Less than a month to our departure date! A quick update...we're still packing up the house (kind of in waves - not everyday), still looking for a renter (thanks so much to everyone who has sent folks our way - you rock!), and getting ready for the holidays as well! We are hoping to move to Jackie's house, Dan's mom, which is about 3 miles away in Edina by the end of December, so our house is ready if need be. Excitement and near panic fill me (can't wait to travel and how will it all get done).
Now, another FAQ. Folks have been asking where we will live once we get to Chile. Our plan is to arrive and spend some time in several different cities and then decide. We are planning on visiting Valparaíso, Viña del Mar, and la Serena. We've been in e-mail contact with friends of friends in all these cities and have done just preliminary research on schools primarily. They are all coastal cities with interesting aspects to them all. For instance Valparaíso is built straight up the hills away for a harbor and has a series of outdoor elevators that help residents with the daily climb (pictured here)! Viña is known as the garden city and has lots of great beaches where many Chilenos head for the summer break (Jan/Feb). The mountains not far from La Serena are host to several international observatories and it's clear skies are one of the best places in the world to view the heavens.
It will be summer when we arrive (sigh of relief) and after spending about a month visiting the friends of friends and these cities, we will join the throngs and take a two-week trip to southern Chile and visit the Lake District and perhaps northern Patagonia. After two weeks, we'll head back to central Chile and settle in to one of these communities (or perhaps one we don't know about yet) and hopefully have the kids enrolled in school and have a place to live by March 1st.
That's the plan for right now. Vamos a ver!