In The Hands of My Son

June 26, 2013 – Post-Peru Day 003

Your guest photographer for today’s post is my middle child.

I take no responsibility for the subject of his snapshot. All I do stand accused of is the fact that I have posted them for your amusement.

While we were in Mexico, we stopped in a grocery store where they had the following items on sale. My middle child, being of that age where certain words are deliriously funny (and apparently I am still at that age because I snickered too) asked for my camera so he could capture for all time the below products..

Only twenty-two pesos

Only twenty-two pesos

Get ’em while they’re hot! And just in case, you’re felling tired, try some…

Tony says they're great

Tony says they’re great

In the next post, I promise a return to a maturity level that Sam would find appropriate.

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Lone Regret

June 23, 2013 – Day 702

The van is waiting outside. All eleven of our suitcases are by the garage door waiting to be loaded into the van. The house is looking just as white and stark and empty as it was when we arrived 702 days ago.

I am at the front door with my had on the door knob about to close the door for the last time.

We are leaving Lima, our home for two years, and we will never be back to this house ever again. We have had, over the long run, an excellent time in Peru. We have seen new sights, experiencing new things, and ate new foods.

Over a span of seven hundred and two days, we have travelled to Machu Picchu, the city of Cusco, the ruins of Suqsaywaman, and the jungles around Iquitos (to name a few places).

Members of the family have surfed in the Pacific Ocean, sandboarded down the dunes in Ica, and saw a dead pig in a trunk (to name a few events).

We have sampled rocoto peppers, pisco, and cuttlefish (to name a few items).

We have seen a great deal, done a great deal, and eaten a great deal during our time on Peru. In all of our adventures and experiences, I have absolutely no regrets…save one.

As my hand leaves the door knob and I make my way to the vehicle that will whisk me to the airport that will take me to the vehicle that will whisk me away from Peru, I am truly full of regret that I never pushed the button.

Travel Theme: Big

June 26, 2013 – Post-Peru Day 003

It’s so nice to be moderately settled enough in our new home so that I can answer the weekly photographic challenges posed by on-line folk.

This week’s theme from Where’s My Backpack? is big.

On our third day in Mexico – and our third day after leaving Peru – (and once I was feeling better from the insidious effects of altitude sickness) the family, our host, and I travelled into the heart of Mexico City and visited the Museo Nacional de Antropologia.

In addition to many other fascinating artifacts, this museum is home to the Aztec Stone of the Sun (often mischaracterized as an Aztec calendar), replicas of Mayan murals (such as those an Bonampak), and an Olmec head.

As big as those above items are, there is one thing in this museum that fits this week’s photographic travel theme. After paying admission and handing in your ticket, the first thing the visitor sees of this museum is a large plaza. This plaza is not technically an open-air plaza, because there is a roof.

Except it isn’t a roof. It’s an umbrella. The covering that spans the entire plaza is held up by one single pillar. It is the pillar and the umbrella that are my answer to this week’s challenge.

That's a big roof

That’s a big roof

This picture doesn’t quite do justice to the bigness of the pillar and umbrella, so you’ll just have to travel to Mexico City to see for yourself.

A Place for his Stuff

June 28, 2013 – Post-Peru Day 005

After departing Lima, the family and I travelled to Mexico City. Once I recovered from my altitude sickness, all of us were able to enjoy a day of sightseeing around Mexico’s capital.

For this Friday, we took a tour around the Castillo de Chapultepec, a lovely piece of real estate and architecture that I might blog about later.

Okay, here’s one picture from the Castle, but only because my middle child took it and he’s quite proud of it…

Take Five

Take Five

After the visit to the castle, all members of the family (except for yours truly) went out on a paddle boat in the lake that is in Chapultepec Park. See…

Pedal Power

Pedal Power

All that aside, one of the neatest things I saw today was a view from outside our host’s window. As we sat down to a wonderful supper, my eyes caught a glimpse of an odd-looking structure off in the background of the apartment’s view of Mexico City. Take a look…

DSCN4796

…and closer…

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…and closer still.

DSCN4794

This interesting-looking building happens to be an art museum which opened in 2011. However, rather than being the art museum for Mexico City or for the country of Mexico, this shrine to the aesthetic houses the personal collection of one man, Mexican billionaire – and the richest man in the world (as of March 2013) – Carlos Slim. Named the Soumaya Museum, it houses works by Monet, Rodin, and Diego Rivera.

It’s also free to the public.

Nice touch, Señor Slim.

From Lima to Bangkok

August 7, 2013 – Post-Peru Day 045

Our time in Lima has expired, but our time in Bangkok has now begun.

Hop on over to my latest blog, 963 Thai Days, and follow our Thai adventure.

Since I still have unshared pictures and untold stories about our stay in Peru’s capital, I will still stop by this space and publish posts about our stay in Lima.

Off to the Pyramids

June 25, 2013 – Post-Peru Day 002

The Family is in the midst of our nomadic existence between stops on our international adventure. For the first week after our departure from Peru, we spend those seven days in Mexico.

Our second day in Mexico City saw our family unit visit the ruins of Teotihuacan. To be completely technical, the family unit minus myself partook of the majesty that is this site. I, on this Tuesday, was suffering through my second day of dealing with the same high-altitude symptoms (e.g., headache, dizziness) that leveled me in Puno, Peru. I have now learned that my ceiling for visiting high-altitude locales has been lowered to 2,241 meters (7,352 feet), which is the height of Mexico City.

So, Denver, Colorado, at 1,564 meters (5,130 feet) is still open to me.

Good thing Bangkok clocks in at an average elevation of 1.5 meters (4.9 feet).

For your viewing pleasure – and for mine, since I missed it this time around – here are some of the pictures from that visit.

The centerpiece of the Teotihuacan complex is the Pyramid of the Sun.

DSCN4507

It is possible (and permissible) to climb to the top of the Pyramid of the Sun. From there, you can see another large pyramid entitled the Pyramid of the Moon.

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Now, while it is indeed possible to walk to the top of the Pyramid of the Sun, you must take care. Below shows you the steepness of the some of the stairs you need to traverse.

DSCN4513

One of the other main structures at Teotihuacan is called the Temple of the Feathered Serpent. No one in my group took any pictures of this place, but during the next day we all (I got better) visited the Museo Nacional de Antropologia in Mexico City. In that venue, they have a reconstruction of some of the statues that adorn the Temple of the Feathered Serpent.

DSCN4564Stay tuned to this page for the further wanderings and ramblings of yours truly.

Wheels Up

June 23, 2013 – Day 702

After seven hundred and a pair of days, our Peruvian adventure is over.

At 9:29am local time (10:29am EDT), our plane’s wheels left the tarmac of Lima’s airport and we left Peru behind.

While our time in the City of Kings is over, this blog is not yet over. I still have pictures and stories to share so I plan to continue to use this space to share those items.

Though our two years in Peru has finished, the international adventures of our Family has not yet ended and I have a blog for that also. When you have a moment, pop on over to 963 Thai Days.

Wrapping Up: Final Bookend

June 22, 2013 – Day 701

Earlier I wrote about how our last days in Lima were populated by bookends.

Our last night in Peru was also (unfortunately) quite similar to our first night, seven hundred days ago, in Lima. For a quick recap of that less-than-lovely night, you can jump here.

For our last dinner in the City of Kings, we dined out. As we walked out of our house, we could hear the less-than-dulcet tones of a DJ party emanating from the house across the street. This was around 6:00pm.

The noise continued when we returned from ice cream.

The noise continued while we packed.

The noise continued and continued and continued.

The noise continued until 3:00am.

Well, at least the aji de gallina I had for dinner was a good last taste of Lima.

Weekly Photo Challenge: The World Through Your Eyes

May 27, 2013 – Day 675

WordPress has provided the theme of “The World Through Your Eyes” for their weekly photographic challenge.

As I am wrapping up my Peruvian stay, I feel like I need a drink.

It's the middle glass to watch out for

It’s the middle glass to watch out for

This picture was taken during a city culinary tour that I attended with my lovely wife. In no way have I been compensated by this outfit, but if you ever find yourself in Lima and want an excellent view of the city, please (please) contact these folks over at Capital Culinara.

At this particular restaurant stop in the afternoon – in addition to creating our own ceviche – we also sampled two different types of pisco, an alcohol derived from grapes that is native to Peru and Chile.

The glass on the right is slightly colored as it is a berry-infused version of pisco. The middle glass is straight pisco and is quite delicious. The taste is similar in strength to vodka and only after two belts, my vision began to distort just as much as if I was looking through a glass filled with pisco.

Then we made ceviche and I bit into the rocoto again. That’s what pisco does to your memory.

Wrapping Up: All The Be?t

June 15, 2013 – Day 694

? = s

I have written about the music scene here in Lima (see here and here for samples) and how acts ranging from the 1980s to today fill the seats with their performances.

Another aspect to the music scene (and one I have not written about before) in Peru’s capital city is the thriving world of cover bands. Also known as tribute bands, one can buy tickets for these performances honoring the musical styles of Bob Marley to Madonna to U2 to Radiohead.

Tonight, on this Saturday evening, is an act that appears to combine the two. In honor of the 71st birthday of singer / songwriter (and left-handed person) Paul McCartney, there is a musical act coming to the City of Kings to embrace the music of the Beatles. In one sense, this performance is a tribute band honoring the Fab Four.

Nothing new there as there have been tribute bands to the lads from Liverpool before.

What was different was who was leading this night’s performance.

His name is Pete Best and he was the drummer for the Beatles before Ringo Starr.

To me, Best’s band appears to be the intersection of a tribute band and a musical act.

This place never ceases to me amaze me.

? = r

Over the course of this blog, I have had a quartet of goals during my stay in Peru. The first three (originally written about here) were…

a) Come home in one piece
b) Have fun
c) Avoid sparking an international incident

As for “a”, knock on wood, I am a few days away from achieving that accomplishment.
As for “b”, I have satisfied that goal in buckets as I have travelled to Machu Picchu, an amusement park, a park, and rode a sandboard…just to name a few.
As for “c”, a thorough query of any Internet search engine produces no hits on my name and the phrase “international incident”, so I call that a success.

My fourth goal deals with Bert. That’s the name I gave to the cactus I wrote about during my fifth day in Lima. Back then, I wrote that my task was to ensure that Bert stays alive during my stay.

Nearly 700 days later, I am pleased to announce that…

It's alive !

It’s alive !

…Bert has survived my black thumb.

(If there is any botanist in my audience who can disprove my assertion based on the visual evidence provided above, please let me know.)