Saturday, January 15, 2011
Our days in Santiago
Well, I thought I'd give a sense of how the kids and I have been spending our days while Dan has telecommutes with his Minneapolis office.
After a late breakfast and the ritual sunscreen application (the sun is very strong here with a hole in the ozone somewhere above Chile) around 9-9:30am, we have been trying to get out to see something around Santiago. One day we headed up to Bellas Artes and saw some cool art. Yesterday, we discovered the Science Museum. Modest by US standards, but we had a great time doing some great hands on physics experiments, wishing former professor Dano was with us, and checking out some cool astronomy and geology displays. Chile hosts all sorts of international telescopes because of its very clear skies. We hope we can visit some this year.
After our morning outing, we try to find some lunch somewhere along the path around 2pm...looking for vegetables or salad has been a focus of mine as Dan's last entry pokes fun at. Then we head back to the hotel, head to the really cold pool for a quick dip, and have a bath and a little down time. Around 6 or 6:30pm, Dan joins us and we head our again for a late dinner and some more walking around.
There's usually something to see or its just fun to discover more about the neighborhood - since everything is new. Last night, Gracie and I happened on some amateur astronomers in La Plaza de Armas on our way back to the hotel last night. The main plaza in the center of Santiago was alive with street performers, vendors of all kinds and tons of people at 9:30pm on a Friday night. We paid $1US or $500 pesos each to be shown a great view of the moon's craters and Jupiter's moons through the telescopes. Most fun was watching these hobby astronomers get all the kids excited about what they were viewing! Super fun. Needless to say, its a late night for everyone. We usually read a little or post something and try to get to sleep around 11pm.
Today being Saturday, was different and we grabbed Dan for some exploring. We headed up San Cristobal peak (around 800 meters above sea level). We didn't try hiking it, but we took this cool little rail car up the peak. We had a great view of Santiago in all directions. And then we did hike another 2 miles or so, over to a swimming pool also on top of another peak. They say its the pool with the best view in the world! :-)
Finally, we ended our day with meeting up with our friend's, the Valencias, family in here Santiago. We had such a fun time visiting with them and sharing a great meal that ended with huge ice cream sundaes. I must say that people in general have been incredibly friendly and welcoming to us. It bodes well for a great year to come.