Monday, January 5, 2009

Vina Del Mar and Valparaiso

Sunday was a wonderful day in Santiago. We attended the ward that meetings next to the temple. Never have I met so many friendly people. I went into the building while Kent, Ben and Becca stayed outsife to take pictures. As each member entered everyone greeted them with a hug and a kiss including me. Missionaries quickly greeted me - all 3 sets. The meeting started on time and was very reverent. With it being Fast Sunday I could only enjoy the spirit of the meeting. Kent and Ben discussed the testimonies after the service. They were pure testimonies of the Savior Jesus Christ.

After returning to our hotel room and packing it was time to leave for Vina Del Mar. Because of the many tourist we were having trouble getting a driver to take. Some of the Taxi drivers offered but we questioned whether or not their cars would actually make it there. The hotel concierge said he was getting off at 1pm and would take us. He was doing it on the sly so we had to meet him on the side of the building. Such an interesting experience.

Our drive was about 1 hour and 40 minutes. The countryside reminded us of California in the summer. We passed the wine country and then the seaside town came into view. It looked like the pictures of an Italian seaport town I have seen. The seashore was rocky and dirty. Dogs and cats roamed looking for food. Swimming was not an option. To describe the town I could only say the people were poor but delightful. The town was as clean as Santiago. Flowers and plants were abundant.

Our Hotel was an interesting experience. Our room had a fan but no airconditioning. To cool the room we had to open the window and wait for the evening breeze to begin. About 10pm the room cooled down so we could sleep. People in Valparaiso and Via Del Mar are on vacation so the party continued late into the night. Traffic, police sirens, and voices became part of our steeping experience.

Today we are going to go on a personal tour of Valparaiso. Then about 3 we will board the Star Princess for the next 12 days. This experience has been so exciting. One that I thought I would never have. Having said that there are things I miss.
  • drinking water
  • air conditioning
  • a refrigerator
  • did I mention drinking water?
  • talking to my granddaughters

I won´t be updating my blog for quite a few days. I am not willing to pay for internet access on the ship. Just know that I am well, having a wonderful time, and washing my hands constantly to avoid the dreaded Norvirus. Also, I don´t have spell check (unless Ben is sitting by me) and the computer keeps correcting what is a correctly spelled word with a Spanish word so don´t be too hard on me when you see errors on the blog.

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