Day 4

Posted by Lisa on July 26th, 2006 — Posted in Activities

On Tuesday, Joel and I got up bright and early and went to the Coquimbo fish market and bought a beautiful reineta and a plump juicy lenguado (flounder). While we were at the fish market, we walked along the dock and watched the fisherman at work. The dock was full of pelicans, and 2 got stuck in a trash can that they were using to discard fish guts and heads into. We briefly thought of helping them, but who wants to get near all the guts and blood? THe fisherman didn’t seem to care, they continued throwing the fish stuff in it- they’re probably used to things like this happening. We then walked around the artesian markets outside the market and I bought an alpaca shawl. We came home, picked up Cara and Steve and headed to La Feria- were we bought a ton of veggies for about $5. Then we headed to La Recova went to lunch and shopped around. Steve ended up walking back to work so we could continue our city tour. We walked around downtown, saw the Plaza de Armas, went to more artesian shope, went to the cathedral, went to a wonderful little antique store then headed to the archaeological museum. Joel’s favorite part were the shrunken heads. Cara bought a beautiful diaguita bowl at the little shop. We then came home, found recipes for the fish and I called and made our hotel reservations and then went to the bus station got our tickets for Santiago and went to Deca and got the rest of the food for our yummy dinner. Joel made stuffed artichokes for an appetizer, then we had reineta breaded and pan fried and Joel baked the flounder over a bed of chorizo and crab stuffing. Steve grilled filete and I made roasted veggies. We had gone to as wine store downtown and had a bottle of red and a bottle of white with dinner.

IMG 3209 IMG 3210 PICT0190

PICT0197 PICT0234 PICT0243

PICT0253 PICT0255 PICT0262 01

PICT0265 IMG 3229 IMG 3231

IMG 3236 IMG 3239 PICT0280

PICT0285 PICT0288 PICT0291

PICT0295 PICT0306 PICT0335

Day 3

Posted by Lisa on July 26th, 2006 — Posted in Activities

Unfortunately, Steve had to go to work on Monday, so the 3 of us headed to Fray Jorge and Valle del Encanto. Fray Jorge is a rain forest situated in the desert and on the water. The last time I went (which was the only time) it was so foggy that we couldn’t see the water, so I had no idea how close we actually were. The road to get there is a dirt bumpy wash board road, that we all thoroughly enjoyed. At the picnic area the foxes were out and we came prepared with some chips for them. We had a great time walking around the foggy wet lush park and taking beautiful pictures. The sun even came out! We then headed to the enchanted valley for the petroglyphs and pictographs. It’s amazing how these etchings have lasted for 4,000 years. We also got to rock climbing. We got back home at 7:30, and quickly prepared for our happy hour at 8 pm. We had a bunch of people over and had great music, wine, food and conversation. Cara and I lasted till the wee hour of 4:30am, while the boys ditched us around 2am.

Fray Jorge Pics
PICT0015 IMG 3144 IMG 3145

PICT0027 IMG 3162 IMG 3166

PICT0048 PICT0034 PICT0131

Valle Del Encanto

PICT0169 PICT0159 PICT0161

IMG 3190

On a more embarassing note, I wanted to share a little experience I had yesterday. Many of you know, that I am very particular about bathrooms. I really like using my own and it’s a long standing joke in my family. So, of course in the middle of Valle Del Encanto, I had to use it. There was no waiting for the next 2 hours, so I used the most foul thing ever. Now, you may ask, why didn’t Lisa just go outside? I didn’t think of it, I was in a near tizzy at the prospect of the bathroom, and wasn’t thinking straight. I of course, took a picture of said bathroom. So Dad, be proud, look what I used, I am now scarred for life and may have post traumatic stress syndrome :)!!!!!!

IMG 3194

Day 2- The adventure continues…

Posted by Lisa on July 24th, 2006 — Posted in Activities

We started off this morning with a hike at 900. While we were hiking, Steve was busy getting breakfast ready for us- homemade pancakes!!! During the hike, Cara slipped and landed on her prickered hand (see yesterday’s entry for explanation). For those of you who are worrying, she is doing fine. After breakfast, we headed out to the observatory to learn about Steve’s job. While we were there freezing our bums off, we got to see the snow capped Andes and 2 Andean Condors. We then headed to El Molle for a late lunch to a parillada and had 2 big clay ovens FULL of meat. Joel was brave enough to eat blood sausage and some unidentified intestines (see below pics). We then headed back to La Serena, went grocery shopping, went to Arte Dulce which is a local bakery and bought a variety of tasty chilean desserts then hung out at home, drank some amaretto, wine and Jack and played games. Currently Cara and I are updating the blog while the boys are busy playing ping pong. From the sounds of Steve’s cries, Joel is winning and Leyna is busy chasing stray balls.

Hiking Pics
IMG 3037 IMG 3039 IMG 3045

IMG 3047

Observatory Pics

PICT0172 PICT0128 IMG 3077

PICT0140 PICT0150 IMG 3085

IMG 3088

El Molle

IMG 3096 IMG 3097

Before and after intestines…
IMG 3098 IMG 3100 01

Celery truck we followed home


Tonight’s fun
IMG 3108 IMG 3112 IMG 3113

IMG 3116 01

Cara and Joel have landed!!!!!

Posted by Lisa on July 23rd, 2006 — Posted in Activities

Cara and Joel came in today at 1100 this morning. After picking them up at the airport, we brought them home to meet the pup and see the house. We then went to Leider- which is a big grocery store to pick up some things. Then we headed off to lunch at Backulic- for their first official pisco sour (or 3) and good fish. After a terrific meal, we strolled along the beach, felt the chilly water and relaxed. Afterwards, we headed to Coquimbo, drove around, and then went to the point- where we watched the birds, the sea lions and went for a brief hike. Unfortunately, during our walk around, Cara apparently was holding hands with a cactus and had prickers in her palm that we need to pluck out. Cara got to enjoy her first nescafe con leche con un poco de azucar. Normally, she doesn’t drink coffee, but this ended up tasting like hot coffee ice cream. Tonight, we played cards had wine and cheese and hung out. Check back tomorrow, to see what we will do…

Us awaiting Cara and Joel’s arrival-

Enjoying the fish market at Leider
IMG 2984 01

Lunch time
IMG 2985 IMG 2986 IMG 2987

Frolicking in the Pacific
IMG 2992 IMG 3003 IMG 3005 2

PICT0035 PICT0039

Coquimbo Point
IMG 3009 PICT0050 PICT0084

IMG 3019 IMG 3021 PICT0088

Tonight’s sunset
PICT0120 06

Summer vs Winter

Posted by Lisa on July 11th, 2006 — Posted in Misc

As you can see, still the same clear beautiful skies, almost as warm, except the grape vines have all died and he Andes now are snow capped.

IMG 0753 IMG 2981

Spanish Conversation

Posted by Lisa on July 11th, 2006 — Posted in Activities

After some nagging from my spanish teacher, I have joined a spanish conversation group. It is taught by 2-4 chileans and there are about 8 of us that go every Monday to practice our spanish. Today, we went to Vicuna which is about 45 minutes into the valley, and had a great time. My friend Judith’s house is amazing. It’s the type of house I’ve always pictured being in Chile. It has a nice courtyard in the middle with rooms surrounding it. I was a little uncomfortable at first speaking spanish with my english speaking friends, I find it much easier to speak spanish to strangers, but in the end, everything went perfectly. I practiced my future tense and told everyone about Cara and Joel coming to visit, and what we plan on doing. Afterwards, I took the pup on a nice hike up the mountain. I’ve started timing myself, and today made it to the top in 41 minutes, my personal best so far.

IMG 2979 IMG 2980

North of the border night

Posted by Lisa on July 10th, 2006 — Posted in Activities

Tonight (Sunday night) Joanna and Rob came over for a fiesta. We had homemade tortilla chips, steak and chorizo chimichangas, mexican creamed corn, and mexican roasted vegetables. We also had dos equis and corona- happy days, are both now found at deca. For dessert, Rob made a fantastic cuatro leche cake, it was to die for. We ended the night listening to music and playing carcassonne- a german game. I LOVE MEXICAN FOOD!!!!

Number 315 on my list of things I never thought I would do…

Posted by Lisa on July 10th, 2006 — Posted in Misc

Get a foreign drivers license. As we have now been here for a year, our international drivers licenses have expired, so we spent the end of the week at the chilean DMV. We didn’t have to take a driving test, but we did have to take a reflex test and an eye test. In the end, everything went well, though the lighting at the DMV picture taking place is for chileans, and Steve and I ended up looking like tomatoes in our pictures, oh well.

IMG 2978

We can finally stop pretending that we like soccer

Posted by Lisa on July 10th, 2006 — Posted in Misc

Though we are not avid soccer fans by any means, Steve and I have watched almost every World Cup game this year. I actually ended up enjoying it more than I thought, though part of that may have been in-part due to the fact that at the end of the games the soccer players take their shirts off, and also I love hearing the chilean announcer yell GGGGGGGGOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL for about 10 minutes. Today, while I was rooting for Francia, and Steve was rooting for Italia, Leyna was busy rooting for Alemania. We didn’t have the heart to tell her that they ended up in third place.

IMG 2973 IMG 2974 IMG 2975

In Lieu of fireworks

Posted by Lisa on July 4th, 2006 — Posted in Uncategorized

We made homemade cupcakes (silver-white cake with buttercream frosting) for tasty flavor explosions in our mouths. BOOM! YUMM!