Things are really coming along. We just got the final passport in the other day. It was so nice to get my shiny new one that is good for another 10 years. Gabrian got in on the excitement when his book came in. He spent a good 30 minutes poring over the pages through the book.
Our flights have been booked and I managed to come up with a crazy flying scenario all in the name of saving money. I really thought I managed to beat the system with my plan. We are flying from Boston to Lima, Peru (arriving at 11:30 pm the say day). The following morning we are flying to Santiago. We originally thought we would spend a couple of days in Lima but in the end decided we didn't want to give up any time in Chile. In total we spent just over $900/person for the two flights. I just checked on Expedia and the current price booking directly to Santiago is $1184. So a pretty good savings with a little bit of craziness. I am currently stalking megabus to open up the dates we are traveling so I can grab some of their awesome $1 fares.
Our first night we are going to stay in Santiago at Hotel Gen. The pictures of the breakfast buffet really won us over. That and they have balconies which is something we really look forward to relaxing on that night with a bottle of great Chilean wine and cheese. The reviews seem mixed on this place but the price was decent (just over $100) and it is only for one night. Our plan for that day is to maybe take a short nap when we check-in and then take it easy exploring the neighborhood of the hotel. We would like to find a restaurant with some outdoor seating and go back to the room fairly early that night. I am not sure if we will meet up with our Family in Santiago that first night.
The next morning we will pick up our rental car. We looked everywhere and really thought we were going to take a bus down to Pucon or maybe even a plane but then we discovered Chilean RentaCar. We were able to rent the most basic of basic cars for nine days for $258 all inclusive (according to today's current exchange rate). We are beyond excited to get the rental car. It is our favorite way to travel in Chile. It allows us to see so much and stop at whatever we find interesting.
We are still waiting for the dates of Vendimia in Curico to be released. It is an annual wine festival held in the town of Curico. My Mom and I were fortunate to catch it when she visited me on my study abroad in 2006. We have been dying to go back ever since. We believe it will either happen the first weekend we are there are the following. We will adjust our schedule to whatever weekend it is held to make sure we go again. We also plan on having lunch at Miguel Torres while we are in Curico. It is our absolute favorite winery and place to eat. I can't wait to go back!
We will eventually make our way down to Pucon (which is the main purpose of the trip and why Leo offered to pay for Gabrian's plane ticket). We will spend about a week there in a house that Leo will rent for us. We are so happy that he was able to rent the house that is only a couple of houses down from his Mother's house. This means Gabrian will get to spend tons of time with his Abuela.
We will be back in Santiago by March 29th which is when the rental car is due back. We will spend our last five nights in there. We are trying out Airbnb rental. We are renting an apartment (a loft actually) in one of the most desirable neighborhoods...for tourists at least. It is close to the metro and there is a supermarket on the ground floor of the building. There is an awesome roof deck and an indoor pool with amazing views. We are getting all of this for $268 for the five nights. The reviews are awesome and we can't wait to stay at our Loft. While we are in Santiago we are starting to build a list of places we want to visit. We want to visit with our Family in Santiago, go to the Buin Zoo, go shopping, Cerro San Cristobal and many other places.
I feel like there is so much to do to get ready in 10 weeks! I need to bring out the Rosetta Stone and really get serious about. I have restarted at Weight Watchers (again....posts about how that is going will be along shortly). I need to save, save, and save some more. I want to have a good time while I am there!
I would like to blog on the trip while I am there. I am not sure how I will do it. I hate to drag along the lap top but feel that if I don't do it while I am there it probably won't happen. Maybe I will just keep a really great trip journal and blog about it when I get home. I would like to give you a day to day recap of what happens (more for me than you so I can really remember the trip). The other thing about the trip that I would like to analyze and probably talk about forever with you guys is to investigate and see if a move to Chile is a possibility. What would I have to do to make it happen. Do I still love Chile as much as I think I remember loving it? How affordable is it to live in Santiago? Any ideas of getting a job? Ok, I am getting ahead of myself but these are all questions I will be asking myself while I am there.
I am sure there will be more trip planning before the big day but I think for now that is all I have. I hate to leave you with no pictures so I am adding some in from our trip to Disney this past August (that I never blogged about...I really hope I get my act together for the Chile trip!