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Saturday, January 19, 2013

All the days are magical

What I like is about 2013 is that every date feels magical when I write it.

For example...
I like this year's date aesthetics.

And then of course, 3.9.13 promises to be pretty magical. March 9th is my birthday. I'll be turning [insert twenty-something age here] and I've had the inclination for awhile now that I wanted to make this birthday abroad pretty spectacular. As it stands, I've had several notable birthdays, both US-bound and abroad. My 19th birthday was spent in Mexico, complete with a surprise Mexican birthday party featuring a pinata, my surrogate Mexican family and tres leches cake shoved in my face. My 21st birthday was spent hungover on a plane on my way to Mexico for Spring Break with Kelli.  My 23rd birthday was spent in Cairo, Egypt. And last year's birthday was one of the best, in Sandusky with all of my friends having a ball on the town and listening to live music from the Womacks.

But this year will be different. I've made plans to spend 6 nights on Easter Island, alone, in a cabana on the ocean.

I've made all the reservations; I'll arrive on March 8th and leave the 14th. My cabana is booked, and all I have to do is get my gringa ass to Santiago by the 8th. I'll go with my yoga mat, my notebook and plenty of space on my camera. (Oh, and clothes and stuff.)

I don't normally splurge so much on trips, but the rationale is that I will never go back to this place, and I want to make it something quite memorable. Hence the non-hostel accommodations. I'm usually averse to spending more than $15 a night anywhere in any part of the world, but for what I'm aiming for here, my little cabana on the ocean was both a deal and a necessary component for the trip.


Now, here are some more pictures from life in Puerto Varas.

Osorno at sunrise.
The sunrises and sunsets here are so magical and pink,
all the time. 

One of my friends here, Fu, is from China and practices
Acupuncture here in Puerto Varas.
He showed me his vaguely communist cigarette case.

The wooden German church here in Puerto Varas,
early morning snapshot. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Non Sequitur

 Here's a shot of my cutting board, for no particular reason.
I was really impressed by the mushroom design.
Look at how gnarly that thing is.
(The red pepper bits are just for artistic effect.)

And then I found this rainbow a couple days ago.
Usually you see the beginning of the rainbow but not the end.
Well the end of THIS rainbow was in Lago Llanquihue.
And look at how brilliantly vivid it is.

Another shot of this epic rainbow. 
It was actually a double rainbow (not noted here).
Soo....a little bit better than just one rainbow. 

A shot of the Great File Transfer of 2013.
My files were distributed between two laptops (my old one
and the one borrowed from my friend, far left) as I
awaited the arrival of the New Vaio (far right).
Completing the transfer using only a 4gb stick was fun,
let me tell you. 

My new bike!
Her name is Hermanina. 
She has tricky gears and wobbly handlebars,
but I love her because she let's me zoom down hilly streets
and enjoy crisp Chilean airs atop two moving units that are not my legs.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Holidays Below the Equator

I've never spent a susbstantial holiday away from home, despite my extensive travels. This trip was the first time I'd ever spend all the major ones away from home - Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, and then who knows what else in the future - and away from family.

I was slightly apprehensive about how I might feel during these days. Obviously Thanksgiving came and went successfully, complete with Bursting Gut Syndrome yet thankfully free of Black Friday Madness. Christmas was quiet here and save a little unexpected Tearful Joy after talking with all of my family on Christmas Eve, I felt very calm and happy. Even away from family, I can have a successful and fulfilling Christmas.

Me on Christmas Eve! Note I'm not wearing a heavy jacket.
Because there's no snow here, Ohioans. No snow. 

It helped to have the girl's here. We opted to spend our Christmas Eve helping out with a dinner at the guesthouse where Leslie works, which allowed us to spend the time together, eat really well, and be surrounded by Americana-type comfort. The guesthouse is really gorgeous and it's decorated impeccably, so being surrounded by such cozy Christmas touches helped the holiday spirit.
Vicky readying the gourmet salads for the Christmas Eve dinner.

We made the decision to not purchase presents. None of us are really in a position to spend mass amounts of money on gifts, much less ship them around the world. So without the pressure of gift purchases, and the weather indicator (first Christmas without snow and cold - WEIRD!), it was really hard for me to remember that Christmas was even approaching.

Our awkward family portrait on Christmas Eve.

New Year's Eve festivities commenced with a fireworks display downtown at the beach. Around 11:50pm everyone started shooting off silly string and screaming and cheering and popping champagne bottles on the street. Then right at midnight, a huge fire sign lit up that said "Puerto Varas 2013"; it was really impressive. Then the fireworks started, and they went on for quite some time (far longer than the July 4th Cedar Point fireworks, for the record).

The rest of the Eve was celebrated in typical fashion (partying) but what was different about this New Year's Eve partying was that I was working. And working really, really stinking hard. We were slammed to the gills with people from 12:30am until the (not so) early morning, and I've never run so much at that place as this night. I think the first time I was able to look past the wall of people waiting at that bar was around 5am or so. Two girls were supposed to come in and help us serve drinks that night but something didn't work out right, because they definitely showed up behind the bar. Amanda, Keko and I served hundreds of people that night. Phew!

Plus I got a sunburn on the beach later that day, and took a dip in the Lago Llanquihue. Invigorating!!

Me and a friend braving the cold waters...
Not a bad backdrop, eh?

Merry Christmas (a little late) and Happy New Year to all my loved ones and dutiful readers! 2012 was a ridiculously fun, magical, eventful, rewarding and inspiring's to 2013 being all that and more!!