Saturday, July 17, 2010

Hola from Chile

All I can say is this country has totally exceeded my expectations.  It is fabulous here!  Its really cold but dry and sunny -- we even eat outside sometimes.  The countryside reminds me of Colorado or El Paso.  The people dress very smartly, like Italians, but they dont wear a lot of make-up.  Everyone is polite and friendly.

And the food!  Like the US, there is local food, but also lots of ethnic food -- Italian, German, Thai, Sushi -- and its really good.  Wines are fabulous, of course.  There is a strong English influence, which we can see in the tea and the round-abouts and gardens.  The only thing they dont have that is fantastic is.... coffee.  Its pretty poor, and Anthony is suffering a little. 

Mi amiga, Fran, is having so much fun proudly showing us her country, and her family is so kind and welcoming.  In Santiago, we are staying in her brothers beautiful apartment [he stays with his girlfriend] which is spacious and stylish and has a kitchen worthy of the Ikea showroom.  They have taken us places and had us in their homes.  We feel so lucky.

This weekend we are on the shore, in Valparaiso.  This is a crazy town with tiny darting cobblestone streets up and down the hills above the Pacific and ramshackle buildings.  There are lots of funiculars and sleeping stray dogs.  We have had more good food and wines and hate to leave tomorrow.   Anna is begging me to play Uno,  more later...

Monday, July 05, 2010

Midsummer bountiful dream

That had to be the fastest June on record.  I can't believe the summer is half over (practically).  I am really quite perplexed at how busy my life has gotten.  Anthony is working more, and the kids are in more activities, and I guess that is enough to push me past the blogging point.  I don't even watch TV anymore.  When will it get better?  Probably when Anna starts driving!

June was full of lots of fun, especially with a visit from our family's BFF family.  Do you have a friend that you love to talk to, whose husband is loved by your husband, and who has two children exactly the same age as your two who likewise totally get each other?  Well, you should, because its great.  They came back into our lives, and we all picked up right where we left off.  We ate, drank, talked, swam, and lived together in happy chaos.  They left somethings at our house: liquor, wine, chocolates, bamboo mats, peanut butter, and many happy memories.

Incredibly this month, we have homegrown peaches.  We have had a peach tree for about 6 years, and in that time we've seen a total of three (3) peaches.  Of those peaches, we've collectively eaten half of two of them, the remainder of those 3 were stolen by birds or squirrels.  Other years, there have either been not enough chill hours in the winter to set fruit or hail storms in the spring, knocking all the fruit off our tree.  Ah, but this year, our tree is groaning under the weight of at least 200 tiny fruits, growing rosier by the day.  The squirrels and worms have claimed their share, but I don't mind when there's this much to go around.  We've had quick peach jam, peach margaritas, peach cobbler, and tonight, peach gelato (sorbetto, really).  OMG it is so good!  The tomatoes are also giving us decent yield, enough for lots of bruschetta and insalata caprese.  I will never forgive the squirrels, though, for eating every. single. unripe. pear. of the tree last weekend.

We've also had a bounty of rain, keeping summer not quite scorching, thanks to the hurricane.  Swim team is over for us, and Colin won lots of ribbons -- he is in a small age group (6 and under) and is one of the oldest since he turned 7 right after the cut off.  Anna has been a little jealous since she is one of the youngest (birthday right before the cut off) in a huge age group, and although she has beautiful form she is not one of the fastest swimmers.  Colin even qualified for the regional invitational meet in backstroke, which we'll have to miss because....

NEXT WEEK WE GO TO CHILE!!! I am so excited and cannot believe our trip is upon us!  We will be seeing my friend Fran and her family, and hope to go to the wine country, the coast, the lake district, hop across to Argentina, maybe even Patagonia.  Anna and I have been listening to our Spanish podcasts, and we're all reading up on our destination.  It is winter in South America (maybe go snow skiing?), and I can't wait to see the water go counter-clockwise in the toilet.  So I may not post here again until we are on the trip.  Lo siento!