This blog is long overdue! I’m a PROCRASTINATOR albeit one that does believe that the universe speaks to us and yesterday it spoke to me. Two friends on opposite ends of the northern hemisphere both asked about my blog, and they seemed to be missing it! I was inspired and humbled at the mere thought of that. So to Reggie in Texas and Medha in Switzerland I say thank you! You really INSPIRED me to resume blogging which I really love doing and will examine why I allow life to sometimes get in the way of the things I love…but lucky for all of you I’ll save that for a therapy session.
I always love to visit Chile, after all it is the birthplace of my better half! The climate is similar to that of California (always a good hair day), there is an abundance of fresh fruits, vegetables and seafood and so much indigenous art and history. Did I forget to mention the great wine? We spent 8 days in March in the capital city and one of our first stops was the critically acclaimed Astrid y Gastón (Antonio Bellet 201, Santiago) whose specialty is Peruvian food, one of our favorites. We opted for lunch as our nights were pretty booked. I so wanted to LOVE this restaurant after reading so much about it. While the food was good and served up beautifully, the atmosphere was too traditional right down to the old fashioned Villerey & Boch dinnerware. For my taste, it was not very current, fun or hip, too stuffy and little uptight…I suggest a few of their delicious pisco sours to help loosen things up. With all of the other delicious culinary options in Chile I’m not sure I would return.
Margarita, my sister-in- law, knows of my love of food markets, so we went to the seafood market at Los Dominicos that takes place on weekends. It is in a lovely location near the Artisan Market at Los Dominicos on of my favorite spots in Santiago (more on that in a later blog). The seafood selection did not disappoint…oysters (ostras), machas, a local kind of mussel/clam served baked/grilled a la parmesan with cilantro, cheese and lemon juice, fresh scallops, erizos (sea urchin, uni to sushi aficionados). Muy rico!
One of my favorite adventures was a trip to the Vina Santa Rita, known for its great wine, but my favorite part of the visit was the Museo Andino, a collection of pre-colombian art 40 years in the making, all collected by the owner of Santa Rita. The collection includes Mapuche (people indigenous to Chile) jewelry, Chilean huasos (cowboy) saddles, stirrups (wooden and metal), textiles, Everything was beautifully displayed and it was quite a collection of artifacts. I loved it! Well worth the drive!
My least favorite part of the trip was my first earthquake experience which happened twice during the 8 day visit. Chileans like their Californian counterparts take it in stride but me not so much. One was 7.2 on the Richter scale and it was very frightening. the coffee in my cup was moving around as was everything in the room. Certainly nothing to keep me from traveling to Chile, just as they don’t keep me from going to California. Just something to be aware of and know the proper precautions. As my earthquake savvy Californian friend Lisa recommended in a text she sent me soon after the quake, “keep your shoes on the side of your bed in case of broken glass and don’t sleep naked”. Listen up!
If you haven’t traveled to Chile, or anywhere else in South America, put it on your “bucket list”. You won’t regret it!