It was a lot of fun to see part of Chile. I enjoyed meeting Armando's family and friends. They were very welcoming to me.
Armando's Mom was a total sweetheart. She taught me to knit while I was there despite the language barrier. I like to crochet already but knitting is fun too. (Although, I still need a lot of practice yet!)
Because of the change of weather, I got sick while there and was sick a good bit of the time with a bad cold. Armando also got sick with a bad cold before we left. That was a bummer but we still did fun things like playing games. We often played poker with his friends until the wee hours of the morning! Or magic card games or the ship game. Don't you just hate it when you are on vacation and you get sick?
Armando and I lost our jackets at the Miami airport. Oops! I bought another one in Chile and thank goodness, Armando had another jacket in his luggage.
Armando's Mother's house was great. I liked her yard. It had trees and flowers and a gorgeous water fountain made from quartz.
She had beautiful rocks and crystals and little sitting areas that were so inviting. When you entered into her house, you were met with this trees right beside the door that were so tall and growing in an indoor brick container. Her roof is part glass and wood and the trees were nearly touching it. The glass from the roof let in such a beautiful light to her living room. Her house is so in touch with nature. She has bonsai trees and rocks and a shell collection and a horse collection. I loved it. In the hallway, I got to see great photos of Armando and his sister as children and picture of his Mom. I saw a picture of his sister with white doves on each shoulder. My favorite picture was of Armando's Mom and his Dad in the background and Armando as a little boy in the front standing by a tree. He was so cute. :) I liked a picture of Armando's Mother sitting on a big rock surrounded by water. She looked so pretty in that picture.
In Chile, it is very common to have wine with your meals or pisco sour (a Chilean drink with pisco and lemon). I liked the pisco sour and the piscola (pisco with coca-cola or “coca”as coca-cola is called in Chile) and I enjoyed Chilean wine too. The fresh bread there was delicious. Armando's Mom was a great cook. I was SO happy to see avocado or “palta” so readily available. I love avocado and I ate it a lot while in Chile in salads and on bread. Yum!
I was so happy to see the snow capped mountains of Santiago. I had seen so many photographs of the mountains and Chile that it really was great to actually be seeing those in person. I liked how when we stepped into his Mom's yard we were met with a view of the mountains every morning. I liked how the evening light made the snow on the mountains take on a golden hue.
When you go to downtown Santiago there was great architecture everywhere. The churches and many of the buildings were so ornate!
We met with Armando's best friend, Carolina in Viña and Valparaiso. I was so happy to finally meet her. I had spoke with her on the telephone and chatted with her on the internet before. She is a very sweet lady and with the prettiest long flowing hair. We had a very good visit and her and Armando showed me Viña and Valparaiso and the surroundings.
In the city of Viña, I felt very peaceful with seeing the sea and the water hitting against the rocks. The sound was completely relaxing and the atmosphere in Viña (in the winter at least) is very at ease. You see people going on horse drawn carriage rides everywhere. I understand that in the summer it is a different scene with many tourists coming from Argentina and of course other parts of Chile to enjoy the beaches and sea.
Valparaiso was so charming with the mountains covered with homes and the view down below of the sea. I really liked the bright colors of the houses and the little winding streets that went up and down, up and down. I also enjoyed the murals painted on walls. There is a University in Valparaiso that is extremely beautiful. It looks very British and is complete with stone walls and many steps.
In the part of Chile we were in, (Central Chile) you are surrounded by big palm trees, there were orange trees that grow in the winter and there were a lot of avocado trees. On the way to Viña I saw many vineyards.
Chile is a very long country so the country is very diverse. Part of the country is desert and dry, in one part you can see ice glaciers. I only visited a few cities and I was sick part of the time so I know I only saw the surface of a very beautiful country. I am glad I had the chance to go with Armando and to meet his family and friends. I look forward to another visit and seeing more of Chile in the future!
I included a few pictures in that we took.