Monday, January 14, 2013

Lake District Getaway: Segment 1-- Puerto Varas

It's summer in Chile right now... the BEST time to do a little sight seeing.  Joe and I sat down in December and picked a few places we really wanted to see and decided we'd use up some of his vacation time early on :)  We decided right after the first of the year to take a road trip.  We had heard amazing things about Los Lagos in the more southern part of Chile--particularly Puerto Varas.  It's about a 12 hour drive from Santiago and we thought it'd be perfect to drive it once, so we could see everything in between.  We left after work on January 4th and made it easily to Los Angeles where we spent the night.  The kids were leaping from bed to bed, having the time of their lives.  I wasn't worried about them waking up neighbors, because no one goes to bed early down here :)  I pulled out the camera, only to find that the batteries I had spent HOURS charging, were not in their rightful place, but sitting at home on the counter just waiting for me to rescue them.  I was sick.  Completely sick.  Here we were going to a BEAUTIFULLY picturesque area and all I'd have is my cell phone?!!!  Suddenly the mood turned somber.  We got the kids to bed and I was trying to still be light and "I'm happy because I'm on vacation" but I wasn't doing too well of a job.  Joe went to work.  Searching everywhere for a camera store.  "We aren't going to find one, Joe-- we're in the middle of no where," 
I gloomed.

The next morning we woke up and he announced that we'd be taking a 3 hour detour-- out to the coast to Concepcion, the 3rd largest city in Chile--where there was not only a camera store, but a NIKON store that had a charger for my one lone empty battery that I had found in my bag.  My husband is THE MAN.  He knows exactly how to make me happy and tries to do so on a daily basis.  I am SO SO SO grateful that I chose him and he chose me 3 kids a few adventures ago.
Suddenly things were looking up!  
And we even got to check out Concepcion :)  
Thank You So Much, Joe.  I love you.  

We arrived in Puerto Varas, a little Germanic town on Lake Llanquehue, only to find that we couldn't even see the amazing mountain range it boasted of, because of the thick, grey clouds and threatening rain.  We were prepared for this, so after settling in at the hotel, we grabbed our coats and umbrellas and were off to explore around town.

 Eating is ALWAYS a good option when the weather isn't sublime.

 We found quite a few good ones...La Gringa was cute, Cassi's had more than enough to choose from, and we hit La Marca twice because it was by far everyone's favorite!   
 When the sun finally did show itself, it was with all of it's glory.  Pristine, clear and unbelievably gorgeous.  We ran down to the lake and asked someone to take a picture of our family with that perfectly pointed Volcan Orsorno in the background.  We got a great picture of our family, but the Volcano didn't make the shot.  Gotta love it.
 So we took some shots of our own and tried a few more times and succeeded!

 The town of Puerto Varas

 Three volcanoes (one is right behind Joe's head) on the shores of Lake Llanquehue.
 Exercise equipment lines the shore and people are on them all hours of the day and night!  
We got a kick out of it from our hotel window :)  Work those obliques, kids!!!

 View of our hotel

 The kids fell in love with the playground at our hotel.  We spent a few nights after dinner playing there because the sun doesn't go down until late!
 Ever notice that see-saws aren't on too many playgrounds anymore?  My kids didn't even know what one was, but they fell in LOVE with it as soon as they hopped on.  

 Jake termed it a "see-slaw."  Definitely a highlight in his eyes.

 Walking home from dinner one night

Our favorite spot to eat breakfast every morning

 My posse waiting for "what's next."  

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