Sunday, April 04, 2010

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Saturday, April 03, 2010


Easter was a big event for Mateo this year, though he frequently kept saying it was his birthday. Don't bother correcting him,though, as he'll likely snap back telling you you're wrong.

At Mima and Papa's house he not only got to hunt eggs all over a big backyard, but he also got to skip his nap! Thrilling indeed. He needed some dir
ection here and there, but he found all the eggs but three. (Those eggs were found later, but unfortunately one of the dogs had found them first and, ahem, peed on them.)

The Easter Bunny was hiding in the tree. I bet you can spot him faster than Mateo did!

Mateo had so many eggs that he needed an assistant to hold a spare egg holding bucket.
Some of us wore bunny ears.

Some of us attempted to fly kites.

And one of us climbed a tractor.

Sometimes dogs have the most fun.

This one is just plain handsome.

All good things do come to an end, though. Thank you to Mima and Papa for serving delicious enchiladas and cake, and creating a fun Easter egg hunt for Mateo. He had a wonderful time hunting for and then examining his loot.

(P.S. I apologize for the large thumbnails, resulting in extra scrolling, but I had already put them up that way and decided to call it quits.)

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Kite flying.

After a very odd day (I started the day off being sick, and then later I went to a friend's house to chase a bat - it had flown away on its own), we bought Mateo a kite (Buzz Lightyear!) on a whim and then stopped by to fly it. It started off rocky, as we had installed the cross bars the wrong way, but soon enough it was up and flying high.

Mateo held it on his own for a long time. He did a really good job and says he's excited to do it again.

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Peru Posts FYI.

For those of you wanting to read the full posts from Peru it might do you good to click here. Otherwise, you can always read previous posts by clicking on a month in the archives listed at the bottom right.


A Family Day.

The day started slowly. For me, anyway. Everyone else seemed able to get out of bed, but I had a really difficult time. A Saturday morning shower helped, as did a quick batch of pancakes. At Rafi's urging we headed off to the bike sale at Mellow Johnny's (Lance Armstrong's bike shop here in Austin). I really liked the first bike I tested and had it set aside with my name on it. It was a hybrid with straight handlebars. But then while I tended to Mateo, Rafi kept looking and discovered this beauty:

Say hello to my new bike! I need to think of a name for her. I still can't believe I own a $1700 bike. Now, I want to make it perfectly clear that we did NOT pay that much for this bike. The sale was really REALLY good, so I got it for 60% off. I just love it when the discount is higher than the actual price!

And for our money I not only got this beautiful bike, but I will also be receiving a custom bike fitting (which I'll do next week), a woman specific seat, a year of brake and derailleur service, two tuneups, and an espresso (they have a coffee shop inside) included for free.

Thank you, Rafi, for my new bike! It's much nicer than what I would've ever picked out for myself, and it inspires me to ride again. And thanks to Victor who dropped everything to come help us with our bike decisions, and thanks to his wife Ingrid for coming with him! Oh, and a big thanks to Mellow Johnny's for not only giving me a kick a$$ deal on my bike but also for providing a fun atmosphere, music, and free food and beer!


All that biking got our tummies to growling, so we grabbed some healthy lunches and drinks and headed to Zilker Park for a nice picnic. There was evidence in every tree of kite catastrophes from the kite festival a couple of weeks ago. We sat under a nice shady tree, and our friend Andres joined us. Mateo and Rafi had lots of fun running around.

Eventually we lured Mateo into the car with the promise of a cookie. He ate half of it, handed it back, and conked out for the rest of the ride home. It had been a long day for all of us. He watched a Veggie Tales movie and then went to bed early. Rafi and I stayed up working - he on actual work stuff and me on the Peru blog posts. Going through 510 photos is a lot of work! (Hence why I didn't edit any of them.) And now that I'm all caught up, I hope to get back to my frequent, but short, blog posts.

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Peru - Day 5 - Victor and Ingrid's Wedding.

At last! We've finally come to the real reason we traveled to Peru in the first place - the wedding of our friends Victor and Ingrid. First, I want to say how very ultimately happy we are for the two of them. They are both wonderful people who I know will have a joyful life together.

Their wedding took place in Lima at the Iglesia de San Pedro. It is a beautiful church. Victor looked giddy as he waited for his bride, and when Ingrid walked down the aisle to the sound of an operatic choir, it just took my breath away.
The reception was also spectacular. We arrived at the Garden of the Museum of Art and were welcomed by a wonderful spread of appetizers and cocktails, huge bouquets of white flowers, and happy friends. Rafi was especially happy with the sushi bar. I liked the champagne myself.

And as you can see by the rest of photos, the party afterward was awesome! I danced until my feet (or side ache) could dance no more. We even tried to leave once, but we missed the bus, so back we went for two more hours of dancing!

Thank you, Linette and Arturo, for bringing your camera to the wedding!

Around 3:00am we finally gathered ourselves and reluctantly headed back to the hotel. We showered quickly, grabbed our luggage, and headed off to the airport. Long story short, every flight (three) we had was delayed, but thanks to Rafi's great planning (he left ample time between flights in case of such an occurrence) we made it home around 1am the next morning. The flights were long, we were exhausted, but we were so happy to be home. I missed Mateo so much at nights that I actually would turn to the side table to check the non existent monitor next to me.

Thank you, Mima, for giving up your Spring Break to stay at our house with Mateo and the dogs and cat. Mateo obviously had a super time because the next morning he said "I don't want Mommy and Daddy. I want Mima." Ha!!

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Peru - Day 4 and 5 - Lima.

Our check out was at 9am, so we scarfed down a quick breakfast, left for the airport, and flew back to Lima. After a quick hotel check in (Casa Andina Private Collection of Lima) the four of us, Linette, Arturo, Rafi, and I, had an interesting lunch at Fiesta. As my regular readers know, this year I am trying new foods. But I have to be honest. The only things on the appetizer plates I could handle were the corn and the dehydrated crab. I still don't have the gumption to try anything with tentacles.

The previous few days were so full that Rafi and I opted to just nap and lounge in our hotel room . When we woke up we were running late, but we got ready just in time to leave for Victor and Ingrid's welcome dinner. Alas, I have no photos of this, but it was held at Restaurant Huaca Pucllana. The food was delicious, and the room was really nice because it was essentially outdoors. There were some pre-Incan ruins there, too, which when lit up at night looked really amazing.


After a good night's rest Rafi and I decided to do a little exploring in Lima. The one place I had been dying to visit in Lima was the Convent of San Francisco. And it didn't disappoint. Rafi was excited to learn a lot of the cedar wood that was used in carvings originated in Panama. I was most impressed with the piles and piles of human bones. They were separated by type in various "cells." Each cell was four meters deep in bones, which I found astounding.

The Museum of the Inquisition highlighted the story and instruments of torture from the Spanish Inquisition. Men were hung by their wrists, held in stocks until their muscles cramped, strangled, stretched, and whipped. Women were water boarded. It was a very quick tour, but it ended in an interesting underground walk that showed some of the cells that people were kept in for six to eight days at a time.

Our walk back to the Plaza de Armas was hot and sweaty, but we were greeted by a real treat. Completely on accident we showed up right during the changing of the guards in front of the governor's palace. The Dragoon Guards march every day at 1pm around the entire square, accompanied by a marching band. The horses would "dance" sideways. We really enjoyed watching and listening and felt very lucky to be at the right place at the right time. Here are two small videos I took with my iPhone: Number one and Number two.

It took us a while, but we did finally find our tucked away lunch spot, Tanta. The service was slow, but wow, I had my favorite meal here. It was lomo saltado, and it was lomo delicious! And here I enjoyed my last Inca Kola.

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