From the Miraflores district of Lima, Peru ...
Our day began with breakfast in the hotel’s cafe. A breakfast buffet is included in our stay. We both had made to order omelets which were pretty tasty and some fresh mangos and watermelon. The coffee was hot today! And served with hot milk too! So we’re off to a good start.
Next we headed out to do some sightseeing in Miraflores. We were very blessed to have yet another sunny day with blue skies - a rarity in Lima this time of year. We visited the Town Hall which was an amazing building with lots of beautiful original artwork. A cute little man gave us a very nice tour and kept insisting that I take pictures of various items and rooms. We also went inside the Cathedral which is next door to the Town Hall. It was very beautiful.
Parque Central and Parque Kennedy are two parks which are really together and are directly across the street from the Cathedral. The flowers were really pretty. We noticed there were lots of cats in these flower beds. We never heard any type of explanation of this. Perhaps they had some catnip planted in there or something?
After walking around town a while, we went back to Cafe Cafe and got a small table on the sidewalk and ordered cappuccinos. We just relaxed enjoying the sights and sounds of the city.
At 2:30pm Chuck and Yanin picked us up at our hotel. Mirtha and Abad served us a very tasty lunch. It was fettuccine with beef tips, and the pasta was tossed in a fresh basil pesto sauce. It was very good, and they said it was one of Chuck’s favorite dishes that he enjoyed when he visited there. Chuck has had several extended stays in Peru with Yanin’s family since they began dating about 4 years ago. He completed one entire semester of his college education there at an American university, and also lived here for several months and worked. Yanin’s family has been very kind to him, and for that we are very grateful.
After lunch, Chuck and Yanin had to go to the church for the wedding rehearsal. They do things a little different here in that the bride and groom are the only ones to attend the rehearsal. Later when they returned, they tried to fill everyone else in on what would transpire during the ceremony. Although their weddings are filled with a lot of tradition, they seem to be much more laid back about things than we are in the States.
While the bride and groom were at the rehearsal, Aaron, Nancy, Charlie and I decided to take a taxi to a museum. Charlie had selected the Museo de la Nacion, a cultural museum, as a “must see” for our trip. Again, we paid a few extra soles to have a guide give us a tour. It definitely paid off here as most of the descriptions of displays were in Spanish. The museum had nine floors and the building was built as a military bunker when Peru was at war with Chile. They did an excellent job covering the various cultures of Peru in centuries past and was really well done.
The final display that we toured was a memoriam to the terrorist acts of the Shining Path organization which took place during the 80s and 90s. Our guide explained that he was not allowed to make much comment on this section for political reasons. So at this point, we walked through this display on our own. This took up an entire floor of the museum, and was very moving. There were film clips and many graphic photos displayed of the violence that took place. There seemed to be blame placed on both the Shining Path movement as well as the government who falsely accused many for being involved. It was very sad to see all the innocent lives that were lost. Charlie said it reminded him of the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC. It is heartbreaking but important to remember the lives that were lost.
Once we returned to Yanin’s family home, they had returned from the rehearsal. We sat around for a couple hours just laughing and having a good time. Most of us will be required to dance at the wedding reception with either Chuck or Yanin to a traditional waltz, and everyone is a little uneasy with dancing a waltz. Yanin’s father is insisting that she dance with all 15 of her uncles, and she is protesting. We’ll see how everything turns out. It should be interesting. :-)
On the way back to our hotel, we decided to stop for a bite to eat. The guys wanted to eat at Chili’s ... yes, the same Chili’s we have here. Charlie could not believe we were in Peru eating at a Chili’s. :-) The food was exactly the same, but the prices were weird ... same prices as in the U.S. So let’s see ... we had a club sandwich tonight that cost the same as my filet mignon in Cuzco at a very expensive restaurant.
So this ends another very interesting day.