Hola amigos! Happy 2016!!
I’ve had a wonderful week with my best friend Lexie, and from the looks of it, she’s really enjoyed Chile. On Monday-Wednesday I had to work, so Lexie went off to explore the city and take some tours. After work, we would go to dinner and hang out. For those of you who don't know, Lexie and I have been friends since middle school (about 13 years old). We grew up in the same town and I consider her family to be my family. I see her to as my third sister.
^^Lexie casually hiking glaciers while I was writing name tags for next year at school......
^^They had a new edition of Barcelona's Estrella :P
^^ La Diana -actually the coolest restaurant ever, it's like a gigantic playground!
^^ The fondue bread bowl was actually prepared in Heaven, and sent down to our table
On Friday, we left for our weekend get-away to Viña del Mar and Valparaíso. We got off to the rough start as we showed up to the wrong bus terminal and didn’t have time to make it all the way across town. Luckily, the conductor was still in that holiday spirit and let us on a different bus. The traffic was bad because everybody and their mother heads to the beach for the New Year.
^^ We spent the ride with Sheldon Cooper so it was okay
Once we arrived, we had a lot of difficulty finding our apartment, but in the end, we prevailed. At this point, we were starving, so we headed to a restaurant for some much needed food. After ordering a pitcher of beer (and running to the ATM because they only accepted cash), the waitress apologized to us and said the kitchen was actually closed. We were so hungry, with nothing in our stomachs, and we obviously couldn’t get food in our stomachs until we finished our beer. With empty stomachs, we felt a little more tipsy than we should have. But we were able to find some pizza and then all was right with the world again.
That night was New Year’s Eve so we got all fancy and headed out for more food! We went to a delicious Peruvian restaurant. I had my favorite Peruvian dish, Aji de Gallina. Lexie had some seafood dish –I haven’t been very helpful in terms of seafood for Lex, since I hate all seafood.
^^ This picture perfectly captured how loud and terrifying our confetti shooter was!!
After dinner, we bought some sweet hats on the street and made our way down to the beach. It was packed! So many interesting people were there. There were families who set up tables, and chairs and others who sat on top of cars. There were people everywhere selling very random hats including gigantic Mexican sombreros, silly string, glasses etc. We knew it would be a hot mess, so we were prepared.
We pushed our way to the beach, and snagged a great spot. People were releasing those fire-lanterns which are a cool concept, but I personally think they’re terrible for the environment. We didn’t know exactly when it was midnight because the fireworks went off at 12:05. They set the fireworks off in the ocean from big barges. It was probably the coolest, and warmest New Year’s I’ve ever had!
After the fireworks, we found ourselves at a Casino. We payed way too much for a plate of French fries but we enjoyed the people watching.
On the following day, Lex and I went on a horse-drawn carriage ride. It was quite romantic. You’d think I would have ridden in a horse-drawn carriage before having grown up riding and owning horses, but nope! We also ate some delicious Italian food and enjoyed each other’s company walking along the pier.
^^ I was imagining a crappy LA-type casino...
^^ We're so romantic
On Sunday, we headed to Con Cón, where we went dune surfing!! I had been looking forward to this our whole trip. We attempted to go sandboarding while in Peru, but it didn’t work out. It was a little difficult to figure out the buses to Con Cón, but we managed.
Surprisingly, to rent a sand board only cost about $1.50 USD. The hill was a bitch to climb up, and I literally had sandcastles forming in my sneakers. Finally, we made it to the top. Lex, wasn’t convinced we would be coordinated to surf so she opted to sled down. I was determined to surf, and took off with the wind in my hair. I got a nice face full of sand on the wipe out but it was so worth it. It was like landing in a pile of feathers! By the end, we were covered in sand. It was such a fun experience! If you ever go dune surfing, make sure you take the wax for your board up the hill. We had to pawn some wax off of someone at the top because each ride needs a fresh coat of wax.
After our sandy adventure, we headed to the beach. It was freezing but I had to get that sand off, so I dove right in. I enjoyed watching the stray dogs have the time of their lives playing in the water and chasing the jet skis. We headed back to Santiago after eating a nice big chorrillana.
I was excited to go to Viña because I'd never been. They say you will definitely like Viña or Valpo better. They're basically the same city, but they have two very different personalities. I definitely felt a little bored in Viña. The beaches were beautiful and I loved the flowers but I love the rustic and artistic charm that Valparaíso offers.
On Sunday night after our wine tour (post to come), we went to a very nice restaurant for dinner called Bocanariz. Lexie is a huge foodie so she ordered a 3 course meal complete with wine tastings paired with each meal. I ordered a beer and some ribs -you can see who wears the pants in this relationship ;) If you're looking for high quality and well-prepared food, this is your place. They're also experts on wine.
^^ The fanciest Patatas Bravas you'll ever see
While dune surfing, I was smiling so the sand got all stuck to my teeth which made me laugh even more
There are all sorts of superstitions surrounding New Years. In Chile, the most common is to wear yellow underwear which is believed to bring you health and good fortune in the comming year. I welcomed Lex to Chile by giving her a pair of yellow underwear.
Another supersition is to eat 12 grapes at midnight (I can't remember why). Also, if you walk around the block with a suitcase, it means you will travel within the next year.
When we arrived back home from the weekend, the security alarm to my apartment went off and wouldn't shut up. The front desk people can't figure out how to reset it so for now, every time you open the door, the alarm goes off for 2 minutes.
Someone else's underwear got mixed into my laundry and I didn't notice so I put it away. I went to go put it on and realized, this isn't mine......
Tip: If you're going to wipe-out, you need to fully commit to it, as seen below.
^^ I took her to the metro just to take a picture of her in this coffee cup chair since she loves coffee so much. We didn't even ride the metro afterwards!
^^ Lexie's sweet tan lines from hiking
^^ I felt like Ke$ha with my sweet hat
^^ After wiping out. The sand made me look like I had a beard.
^^ Lex got a kick out of how disgusted I was with the gigantic fish staring at her on her plate
^^ Don't ya just hate when your horse carriage gets stuck in traffic??
All in all, it was a great trip out of the city. Lexie really enjoyed her time, which I consider to be a success! Stay tuned for a post dedicated to our Wine Tour experience to two Chilean wineries!
Feliz Año Nuevo!!