Mawidge..its whats bwings us togetha today...

From Columbia, the first stop was in Massachusetts - to meet Mr L's family (all 400 of them...who turned out to be pretty nice *wink, wink*) and to see Grandma Sue, Aunt Lucy, Hannah and Nick as well as my friend Dave and his kids Emma and Finn (we missed Penny!!) We spent a few days there, meeting up with friends, eating, eating, drinking, shopping and eating... If you get a chance to go to the Roasted Pig in New Bedford, I reccommend it; it is very good! Also, Mrs. Bee's House puts on a very good lunch on Sunday! So, after cramming ourselves full of food and my having met about 487 new people, we decided to leave town for a respite....

We got on the train in Providence and took it down to New York City, where we had a nice hotel in Times Square. Wow, it sure is nice to be home and sleep in clean, soft beds and take real, hot showers!! The simple pleasures in life! Mr. Lovely and I spent the first night, which was our anniversary night (he has put up with me for a whole year!) having a very nice dinner in the City. There are such an abundance of places to eat...I think the eating binge in not even close to over! We spent the next day strolling the city and at night we went and saw Wicked, the Broadway show... If you get a chance, you really should check it out...it was Wonderful!

The next three days were spent doing Seth Berr wedding events, which were also wonderful. On Friday we had a meet and greet for out of towners which began at the Thai restaurant where Seth met his wife and ended at a bar with over 100 themed shots, where you have to wear a wig and play a song while taking your shot. Saturday we had the wedding at the Water Club, which is right on the East river -- great location, great food and very great company abound! Sunday, we had brunch at the Russian Tea Room, which
was opened in 1927 by former members of the Russian Imperial Ballet as a gathering place for Russian expatriates and became famous as a gathering place for those in the entertainment industry. Again, it was top notch.

We spent the next couple of days just wandering around the city...We love Greenwich Village!! Eating, eating and eating again...I love the food here! Yesterday we split, Mr. Lovely went back to NOLA and I came to San Francisco. I am staying with K for a few days, then it is up North to hang out with Mom for a while...cant wait!


Last Day!!!

Today I sat in a speedboat coming from Playa Blanca going back to Cartegena and I felt like the lead character in a movie...who is sitting on a ___________ (pick your moving vehicle) looking out the window, reflecting on _____________ (whatever happened in the movie). Fade to black. Roll credits.
So, today I am fading to black on our 10 country, almost 10 month journey to the South of the Equator (and a tiny bit of North)...starring many main characters and many, many guest appearances.

Roll Credits.... Thanks to the Academy...and to Mr. Lovely, my parents and CK, without whom I would have never been able to make it through this trip. Thanks to S, Grant, KE, Rafe, M and HN who all joined us for part of the action and adventure and with whom I had a wonderful time and can't wait to see again. Thanks to all my friends and family for putting up with my long gaps in phone calls and/or emails. And for the crappy quality of them once they arrived.


Cartegena and Juice

We have finally arrived at our final destination, Cartegena. After walking around the old town area, which is fabulous, we had a fresh juice (there are so many!) and met up with another traveler to watch the Columbia soccer game. We spent the next day going to a mud volcano where you can actually sit in the mud and it is supposed to have many healthy properties. To me, it was just kind of gross. Sitting in a mud bath with 30 other people while not being able to move away from them is kind of weird to me. And there are these guys there that want to massage you and it just makes me kind of disgusted... Other than that, in Cartegena we admired the beautiful architecture of the old town and enjoyed the street food and juices...

So, from here we will fly out - Chris to Chicago and I to Boston and New York... The end is upon us!


Ciudad Perdida

Whew! We just got back from a 6 day hike into the jungles of Columbia, where we crossed the Buritaca River 9 times in seach of the elusive Ciudad Perdida (Lost City). It being the rainy season, we hiked in the mornings while it was sunny (mostly) and then (mostly) took it easy, chatted and swam in the afternoons while it rained. Our group was good, 4 kiwis, 1 scot and Chris and I. We all got along great, as well as pretty much hiked at about the same pace. Our guide, Wilson (fitting) was great, but only spoke Spanish, so those of us who spoke Spanish had to translate for those that didnt. It was actually great practice for my Spanish skills.

The hike was very difficult. Every day we went up a huge muddy hill and back down the other side of it, to end up campìng near the river. The next day we would do the same. It was about 85 degrees most of the time, with a humidity of about 98 percent, much like hiking in New Orleans would be if they had any hills. However, although we did have to carry our own bags, we did not have to carry or make our own food, so it was not as hard as it could have been. Nothing like carrying 20 cans of tuna on the Patagonia hike!

We arrived at the Lost City on day three and got to explore it a bit in the afternoon. It is massive! However, only about 10 percent of the city is uncovered for tourists to explore. I cant really even fathom how big the entire thing really is. The city was discovered in 1972, but unfortunately was raided by a bunch of gold seekers, who raided the tombs in the city (the dead were buried with their possesions, often gold and ceramics, to take to their next life with them). Finally the military intervened and people caught selling the relics in the nearby towns were punished. In the mid 80s, tours were started.

In 2003, 8 tourists were kidnapped from the Lost City by a Columbian terrorist group, who demanded government investigation of human rights groups in return for the hostages. Eventually they were all released, unharmed, and the trail as well as the site are both safely guarded by the military at the current moment. We even got pictures at the top with the military guys who are stationed there. They have some wickedly huge guns!

Now we are back in the real world, the not so lost city, and are enjoying a couple of half days on the beach (it is still raining a lot) before heading off to Parque National Tayrona for some hiking etc.