Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Home Sweet Cusco

What a wonderful weekend. On Monday of last week we made the spontaneous decision to fly to Cusco for the weekend. Both of us knew that if we didn't go for it now it wouldn't happen any time soon. I start work in a week and even though I will have 3 day weekends in February we will also have my stepson here. It was perfect timing and on top of seeing my wonderful Cusco friends I was also able to sing with Claudio again after a year! It was also Marco and my first trip traveling by airplane. We were excited so we selfied it.

When we got in we took an hour nap before getting up to be productive. Marco had errands to run regarding English certification and University information. Meanwhile I met up with my friend Elizabeth for breakfast at The Meeting Place. I, of course, had a chai tea and a waffle with fruit. It was fantastic. It was also fantastic catching up with Eli. She is 3 and a half months pregnant and definitely glowing, even though she said the morning sickness in the beginning was not fun. I really hope I don't have to deal with morning sickness when and if pregnancy happen for me.

Anyway, Marco and I met up for lunch at Yola, our favorite Sunday lunch place when we were living there. They have great criollo food and a a good price. In the afternoon we crashed for a good couple of hours since our flight left at 5:30am on Friday morning and we had been up since 3am. After our nap we made our way over to San Sebastian to see Michael. On our way we passed the new plaza real shopping mall. Actually, we only saw the back of the Plazavea and the Promart stores but it looked pretty snazzy to me. Marco is all about having a shopping mall and it was about time it was put in. Apparently, people line up just to go up and down the escalator. Hell, if you had never seen one or been on one before it would be quite a trip for you too!

Our night was rounded out by a trip to La Justina Pizzeria. I ran into my friend Cristina (who got me the job at Altair this past year) and her boyfriend and a massage therapist I met a while back named Maureen. I love running into people I know. It is the best! After we finished we confronted the rain and ran into Alvaro, whom I played jazz with at the fancy hotels in Cusco at the end of 2012. Seriously, I love small town life.

We slept incredibly well on Friday night. It was chilly and dry and perfect for snuggling. It's been a while since we have actually fallen asleep in each other's arms. Summer heat isn't conducive to very much snuggle time. I forgot how cold toilet seats are as well. I took one shower while I was there too. I hated getting out of the shower in Cusco. I would stay under the hot and incredibly under-pressurized stream of water until I finally got up the nerve to confront the cold waiting for me.

On Saturday Marco made his way to the Señor de Huanca sanctuary in the sacred valley and I did some shopping and walking around Cusco. It felt so good. I stopped by Dragon's Palate to find that it no longer exists. Fortunately, I had some El Hada ice cream and tried some bread from the bakery that is at the front entrance now. They don't use traditional yeast and have a cool process that makes delicious bread. I wish there was something like it closer to us in Lima. I think that the place Madre Natura in Lima sells things like it but it is far from our place.

I headed up to the healing house and met up with Niki for a bit. It was so nice to catch up with her and see how things are going with the house. They are still looking for donors so that they can buy the place. It would be a shame if they got kicked out because someone else came along and decided to buy it. They do tons of spiritual and energy work as well as programs for local kids. They house travelers and put on great events. Check out their website and if you are really generous maybe you will make a donation!

I met up with Marco again for lunch at Yola. We had plans to meet up with Emily and Claudio at their place in the afternoon but decided it would be a good idea to eat lunch before hand and it turned out for the better. We ended up eating around 7pm.

The gathering at Emily and Claudio's was fantastic. They invited the mother of Claudio's daughter and her partner and 3 year old. A friend of Emily's named Katy and her 3 year old and another buddy of Claudio's whose name escapes me. We also met Bob Dylan, their dog. He was not really a fan of mine and decided that growling and bearing his teeth was a better way to interact with me. That's fine. I kept my distance.

We practiced a few songs with our bassist Carlos and proceeded to have a grand old time drinking beer and wine and chatting about schools in Cusco. Katy, who is from Australia, had quite the opinion about schools in Cusco. She was a riot and I really enjoyed her. We ended up having a great conversation later at the Museo de Pisco. It was also wonderful seeing Emily and while we didn't have a ton of time to catch up just us, our conversation was great and comforting to the both of us. I adore her and she is one of my oldest friends in Peru. She is also a freakin blast to go out with!

After taking a quick (and I mean quick) shower back at the bungalows, we met up at Museo de Pisco and rocked out. I can't even tell you how good it felt to play with Claudio again. It was like no time had passed at all. We had only practiced a few songs at the house but Marco said it was like we had never quite playing together. That was great to hear. I love singing with Coro Arpegio now in Lima but there is nothing like belting out some blues tunes solo.
After we played a Criollo band came on and they stole the show. They had us playing percussion instruments and dancing. It was glorious. Before the bar closed Katy, Claire, and Caroline all showed up. All of them are long time Cusco expats. It was fun to chat with them. Thank goodness Marco was so patient. He knows how excited I get when I meet up with people I haven't seen in a while and I get super chatty and talk really fast in English. I appreciate him not getting annoyed with me.
I played the quijada...
...and so did Marco

We wanted to keep the party going a bit so we headed over to Ukukus and danced. Marco and I both bought bottles of water which turned out to be a very good idea. Neither of us was super hung over the next day but it would have been really bad had we had more to drink instead of water.

Our last night in Cusco was a great one and we left the club with smiles on our faces.

The next day we slept in and took our time getting packed before heading to the airport. We were a bit delayed but eventually we got back to Lima where we saved 30 soles by taking a taxi to the metropolitano and riding it all the way home.

I have to say that there is nothing like visiting a place that you have lived. You know how to get around. You know how much things should cost and you get to spend your time seeing people you like and miss. It was a wonderful weekend.

Phew! What a weekend. I am excited to be back and ready to start work. I had my first violin student of the year today and she was great. I am really looking forward to having lessons with her this year.


  1. So you are back in the teaching saddle again! Since you are doing enrichment, don't forget to have vitamins and fresh veggies on hand for snacks.

  2. What are John and Elena up to since they closed their restaurant?

  3. John is going to focus more on computer programming which is his first love and Elena has always been busy with her art gallery. They will now have more time for those things without having to worry about running a restaurant too.