>The Hall Women in Chile

>Mom and sister just got on a plane to go home. Sad. But instead of dwelling on the fact that they aren’t here, I thought I’d recap the wonderful week we had together. As an overall comment, I’d just like to thank the weather gods for the gorgeous week we had weather-wise. Although now my mom really doesn’t believe me that it gets cold here in the winter because last time she came during the veranito de San Juan in June (which is like Indian Summer in the US…really warm weather when it should be cooling down.)

They arrived on Friday, but we didn’t do much until Saturday night because I had to work. So the first major event was dinner with my host family, which of course was delicious and involved lots of singing and general merriment. (Don’t let the picture deceive you…I was playing the one song I know how to play on the guitar).

On Sunday we went to Valparaiso and Viña which was quite an adventure. Thankfully, F. drove us so we were able to do a lot more than if we had gone by bus. Our first stop was La Sebastiana, which is my favorite house of Pablo Neruda because you don’t have to take the guided tour. The views from there are fantastic and my mom and sister both really liked it. (Even if it was quite bright out to take pictures…)

Then we tried to find a good place to eat in Valpo by going to Cerro Concepcion, but soon found out that all the streets to get there were blocked by policemen. We were confused, because we had purposefully planned to not come to Valpo on Thursday because of the 21 de mayo parades, so we were wondering what was going on. Soon we found out that all the high schools in the V Region were parading to the Plaza Sotomayor. Why? No clue. After about an hour in the car, trying our hardest to get where we wanted to go, we parked near the Naval Museum and headed towards the Plaza to check it out. Luckily we found a pretty decent seafood restaurant on the way and ate Pastel de Jaiba which was delicious. Then we watched the parades for a bit.

When we realized they were all playing the same song (more or less) we went to Viña where we walked on the beach, ate churros rellenos con manjar and looked at the artesania.

Monday I had to work, but we still managed to go see the Plaza de Armas and the Moneda and even went to the Cultural Exhibit below the Moneda, which was pretty boring, but cultural, I guess.

Tuesday we had a wonderful day. We had lunch with my friend E. at Liguria, then went up Cerro San Cristobal. The view was amazing with minimal smog and the sun was shining. We walked back to their apartment through Bellavista and Parque Forestal, stopping at the Patio Bellavista for some Yogen Fruz. At night we had dinner with F’s family.

Wednesday we were able to have dinner together at the great empanada place near work.

Thursday we went to Pomaire. It was VERY crowded, but nice because we were able to watch a folkloric exhibition so my mom and sister now know what the cueca is. But their overall impresion of Pomaire was that it’s crowded, which is kind of the opposite of what Pomaire is. Oh well. At least I got to “make” a candle holder.

On Friday we went to Viña Cousiño-Macul in Peñalolen which is so nice. They only make two kinds of their wine there, but I would honestly go back just to hang out. It’s so tranquil that you kind of forget that you’re in Santiago. Our guide was very nice and very informed, and the prices of the wine weren’t much higher than what you can find in the grocery store, which I appreciated. Also, they had great customer service. Always a plus for me! Then at night we met my friends in Barrio Lastarria for a drink at Patagonia.
On Saturday we went to Los Dominicos with my host mom and then had lunch. At night we went to F’s work to watch a Beatle’s cover band which was really fun.

Today we searched almost all of the Grandes Tiendas (all except Paris) to find a present for my Dad (which I will not post here in case he reads this before they get home!) The winner? Ripley. Then we had lunch and ice cream at Bravissimo.

Phew. When I write it all out, it seems like a lot! The best part was being able to spend time with them, laughing about old jokes and memories. It was also nice for them to meet my friends here.

I’m going to miss them a lot, but as my host mom said, “solo queda un suspiro hasta la navidad!” (there’s only a breath’s worth of time until Christmas!), which is when I’m going home next.


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