My Birthday

woke up on my birthday to these beautiful red roses from Steve and a handmade note from Jayne & Vinny

This year, I celebrated my actual birthday alone with Steve. No kids allowed. Not that I don't enjoy a birthday celebrated with them, but I had been wanting to explore and see a lot more of our wonderful city here, and like I have mentioned, it is hard (more like nearly impossible) to do with the kids. So, my sweet friend Martha offered to take the kids for the whole day so we could explore the city and spend some quality couple time together. I couldn't have been more thrilled, excited, grateful.... what an awesome day it turned out to be.

Martha picked up the kids in the morning and then Steve and I hopped on a bus to have breakfast at Cafe Melba, walking through Parque Araucano on the way there. We had read numerous great reviews online like "best breakfast in the city" so I knew we needed to check it out. It definitely wasn't the best breakfast I have ever had, and if you happen to go don't order the pancakes (they are as stiff as cardboard... Steve literally could not cut through them with his knife!) and instead order the eggs benedict (our favorite out of the three we ordered).

Brace yourself for an insane amount of photos - even for me!

After breakfast, we headed on the metro over to Plaza de Armas (the heart and soul of Santiago) to see the Catholic Cathedral there and some of the older architectural buildings. There were locals and tourists in the plaza enjoying the beautiful weather, shoe shiners making an earning, kids playing games, people feeding the pigeons, and lots of little vendors selling various things. The Cathedral was incredible to walk through. It was huge inside! It reminded me of some of the old churches we had been to in Denmark - a novelty you just don't get in little Provo Utah (and much of the United States for that matter).

From there, we walked down to to the Chilean Museum of Pre-Colombian Art. It is supposedly one of the best museums in South America, with artifacts dating thousands of years B.C. We were pretty bummed to discover that it was under construction and won't be open again until next year. Boo! So instead, we walked down different streets admiring some of the older architecture and then hit up Santa Lucia hill (we had been there last time we were in Chile). We even got to see some sweet statues along the way (there are all kinds of interesting statues all over the city, usually of old men we don't know). 

Their are a few main hills (called "cerros") in Santiago. They just pop up in the middle of flat land. They were created from a volcano 15 million years ago. Crazy!  Cerro Santa Lucia has an old castle built upon it with lots of little pathways and staircases leading to the very top. We made it about half way up to a great view before heading back down. Steve was getting sweaty, and we wanted to be sure to fit in a couple more things before our late lunch in Bella Vista. But it is such a beautiful place to visit, and we enjoyed people watching (my favorite- the Chilean youth sword fighting with each other... brought back memories of when I saw kids/adults doing that in Provo, but fully dressed in Lord of the Rings-like attire... I know some of you know what I'm talking about!). 

Underneath the hill, there is a very small little market. We went in briefly just to check it out. It was cool how it was embedded in the hill, almost cave-like. After scoping it out for a minute, we crossed the street to the much larger Santa Lucia Market. It was awesome! They had tons of vendors and lots of great "Chilean stuff." Colorful this and that, leather, stone, jewelry, clothing, shoes, toys, knick knacks - just a huge array of all sorts of things... mostly handmade. The prices there were much better than Los Dominicos (which was great to see) and Steve even bought me my blue lapiz lazuli elephant!!! I was thrilled! I'll have to take a picture of him to show you since I don't have one on here. But he is a cute little fella.  There were also some sweet leather boots that I had my eye on... if they are still there when we go back I'll probably have to get them. Oh and I threw in a little picture for any of you Friday Night Lights fans out there. He is all over this city.

After the market, we walked a little ways over to Cerro San Cristobal (walking by some neat churches, tall modern buildings, and statues.... and grabbing a couple frozen drinks along the way), to ride the trolley to the very top of the hill. We had been to the zoo that was there, half way up the hill, but never to the very top. Although I was slightly terrified on the trolly ride up there (I have a fear of heights... no idea why, but I get dizzy and light headed), it sure made for an incredible view of the city when we got to the top. There were a few little vendors selling things, a couple little food joints, a church with an amphitheater, and the most noticeable - a 22 meter tall statue of the Virgin Mary (who the Catholic Chileans worship). A sign on the trolly said that the Pope was there in 1987. Pretty cool. We hear it is magnificent going there at night when the Virgin Mary is lit up, and the lights of the city make for an even more incredible view. Maybe we'll have to go back.

We ate a late lunch/early dinner at Como Agua Para Chocolate. Again, we read excellent reviews - and this did not disappoint!  The food was unique and delicious and the restaurant offered a beautiful atmosphere. One of the tables was an iron bed. See for yourself!

We opted out on dessert at the restaurant and instead went for some gelato down the street. We went to the same gelato place the day we went to the zoo. It was just as good. I was a happy girl.

And lastly, a couple shots from our walk back to the metro to go home - a creepy but cool looking art structure at the entrance of the metro, and a sleeping dog on the side of the road on the way to the bus stop. If I got a nickel for every time I saw a sleeping stray dog since I've been here, I would be rolling in the dough.

It was a perfect day. Sadly, it went by TOO FAST! I hate how that happens when you're having such a good time. I kept telling Steve that it felt like we just started the day and yet we had been out for hours and it was almost over. I had such a blast. It was exactly what I wanted and needed. I was so excited to see the babies when were done too. We picked them up, took them home, got them showered, read books, and kissed them goodnight. Then Steve and I watched Couples Retreat (free on Netflix). Definitely the worst decision we made that day. Don't even bother people! Terrible on so many levels! Whatever, to be honest, nothing could have put a damper on the awesome time I had out with Steve that day.

This one will definitely go down in the books!
(I mean, it's already down on the blog... close enough!)

Congratulations to those of you who saw every picture and read every paragraph. 
You can go to the bathroom now and get something to eat and drink.
Well done!


Chelsea said...

1. Happy Birthday
2. Great outfit - I think it's really hard to make long shorts look stylin... and you know I try.
3. I just remembered that I had a dream last night and Tim Riggins was in love with me in it. Your pic reminded me..... I feel happy now.

Kate Magleby said...

K, I'm officially coming to visit.

Angie said...

Happy Birthday!!! I love all the pictures. I'm so glad you got to have a day without the kids, all to yourself! And Steve of course. You guys were able to fit in so much!