Monday, March 30, 2009


She told me that the flight landed at around 10am, but would remain in contact as she passed through Chicago, Dallas, or atleast call me from the terminal in Santiago. Instead, I recieved an unexpected call from the down stairs lobby as Molly frantically told me that the concierge didnt know of any residences living in the building named Taylor McCurdy. I anxiously left the room laughing to myself as I passed into the elevator, "of course the concierge doesnt know any Taylor McCurdy´s". Bolted out the doors and greeted my sister with a big hug as the apartment recepcionist watched from behind the desk with a confused look on his face. The last time I saw my sister was in early August and we had only one week to catch up on the eight months that had passed by.

Back upstairs in my host sibling´s apartment, I let Molly nap off the previous 20 hours of jetlag while I opened my Lonley Planet to get some ideas of how we would spend the next few days. Although she seemed exhausted, I made her wake up and spend the rest of the day running around Santiago. In the capital city we toured through La Moneda, the famous mint that was atacked during Pinoche´s coup in 73, La Plaza de Armas, and a few museums of pre-colombian and Mapuche art. We ended the day by paying homage to the El Cerro San Cristobal and watched the sun set from the virgin who watches over the city. The next morning, we caught a bus to Valparaiso, the old port city which is known for its series of antique elevators and bright colored architecture. While lost in the maze of narrow passageways and side streets, we walked into a "bad" part of the city where a rather creepy old woman warned us to "¡Vayanse de aqui gringos, vayanse!". More wandering around brought us to a promising bed and breakfast that looked over the port with an excellent view. The tiny room let of some awful odor that niether Molly or I could find, but it was afortable, comfortable, and breakfast was served with a perfect view. That night we went out to a hip seafood restaurant and met some other wandering travelers who were heading back from an excursion in Antarcrtica.
Molly had high hopes of getting to the beach to asorb as much of the southern summer as possible, but an unfortunate cold front lingered on the coast and prevented any tanning. On wednesday, we booked a wine tour in the Casa Blanca Valley which continued on to La Isla Negra where the famous poet Pablo Neruda built his Favorite House. Rather clueless to the idea of fine wine, Molly and I were determined to become more intellectual wine connoisseurs. That began with vocabulary. Color, smell, tannings, reserva, legs, Malbec, Carmenere, French oak, American oak?, four months, eight months!? etc... After various glasses, I can honestly say (dad) I found a new appreciation for the alcoholic grape juice and moreover the process to create it. We visited at an interesting time since the grapes were just in harvest and the whole system was at work. At the end of the day we hopped over to Neruda´s and toured the house, which was made into a museum after his death in the 70´s. His unique place was filled with the myriad of artifacts he collected on his world travels and it was difficult to believe he owned two smiliar houses in Valparaiso and Santiago.

We spent thursday and friday in El Tambo at my host grandparent´s campo located 2 hours outside the city. The scenery, as well as traffic laws, change drastically once you bounce out of Santiago and this all bacame clear when my "grandmother" steered her tiny car off the road and into a rushing riverbed. Taking her eyes of the road (or path rather), she pivoted around the front seat to explain to us that we were on a shortcut. Molly and I looked at eachother smiling as we trudged through the water and honked at the cattle loitering in the river. Once we pulled into the house Molly instantly whipped out her camara just as our father would to fotograph everything. She had been wanting to escape from a city, Pittsburgh or Santiago, and absorb a few tranquil moments; El Tambo was the perfect place. At the campo we spent time by the pool eating grapes, figs, pears, and other fruits strait from the vines and luckily La Mam had prepared us a pastel de choclo, a traditional corn dish mixed with eggs, chicken, and meat. Delicious. That afternoon we stopped by some of the fields and took part in the fruit packing process. We watched as grapes and quinces were brought from the farms and then packaged to be sent to the US. After, we traveled on to a saddle makers work shop to take a look at his hand made work. Everyone we met was happy to show us around and we always left with a hand full of fresh grapes...
Back at the apartment on FRIDAY afternoon, Molly casually checked her itinerary to find they she should have left on THURSDAY. This drastic news led to tears and frustration becuase at one point she wasnt getting back until dayss later. But in the end becuase of luck? or maybe just because our dad works for the CIA, we got molly on a plane that left that night. Que suerte Molly.

At this very moment im at the computer on April Fool´s Day and theres a huge traffic jam honking outside becuase La Seleción Chilena is playing Paraguay and all the poor people stuck in their cars outside are missing the action...theyre even shouting...


Sue said...

So nice to see the new blogs! Really enjoy the updates of your adventures. I feel a bit like I sit on your shoulder just watching it all unfold as I read your tales.

QC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Queenie said...

Hola, me llamo Queenie, estoy en la clase de la Señora Zobler.
Estaba leyendo su blog y ¡me gusta mucho leer sus cuentos sobre su tiempo con Molly! Que buena suerte que ella podía encontrar un vuelo el mismo día, y que bueno que estaba divirtiendo tan mucho para no darse cuenta del día de salida.
También me gusta su descripción del campo donde su "abuelita" manejó en un "shortcut." Mencionó que Molly sacó unas fotos; ¿es posible que las ponga en su blog? ¡Me gustaría ver las vacas en el río y la tranquilidad del campo!
¡Espero que vaya a visitar la Señora Zobler y sus clases de Español AP en mayo cuando regrese!

Preet said...

Hola Taylor. ¿Como estás? Ojalá que estés teniendo un gran tiempo en Chile. Como otros, yo tambien estaba leyendo tus blogs, y me gustó mucho leer sobre tu aventuras con Molly (quien asistió WHS con mi hermano mayor. Que bueno que podía pasar tiempo con su hermana despues de ocho anos.
Regresando al archivo, me alegre mucho leer sobre el campo y tu "abuelita" comica. Tambien tenía mucho hambre leyendo de las comidas tradicionales que comiste. Suene muy delicioso.

Finalmente, Taylor, ¿Que haces en tu tiempo libre alla, siempres tienes cosas que hacer o tienes dias abburidos?
Cuando regresas a los EEUU debes vistar nuestro clase para que podemos hablar mas.


Preet said...

correcion - "ocho meses" - lo siento