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Showing posts from May, 2011

The South American Adventure - Day 8!!

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Day 8 - Running on Fumes, Flying the Lines and Gazing at Stars

Today, we hit a wall.  If there was any day to hit a wall, I suppose today would be a good enough one to do so.  I'm sure we could blame the bus from last night (I do) or the hike up Waynapicchu (that too) or the constant movement from one location to another (sure), but I think it's a general travel wall.  We are officially halfway through the trip (oh yeah...this goes to Day 16).  And with that halfway point, we're bound to get exhausted.  Luckily the next two days are low key.  Cause if they weren't, I'm guessing a hospital stay would be in order.

We had an early morning again today.  Well, not especially, but going to bed at 5a and getting up at 7a-ish makes it early.  Today was a good day, cause it was laundry day!!  I didn't care how much it costs, I was sending my clothes out for some cleaning.  $21 later and the world will be a shiny and new place again.  Sigh...

At this point, I think we…

The South American Adventure - Day 7!!

Day 7 - It's Kind of a Funny Story

While traveling,  if you can't adapt, you won't make it long...

We woke up early enough this morning.  And then came to the horrible realization.  The mountain kicked our asses mightily.  Turning over to one side took a Herculean effort.  Getting off the bed was excruciating.  And let's not even discuss how we looked/felt going down the stairs for breakfast.  Oy.

But we had places to go and people to see.  Today, we hopped (painfully so) on a bus to Nazca.  Now I will freely admit, I had never heard of Nazca before Adele said we HAD to go.  I'm game for going places (obviously), so let's do this.  As for Nazca itself...more detail tomorrow.  If you want to go today, feel free to go to your public library...or Wikipedia.

We had plenty of time before our bus to Nazca, which was good because we were walking like old folks after a hip replacement.  Our check out was 9a, but we stretched the limits a bit.  Packing is becoming more …

The South American Adventure - Day 6!!

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Day 6 - Speechless and Breathless

...

Let me try that again.

...

Man...I'm having a hard time figuring what to say.  

I think it won't fully hit me until later what we actually did today.  We saw Machu Picchu.  We climbed around Machu Picchu.  And we scaled a mountain.  But let me start from the beginning...

The wake up this morning was hard.  We didn't get to sleep until almost midnight.  Then having to wake up before 4a is just mean.  But that's what this vacation is going to be.  And as Adele has said many times, "If someone tells you to be somewhere when the sun rises, you do it.". Plus, we both woke up a good hour early (3 hour sleep for those keeping track) from someone knocking on the door to an adjacent room.  That was less than perfect.  The plan was to get to the bus terminal by 5a.  Luckily, the terminal was next to our hotel.  Yay!!

At 5a in Aguas Callientes, it is cold.  But we knew it would eventually be hot in Machu Picchu.  So we're bundle…

The South American Adventure - Day 5!!

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Day 5 - Trains and Automobiles (no planes)

All day yesterday and all day today, I have been trying to figure out how to accurately convey how beautiful the scenery is here.  Or to explain how crisp and clean the air is high above the world.  But no words can do this place justice (especially since I didn't bring a thesaurus).  No pictures can capture the breathtaking beauty that we are seeing in Peru.

There was a line in Episode 2 of Pushing Daisies..."When he remembered this moment, her eyes were a shade too blue and the sweater a shade too red.".   That's how I feel about the Cusco Region.  The blue sky is so glorious that in order to remember it, you have to think of the bluest thing you've ever seen, then know it is really one shade bluer.  The air is so fresh that when you breathe in, you know you're breathing in the same air that the Incan's breathed so many years ago.  

The region isn't all like this.  Avenue del Sol in Cusco is a diesel death …

The South American Adventure - Day 4!!

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Day 4 - Llamas and Sexy Women

The first night of hard sleep was great.  Even better, the shower.  And the flat iron.  The combo of the three items made for an excellent morning.  Then the breakfast.  I love their breakfast.  Since we haven't really been eating a lunch, I loaded up this morning.  Had 2 pieces of this pound cake thing.

I'm still concerned about this whole altitude sickness thing, but so far, I really haven't been affected.  It's more of a low grade headache.  So I keep hydrated, drink Coca Tea, and keep full.  Plus a preemptive measure of 2 Aleve pills.  I know they're not good for me long-term, but there are only 12 days to go.

Ponder that little nugget.  Still 12 days before I get home.  It's just insane to even think about. Insane!!

Today, we spent the morning frolicking with the llamas.  On Samantha Brown's Cusco episode, she went to this llama sanctuary called Awana Kancha.  Llamas and their cousins hang out in a semi-enclosed area, whil…

The South American Adventure - Day 3!!

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Day 3 - Cusco and Altitude

May 26 - before 9 am
It's early morning in Cusco.  I'm taking deep breaths and getting ready for my third cup of coca tea.  The altitude sickness has been my fear since the beginning of the trip planning.  I saw Bourdain.  I saw how he suffered in his Peru episode.  Sure, he's older than me and a smoker (or was still  in that ep), but still...he was miserable.  And I've been scared ever since.

The morning wake up was much earlier than we wanted.  I fell asleep Cruise Style last night (hard, fast and in the middle of a conversation) and when the alarm woke me up, I considered throwing it away.  Considering the alarm is also my wonderful iPhone, tossing it was not an option.

The Lima airport, the airport we walked through so quickly (and in a daze) two days ago...or really yesterday morning, was quite spectacular.  Everything was shiny, clean, and very modern.  I was surprised.  This is where we found Starbucks (or as I liked to call it "A…

The South American Adventure - Day 2!!

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Day 2 - Getting Our Bearings

Today was meant to be a low key day.  It was the day where we were going to get an idea of what Lima was about, or at least the neighborhood where we were staying.  And that was a very good idea.  

We were so wiped from the arrival last night that the idea of doing something massive today was not appealing to either of us.  So the day started late and began with not only a lovely breakfast, but with a tour of the hotel.

TripAdvisor was our main form of research for the hotels.  The site has worked well for us in the past, so why break with tradition.  We also had a recommendation from someone about this hotel.  We ended up in the Barranco District in Lima at the 3B's.  The hotel couldn't be more lovely.  The rooms were small, but crisp and clean.  The WiFi works like a charm.  And the breakfast in the morning was amazing.  Sure, that could have been because we were very hungry from the trip the night before, but man...fresh squeezed orange juice, s…

The South American Adventure - Day 1!!

Day 1 - The Sardine, The Kids and the Sweaty Arm Hair

The day finally arrived.  The one we'd been planning for the last seven or eight months.  It started early enough, as all trips do.  The early alarm.  The snooze button.  The freak out that I might have overslept (as I seem to do every morning these days).  Then it's the last minute cramming crap into bags.  I had already been stressed out over the packing.  There was nothing much I could do at this point.  And soon enough, Dad was at the house and we were on the way to O'Hare.

Spirit Airlines.  I hadn't been on Spirit before.  I had no idea what to expect.  The first bit of news was great.  We'd both been stressing over the 40 pound luggage limit.  Adele bought a scale for the other legs of our trip.  I weighed my bag on the ConAir scale at home.  With two bottles of water, my luggage weighed in at 37 pounds.  You know what??  37 pounds is freaking heavy!!  Thank god I wasn't trying to carry on this luggage…

The Final Countdown - There's the Stress Headache!!

I survived last week. Not only did I finish the 3Q11 Buys, but I watched all of the Network Upfronts, several Fall Pilots AND had Jury Duty. I'm a f#@%ing Superwoman.

But now I'm making myself sick. It's my own doing. It's not like I have caught a cold or have picked up a virus. It's a stupid headache, from the stress of packing. Normally it's not stressful. I pack about 30 minutes before I go to bed the night before I fly out and then I forget something major (a comb, a toothbrush, my cell phone). But normally, I stay in the United States. I can replace stuff here. This time though, it's South America. I can't assume we'll find a Target (or a Target equivalent) in Aguas Callientes or in Rapa Nui. I have to decide what is essential and what isn't. I have to figure out what I can live without. And I very much have to figure out how to make 16 days worth of essentials work in a suitcase that can never be more than 40 lbs.

Oy. Where&…

This is the Week

I don't know how this week is going to go, but I am well aware it's going to be a very important one.

Work Stuff

It's Upfront Week. The week where all of the Broadcast Networks trot out their new schedules. This is possibly my favorite time of the work year. Each Network has a presentation with food, drinks and entertainment. And I get to start mentally scheduling my DVR for the Fall. Unfortunately, due to the rest of the week, I won't be able to enjoy the Upfronts as much as I normally do.

I have 6 work days to go before I go on a 16 day vacation. There are 5 markets that haven't been worked on yet. Those aren't great numbers. The good news is that at least two Upfronts can be streamed this year. Fantastic!! That's a good 6 hours (2 three hour presentations) where I get to stay at work. Fingers crossed I can stream the presentations on the iPad :)

Vacation Stuff

This is THE week. The last week I have to get ready for South America. I don't k…

The New York Weekend Part 2 - Saturday and Sunday (aka "Food, a Pink Bus and More Food")

Well, I was going to write a post for each day. Then I decided it would be best to write everything up in one big post. But I also realized I had waaaaaaaaaaaaay too much to write about. I didn't want to make anyone (including myself) fall asleep. So Saturday and Sunday...

Saturday

I felt like I had been hit by a truck when I woke up on Saturday. It wasn't because of an uncomfortable couch or anything. I slept hard and comfy on Friday night. It was because I did a huge amount of walking. And god bless the huge amount of walking, cause I was also doing a huge amount of eating.

We started off Day 2 of eating by heading to the Grey Dog. It was a cute little place that looked a little granola-ish (in a good way) and where you knew the food was going to be good. When Paula and Liz steered me away from the oatmeal (sigh...I love oatmeal), Liz and I decided to split a Breakfast Quesadilla and Blueberry Pancakes. Good stuff, both of them. While we were eating, Jodi was on a…

The New York Weekend Part 1 - Where Every Day Ran Together (in a good way...)

Originally, I was going to write a little something every night. After all, this was the plan for South America and this blog is still officially in Beta Testing until South America. But at the end of each day, I basically collapsed into a heap. Writing every day was not an option. Instead, I'm going to cobble together the story of the weekend in one big post. Well...two posts. I'd say I will try not to ramble, but we all know that's going to happen no matter what I try to do.

The flight in to New York was uneventful. That's how I want my flights to be. When someone asks, "How was your flight??" I want my answer to always be, "Meh...fine." I'm not going on a plane to be entertained. I'm going to get from Point A to Point B. Just get me (and my bag) to my destination and we're all good. If someone can fix it that I don't have to sit next to someone else or that the stranger next to me isn't a chatty one, that's goo…

It's All About Timing

Timing has never been my strong suit. I tend to start a job near a holiday or vacation. I will always be the last one to join a club/event/website (see Facebook, Twitter, Blogging). Vacations tend to be taken right as the workflow heats up. And I finally go to New York the weekend after Osama Bin Laden is killed.

Timing!!

The New York Weekend was a last minute add to the 2011 Vacation Plan. I don't have the vacation days to spare (as 6 days are currently on hold for The Trip That Shall Not Be Named) and I'm getting close to the South America trip. There was no time for New York. But I was worn down into thinking this was a good idea. I wanted to get together with Liz. And I'd never been to New York. I have a free place to stay and it is my birthday weekend. Plus, I was able to weasel a "Work from New York" day out of the gig, so I'm not using a vacation day. How could I not go to New York??

There are a few issues I didn't count on. The Cable/…

I'm on a Horsie!!

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Many little girls dream about getting a pony. I've never been sure why. Horses are...horses. They're big, smelly and they have a mind of their own. I can't imagine they like having people climb on their backs. One false move and a horse could dart off and leave you laying on the ground crying in pain. Plus, they crap wherever and whenever they want to. That's not cool. It's like they have no shame!! They have always just freaked me out. I've done my best to stay away from horsies. I couldn't imagine any reason why I would need to go near one. But then again, I couldn't imagine I would go to South America.

Like many things, I blame Adele (in a good way, of course). "We should ride horses on Easter Island!!" She was so excited about this idea that I almost didn't have the heart to tell her that I had a severe dislike (not really fear) of horses. I paused for a moment and explained that while I was super excited to hug on llama…