Moving to the country

This is Flacco and Gracie May. For the next week we are responsible for them. Which entails feeding, watering, walking and grinning at how silly they are.

We are staying in a cottage about an hour outside of richmond, complete with wood burning heat and surrounded by dilapidated barns. There is also a cat here, which didn't have a name upon arrival. So of course, I had to name her.
Name: Mmm...Cookies.
That is " mmm..." as a rising "mmm" from a low to high. Not a steady Homer Simpson "mmm". Then followed by an excited "Cookies!". Trust me it fits.

While here we plan to do the following:
- Water fast for three days
- Fine tune the album we wrote overseas
- Make our, both, Spanish themed Halloween costumes
- Encourage friends to visit
- Sleep
- Play with the donkeys

That's all for now, you internet using, city slickers.

- Jameson


Exotic food from the US

Jameson has been telling me for ages all about the traditional food from his youth in the mid-west. Last night he made a proper Indiana meal: Chili with noodles, cheese, sour cream with Frito's on top. The chili he made Cincinnati style, kinda sweet with lots of cinnamon. He even added a can of Coke to the recipe to give it a kick.
We also had oven baked corn on the cob.

I washed it all down with a purple cow (1/2 milk, 1/2 grape juice, and a little sugar to taste)


DC Captial Chaos

I know the title of this blog sounds like a radio commercial for a Washington hockey match, but it's more affectionately said to describe our swift welcome back to my side of the world. My whole family lives in Northern Virginia, right on the other side of the river from DC. My mom greeted us with signs, happieness, and a big party with her side of the family and tofu kabobs.

Part of my culture shock experience of coming home was re-realizing that Washington is a very very busy city. Everyone is running here and there
(one woman getting off the metro said to her friend quite loudly, "Look at all those people crowding the escalator! They must not know that the left side is the fast lane! Oh, tourists. sigh". I turned around and glared at her. I didn't mean to glare but I was taken aback by something in her tone. I guess it was her right to be in a rush, but honestly, i don't think that she was really in one. I feel as though she was just complaining about the idea that if she had in fact been in a hurry, these tourists would have hindered her metro fleeing swiftness. It's easier to notice annoyance of stranger in my mother tongue.

Anyway, its' been a very busy week in Washington. Jameson and I went to check out the Smithsonian and there was a special exhibit in the middle of the mall on solar houses.
20 different colleges from all over the world had constructed small houses which were built to demonstrate the future of energy efficient construction.

On the other end of the Mall, the Capitol building stood tall, gleaming white, with segways parked in front for tours. What a funny way to tour the nation's Capitol. What if you ran in to the president while on your segway tour, helmet and all. ha! how informal.

Opposite the capital was a immigrant rights protest. It felt strange to walk by a group of immigrants with Spanish blaring though the PA, the entire crowd waving American flags, so soon after being immigrants ourselves.


Virginia is for Lovers

After juggling ride shares and coming up empty handed. Laney's mother let us use her frequent flyer miles to get to DC. 
So we are now back in Virginia.
Thanks Mommy Beth!
The time we spent with my grandparents was the renewal I needed. The conversation and company was wonderful. I hope to visit them, my uncle and aunt, much more often. 
To all who haven't seen us yet, just wait. We will make our rounds. 


The Georgia Aquarium

Today we went to the Georgia Aquarium in downtown Atlanta, which according to my uncle David is a grandparent staple.
Now I know why.

Inside are billions of gallons of water
and walls lined with exotic fish like:

The Dragon Sea Horse, which has miniature propellers on its neck and tail to power it through the water, and used its exterior flaps to guide it. Or...

Garden Eels, which can grow as long as 18 inches. They live in the sand but pop up for food and conversation. or ...

Japanese Spider Crabs, which, when stretched out, their leg span is the size of a car. They eat mussels off of the ocean floor.

We arrived early when it opened, while divers were still cleaning the tanks and we had the place to ourselves.

I think my favorite part was the giant touch tubs where you could actually pet sea creatures like manna rays, sharks and shrimp.

We are still trying to line up a ride share back to DC. We have a few promising leads, and should be back to hills of old Virginia soon.

But first, we have to get above sea level.


Back on US soil

We made it safe, the plane touched down this morning and we are now kicking it with the Grandparents (Jameson's side).

Stay tuned as we plan to continue blogging, even in the States.
We will see everyone soon!


The to do list

Brunch. Walk. Bus. Metro. Colectivo (mini bus). Plane. Walk. Car. House. Bed.

See you soon Grandma and Grandad.


Mil Tambores

This weekend marked the 10th annual Festival de Mil Tambores, which is a cultural arts festival that takes over the city´s streets, plazas and parques.
Some of the festivities include:

People on stilts

Giant puppets

Nude body painting


Drum circles

and Street Parades...just to name a few

There are also live concerts and art markets all over the city.

Tonight we went to a concert at the Teatro Municipal. The musicians sat in a simmi circle and all took turns playing. If your interested, youtube Gepe or Lisandro Aristimuño to hear their music.

After the concert we bought some soy burgers from the many vegetarian street vendors here. Then we stumbled upon a giant plaza party and had a few drinks with the locals. Its nice to drink outside.
I am really going to miss this place

Thank you Valparaiso, for a perfect going away gift!