky for me I have my friend Joanna down here that will let me borrow her camera. But still. In the end, nothing horrible happened to me, but I still feel violated, and slightly like a dork. I mean, come on, he stole my camera out of my hand as I was taking a picture. I did download all my pics from my trip home the night before so those were saved. I would really have been upset if I had lost my pics from Karin’s wedding. So that in all, was my very sad day :(

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I’m back!!!

Posted by Lisa on October 15th, 2005 — Posted in Activities

So, I hear that I have been lax in my blog duties, I apologize. Now that I’m back in Chile, let the blog postings begin! I relaxed my first couple of days back, kinda hibernated. On Friday, I ventured out. I went to a traditional weaving class hosted at my friend Joanna’s house. There, a woman came form a neighboring town (Chipelca?) to teach us how to weave. Apparently this weaving process has been passed down from generation to generation in her family with no modernized updates. They use all natural products, and make everything themselves. She is involved in the entire process from shearing the sheep, to creating the yarn, to dying it with natural elements-, like cactus juice, bugs, flowers, herbs, etc. It was a wonderful class, and I look forward to more. In November I get to travel to this town, and watch the dying process. I can’t wait. Here are a couple of pics from the class, and of my beginning weaving project. I think it will be a wall hanging, though apparently I will be able to make purses, placemats, and more. Hmmm, maybe i’ll make some christmas presents!!

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Here you go…

Posted by Lisa on October 15th, 2005 — Posted in Travel

I had a wonderful trip home. There are so many stories I would love to share, but I fear I may bore you. Let me just say, that my sister’s wedding was wonderful. She was a beautiful bride (of course), and it was a prefect wedding. I thought I would share with you, some pics from my time home. Enjoy…

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Hello? Lisa?

Posted by Steve on October 14th, 2005 — Posted in Your Guest Host Steve

It has been since Oct 1st that we have had a post on this blog and since Sept 29th that she has posted herself. Chile has been con Lisa since Tuesday and yet no new entries. I doubt I am alone in wanting Lisa to get busy with the blog again so I’m starting this petition (on her own blog no less).

We the undersigned demand immediate updates!!!

More Botanical Fun in the Yard

Posted by Steve on October 1st, 2005 — Posted in Your Guest Host Steve

Since nothing too exciting has been happening here in Chile, I thought I’d share some more wonders from the garden.

orange pod This little orange flower emerges from a little pod. Not every pod that grows out of the plant produces a flow, some are just hollow. The dark center of the flower is tube-like and extends way back into the pod with some white striping on the inside.
Big Brug This tree in the backyard is a Brugmansia. They are native to South America and have become more popular in the US in recent years. However, they cannot be wintered outside in most parts of the US and are typically shrub size and not 15 feet tall. This one hasn’t been cared for very well recently and needs some trimming to get rid of the old growth.
Brug flower This is one of the Brugmansia blossoms. The flower is approx 6-8 inches long. The flower just emerged so it is still a bit green. It will whiten and the edges will curl up a bit more as it gets older. When watering the backyard earlier I estimated that there are around 100 of these blossoms on the tree. I’m hoping the majority of them wait until we get back from D.C. I think the tree bloomed not too long before we moved into the house, so hopefully it will continue to bloom frequently. From what I’ve read the flowers release a wonderful fragrance at night.
red floppy This odd flower pops up out of a large green tropical plant in the back. The stalk emerged from the planet, bearing what looked like several individual flower buds. Then the the ‘buds’ just sort of unrolled and the red petals flopped down. It didn’t look that spectacular at first but it is looking nicer and nice as more petals unroll.
petals are flowers This flower looks normal from afar but a close-up look reveals that each ‘petal’ on the flower is actually a separate flower itself! How cool.

Well, that is enough for today’s edition. Don’t worry, there are plenty more odd,interesting and beautiful plants for the future.