Wednesday, May 30, 2012

an apartment in cartagena

Buenas tardes, darlings. Thank to all who wished me a happy birthday on the various social media outlets! It most certainly was. I'm currently back in Bogotá and will be USA-bound on Friday. So, what'd we miss? Well, a stop by el Museo del Oro, the metrocable in Medellín, and every lovely detail about my visits to Cartagena and Leticia. Forgive me for sharing Colombian stories out of order but while I wrap up my visit, and get even more work done, it's difficult to do anything but. Allow me to present our gorgeous accommodations in Cartagena:
 And the absolute best part? Most definitely the view...
My grandmother's cousin (and thus my distant cousin) allowed us to stay in her apartment during our four days in the Old City of Cartagena. If it hadn't been so hot, I would've had much, much more trouble leaving; what with my new hostal friends and the various gourmet restaurants and... I'll save all that for next time :) nos vemos in Nueva York.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

what makes you happy?

Last year, around this time, I listed a few of my favorite things. Many have stayed the same. But lately, there are a couple more that have been making me happy: new friends, fresh fish, bright flowers, modern art, Amazon canoes, dark coffee.
Also, skyping with my family. And listening to my grandma's childhood stories. 

Oh! My birthday, too. I'll be kicking off my 24th year at a chocolatier in Brazil with one of my favorite people. I think that means it's going to be a good one :).

Friday, May 25, 2012

modern art in medellín

We flew into Medellín last Saturday. I was excited; (1) because I enjoy cities and (2) because Dave loves it so much, he decided to move there. Not to mention since our flight had been delayed that morning, it was such a relief to finally arrive.
After checking into our hotel, we immediately sought a late lunch. With salad cravings in mind, we headed to 360 Bistro at the mall around the corner .
We split a bountiful green salad and a delicious piece of tuna.
For our next move, we decided to check out the impressive Parque BerrioThe main attraction? A great multitude of original sculptures by Colombian artist, Fernando Botero.

Dinner that evening was disappointing, but the night that followed... wasn't. I was desperate to experience Colombian nightlife (and even just mingle with a few guys and gals my own age), so, I took a chance and messaged a few people on CouchSurfing to ask if I could join their p.m. plans. Lumy responded, and a couple hours later, I was at Blue with her and her co-workers. Fun times ensued.
The next morning, I needed that café con leche... along with the scrambled eggs, toast, watermelon, and almojábanas.
On the agenda? A visit to the Parque de los Deseos to see the Casa de Musica and the Museo de Arte Moderno to avoid the rain see an amazing exposition by French artist, Sophie Calle.
We had a fabulous lunch afterwards: grilled chicken, vegetables, Chilean wine. 
Oh, and coffee ice cream.
After a nap and some work, we went downstairs at our hotel for dinner. As in Ecuador, dinner is often light, so our meal simply consisted of a sandwich, salad, and dessert (one of many fruits we don't have in the US filled with arequipe).
We're currently in Cartagena, and tomorrow, will be jet-setting off to Letecia. Point is, I doubt I'll be connected again until I get back to Bogotá, or better yet, the United States. ¡Que te vayas muy bien! Hope your weekend is wonderful.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

botanical gardens & el plato del día

The department (or state) of Quindío is located in the central west of Colombia and is known for its coffee plantations, colorful architecture, benign weather, variety of hotel accommodations, and touristic landmarks. On our final two full days there, we visited PANACA and Jardín Botánico de Quindío. I preferred the latter.
Because for as much as much as I do appreciate el campo, and as much as farm animals are adorable (especially Wilbur and his friend, pictured above), I'd rather not spend my entire day learning about agriculture development and domesticated animals. I only find such interesting to an extent. Thank God for farmers.
Instead, I'd like to hike through forests of vibrant green and brilliant flowers. I'd like to hear a variety of  singing birds and see butterflies of each and every color.
But maybe that's just me? :)
Following the botanical gardens, my grandmother, our driver, and I went out to lunch. He took us to such a lovely restaurant overlooking the river and serving typical plates de Quindío. We all ordered el plato del día. For only 8,000 Colombian pesos (or about $3.50) each, this is what we got:
 [Sopa del día (pasta soup), frijoles (beans), arroz (rice), platano (plantain), res a la plancha (grilled steak)]
Plus one Club Colombia - Roja for me at a slight additional charge. I tell ya, beer (amber ale, to be exact) is one of many things Colombians know how to do well.
We had such a beautiful and active yet relaxing time in Armenia and the surrounding Quindío area. Next up, Medellín where we drank more coffee, ate more empanadas, and saw more parks. Not to mention that it was the city in which I had my first taste of Colombian nightlife. Stay tuned!