Well, it's been awhile
This past weekend we took a family trip to Viña Del Mar (aka the beach!). We left Friday afternoon and had to go to Santiago first. We got there and drove around and stopped in the plaza and walked around. We went inside this amazing old church and now I really want to go to Rome and see all the buildings and churches and statues and fountains. The inside was soooo pretty. There were giant pillars and carvings everywhere and it was hugeee. There was even a confession box! After walking around inside for about 10 minutes we finally noticed that there was a casket up front and somebody was having a funeral! That was awkward, so we left and got dinner and then got back in the car to go to Viña.
We got there at about midnight-ish and went straight to bed. I was so confused at first because I thought we were going to be staying in a hotel and then they kept saying "la casa" and then I figured out that it was Luis's brother's apartment (I'm still guessing on this...) The next morning at breakfast, Luis kept asking me where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do. I had no answers for him, because I'd never been there. Obviously. I just wanted to tell him, "Look. You live here. You've been here. You know what's good. You know what's bad. Take me to the good places." But nooooo. He just kept asking me.
That morning we went to Valparaiso. It was soooo cool! The houses are really poor and ugly up close, but when you look at the entire city, it's amazing. The city is basically hills that extend down into the ocean, so the houses are every which way on the hills and they're all different colors. That day we walked around the city and went to the street market and different shops and to lunch at this restaurant at the end of the alley...Ha, the food was really good there. We rode the elevators that the city is known for. That was pretty cool. Then we went to about 9225235 different beaches. They were empty because it's spring but in summer they are going to be full of people. At night we went to the mall and the boys went to a restaurant to watch the soccer game (Chile v Colombia). We won, 4-2! VIVA CHILE! It was sooo funny walking around the mall because every single guy was staring at a TV and everytime we scored, the entire mall erupted with applause and screaming and the CHI-CHI-CHI-LE-LE-LE-VIVA CHILE chant. I liked it. Afterwards, the streets were full of people running around with flags screaming and all the cars were honking for at least an hour. I wish the US was more spirited.
Sunday, we went to this old mansion and walked around more. Then we drove out to Quintay, which is another city on the beach. This one is way smaller and sooooo much prettier. Quintay used to be an old whaling center so they have big cement structures/ramps going into the water from when it used to operate. It's against the law now, though. We walked up this giant rock where the tiny lighthouse was and then we ate lunch at a little restaurant on the beach. After that we drove over to the part where there are houses. It's kind of just for rich people there. They are really nice houses. But the waves were huge and we walked down the beach for about 2 hours and watched the waves. When we finally left we drove to Isla Negra to the house of a famous Chilean poet, Pablo Nerudo. They turned it into a museum when he died 30 years ago. His house was full of art and crazy random collections of things. Everything was pretty cool there.
On Monday, we went into town again. We walked down to the port and went on a tour in a boat. We were right next to this giant barge ship that was unloading all the boxes and then there was a sea-lion sitting on the back flipper thing. Then we rode past 6 Chilean naval ships (bought from the US) that guard the port and then over to a buoy that had sea-lions sleeping on it. We left Viña after that and went back to Santiago. We got there at like 4 and went shopping until about 9 o clock. I bought some shoes and two shirts. They want me to buy trekking boots so that we can climb the mountains. I was originally planning on it because I thought they would be like hiking shoes but these are like legit hiking boots that you wear in the snow. And they're $160. Soooo, since I'm not a big mountain climber, I didn't buy them and now my family is like mad at me. Kind of. We got back home at 2 in the morning and I stayed up for another 2 hours and so Miriam let me stay home Tuesday! Whooo-hoo! And we're getting along much better now.