One day at school, I received a surprise mail delivery from Greg. Inside was a t-shirt from Virginia (his grad school)…and at the very bottom…his itinerary for his flight to Chile! I was so excited to see him in person after 3 months of being apart, and even more excited to show him around this amazing city. When I told my host family, they were even more excited. He was the first pololo (boyfriend) of any host student to come visit. They had a hard time remembering and pronouncing “Greg,” so he took on the nickname “Sarito” (the masculine form of my nickname — Sarita). So, feel free to call him by his Chilean nickname : )

We shared a lot of adventures during his stay! I was so excited that I planned a million activities. Even though we didn’t get to see everything on the list within the short week that he was here, we did have a lot of great experiences together…

After picking him up from the airport in Santiago, we headed back to Viña del Mar and checked into the Rokamar Hotel across the street from where I live. Since it’s the off season here, we scored a great room with a quaint little balcony on the second floor. We decided not to let the little blood stain on the sheets ruin the view and the really friendly staff. It was probably just wine anyway, right!?

We ordered Sushi with some Chilean amigos. Greg tried raw fish and Pisco for the first time in one night. We went out afterward to our favorite karaoke bar called Baraja. I couldn’t get Greg to sing in Spanish, but with a few more drinks, we did sing a duet!

Another night, we decided to test our skills in the kitchen and impress my host family with some delicious homemade wild rice soup (compliments of my mom and dad for the recipe). After hunting down the ingredients in the local supermarket and toiling away in the kitchen with Isabel peeping over our shoulders every 15 seconds, our masterpiece was complete. With Greg’s idea to add rosemary, it was the best soup I have ever eaten. My host family loved it, too! Needless to say, I think our dessert scared them off. We made No-bake cookies, but they never hardened because of the different consistency of milk here. So they were basically like gooey drops of chocolaty, peanut buttery goodness. Greg and I enjoyed them thoroughly, but we might have looked a little weird, licking them off of the tinfoil. “Yea, this is how we eat cookies in the United States,” we almost had them convinced. Crazy gringos.

The entrance to our hostal in Valparaíso. We couldn’t forget our friends, the stray dogs.

Greg’s first ascensor ride. They are more than 100 years old, and still used daily.

We enjoyed Terremotos with some of my best friends here. Wine, pisco, ice cream, grenadine…there’s no better combination.

I think gringos are good luck. We had sunshine almost every day that Greg was here, and gorgeous sunsets. It was sad to say goodbye, but I was a lucky girl to have my handsome Rubio (blonde) here with me in Chile!

Peace and love, Sarah

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