Gringa Thoughts

As I begin to wrap up my trip here, here are some thoughts about the wonderful city of Santiago where I've spent the last 3 weeks.

1. I find the city to be very much like a Latin infused New York. It's very corporate, there are a lot of universities, the public transportation is easy and reliable and there are plenty of places to eat and shop. Besides the fact that I don't understand what anyone is saying, it feels a lot like the States here.

2. Chilean food is not so good. I find it to be a bit bland. Luckily the food scene in Santiago is excellent. There's great Peruvian, Italian, Japanese, and of course gelato. Chileans love ice cream, it's everywhere.

Lomito: shaved pork, melted cheese, avocado.
Yum.
Dulce de Leche from Emporio La Rosa,
ranked in the top 25 ice creams in
the world. 

3. The people. The people here have been extraordinarily nice to me. From the cab driver from the airport that called the hostel instead of just leaving me on the sidewalk at 6 am, to the grocery store employee who stopped me to tell me my backpack was open to all of the people who offered to take my picture when they saw me struggling to take a selfie.

4. The parks in this city (and Viña del Mar) are out of this world. First of all, there is exercise equipment in most parks. Like ellipticals and shoulder presses. How cool is that? In Viña it's like going to the gym on the beach. Besides that, the parks have the coolest jungle gyms ever. And because of that they are swarming with children. At Parque Araucano they even have a little zoo with exotic birds. Guys, these are public parks! So cool! 

Valentina made a friend at the park!

You know you want to play here.

Now that's good motivation to workout.

5. The art. I'm not an art aficionado but you can't help but appreciate the art in this city. There's mosaiced sidewalks, murals on the buildings, classic European architecture and more. There's a multitude of art museums but really you see art everywhere if you just look around. 

I took this picture because of the dog,
but the architecture is pretty cool too. 

How cute is this! It's right on the sidewalk
down the street from my hostel. 
6. I really only have 2 complaints: the coffee and the margarine. Seriously, instant coffee is going to kill me. I despise it. And to get a decent coffee you basically have to buy a $5 latte. Sucks. And even then, it's a latte, not a coffee. I'm really looking forward to my trusty drip coffee maker when I get home. Secondly, margarine? Seriously, it sucks. Not only does it taste like plastic, but its not lower in calories and it's full of trans fats that are horrible for you. Come on guys, I'm not Paula Dean but I gotta have some butta!

7. Maybe the most amazing thing about this city is that you feel like you're in any old city and then you realize you're surrounded by the unbelievable Andes Mountains. I've never seen anything like it.

Seriously. How awesome is this view? The tall building to the
left is the tallest in South America! 
I'll be back in the States in just 3 short days. Miss you all! xxx

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