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Published: October 4th 2014
Today was spent getting reacquainted with the wonderful neighborhood that Patricia and Laine live in.
My flight landed early, which was a good thing because going through immigration and customs was a nightmare. Thousands of people from every nationality were being processed, and long lines seemed to be never ending. But nothing could dampen my enthusiasm.
Did you know that Chile has very strict restrictions about what comes into the country in the manner of any products that could pose harm to the fauna or flora here? They are very vigilant. Fruit products, seeds, honey, cheese, wood. Anything that could contain contaminants is subject to fines if they discover you bringing them in. Even legal action could incur.
It took so long to get through, that by the time I found the luggage carrousel my suitcase had long been removed and it took me a while to find. Poor Patricia was frantic thinking she had somehow missed me and I was meandering somewhere. It didn't help that on her way to pick me up, whilst navigating the "loop of death" road near her house, she got into a little fender bender. Yikes! Is it contagious?
not contact her because, my attempt to avoid high fees in the case of any phone calls or text, had rendered my phone unoperable. It turns out that turning off voice roaming turns off everything else alongn with it. WTH?
Anyway, she finally finds me and, a wide smile plastered in my face, we head over to her stunning condominium. The sight of those mountains from their balcony never gets old. It is warm. There isn't a cloud in the sky! It is wonderful, and stepping into her guest bedroom feels like a dream come true.
Unpacked, my dirty clothes handed over to the "nana" for washing (and ironing!) and me bathed and redressed, we walk over a few blocks to the W Hotel for lunch at their restaurant, Bistro Km0. The waiter asked if we wanted to start with a Pisco Sour. Need he ask? I must have looked like an eager dog waiting for a bone. Ahh! Bliss! Fabulous food, and totally cool set up.
This area is the most modern of all the Santigo neighborhoods. On the way to the restaurant we walked by multiple sidewalk cafes, and the towering business buildings on the
main business street are surrounded by residential condominiums, parks, and quaint stores. It is spring here, and there are flowers everywhere, on the trees that line the streets, and cascading from the balconies of the residential buildings. They all have balconies, and fountains. The architecture is wonderful, and I was sorry to have forgotten my camera. I did take a couple of pictures of the tallest of the buildings with the sun setting behind it in brilliant hues. It is the Santiago Tower and outstanding not just because its height but also the architecture. It is not quite finished yet. It had been barely started the last time I was here.
So, the remainder of my day was spent sightseeing around the neighborhood, and shopping for the Happy Hour on the balcony when Laine got home. Wine from the World of Wine store, and gourmet cheeses and breads from La Coquinaria, a gourmet shop and restaurant that I much enjoyed last time I was here. We just came in from enjoying a wonderful evening on the balcony, with light until almost 9:00 PM, watching the fabulous sun set give way to the lights of the City coming on behind
the gulf course towards the Cordillera, while enjoying great wine from one of my favorite Chilean vineyards, Vina Aquitania, and a fabulous array of accompanying bites.
Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings. I am beat now. Long night of flying with little sleep. The temperature has dropped into the fifties, and the streets are quieting down 24 floors below the balcony outside my bedroom. I think I am going to sleep well.
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