First of all, THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts for all the comments and encouraging notes; we LOVE all of your love and appreciate it so much!! It’s a huge bright spot when we have a little something something from you all to read.
Okay, so we have to admit, we were a little hesitant about Santiago at first as the people in Peru did not paint the best picture of the country largely due to their historical differences and competitive spirit. However, we quickly learned what an energetic and modernized city Santiago is.
Our first meal was at the Patio BellaVista, which is an incredibly lively area! In particular, where we had dinner, must have featured a square block of thousands more doing the same thing. Literally restaurant after restaurant, shop after shop, live music, happy hours, everything was rockin. Leah was so fired up by this that she even knocked over a full glass of wine all over Skyler. It was a scene out of a movie.
The following day we went exploring. Thankfully the Santiago metro system is easy to use (or Leah just makes it look that way) and we were able to catch up with a free walking tour of the city and learned some incredible history. The tour was full of fun facts. One of Skyler’s favorites was a small pub they called La Pica that was across from the Opera House. Apparently it wasn’t making any money and the owner was set to shut it down. But fortunately for him, former President Bill Clinton happened to be Jonesin’ for a Diet Coke after the show and headed to the pub to quench his thirst. Not only do they still have that same Diet Coke preserved in a glass case for all to see, but it reenergized the pub and saved his business due to all the hype. We also learned that almost every 25 years Chile gets hit by a massive earthquake, with the last one being an 8.8. But the city holds strong and rebuilds quickly and the architecture remains as beautiful as ever.
Lunch that same day was at a super hole-in-the-wall local place called Galindo. There we shared a traditional Chilean dish that was served in a cast iron pot filled with ground beef, spices, shredded chicken, eggs, raisins, olives and a caramelized layer of corn bread to top it off. What we could barely finish between the two of us, some kid next to us polished off an entire bowl by himself. Must be the competitive spirit?
Yearning for more culture, we grabbed a bike tour of the city the next day and saw beloved poet Pablo Neruda’s house, the unique street art and the Vega; think local one stop shop market, bazaar style. Afterwards Skyler talked Leah into a hike up Santiago’s highest point for a view of the city (because the Inka Trail just wasn’t enough). Then Leah talked Skyler into watching the Super Bowl. Doritos, beer and possibly a little local flair they call Papa John’s, we enjoyed a night of American Football… in Spanish. Oh and did we mention Skyler won his Fantasy Playoff League?!
Deuces Santiago, we love you!
P.S. For those fans of the movie There’s Something About Mary, Skyler tried with fierce abandon to embed the famous scene about Santiago, but sadly no one else thinks it’s worthy enough to post a clip online to share.