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11 days in Chile

The 11 days we spent in Chile flew by. The day after we arrived we went over to Alex’s family’s house for the civil ceremony, which always precedes the actual wedding day in Chile. The ceremony was sweet and brief, with a few funny moments (like when the judge asked a question with a double negative and the witnesses didn’t know whether to answer yes or no, and when they actually answered correctly the judge corrected them, which was confusing and hilarious) and lots of hugs and (happy) tears afterward. Los 11 dias que estuvimos en Chile pasaron volando. El dia despues de llegar a Santiago, fuimos a casa de la familia de Alex para la ceremonia civil que ocurre antes de la ceremonia religiosa en Chile. El matrimonio civil fue corto y preciso con un par de momentos divertidos (como cuando la jueza hizo una pregunta con doble negativa y los testigos no sabian si responde que si o que no, y cuando respondieron correctamente la jueza los corrigio, lo que creo confusion y risas) y muchos abrazos y lagrimas de felicidad.
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One thing I’ve learned about Santiago in the 4 visits I’ve passed there is that there is no such thing as a quick errand. The enormity of the city creates the mentality that once you’re out, you might as well do this and that and this again…until suddenly you’ve been gone for 9 hours and it feels like you could’ve been to the moon and back with the amount of energy you’ve expended trying to accomplish everything. We spent a few days running errands around Santiago, which may sound mundane but it was fun for me to see the city from the vantage point of the family Jumper, a 10-seat Citroen van that Javier’s dad bought 5 years ago. We took a tour through the national library, walked around the streets of the city center, and stopped in various bakeries and restaurants to eat Javier’s favorites: pastries, fried empanadas with shrimp and cheese, a gigantic avocado/steak sandwich that fed 5 of us, etc. Una cosa que he aprendido de Santiago despues de 4 visitas es que los tramites cortos no existen. Como la ciudad es grande, la idea es que si sales a hacer algo es mejor hacer todo lo que puedes antes de volver a casa…asi que si sales en la manana de repente te das cuenta que se ha pasado todo el dia y estas muy cansado de dar vueltas. Pasamos un par de dias haciendo tramites en Santiago, lo que puede sonar poco emocionante pero fue entretenido para mi, poder ver la ciudad desde la “Jumper” (el bus para 10 personas de la familia Rodriguez) es muy divertido. Hicimos un tour en la biblioteca nacional, caminamos por las calles del centro de la ciudad, y paramos en algunos restaurantes y panaderias para comer las cosas favoritas de Javier: pasteles, empanadas fritas de camaron y queso, churrasco palta, etc…
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We also spent one afternoon exchanging Christmas gifts early since we wouldn’t be in Chile over the actual holiday. We brought a plethora of items from Bed Bath & Beyond for the newlyweds and their new apartment and Pancho and Alex each got their own bottle of Woodford. We bought Javi’s mom Mery a new blender while we were running one of those 9-hour errands, which was put to good use making fresh orange and mango juice every single day. We did spend almost an entire day on the flowers and centerpieces, but again, that’ll have it’s own post. It was a brief 11-day trip to Chile, but we will take any amount of time no matter how brief just to get to spend it with the Rodriguez family! Tambien pasamos una tarde intercambiando regalos de navidad anticipados, ya que nuestro viaje de vuelta era antes de la noche buena. Llevamos varios articulos de Bed Bath & Beyond para los recien casados y su nuevo apartamento, y Pancho y Alex recibieron cada uno una botella de Woodford Bourbon. Le regalamos a la mama de Javier, Mery, una licuadora nueva mientras haciamos tramites en Santiago, la cual pusimos a trabajar de inmediato para hacer jugos de mango, naranja, y frutilla casi todos los dias. Pasamos tambien casi un dia entero en el terminal de floras para la decoracion, pero eso sera otro post. Fueron 11 dias cortitos en Chile, pero mientras podamos visitar a la familia Rodriguez no importa la cantidad de tiempo!
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