I was a very lucky sister to have Jessica Lutz come and visit me in Chile! We spent a great week together exploring Valparaíso and Viña del Mar, hopping from apartment to hostel to apartment to hostel. Fortunately for Jess, my University decided to go on strike, so I hardly had any classes. And what more?….lots and lots of sunshine. I think the gringos bring good luck.

My host family offered to let “Yessie” stay in my room on the trundle bed, which was extremely generous. We both squeezed in my bedroom for a few nights, suitcases and all. Isabel is a bit of a clean freak, so we tried our best not to leave dishes on the nightstand, mom ; ) We spent a lot of time with my host family, eating meals and going for walks. Jorge loved showing her around the beach and parks and artesanía shops. I think Jessica will also attest to Isabel’s fabulous cooking! One day we ate Sopaipilla (a deep fried pumpkin bread) with pevre (guacamole, heavy on the cilantro). So delicious!

In Valparaíso, we spent a lot of time walking around (sorry for the blisters Jess), but had the opportunity to see a lot of wonderful architecture and graffiti! Of course, we couldn’t miss out on seeing the sea lions….and smelling them too. Pew.

Will all the sunshine, we hiked to the top of the dunes and were delighted with a clear view of Viña del Mar. We ate Reece’s and Almond Joys at the top, as a treat for our effort. I have missed candy from the states! We watched the sun set until the wind turned our fingers to ice cubes.

One night, my family cooked us some pre-party appetizers—quail eggs. I have never had those little guys before in my life, but they were very tasty. They told us that it’s a fancy appetizer at Chilean weddings. We finished them off, along with a bottle of wine!

After a great week of sight-seeing and carretes until the wee hours of the night, we heading to Santiago before Jess had to leave. We stayed at the most flaite (sketchy/dirty) hostel in Santiago, but only because it was the most convenient for navigation! Jessica enjoyed it a lot, too…inspecting for pubic hairs and sleeping with her sanitary gloves. Ha ha, just kidding. But seriously.

We happened upon a beautiful park in the middle of the Santiago called Cerro Santa Lucia. As you climb up this enormous hill nestled between skyskrapers you can see the snow capped peaks of the Cordillera (mountain range) surrounding the city. Of course pictures never quite capture the feeling, but it was so ironic, standing at skyscraper level in the middle of a park. Unfortunately, at this height you could also see all of the smog that plagues Santiago daily. But, the fountains and trees were lovely. And what do you know, there was even a castle at the top.

I had a wonderful home away from home experience with you, Jess! We have so many memories that would never fit into one blog post : ) I can’t wait to see you when I get back!

Peace and love,