The South American Adventure - Day 15!!

Day 15 - #42

Morning...where apparently I am unable to sleep in no matter where I am.

We had the conversation last night.  Is there anything else we had to do in Lima??  The answer was basically...no.  We saw a few cathedrals.  We went to a few parks.  We wandered around a few neighborhoods.  We made it to the beach.  We hit just about everything on the list of "things to see in Lima".

Originally, we didn't have a full day in Lima.  We were doing an overnight flight to Ft Lauderdale tonight, then flying to Chicago early tomorrow morning.  But a few months ago, Spirit cancelled our flight and rebooked us.  They tried to rebook us to come home on about Day 12, which would have been fine had we not been on Easter Island at the time.  The only other flight out was on Wednesday.  The problem was that we were getting in around 11p instead of 9a.  Which will make for an interesting work day on Thursday.  But I digress (and maybe should be telling this story tomorrow)...

Since we didn't have this day in play originally, I kind of feel like it doesn't entirely count.  So if we wake up late (well, not me, really...) and loaf around a bit, it's not really a bad thing.  In the group of travelers we met yesterday from Houston (a family who had been traveling around Peru for a few weeks), one of the boys said about yesterday, "I just couldn't do any more tours."  We all laughed and understood.  We had probably been traveling the least amount of time between the three groups of folks that were chatting (and spending time on their iPhones/iPads...it was funny to see everyone glued to the small screens), but we all had hit the same wall.

And the wall gets hit at the end of every big trip.  I remember in London years ago, we had hit so many museums that we couldn't look at museums for a while.  Or in Moscow two years ago, the day before we left, I had to tell Michelle that I would do what ever she wanted on our last day, I just couldn't hold a conversation or make a decision (I was also still sick with the cold that hit early on, so I was never 100% on that trip).  I'm actually stunned that I'm functioning as well as I am at this point.  I told Adele yesterday that I thought it was due to the hopping around we did.  If we are in the same place for too long, we get twitchy.  And that is a problem.  After eating the same breakfast and turning the same corner and passing the same monument for 15 days, it gets old and the wall is easier to hit.  If you make several stops along the way, that wall always seems to stay further away.  It'll still show up, but it might not be as problematic.  

I noticed that last year in our Southeastern Road Trip.  We were gone for 10 days and it never felt like it.  Our travel days and different stops are what completely made this trip doable and free from meltdowns (now I'm writing this early on Tuesday morning so a meltdown could still happen...but all signs point to a non-meltdown on the trip).

So...today's plan.  We want to hit the Metro (grocery store) for some flight nibblies for tomorrow and anything we want to bring back.  I desperately want to bring back Coca Tea, but don't know if I can get it through Customs (and knowing the hoops it took to get Mom and me out of Canada a few years ago, I expect my picture is in every US Customs area...I won't take any chances).  I definitely want to find some candy/chocolates to bring home for everyone.  That's always fun.  We want to find a Fried Chicken joint.  They are everywhere.  Pollo is HUGE here and fried pollo is all over the place.  It would be wrong not to try some.  We need to do our final packing for tomorrow.  And we are going to our exciting dinner.  Very exciting dinner!!

Afternoon...

Shopping will get us every time.  Overall, I haven't shopped too hard.  I get into a money stress on vacation.  So I tend to hold off on spending...unless I find something I completely love.  I found a super cute top at this little boutique in Barranco called Dedalo.  It was referred to us both by the hotel and by Adele's friend.  And man, we are glad they did.  This was a nondescript house that had many rooms filled with goodies (kind of like a visit to Geneva) and in every room one or both of us let out an "I Want" sigh.  I walked out with a top.  Adele walked out with jewelry and we were both trying not to spend anything more.

We had been looking for fried chicken and a KFC-like place exists called Norky's.  We went looking for this place (though KFC and Pizza Hut are EVERYWHERE here).  We found another place called Roky's and went in.  It was kind of Denny's-like.  It was a sit-down meal and their menu had a little bit of everything, but it seems they're known for their chicken (the waiter tried to steer us towards Lomo Saltado, which we like, but we're exhausted with Saltado right now).  Knowing we have a big dinner tonight, we split a basic meal and went to town.  And holy crap, that was gold chicken.  It wasn't fried, but who cared??  It was excellent!!

A few blocks away, we wandered to the Metro.  We got chocolates for folks back home.  We got some munchies for the flight home (LAN, our flight home ain't).  We also both got some Mate de Coca.  If Customs won't let us bring it in, we're both only out 60 cents.  But if they do...we'll have Coca Tea!!  Yay!!

We're at the hotel now.  Dinner is at 8p, but we have to pack for tomorrow and just get organized.  I'm not worried about my stuff.  I didn't get tons.  Adele, on the other hand...that's gonna be some interesting finagling.

Evening...

Our driver is picking us up tomorrow at 730a.  Our flight is at 1145a.  And we are jacked up on dinner so much that we will either fall asleep quickly or we will be awake all night long.

Our final dinner was at Astrid y Gaston.  A few months ago, this restaurant was ranked as the 42nd best restaurant in the world (based on San Pellegrino's listing).  While we have been to Next (not ranked...yet, there is a blog post on that experience) and we want to go to Alinea (#6), how could we go to Peru and not dine at the only Peruvian restaurant to make the list??

We brought nice clothes (as the rest of our attire is not appropriate...or laundered at this point) and dressed up to the best of our ability (Adele brought significantly more to add to her outfit.  Me...I did the best I could. Though I was able to break out my $10 Ann Taylor sale dress!!).  We found the restaurant last night.  We just had to walk the 30 minutes or so, just this time in the dark (I was adamant that past dinner, we would cab it back).

After some ATM stops (and currency exchanges), we made our way to dinner.  Astrid y Gaston.  Wow.  We sat down, asked for the 12 Course Tasting Menu and requested a glass of White Wine and a glass of Red Wine that would pair well with the menu.  And then the food started coming.

I'm going to pause for a moment, because I can't go into detail on all 12 courses (plus bread and desserts).  Well, I can and I will, but that's gonna happen in a separate blog later in the week(end).  With pictures.  Please, like I'm not going to take pictures at a swanky restaurant?? You better believe I will...

The experience was fantastic.  The food was wonderful.  The wine was paired perfectly.  I couldn't have asked for a better last meal in Lima. The problem with a 12 course meal is that this is a ton of food.  Even though each course is small...12 courses is a lot.  I hit the wall at about Course 7.  And it was difficult to handle the beef, risotto and tuna course.  Really hard.  I was pretty sure I was on the Amazing Race, trying to make it through the Detour.

I did recover enough to power through dessert.  It was like my stomach gave the ok for more food to be shoved down my gullet.  Even Adele wondered how I accomplished it.  Cause she could tell I was hurting during some of the courses near the end, but apparently the light lit up in my eyes when the sweets were presented.  Yeah...I do love the desserts.

It was also cool at the end as our head waiter came by and talked to us about the restaurant and asked us how we liked certain things.  The tasting menu changed about a week ago and he said the chef liked to hear back on what worked and what didn't.  It was nice to hear some behind the scenes stories from the kitchen.  We also liked that many of the ingredients were jungle-based.  These are things we will probably never be able to eat again.  Cool.

So more on the restaurant on another post.  And it will definitely have pictures.  Pictures!!

We returned to the hotel after midnight.  With a 6a wake-up, it's going to be a short night.  Sigh...

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