When I wrote my last post, we had just landed in Lima, Peru. I also said I would try to update while we were on the trip…SORRY! It was a very packed trip and along with touring we wanted to soak up as much time with Mike’s family as possible. Not only does he have family that lives in Lima, but his grandparents were in town from Bolivia! Also, the WiFi connection for half of the trip wasn’t very stable and took me nearly 15 tries to upload the few photos I did on Instagram. I do have to admit though, it was really nice to have a break from the internet (with the exception of school) and being able to be investing in learning another country’s culture, history, and some great quality time with Mike’s family.
We spent the first few days of our trip relaxing with Mike’s family. We stayed with his Aunt Sonia, who lives right above his Great Aunt Julia in a nice apartment building in Lima. Mike’s grandparents were also visiting from their home in La Paz, Bolivia. They stayed with Tia Julia, it was nice to be staying so close together- we walked downstairs each morning first thing for morning hugs and kisses in our pj’s before getting ready for the day.
Within the first 10 minutes of arriving we celebrated Christmas together. I felt a bit like Santa because we brought gifts from Mike’s other family here in Houston and from us. We received gifts from the family in Peru and from Mike’s mom in Bolivia who was not able to make this trip. Hopefully we will see you soon Marlene! Our mornings, staying with Sonia, started out with breakfast mixed with fresh fruit- bananas, papayas, apples, mangos, avocados paired with fresh bread and cheese. By fresh bread, I mean literally fresh from the bakery either that morning, or the day before! Y-U-M!
Our first lunch was Peruvian food, some local beer, toasted choclo (toasted corn), the freshest octopus I’ve ever tasted- which is what I’m taking a picture of down there, battered fish, fresh veggies and french fries. I believe Mike ordered the same plate for lunch, but with chicken instead of fish. This restaurant was very hard to find, along with Mike’s cousin Sergio, we took a cab to meet the rest of the family at the restaurant. The cab driver told us he knew where the restaurant was, only to find out that after circling the block a few times, he did not. It was well worth the wait though, and we were grateful for that cab driver to diligently find the restaurant. If that were in the US, we would have paid a lot of extra money for all of those miles driving around lost…in Peru, a cab is a flat rate, that is negotiated before the ride is taken. Lima is a very big city and from what I could see, the street signs can be very hard to find/non existent. Also, any hour of the day or night can be very high traffic! I saw that using turn signals is not favored, but honking the horn is very much so. If you focus on what’s happening outside of your window, the buildings/people/views instead of looking out the front windshield the car rides will be a much more enjoyable time. Watching through the windshield and seeing just how close the cars get to each other, and constant game of chicken is likely to leave you gripping onto the cushion of your seat. I was absolutely amazed that we didn’t get into any accidents/see very many accidents. People of Lima, you all should be race car drivers and win big money for those driving skills you’ve got!After lunch, we all went back to the apartments to read/relax and spend time together. Lunch was always our biggest meal, and usually we were not really hungry for dinner at all. The school semester also started the week we were in Peru, so we did have to dedicate some time to staying up on assignments and even a few quizzes had to be squeezed in. Thank goodness his family had great Wifi connections for us to be able to keep up with our classes! We did a lot of studying at night while the family was catching up on news and tv.
The next day we decided to go to eat Haiti, a very classic cafe in Miraflores with great food, a beautiful view of the parks filled with colorful flowers and the colorful bull you see below. They are called Toritos de Pucara and believed to keep the house safe with a blessing to the “Apus” (the Inca mountain gods) and ensure health, wealth, and unity for the occupants of the house. You can sometimes see a pair of them on the tops of houses/buildings accompanied with a cross in between them. We saw a lot of them on our trip to Cusco, Peru.
Back to cafe Haiti, the food/drink pictures below are from our lunch there. The caprese sandwich, french fries and Inca Cola (a local soda, which resembled what I know as cream soda from the US) was a delicious lunch, but I had my eye on Sonia’s fresh caprese salad! Doesn’t that look delicious?! The drink next to my Inca Cola below is called Chicha Morada, it is a sweet cold drink made from purple corn, pineapple, cinnamon, clove, and sugar. It is delicious! I recommend trying everything new you can while traveling. The food/drinks in Peru haven’t disappointed me yet! Peru is filled with so many new flavors and recipes I’d never tried before. I can’t wait to start experimenting at home with some of my own Peruvian inspired dishes! After our lunch, we walked down the street to Pinkberry! They have Pinkberry in Peru! They had some of the usual flavors, Original and Mango, but they also had some local fruit flavors too Lúcma and Granada (which I believe means Pomegranate). I got granada and Mike got lúcma, I couldn’t pick a favorite- they were both delicious! Thank you for treating us Abulita Tere!
Later, the same day, we went to visit the Museo de Oro,
a museum with an extensive collection of gold, weapons, textiles, uniforms and a ton of history from all over the world. There were even a few mummies and skulls! Those things were creepy! Walking through the rooms with them next to you was really eery! The gold collection was just amazingly beautiful! Filled with turquoise and made in all shapes and sizes. They made clothes and blankets with gold thread, gold jewelry, gloves, cups, vases, tools, weapons and various figures of cultural symbols.
Also learning about the Tumi knife was very interesting. I had a major surgery on my skull shortly after I was born, I have now grown to have a new respect for modern tools and medicine. Some of the skulls on display showed where they had surgery by the Tumi knife. Ouch! I’ve seen some x-rays of my skull- we’ve come a long way from the times of the Tumi. In other rooms were a variety of different guns and military uniforms from all over the world throughout different times in history. This was quite a collection, Mike and I kept thinking that Billy
would have loved checking out those rooms!
After the museum, we sat down to rest. I have fallen in love with the photos I took within this brief 15 minutes. Here’s a few of my favorite of Mike with his sweet grandparents.
While helping to set the table at Tia Julia’s house that night for tea, I saw that they had one of my favorite games on a shelf near the table! Rummikub
! I also learned that Mike had never played before! What?! If you’ve never played, pick this game up next time you see it- I love boardgames, and this one is definitely in my top 3! Unfortunatly, I lost pretty badly after one extremely difficult round- for those of you who have played- I couldn’t even play! I had 168 points worth in my tray and no way to play the tiles! Tia Julia beat us (Mike, Abuelita Tere and me) pretty badly, I believe she won 5 out of 8 rounds!
Hope all is well in your world, along with unpacking and catching up with school and work, I’ll also be catching up on my emails and my 400+ blog updates to read in my Bloglovin’ feed! Wow! My favorites have been busy! I’m excited to see what you all have been up to while I was out!
Rikunakusun or Adiós until part 3!