Take a Walk on the Viña Boardwalk

Baby on a Bus | Viña del Mar Boardwalk

Viña del Mar is the crown jewel of Chile, if ever there was one.  It’s by far the nicest, most decorated, most hoteled, and most touristy city of the country, and it seems to be kind of the younger, more sophisticated, and more loved brother of Valparaíso just 30 minutes south.  You can even tell when you cross into Viña just by the difference in how the roads feel on the tires.

We’ve gone up there several times for various reasons, and it’s always been an enjoyable experience. It is a really pretty city, despite lacking a lot of the rough bohemian charm that Valparaíso contains.  It’s a good place to go for a walk, and even more so when you’re walking along the ocean.  A couple nights ago, our friends the Schramms invited us to do just that.

Sunset | Viña del Mar Boardwalk

We walked for a bit before coming to a restaurant on the beach and we decided to stop for a bit of ice cream.  Though we’ve had our difficulties with Chilean foods thus far, ice cream has been something desireable, especially a flavor called “mil hojas”, which attempts to mimic the flavors found in the non-ice cream dessert with the same name.  The result is in fact delicious, and Emily and I both ordered a scoop each.

Fireworks Show | Viña del Mar Boardwalk

We were greeted with a small taste of the New Year’s fireworks show to come (which we unfortunately won’t be present for) when a series of mortars went off across the bay. It wasn’t anything extravagant, but hey, where we won’t be getting any fireworks shows at all this year, we’ll take what we can get.

Visiting Friends | Viña del Mar Boardwalk

Valparaiso lights | Viña del Mar Boardwalk

We wrapped up the night by heading back to the Schramms’ car and driving around Viña to spot some of their Christmas lights, then headed home through the typical Friday night traffic and got to our apartment just in time for Carter to fall asleep in our arms.

A Visit From Grandparents

My parents have started their journey back home to Texas.  Their time here in Chile with us was much needed and, in my opinion, much too short.  I would keep them with us for the rest of our trip if I could have!  Words cannot really describe how grateful I am for them and that’s mostly because as I think about it all I can do is cry.  My head is filled with wonderful memories of my dad’s arm around my shoulders giving me a hard squeeze as we walked along the coast, his silly jokes and his repetitive stories, my mom’s laugh, her encouraging words, her cooking, and watching them love Carter.  I honestly thought that no one could love Carter as much as Scott and I, but now I’m all sorts of confused, in a good way.  If there was one word that could describe the time we spent together this last week in Chile, it would be love—so much love filled our little apartment while they were here.  We are so grateful for the time that we were able to spend with them and we are so sad that it is over!

Arriving in Chile

20141204_230941My parents came to the airport to meet us.  It was the first time we’ve been greeted as we got off the plane (and through baggage claim, immigration, and customs) and it was so fun!!  My dad was so excited that Carter fell asleep on him during our bus ride to our apartment.  After 44+ hours on a plane and in airports, Scott and I were excited he was sleeping on someone else too!

 

DSC06435The night we got to the apartment my mom had it all decorated for Christmas!  It was after 1 a.m. but I was too excited to see them to waste time sleeping.

 

Completos

DSC06436 DSC06441We got completos for dinner one night.  And I repeat, one night.  Haha it was just a hot dog with fresh tomatoes, tons of guacamole, and TONS of mayo on it so it really wasn’t that bad, but it was definitely just a one time thing.  My dad would’ve eaten one a day if he had his way!

An Early Christmas

DSC06455On Christmas Eve Carter got to open his first present—jammies!  Carter loves lions, so it was so cute to see him in his little lion jammies!
IMG_7980This is his excited face!  He saw his presents from Santa 🙂
IMG_7979 IMG_7990Talking about the nativity story with grandma.

 

IMG_7999He was too impatient to wait for one of us to peel his orange, so he took matters into his own hands.  He would’ve eaten the whole thing like this if we hadn’t stopped him!

 

IMG_8008 IMG_8012 IMG_8020 DSC06456Our attempt at our traditional Christmas Breakfast!  We improvised on a few ingredients so it was a little off, but it was fun to keep the tradition!

 

Sand Dunes – Viña del Mar

Before we made it to the sand dunes, we stopped for some chow in Concón.

DSC06462We LOVE our empanadas!
DSC06464We tried chorrillana.  Scott was finished after he saw the fries swimming in water and grease, but my dad and I carried on like champs shaking the salt on almost every bite.  I’d eat it again.

DSC06477The view was absolutely incredible and the weather was perfect.  It took us a little while to figure out how to get here, but it was well worth it in the end.

 

DSC06546 DSC06494 DSC06550 DSC06534 DSC06573

 

Sunday Walk Along the Coast

IMG_8026 IMG_8047 IMG_8062 IMG_8071

 

Walking Around Valparaíso

My parents had been in the city about 4 days before we arrived, so they showed Carter and I all over!

20141206_104057 20141206_112023Carter got a nice big chocolate chip cookie, a treat from grandma and grandpa.  We had cheesecake, so we had the better deal 🙂
20141206_114247 20141206_132849From this experience we learned that Carter loves these things when they’re not moving.  Not when they are moving.
20141206_122724After riding an ascensor!  These things are so cool!
20141206_133243A cheeky grin while being pushed on the swing by grandma.

 

Again, we are so grateful for the time we got to spend with family!  We are even more excited to return home and be surrounded by family again!