Number of People with Nothing Better to Do

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Vacaciones con la Familia – Part III

The fam in front of Monasterio de San Francisco
At dinner on Christmas eve.
Erotic exhibit at Larco Museum. Recievee doesn't look all that pleased - a little startled in fact
The honeymooners

Lima – Were it not for there fact that the sun literally only shines for 4 or 5 months out of the year, I could live in Lima. Like all big cities, it has some pretty sketchy, crime infested areas but it also has some great areas and nice middle class neighborhoods with their own special feel. But, aaahh, back to civilization and sea level. It was refreshing to land at Jorge Chavez airport and breathe that sweet, sweet, desert-damp, sea-level air and not walk 10 meters without having to stop and breathe. We went to the hotel and chilled for the night. The next day, we went to the Peruvian equivalent of Whole Foods called Vivanda. It might have been the highlight of Mom and Sam's trip – they raved about it. Our hotel was in an area called Miraflores. Miraflores is a wonderful place of Lima but it's certainly not representative of Peru. Miraflores is where the rich, the pitucos, the "Haves" of Peru live.

In Lima we did the touristy double-decker bus ride. As we approached the enter of Lima, an historic but kind of shady area with a lot of crime, the view from the second story of the touristy bus was much better than the street level where all the shenanigans go on. During the tour we popped into the San Francisco Monestary, a church that had catacombs stuffed with thousands of bones. Later we hit Larco Mar, a shopping mall built on the side of a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean complete with a Tony Roma's, Chili's and TGI Fridays. We also visited a nice museum that had a whole exhibition hall dedicated to pre-columbian porn ceramics that turned me and my brother into giggling adolescents.

Christmas in Peru is celebrated at the stroke of midnight. Families gather on Christmas Eve, have dinner, eat paneton (sort of like fruitcake), drink hot chocolate, open presents and drink. We celebrated Christmas by eating at the only restaurant that was open - Chili's. Ordinarily you wouldn't catch me dead eating at a Chili's in the US unless I was in some bullshit suburb with no other choices, but it's amazing how delicious a chicken fried chicken with mashed potatoes and white cream gravy is after a year living here.

It was great to see the family again and spend some time together during the holidays.

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