A few weeks ago, Lauren and I took some time to celebrate our anniversary.
We started the week in the desert, exploring and hiking in Joshua Tree National Park and Coachella Valley Preserve. I visited Joshua Tree on my own a few years back and it was so much better to make the return trip with my wife.
After a few days we drove west and spent the rest of the week relaxing at the beach. The west side of LA has really grown on me.
Twenty three years and counting with my best friend. Luckiest guy ever.
We made our second trip to South America last month with a visit to Peru.
We began with a visit to Lima which is a the capital of the country. Lima is a big city, with a population of 10 million people. It is a beautiful old city and sits on the Pacific ocean. We spent a few days checking out the historic sites, exploring the Magdalena Market, and wandering the streets. We had an amazing lunch at Malabar. If you go to Lima, you must eat at this place and if possible meet Chef Pedro Miguel who is an inspiring chef and a lover of food and Peru. I also recommend exploring the art museums in the Barranco district. The MAC museum is quite small but very interesting with thought provoking work. Unfortunately we ran out of time and didn’t make it to the MATE.
We left Lima (sea level) and flew to Cusco which is about 11k feet above sea level. We could feel the heightened altitude immediately after stepping off the plane. We all had altitude medication, and our fair share of coca tea which helped.
We spent the rest of the trip in the Sacred Valley, the city of Cusco and exploring Machu Picchu. Some of my favorite memories: visiting the students at the Sol & Luna school, mountain biking through the little villages outside of Cusco, hiking to the top of Machu Picchu Mountain (2 hours up and 1 hour down), & wandering the San Blas streets in Cusco. We were very fortunate that the weather was so kind. Our trip took place during the rainy season but we only an half of day of rain.
Peru is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. The culture, landscape and people are beyond incredible. I hope we can make another trip to Peru in the future.
Last month we made our first family trip to South America. We spent most of our vacation in Uruguay.
Getting to Uruguay from the United States requires a long flight but it’s only a two hour time difference which makes jet lag a non issue. After a 10 hour overnight flight from Miami, we arrived well rested.
The drive from the airport to our hotel in Jose Ignacio was about a 2 hours. A rental car is a must. The Jose Ignacio region of Uruguay is along the east coast of the country. While nearby Punta del Este is bustling and tends to get more attention and fanfare, we personally were happy to stay in the Jose Ignacio region. It’s hardly a secret area but it is laid back with a chill vibe, and a place that offers beach, some shops, a gorgeous countryside and some wonderful restaurants.
It is summertime and the weather was quite hot during our week. We spent a few hours each day at the beach. The Arctic currents make the ocean really quite cold but after a few moments we got used to it and it’s quite refreshing. Getting on bikes and exploring all the little streets of Jose Ignacio was a nice way to see more and escape the heat as well. My wife and daughters love horseback riding and its a gorgeous place to ride. Sunset in Uruguay is mighty fine.
One week in a new place is not enough time to do it justice. But I can tell you that we want to make a return trip one day.
(part II here)
After our week in Italy, we drove 3 hours to Rome and flew to Greece.
Lauren spent some time in Greece during college, but it was my first visit to the country. Aside from our booked hotels, we didn’t really have much of a plan once we arrived. Each day we kind of figured it out. My friend Fred suggested we spend a day on a boat. We took that advice and it was a fantastic recommendation. So much fun.
Our time in Greece just flew by. I’m glad I visited those two islands. They are so beautiful and the people are absolutely lovely.