My 30th Birthday

Posted by Lisa on November 13th, 2007 — Posted in Activities

Though my birthday was at the end of September, I’m just now getting around to posting about it. I ended up having a joint party with 2 of my friends here- Judith and Lyn. Their birthdays are just a few days before mine, and they were also having big ones as well- they both turned 60. To celebrate, we decided to throw a 150th birthday party at Hacienda Santa Cristina. We celebrated on the 29th with about 40 of our closest friends. The party started at 1pm with drinks and appetizer in the gazebo by the pool. We hired a local jazz group to perform during the cocktail hour. We then had a nice meal and cake. The party ended at about 6pm, though those of us who spent the night (about 15 people) partied to the wee hours. Steve and I then got up the next morning for a nice hour horseback ride. It was a fantastic party, just wish you all could have been there as well!

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Cristobal Colon

Posted by Lisa on October 17th, 2007 — Posted in Activities

El dia de Cristobal Colon was Monday (otherwise known as Christopher Colombus). Since Steve had the day off, we decided to go for a drive. I’m sure you remember the scary drive I took with my parents the first time they came so I won’t repeat that story, needless to say, Steve has been dying to take that drive ever since hearing about it. Monday brought sunny blue skies and warm weather, basically the perfect day for an outing. We went to Andacollo, walked around, saw the Virgin Mary statue and then did the 5 hour drive through the mountains. There has been a big push in this region to improve the roads and they have been working on this route as well. The ride was not as scary but still as breathtaking. Steve loved driving the mountain roads, and I was happy to sit back and relax and enjoy the scenery. Apparently the first time through I was so nervous, I didn’t appreciate the surroundings. I was amazed that there was a vineyard high up in the mountains- though I don’t remember seeing it, the vines looked to be a couple years old and we were also able to see the back of the telescopes in the distance. Here are some pics from the day, enjoy!

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Fiestas Patrias!!

Posted by Lisa on October 16th, 2007 — Posted in Activities

Fiestas Patrias’ week long celebration centered around September 18th- Chilean Independence day. This year was the first time that I was in Chile to celebrate. To start off the celebration, I went to the Escuela Manuel Rodriguez- which is the local school for children who are deaf, blind or have special needs. The school is one of the charities that we help out. For the holiday, they put on a show with music and dancing. One of the items that we bought the school was musical instruments, which they love. The marching band was pretty good (though not as good as the Sedgwick marching band) considering they had some deaf children playing the instruments as well.

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We also went to an asado (bbq) at our friends ranch
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Went to the rodeo where my friend Lyn competed for the first time. She came in first place! Though technically she also came in last, since she was the only one competing in the women’s division.
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Karin’s Last Days

Posted by Lisa on August 19th, 2007 — Posted in Activities

On Thursday night Karin and I took the night bus to Santiago for the weekend. We met up with our friends Friday morning and headed up to the slopes for a day in the snow. The ride up to the top was beautiful. Thursday had brought a big snow storm through, and even parts of downtown Santiago had gotten some snow. We spent the day at the lodge with our friends. Karin, Rikki and I didn’t go skiing, so we sat around hanging out and playing games. Every so often our skiing friends would come through and hang out for a bit before heading out again. Then on Friday night we went out for a fantastic Thai dinner with everyone and then headed to bed. While most people were gong skiing again on Saturday, Karin and I decided to stay in the city and explore and shop. We had a great time shopping and walking around, we then ended the day with some chocolate and chorros, and headed back to the hotel to meet up with everyone for a nice sushi dinner. Sunday we walked around and went to some museums before catching the bus back. Monday we went to Valle del Encanto and Tuesday we did some shopping before Karin headed off. I had a wonderful visit with Karin, and am so sad she had to leave. I can’t wait for the next time that we’re all together again!

View from Hotel room

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Snow glorious snow!

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Valle del Encanto

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Karins last chilean sunset


More fun times with Karin

Posted by Lisa on August 9th, 2007 — Posted in Activities

Tuesday we decided to go to Isla Damas to see the penguins with my friend and her family. I’ve been there more than a couple times and have always had good luck and been able to go out, unlike my friend Angela who has gone 5 times and never been able to go out in the boats due to rough seas. We figured my luck would prevail and we would all get to go. Tuesday was a gorgeous sunny day, but when we get to Caleta los Chorros we found the fishermen hanging out on shore. Unfortunately the seas were too rough so we couldn’t go out. We did go to the “playa las conchitas” which means beach of shells and had a great time walking around the beach which funnily enough was made of only shells, we couldn’t see any sand. We then headed to one of our favorite restaurants for lunch.

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Burrowing Owl

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Caleta los Hornos

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Lunch at Gladys’ which is famous for their Pastel de Jaiba (chilean crab and cheese casserole)

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Cooking up the corvina and reineta we bought at the fish market

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Drinking papaya juice

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Wine tour at Las Cavas del Valle- which is one of the smallest and highest wineries in Chile. For the wine tasting, we got to try the wine right out of the barrel.

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OH NO!!! We were planning on going to one of our favorite spots in Pisco Elqui- a fresh juice bar, and when we got there we found this…

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The good news is they plan to rebuild and reopen for the summer.

Karin and Steve in front of the church and pics of the church

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Pisco tour

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At the dam and the aeolian harp

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Tonight Karin and I head off on the overnight bus to Santiago. Look for an update next week. Have a great weekend!

Twin Time

Posted by Lisa on August 7th, 2007 — Posted in Activities

Karin, Steve and I have been having a wonderful time together. In-fact, we’ve been so busy, I haven’t been able to update the blog. Here are some of the things we’ve been up to…

My friend Veronica invited us over for Picarones. I think I posted a recipe once before, but here’s a peruvian recipe for them too!

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Peruvian Picarones
1/2 cup pumpkin cooked and strained
1/4 cup water in which the pumpkin was cooked
1 tablespoon yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
3 cups flour
1 cup milk
Frying Oil
In a beater mix the pumpkin puree gradually adding the milk. Then add the flour and cornstarch beating constantly. Add the yeast (Which has previously been dissolved in the hot pumpkin water with the sugar).
Mix to a smooth paste and place in a bowl. Heat the oven to 300 F. and place the bowl inside the oven for a minute. Turn the oven off and leave the dough inside the oven for 45 minutes giving time to raise. In a large skillet or deep frying pan add plenty of oil to heat. Dip the fingers into the mixture and drop it into the hot oil trying to shape them as a doughnut. Fry until golden and well puffed up. Serve with a syrup made of sugar loaf, orange peels and cinnamon sticks.

Japanese Garden

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Gemini Observatory
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Cactus Fun

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Hanging out with Friends
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Some other highlights include going out to dinner with friends, went out clubbing in Coquimbo, saw our friends band play, we have played TONS of mah jongg, and the best part is we’ve gotten to just be together. We’re having a wonderful visit and have so much more planned.

Day 1 with Karin

Posted by Lisa on August 4th, 2007 — Posted in Activities

Karin arrived here safe and sound, albeit a little later than planned on Thursday. After picking her up at the airport, we came home so she could freshen up and see the pad. We then headed down to the beach for a nice late lunch and some pisco sours. 3 pisco sours later, we headed outside to run around on the beach and watch the sunset. We then went grocery shopping, came home, started to watch Stranger Than Fiction (good movie) and headed off to bed. I’m so happy my twin is here and that we are getting some much needed twin time. We do miss Adam (her hubby) and wish he could have come as well.

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Yum, empanadas
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They’re Back!!

Posted by Lisa on June 27th, 2007 — Posted in Activities

My parents arrived safe and sound on Sunday for their annual 3 week visit. Unfortunately, as you know, I’m not as picture crazy as I used to be, but i’ve gotten some. We’ve been busy catching up with each other and talking about our upcoming trip to machu pichuu. A brief synopsis of the visit thus far includes- amazing steaks with a homemade coffee rub by Steve (idea courtesy of a wonderful rub he received from his parents), exploring the downtown area, shopping, cooking, baking, eating, teaching my mom to play mah jongg, la feria, valle del encanto, going to the beach and playing with the leynadog. Since my dad is here, i’ve decided to put him to work, our project is building a fence for the backyard. So far we’ve gone to Easy (similar to home depot), and have priced out options. Tomorrow we plan on going to my favorite town, PIsco Elqui, and if we’re back in time the local technological college is having a wine tasting. I am never one to pass up free booze!!!

Leyna learning to knit
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Picnic lunch
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Enchanted Valley
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At the valle del encanto there is a sign for the “el bano de inca”, to get there, you follow a trail over and through a bunch of rocks and find…
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I love a good rainstorm

Posted by Lisa on June 16th, 2007 — Posted in Activities

In the states I used to love summer and the thunderstorms that would come. Living in La Serena, we only get about 2 or 3 rainstorms a year and no thunderstorms. We get so little rain that the town has no run off system, so when it does rain, there’s usually flooding as well. Thursday marked our first rainstorm of the year. For about the past week or so, it’s been cloudy and overcast all day. On Friday though, after the rain, it was a beautiful sunny, clear day. While I was out driving to my morning meetings downtown, I could see that the mountains were covered with a beautiful blanket of snow. We were also being blessed with the absolutely clear visibility that a rainstorm provides. To celebrate this, Steve, Leynadog and I decided to go for a hike and enjoy the outdoors. Unfortunately, the great conditions were already leaving us as we arrived for our hike, but it was still a beautiful afternoon. Now, as I am posting this on Saturday afternoon, we are in the midst of our usual winter blahs.

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Summertime fun

Posted by Lisa on January 25th, 2007 — Posted in Activities

Yesterday, Steve was able to take the day off, and we celebrated his finishing of the dissertation. We had banana pancakes- always YUMMY, watched a movie, then went on down to the beach. It was packed! We walked around, went shopping at all the little artesian booths, then went to El Muelle- a restaurant/bar. It’s located right on the beach. We had a pitcher of beer, some fries and wings, and relaxed and people watched. The highlight of the people watching were the Capel girls in thong bikinis. There were about 6 of them, and they would stand up and pose every so often. When they would, guys from all over the beach would mob them and get tons of pictures. We basically had front row back side seats- couldn’t get any better!! A new thing we noticed for the summer season, is that there are canopy beds on the beach, that you can rent for the day. We’re thinking about trying it out this weekend.

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