We have been so glad to have two different buddies visit us in September, and I have come to the conclusion that being a tourist in Chile is awesome. My friend Emily from high school popped in for a couple of days and we enjoyed local Chilean goodness as well as going on a Tours for Tips situation that was really interesting and enjoyable. I’m sure some of the other tourists thought it was weird that we brought a stroller and a baby on their tour, but we were just doing our thing. I loved seeing the huge fish market and Rayna liked playing around the marble tombs in the Central Cemetery as we heard a brief telling of the overthrow of Allende and the politics of Pinochet. We look forward to taking our next visitor on the same tour, because we’re sure there is more to learn and walking around with a bunch of other foreigners was fun!
The following week, our friend Ian from Colorado visited after a stint coaching his ski team in La Parva, a mountain resort about an hour and fifteen minutes from our house (we know this because we drove up to visit him…the road has 40 switch backs and is INTENSE, but the resort seemed great and we look forward to hopefully getting some skiing in next winter). Ian is the kind of guy who will offer to do dishes, tries to make your kid laugh, and never complains even if you’re dragging him to pay the gas bill (yes, we did this during his visit, and I’d never done it before, and I’d say it went well as they let us go in the preferential line because I was wearing a baby:). He stayed two nights in our tiny apartment and we thoroughly enjoyed having him around. One highlight was a trip to one of the biggest wine vineyards in the world, Concho y Toro. Leaving Rayna with her dear Colombian tios, we took the metro out of the city 45 minutes, hoping to catch our tour by some miracle. You see, I was planning this little outing, and unfortunately, my ability to allow enough time for things to all get accomplished has not improved since being in Chile. We were going to be half an hour late, and when we got in the taxi to take us the last 5km to the vineyard, the driver told us that the vineyard closed really early…we debated in the taxi about forgetting the whole thing, but living into our new philosophy of “Forge ahead! (Unless someone’s life will be in great peril)”(seriously, this is our new motto when it comes time to make a decision where going home seems like the easier road), we pushed on and arrived just in time to catch the last tour. It was fantastic. Touristy, yes, but who cares when you’re looking at a beautiful wine vineyard while sipping the product and in the company of great guys? It even had a semi-scary part in a haunted wine cellar, so we were all pretty pleased that we didn’t trust the taxi driver and forged ahead!
We also dragged both Emily and Ian running up Cerro San Cristobal, but made sure we also took them to good restaurants and had plenty of wine to rehydrate with. It was really sweet to share some of the treasures we’ve found in our area, while learning a lot more about the city we are situated in through exploring with our friends. So may this be an advertisement for future visitors: Come! We’ll act like tourists with you, while making sure to point you to good libations and even include a healthy dose of exercise in your visit. *No running up the Cerro required. Love!!!