Hello! I am typing this from the Toronto airport, I am waiting for my 10.30 p.m. flight which will get me back to Edinburgh by 1.00 p.m. tomorrow afternoon. This will be the longest part of my three-week adventure. I will undoubtedly spend my weekend in deep slumbers recovering from the overnight flight. What will you doing with yours?
I will be posting photos from far and farther next week, belated pictures from our summer trips and it has occurred to me, I never shared our memories from Thailand- so I will throw a few of those in next week as well.
El Parque Del Amor (Love Park) in Lima, Peru overlooking the Pacific Ocean and based on Gaudi’s mosaic-tiled Park Guell in Barcelona, is verdant and lovely. It rains so infrequently in Lima, there are no drains in the streets. All the water which is used to water the city parks comes from the Andes.
‘El Beso’ is the sculpture in the center of the park is by Victor Delfin. Each year there is a competition to see who can kiss in the position of the statue the longest- at the moment the record stands at 45 minutes. How uncomfortable, the position, not the kissing.
When was the last time you popped a letter in the post? Personally, I cannot remember, but I do not think it was recently. When I first moved to Europe, I spent hours sitting in smokey French cafes (you could still smoke in cafes back then), drinking espresso (the cheapest drink I could get) and keeping up on my correspondence. Then I would stand in line at the dreary La Poste near the Pathe Chavant and ask for my stamps and par avion stickers. After seeing this stunning Correo Mayor (Main Post Office) in Mexico City, I would be willing to stand in line for hours waiting for my stamps.
It was brief, it was busy, but I had a great mini-tour. I braved the teacher protests and the demonstrations for a walk around my neighborhood, got over my fear of eating alone in foreign countries and sampled some of the best enchiladas con mole, met some of our fabulous alumni and caught up with them over tequila and beers (not for me). They can put it away.
Today, I am in Peru and am very excited about this, I arrived last night. I have not yet been to Peru but have heard great things about the country, the city and the cebiche!
Hello from Mexico City. Then sun is shining and I am heading to meetings. I get a kick out of the VW Beetle taxis that are crawling the streets. Maybe I will be able to hitch a ride in one- although I have been warned about the taxis. Beep-beep.
It is always such fun to get away with Ben and our trip to Canada and the Pacific Northwest was one of the most fun. Our time in Vancouver was a mix of work and pleasure. I was there for work, Ben flew in to meet me and enjoyed some time on his own exploring the city with visits to the Vancouver Public Library, Vancouver Art Museum and exploring the waterfront. It is great because Ben susses out all there is to do and then takes me back to the best things (Madrid, Thailand, Vancouver) it means I just get to see the best a city has to offer. He always finds such unique places.
We had a full day of seeing the sites on the Saturday before our Sunday half-marathon and went for a massive walking tour of some of the cute neighborhoods. Post half marathon, we had a tasty brunch at Forage and then relaxed reading some magazines by the cost enjoying some people watching and Vogue and Vanity Fair.
The PAC-NW Tour 2013 is underway, this is what we are calling our mini city break adventure to Vancouver, Portland and Seattle. I am in Vancouver for a work conference and Ben will join me here.
Ben is going to arrange our fun times in Vancouver. We will have the weekend exploring the number two city in the world, the two things I want to cover-sea kayaking and run the Vancouver half marathon. Ben has a friend from his MBA based here and Hilary has given us loads of ideas- it will just be narrowing them down.
We are attempting train travel in the U.S.- something I have never done before. We will board the Amtrak bound for Portland via the Cascades route. Our friend Toni says it is stunning and passed along the tip of getting on the correct side of the carriage to ensure we have stunning views.
We are in Portland for 4 days and have booked a tiny garden cottage (read shed) in a backyard through Air BnB- it is centrally located and with our plan to rent bikes for the duration of our visit, we should be able to cover a lot of the Rose City. Do you have any suggestions of what to do or see? I have started a Pinterest board with some of the ideas I have discovered so far- most of them involve eating and drinking!
Other than our hotel, we have not planned anything in Seattle, I am sure we will tourist it up and hit all the highlights and the gum-wall- this is my nightmare, a wall covered in artificially-fruit-flavored chewed gum. YUCK.
It is going to be fabulous hanging out with Ben on another fun holiday.
Dear Travelling Lorises
I assume you are part loris because most humans I surround myself with move much faster. I have spent time in 25 airports since January and have seen you sloping your way through multiple security checkpoints, after our last encounter at Moscow’s Domedovo Airport, I had to speak up.
To the brown-haired woman at Charles de Gaulle, cheese is not a carry on item- even if it is Mimolette, plus your blue marine Longchamp bag will have trace St. Marcelin odors which linger.
In your dreams, Miss Russia 2013, yes, your steel pointed boots with matching medal studs are on trend however they are not metal detector friendly, neither are your sunglasses or your leather bomber jacket.
To the teens traveling through Schiphol with your clogging troupe from Michigan, Ipads and tablets just like computers need to be removed from your matching monogrammed backpacks. The Dutch speak better English than you, so please don’t pretend not to understand.
Men dripping in faux-gold and real-gold jewelry should be avoided in security lines and in real life. This is not airport specific, it is excellent life advice to women who travel alone!
Ladies from Canada who appear to be a on a pilgrimage in Santiago fully dressed in white- 100ml is the same measurement in Brazil, India, New York, Moscow and well, Canada, I hope you had a safe journey, found clarity and remembered your Tide to Go pens.
Family from Egypt, most air carriers serve butter, you don’t need to bring your own bars of creamy gold, even if Egyptian butter is better.
Sir with the foot spa, where are you going to plug this in? Your seat mate does not want to see your gnarled toenails. I saw the deals in the Delhi airport. I paused a moment and contemplated the relief of a heated foot massage and whirlpool experience, but I said no thank you; you should have too.
Stylish young man in Sao Paulo, I am surprised, you are sharply dressed and Stamos handsome, however you reek as though you doused yourself in an entire bottle of designer cologne, in life and especially when you fly, moderation is key, but I really like your pocket square.
From one adept traveler to those of you on the path to shedding your loris cloaks, prepare before you arrive at the airport and let’s agree, right now not to bring food on flights and even more important than this- showering the day of our flights, essential.
For those of you not ready to commit to this, stay home or I hear trains and ferries are much more accommodating.
Traveling Great White Shark- fast, efficient and clean
In Sao Paulo, I had been relaxing and checking emails by the oval pool and just decided to move myself under one of the flimsy tents to avoid the harsh equatorial rays- redness comes fast. No sooner had I settled in when the sun was covered by thick clouds and the staff of the Tivoli São Paulo - Mofarrej, started a flurry of Brazilian activity- gathering all the lounge cushions, the stray stripe towels and piling them into the cabanas- one of which is where I was now stationed. Getting the non-verbal cues, I headed back to my 11th floor room.
This was the perfect vantage point to watch the Brazilian storm move into the city. It was cool watching the streets fill with water and people rush from the neighbouring park to the nearest cover. The power of the rain made the thick leave coverage a no go.
I filmed some of the excitement on my phone- I should get around to posting it soon! To help bring you a bit of language assistance for your future trips to the world’s fifth largest country.