Wine Making

Yay! Busy season is over and I can start having fun again!

For Christmas I got Joe a wine making kit and some Malbec wine juice. Due to busy season, we have been unable to make the wine until now. The kit is very good. It is from Wine Makers Depot, and has everything required to produce wine, except the grape juice.

The wine making three has stages: adding yeast to grape juice and allowing it to ferment (takes about 2 weeks), adding clearing agents to the wine and allowing it to settle (takes about two weeks), and bottling the wine and allowing it to age (takes 2 to 3 months). This week we worked on the first stage.

The most important part of wine making is sterilization. Just like with canning and beer making, if you use dirty equipment, your product will get moldy and be ruined. Most of what we did this weekend was sterilize everything. There was a tiny bit of measuring the specific gravity (measuring the ratio of your specific liquid to that of water), and a small amount of mixing yeast into grape juice, but all other time was spent sterilizing. While sterilizing is not super fun, all the measuring and recording of information made it feel like high school chemistry class, which was enjoyable.

Some photos from the day..

Scuba & Other Stuffs

I am exhausted. Since mid-December I have spent almost no time at home. It started with lots of Christmas holiday activities, then Katy moved home!!!! and now life has just continued with the constant fun. I love it, don’t get me wrong, but I could use a good night at home. This is not going to happen, but a girl can dream. For example, in the last 12 days, I have spent one night at home. Having so much fun is exhausting.

One of the fun things I did recently was go to a Shark’s game with my housemate Missy. Missy works at Fibbar’s and one of the suppliers gave the bar tickets to their private box. Missy took me as her hot date and it was AWESOME. I had been in a SJ box once before when I was in high school and through friends of friends scored free tickets to a ZZ-Top concert. That was fun; this was better. The supplier treated everyone to tons of food and alcohol. Plus the Sharks won! It is what I consider a perfect evening.

I am going to another Sharks game tonight (my own season ticket package). My littlest cousin Austin (he is 6’5″) is driving all the way from Tahoe to join me. This will be his first hockey game. I hope he loves it.

Last week I also went to SF for Diana’s birthday. It was a group of 7 of us (all girls) and we went to Lolinda, and Argentinian steak house. The food was great but the best part was the rooftop bar. Our dinner reservation was for 8PM, but we all arrived early to drink and enjoy the view from the fabulous rooftop bar. This has been a very dry and warm winter in CA (sucks to be in the rest of the country which has been having coldest winters on record), and we were able to enjoy the beautiful night with just a light jacket. The whole evening was so great that Katy and I lost track of time and ended up missing our BART/train connection. Joe, being too good for me, agreed to drive all the way from Sunnyvale to the Milbrea BART station to get us. He is too nice.

Happy Birthday Diana (in this photo we all have champagne eyes)

In addition to lots of delicious grilled meat, we also had churros and chocolate. They were delicious but I think they will forever make me slightly sad as they remind me so much of Jason. He was so enthusiastic about the churros & chocolate in Madrid, and one time even made them for Katy for her birthday. It was the nicest birthday gift, made even better by the fact that Jason did not cook and the churros he made were great! I cherish good Jason memories like that one.

Other miscellaneous fun things I have been doing is watching lots of football at Fibbar’s, going to the Rosewood Hotel for fun girl time, working out with friends and the biggest, and most time consuming activity I have been doing, is getting my PADI scuba certification. Last weekend Friday, Saturday and Sunday were spent taking scuba “class” and practicing skills in the pool. This weekend I spent the whole time in Monterrey diving in the bay. I got the certification from Pacific Scuba Divers in Sunnyvale. The experience was great, mostly due to my very cool instructor Ken.

This weekend we did two dives Saturday and Sunday; one in the morning and one in the evening. Susan took the class with me, and the weekend would have beaten us, except my wonderful Uncle Joe allowed us to spend Friday and Saturday night at his vacation home in Pacific Grove. Thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU Uncle Joe. Had it not been for the luxury of getting to sleep at the PG house, we would have had to get up at 6 each morning to drive our asses out to Monterrey, and then drive home all exhausted. I am sure we would have crashed the car.

Diving in Monterrey is cold but totally worth it. We saw the following creatures, plus many more which I can not remember right now: diving birds under the water, sea stars, sea cucumber, octopus, purple colored rock fish, jellyfish, sand dollars, little hermit crabs, some other kind of giant crab… We also saw seals, but those were not in the water with us. I didn’t get to see any sea otters, but hopefully next time.

Staying in PG was also great in itself. It felt like a mini-vaycay. Uncle Joe’s house is lovely and it is walking distance to many tasty restaurants. The restaurants are pricey, but the area is a little touristy, so that is expected. In addition to great food and diving, we also went to the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary. The Monarchs spend the winter in two main areas, Mexico and the CA coastline. PG has a grove where thousands of butterflies hang out from around October through February. I had never been to the Butterfly Sanctuary and had always wanted to go, so getting to see it made my weekend extra special.

Example of Monarch Butterfly Cluster

Dallas

My super smart and thoughtful sister gave my dad and her fiancé Evan tickets to the Thanksgiving Day Cowboys football game for their birthdays this year. My dad turned 65 and Evan 30, so this was a great gift to honor such big milestones. In addition, she asked all my family members if they wanted to join, and in the end she got a total of 12 people saying yes! Well, it is now Thanksgiving and we are all in Texas.

My family and I flew down to Big D on Tuesday. That night we stayed at Stanis’ (mom’s sister), and Katy and Evan showed up a few hours later. They are on month number 5 of vacation and have spent the last 2.5 months driving around the US. It was great to see them. I miss Katy so much. They have one more month of travel and then will end up back in Palo Alto for good.

That first night we just hung out at Stanis’ for an easy evening. There were 14 of us: me, my parents, Katy and Evan, Stanis and Uncle Bob, cousin Duffy her husband Shann and their two kids, and my cousin Robby and his two girls. It was lots of people and lots of fun.

Wednesday we took the morning easy. In the afternoon we drove to Denton. We got lunch at the Smiling Moose Deli. It is a chain but very tasty. I would have preferred going to a local place, but this was still very good.

After lunch we went to the cute little Denton town square. It looks like a perfect old timey town square out of a movie, and it is where Evers Hardware, my family’s 100+ year old hardware store, was. The hardware store has been gone for several years now, but we still have the awesome old building. My aunt Celia gave us a tour of the area and we ended at a new tequila bar that was recently installed in our old warehouse behind the Evers Hard IMG_0195

Evers Hardware – Then & Now

After our tour of down town Denton, we went back to Celia’s house. My mom and the rest of her side of the family eventually showed up and Uncle Mike bbqed cheeseburgers for everyone. Since we had lunch at 3, I was not hungry so I ust nibbled on some baked beans and drank a few beers. After dinner there was lots of chatting and we played Left, Right, Center and the adults played Cards Against Humanity. I love that game but playing with your parents is uncomfortable. My dad is a good guy but still, having to say things like smegma and jizz in front of him leaves me feeling like a horrible person.

We ended the night early and everyone was in bed by 11 because the next day was Thanksgiving and Cowboys Football!!!

Thursday morning we got going early. Showered, breakfasted, packed pick-necking supplies and were on the road by 10. We left early because we were afraid that all the tailgating spots would be filled. Our concerns turned out to be baseless. When we arrived in Arlington, there was hardly anyone there. It was also 5 hours until kickoff, so that might have had something to do with the empty parking lots.

For the next several hours we tailgated: drinking beer, eating deviled eggs and sandwiches and enjoying watching the parade of dressed up Cowboys and Raider fans pass by. It was chilly but Evan made delicious homemade cider and spiked it with Everclear, so that kept us warm.

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 Dad Hanging Out Tailgating

After we were fed, we went into the stadium. It was quite the party. Dallas Cowboys Stadium looks like a spaceship and is as impressive as it is hyped up to be. Silver and shiny and housing the worlds largest flat screen tv, it is big and flashy just like you expect a Texas monument to be.

K&T

Katy & I In Front of Jerry Town

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Cowboy’s Superbowl Win Pennants

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Dad & Katy at Cowboys Game

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World’s Biggest TV – it is HUGE

Before the game, my dad and I enjoyed a Fletcher’s Corn Dog. These are the original hot dog on a sticks, invented at the state fair of Texas. It was tasty and way over priced, to be expected of stadium food, and made my dad very happy.

The football game was great fun. It started off looking like the Cowboys were going to go down in flames; they fumbled the kickoff and the Raiders scored (thus we were down by 7 points within 3 to 5 seconds into the game). It was pathetic. The Cowboys managed to score and then the Raiders scored twice more, giving them a 14 point lead. Then right before halftime the Cowboys had an excellent drive down the field, allowing them to score and bringing with difference within one touchdown.

The half time show was a performance by someone called Selena Gomez. I believe she is a teen pop star. We had no interest in the show and spent half time walking around and buying over priced beers.

The second half of the game was very exciting. The Boys managed to take the lead and hold onto it. Woohoo! A Cowboys win and a happy Thanksgiving for all.

Friday, while the rest of the crazy world was out fighting each other over Black Friday deals on toasters and flat screen TVs, my family enjoyed a nice relaxing day at home and a fabulous Thanksgiving dinner together. During the day we hung out, watched football, exercised and decorated ginger bread men. I managed to turn my gingerbread man into a bunny. Then in the evening we are ourselves stupid.

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There were 18 of us and we ate delicious turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, stuffing (my favorite), rolls and pie (my other favorite). We all toasted Katy for being so smart and getting us all together, and my mom and Stanis for making great food. It was me, Mom, Dad, Katy, Evan, aunt Celia, Austin, Duffy & her family, Stanis & Bob and Robby and his family. I loved getting to spend time with everyone and it made me so happy and content.

Saturday Dad, Kate, Evan and I went out to see my dad’s buddy Mario and Mario’s wife Jenny. They live in Vally Mills, which is close the Waco, and they are the nicest, happiest people I have ever met. They don’t have much, but they are always willing to share a smile, laugh and anything else with everyone they meet.

Vally Mills is way out in the boonies. The ranch is a great place to go and relax and is made extra super cool because it is covered in 35+ million year old fossils. You just walk around and can pick fossilized sea creatures off the ground. If you are really lucky, you can also find old Comanche arrow heads. I am a cheap bastard and have decided that everyone is getting free dusty old sea creature shaped rocks for Christmas.

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 View From Mario’s Deck

We spent the afternoon waking around fossil hunting and the evening eating BBQ, drinking beer and hanging around a bonfire. Mario is so funny and has an endless amount of hilarious stories about my dad. I loved just hanging out.

Sunday morning Jenny made a giant breakfast spread and we once again stuffed ourselves stupid. I am going to come home with an extra 20 pounds. Not sexy, but I have enjoyed every meal that contributed to it.

After brunch there was more fossil hunting and football watching until it was time to return to Big D.

Sunday night a large group of us went to El Fenix for dinner. I do not like Tex-Mex, so the food I can rate as mediocre at best, but the restaurant gives you unlimited delicious chips & salsa and tortillas. I am normally not a huge fan of chips, but the El Fenix tortilla chips are amazing. I had the taco salad for dinner. There was too much sour creme and I asked for the dressing on the side, which they did not do, so the salad was a little gross. I have had worse though.

That about sums it up for my Texas vacation. On Monday I flew home, but nothing exciting happened there. I really enjoyed my time down in Texas and I can’t wait to get back there.

My Favorite Things To Do In Texas

Here is a list of my favorite things to in Texas:

1. Eat Blue Bell Ice Cream – anyone who has ever had this knows why this is high on the list of best things to do in Texas.

2. Watch Cowboys football

3. Schlitterbaun – the worlds best water park and one of my top 10 days of my life was spent there.

4. The park with the dinosaurs footprints & fossil hunting out in central Texas.

5. Gulf Style Seafood Boil – so gross but so yummy.

6. Austin Nightlife

7. Down Town Denton

8. BBQ – so many great options, I can not limit it to one specific place.

9. Tall Dudes – the guys in Texas are so much taller than on CA.

10. Hang Out With Family – I have a great family and going to Texas allows me to see so many of them.

11. Summer Nights – days that are hot as hell give you beautiful summer nights.

Random Junk Just For Me

I need to remember all this and I do not know where else to put it

House Paint Colors

Paint Colors

House interior Trim Behr – Cotton Whisper/semi gloss
Ceiling – Cotton Whisper- eggshell finish
Accent wall (green) Behr – Outback/eggshell finish
Walls Behr -Tea Cookie – sateen finish

Cottage
Interior Walls
Behr -Warm Cocoon- eggshell finish

Interior Trim
Kelly Moore -Swiss coffee-semi gloss finish

House & Cittage Exterior Color
Kelly Moore- Chadwick- Flat Finish

Cottage Bath
Behr -Orange Glow- sateen finish

Chile – Stolen From My Mom

My Mom kept a diary while we were all in Chile. Rather than re-write out everything we did, I decided to take the lazy way out and just post her log of activities. Yay for lazy!

CHILE 2012

Wednesday, December 19 and Thursday, December 20

Eric picked us up at the house and took us to SFO.  Tracy has a cold! We took American Airlines flight to Los Angeles. We walked over to the International terminal and changed the seats for Tripp.  After a hamburger at McDonalds, we boarded the Lan flight to Lima.

After a chicken dinner (ravioli for Tripp) we slept most of the trip.  Layover in Lima – Tracy feeling bad! We then caught the flight to Quito arriving about 4:00 pm.  After customs we took a taxi (bad traffic) to the hotel – Nu House in La Marisal right on the Plaza Foch.  Great hotel, very modern.  Nice 4th floor room – Tracy on 1st floor.

 

A quick shower and then we walked around the square.  Dinner at BBQ & Co. which is cattycorner from our hotel.  I had spaghetti and pulled pork (good), Tripp had fish and Tracy had a steak sandwich.  We got a pitcher of Pilsener beer (tasteless).  We bought water and headed back to room.   Bed.

 

Friday, December 21

Breakfast at Q, a restaurant right below the hotel. A buffet – pretty good.  Taxi into Old Town.  Saw President’s palace, government buildings, walked all around.  Went into a museum on the history of money in Ecuador. Interesting. Went into Grand Hotel on Square. We were tired so went back to hotel. Lunch at Magic Bean.  Tripp wanted Happy Hour Pancakes but they no longer serve them.  I had nachos, Tripp had pizza and Tracy had potato soup.  Tracy still sick.  Tripp and I walked around area, found a beautiful art store.  Rested.  Katy came in and she wasn’t feeling well.

 

Dinner at Cinquecento (Italian).  Katy ended up joining us.  I had fried calamari/prawns.  Others had pastas and Katy had minestrone soup.  Back to hotel.

 

Saturday, December 22

Up early, taxi to train station.  Caught a tourist train to Machachi.  Nothing there. Cold and rainy. Took a tour of a local farm- “good energy” as it is center of 3 volcanoes.  Saw horses, llamas, goats, rabbits. Lunch at old farmhouse.  Very good food – empanadas, celery soup, pork or chicken, papaya for dessert.  Guide played guitar and sang.  Young kids from tour also joined in. Lots of fun! Train back to Quito.  Got lucky and found cab right away.  Back to hotel. Rested.

 

Got free drink at Azure Beach bar across the street (mojitos) Then bucket of beer and nachos at BBQ & Co.  Odd because Pilsener beer better in bottles then on tap!  Asked hotel for typical Ecuadorian food restaurant – they sent us to Mama Clorinda’s.  It had a large menu but was only serving turkey, lamb and potatoes as it was Christmastime.  Left and went to Dors – new restaurant that we had found on our walk.  Just opened – no customers.  But good and very pretty.  Tripp and Katy shared a meal of 3 steaks with different sauces (lemon, mushroom and red wine).  Tracy and I had languistino bisque and a shrimp torte (like a napoleon – very good but Tracy did not like the sauce as it was avocado).  Walked back to hotel. Bed.

 

 

 

Sunday, December 23

Hotel did not do wake up call.  Woke up at 4:52 – had to be at airport by 5:30! But we made it.  Checked bags then checked into Aerogal flight to Galapagos!  Met at San Cristobal Island airport by guides Omar and Daniel.  Bus to town (San Cristobal) then tendered to boat, Monserrat.

 

Got settled in.  Cabins small but fine.  Unpacked.  Lunch (spaghetti buffet) then got on bus to Galapaguera Land Tortoise breeding center.  Learned all about what they are doing to save the tortoises.  Very interesting.  Back to town, walked around.  Stopped at bar and had beers and fried plantains with cheese.  Good.  Back to boat.  Had peach drink and introduced to crew.  Dinner was fish over carrots and beets with really good sauce.  Dessert was poached pear in cherry sauce – very good! Exhausted, went to bed.  Took a Dramamine and put on wrist pressure bracelet. Slept fine!

 

Monday, December 24

Breakfast – eggs and pancakes.  Then took panga (tender) around cliffs of Cerra Brujo – through natural arch – beautiful.  Back to boat then got snorkel equipment then boat to beach.  Saw sea lions, blue footed boobie, warblers, frigate birds, lava gull.  No marine iguanas!  Then relaxed.  Back to boat. Lunch was eggplant parmesan, cauliflower, chicken curry, meat.  Chocolate mousse for dessert. Then snorkeling to Kicker Island.  Water cold. Saw sharks – Galapagos and black tipped, sea turtle, damselfish, starfish.  Back to boat. Rest. Excursion to beach, Playa Ochoa.   Hermit crabs and stingrays.

 

Got out Christmas tree.  Beer before dinner.  Mine was vinegar! Dinner is turkey for Christmas Eve dinner.  Eggplant parmesan, sweet carrots, green beans, Caesar salad, tomatoes and mozzarella.  Birthday cake for dessert for Annmaria.  To bed – rough voyage but no sea sickness.

 

Tuesday, December 25

Breakfast – fried eggs and French toast. Excursion was a walk on a sandy beach of Espanola Island.  Gardner Bay – lots of sea lions, finches.  No marine iguanas!  Snorkeling around little island – sea lions, stingray, lots more fish.  Sea lion nipped at guys fins! Lunch of typical Ecuadorian food – very nice.  Coconut rice, peanut sauce on potatoes, fish, chicken, fruit. Hike on beach –and around to Suerez Point: marine iguanas, the waved albatross (on this island only), blue footed boobies, Nasca boobies – really neat. Saw the “Soplador” or blowhole.

 

Dinner was pasta and meatballs, tiramisu.  We played dominoes then bed.

 

Wednesday, December 26

Breakfast of hardboiled eggs and toast.  Floreana or Charles Island.  Landed at greenish (olivine crystals) beach called Comorant Point.  Saw Great Blue heron.  Walked across island to a lagoon with beautiful sticky sand. Saw flamingoes, sea turtles mating and females leaving shore after nesting.  Snorkeling around Post Office Bay. Lots of fish, playful sea lions, Galapagos penguins!  Cold water though. Got a postcard from Palo Alto left the day before!

 

Sailed to Santa Cruz Island.  Coconut shrimp and cake for dinner.  Pangaed into town Walked around.

 

Thursday, December 27

Bags out, Breakfast. Pangaed to Charles Darwin Reserve.  Land tortoises and yellow iguanas.  Bus to other side of island.  Ferry then another bus. To airport.  Somewhere along way girls bags were robbed (Evan’s jacket and Tracy’s Iphone plug and some headphones.)  Aerogal to Guanaquil then Quito.  Taxi to hotel.  Got settled (we are in kid’s old room) – shower that felt great (tiny showers on boat).  Tracy got bad news about mortgage – very unhappy.  I went and checked out shops while Katy and Tripp had beers.  Some neat places.  Met Tripp and Katy at bar – San Jose State in bowl game on tv! Tripp, Katy and I went to Mama Clorinda’s Ecuadorian restaurant again.  Katy and I shared sampler plate – good – 3 kinds of meat (pork, goat and beef or lamb), fried plantains, hominy, Peruvian giant corn, chicharronne.  Tripp had a beef dinner.

 

Friday, December 28

Breakfast at Q again, Tracy joined us.  Went on a city tour with a guide.  Through the cathedral – neat, volcanic ash rock, can see angel statute on hill through back window.  Then to town square.  Saw old bishops house (now shops and restaurants).  Went through “gold” church – covered in gold leaf, La Compania De Jesus.  Up to the angel statue – great lookout – she is standing on a dragon.  Then drove 1 hour to Middle of the World.  Kind of hokey but lots of fun.  Shrunken heads, facsimiles of native houses and graves.  Line where 0.00 latitude is (equator is actually 26 kilometers wide).  Saw demo of water swirling in different directions.  Katy rested egg on nail.  She got a certificate. Drunken walking on line.  Then back to hotel. Girls and I went back to art shops and bought a few things.

 

Free mojitos again but at Q (really good). Group was burning figures in effigy for New Years – creepy.  Dinner at Achiote – Ecuadorian.  Tracy had ¼ guinea pig (not much meat and gristly) Tripp had goat.  Katy had soup and I had grilled shrimp.  Appetizer was delicious rice cakes with cheese.

 

Saturday, December 29

Up early.   Out to airport. Flight to Guayaquil then to Santiago.  Rental car at airport.  To Katy’s apartment.  Started laundry – first load was stinky shoes from boat! 2 more loads that day. Went for pizza below her apartment.  Ran into a couple from our flight.  Katy gave them ideas of places to go. Walked to PWC – saw Katy’s office.  Tried to get dinner on way back but no one had any money.  So had cheese and crackers at Katy’s.

 

Sunday, December 30

More laundry.  Katy and Tracy went to get Evan (they missed him) at the airport.  Tripp and I walked down to Juan Valdez and Starbucks.  Packed up – car loaded! Off to Indominita winery.  Beautiful – up on hill.  Lunch was delicious.  I had 2 appetizers: 3 types of shrimp (bisque, fried and ceviche). Tracy had grouper, Evan had conger soup, Katy had salmon and Tripp had steak salad.  Wine tour.  Bought some wines.  Then had dessert – an assortment!

 

To Valpariaso apartment.  Sparse but great view.  We had our second Christmas.  Met Liam (Kiwi) and Jules (English).  She is 8 months pregnant.  Liam made dinner – chicken pasta and salad.

 

 

Monday, December 31

Liam made pancakes with fruit.  We walked into town.  Stopped at ship bar – great! Had  chorollana – the fries/meat/onion/egg thing. Bought hats and yellow underwear (for good luck).  Went up an ascendor. Liam made a pork loin stuffed with prunes, couscous salad.  Ice cream from New Zealand for dessert – delicious.  Fireworks show – amazing!

 

Tuesday, January 1

Liam and Jules left.  We drove to Vina del Mar and around to Playa Cocha.  Pisco sours and ceviche at little restaurant.  Back to apartment.  Dressed for dinner. Savor Color closed but they recommended another place so we went to La Concepcion restaurant.  Everything was delicious.  I had filet, Tripp had ravioli with crab, Tracy had hake, Evan had conger on eggplant and Katy had shrimp curry.  We shared an appetizer of shrimp in filo dough.

 

Wednesday, January 2

Up early.  Katy and Evan caught bus to Santiago.  We drove to Punta de Choros.  No problems except in La Serena – a mad house.  We tried to go to restaurant in Old Town but it was packed with people and no parking. Ended up at mall eating at Subway and paying to park in their lot. Got into town around 4:30.  Waited at restaurant Eneyoe for man to guide us to cabana.  Drank Coronas. Way down a maze of dirt roads.  Settled in.  Funky little cabins.  Walked along water.  Drove into town.  Ate at same restaurant – shrimp empanadas (delicious), locos (dense and not very tasty) and conger.  I went to bed. Tracy and Tripp watched an episode of Supernatural on her Ipad.

Thursday, January 3

Breakfast in cabana.  To Harbor San Augustine for boat tour.  Met Willie @gmail.com for English tour.  Tour was great! First we went to Choros Island. Dolphins frolicked around our boat. Saw on island: sea lions, 3 types of cormorants, vultures and Humboldt penguins.  Plus we saw the endangered sea otter.  Then on to Isla Damas.  We walked around it for an hour.  Back to harbor.

 

Back to restaurant for beers and shrimp and queso empanadas – delicious.  To cabana for a nap.  Dinner at same restaurant – this time ling cod and corvino (sea bass) fried.  Back to cabana.

 

Friday, January 4

Breakfast at cabana.  Packed up and drove back to Santiago.  No bathrooms for a long time after La Serena.  Lunch at a Shell station – hot dogs and empanadas.  No problem getting back.  I took a bath as I had not bathed in Punta de Choros.  Taxi to Katy’s work.  Walked about a mile to a neat bar and restaurant at the end of the Park of the Americas, Mestizo. Kids fed flamingos in park. Had pisco sours and ceviche.  Evan met us there. Taxi to another area. Spanish restaurant Pinpilinpausha (Basque). Had paella and salad.  Taxi back to apartment.

 

Saturday, January 5

Slept in.  Walked to Barrio Italiano.  The place we were to have brunch had construction next door that was very noisy so we left and ate at a little outdoor café, Café Anay.  Tripp and Katy had the Big Breakfast.  Tracy and I had delicious pizzas (whole wheat crust, serrano ham. cheese, heart of palm, artichoke hearts and onion).  Walked through cute shops. Walked over to Central Market and Plaza de Armes – the artist wasn’t there.

 

Walked over to BellaVista and had beers at usual place, Backstage Bar and Restaurant.  Walked back to apartment.  Rested.  Dinner in little area , Lastarria, at Restaurant Peztoro.  Shrimp croquettes, Katy and Evan shared fish, Tripp had pizza and Tracy had chicken kebobs.  Taxi home.

 

Sunday, January 6

Slept in. Drove to Santa Rita Winery.  Beautiful.  Nice tour. Wine tasting.  Delicious lunch at Dona Paula Restaurant in a beautiful room.  Swordfish, seabass, salads, salmon carpaccio and I had scallops parmesan.  Spiral cookie with ice cream and caramel sauce for dessert.  Stopped at Lider on way home to get stuff for next 2 dinners.  Guys dropped off rental car and walked to California Cantina to watch playoff game and drink beer.  Girls took taxi to Plaza de Armes.  Katy surprised us with makeup lessons with Victor for our Christmas present.  He was a hoot. It was lots of fun.  Katy was “daytime”, I was “late afternoon early evening” and Tracy was “night”. It was great.  We ordered some things that we have to pick up on Tuesday.

 

Back to apartment.  Evan cooked steaks and veggies.  More football. Watched part of a movie (too dumb) and went to bed.

 

Monday, January 7

Katy and Evan off to work. Tripp and Tracy taxied up San Cristobal and walked down while I made pumpkin pies. Lunch at sushi restaurant below the apartment. Then Tracy and I went to Los Dominigos looking for copper pots and other things. Did not find much.

 

Cooked turkey.  Liam and Jules came over.  Marcello made it for dinner.  Turkey was good but not as juicy as last one. But it was lots of fun.

 

Tuesday, January 8

Katy and Evan to work.  Tripp, Tracy and I went to Plaza de Armes to go to PreColumbian museum.  Could not find it.  Turns out it was closed for renovation! So we walked to Santa Lucia.  Then back to Plaza to meet up with Victor to get makeup.  Back to apartment and lunch at pizza place.

 

Met Katy at her office and walked to W hotel.  Met Evan and had pisco sours.  Walked across street to Tiramisu and had dinner.  (Tripp and Evan had pianini, Katy had salad and I had pasta).  We ran into couple from our Santa Rita wine tour.  They are from Louisville and live on a horse farm.  His son had just climbed a mountain in Chile and 2 young men from Kentucky had died doing it also. Taxi home.

 

 

Wednesday, January 9

Packed up in the morning. Tracy had a hair appointment with famous guy. Katy got off work and we went to Bellavista and had beers while waiting for Tracy.  Her hair looked fantastic! He suited it to her hair type and coloring.  We all loved it. Lunch at Como Aqua Para  Chocolate.  Really neat restaurant.  We had 3 types of pisco sours (ginger, merkin and aji).  Had 3 appetizers: ceviche, meat and veggie relleno and _______. Got copper pots.

 

 

Back to apartment, finished packing and got ready to fly.  Went to Bravissimo for ice cream.  Got the Millennium Berries.  Huge thing with 4 types of ice cream (strawberry, raspberry sorbet, vanilla and chocolate mousse) with berries and raspberry sauce.  It was delicious and we ate the whole thing! Santiago was hot – 95 degrees!

 

Taxi to airport. Saw the people from Louisville again.  Plane to Lima (watched movie, Looper ). Plane to SFO – tried to sleep.  Watched Who is Bernie.  Tracy got sick the last 2 hours and threw up on landing. Joe Warren picked us up. Home to cold weather.

New Blog – Woohoo!

Greeting Travelers.

I am Tracy Tripp. I am 31 years old and I have done a fairly significant amount of traveling  over those 31 years. I travel with friends, family and on my own. The purpose of this blog, at least as I see it, is for me to document my fun times and allow other people to benefit from my experiences.

I consider traveling not just what you do on a plane or on a road trip, but any adventure you depart on. My “travels” have taken me to exotic distant locals, but also crazy adventures in my own home town (SF Bay Area!).

I intend to write about my current travels, but also past travels which I wish to document. I also have a blog at supersweets.livejournal.com . I have documented many of my travels there as well, but I thought it was time I moved on from the LiveJournal lifestyle and create my own space in this virtual universe.

I am currently trying to book a trip to the Galapagos Islands and Santiago, Chile. I will update again when I have more of the deets for that vaycay.

Cheers!