Saturday, July 30, 2011

Hanging Out in Water Land

We got back from our family reunion today, and while it was an awesome trip, it is so lovely to be home. Especially considering that in two weeks I'll be moving in to my apartment and getting ready for the start of school. Woohoo!! (And no, that's not a sarcastic woohoo).

But anyway, family reunion! So once we left small town Wisconsin last Monday to meet up with my mom's side of the family in water park resort Wisconsin. Basically the same thing as Branson but way up north. If you weren't aware, I LOVE water parks!!! And also my family :) I went on a bunch of rides with my cousins and sister, hung out with everyone I hadn't seen in ages, including my adorable toddler cousins, and finally got to relax!

I forgot to take pictures, so I borrowed these from the Internet. The first is of the cabin we had, a short shuttle ride away from all the parks. Then, some of the water parks. They had several indoor and outdoor parks so it took two days to get (almost) all of the rides done. They were fun, although all of them seemed short compared to Hurricane Harbor's rides.

On our way home, we stopped at the House on the Rock, which is supposed to be really famous even though I'd never heard of it. This guy built this crazy house and kept adding all this stuff to it, rooms with giant carousels and a dollhouse collection and all sorts of crazy themes. We saw pictures of them in the museum on site, but didn't go on the tour that takes you into the cool places. Maybe I will have to go back to Wisconsin after all. Just not to boring little towns.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Going to Cheese Land

Well, it is day 5 of our pre-family reunion trip to Wisconsin and I am exhausted! The first 3 days were mostly driving days, although we did stop at the City Museum in St. Louis. Yesterday we went to this beach in one town, then wandered around for a while and then went to another town where we had lunch and spent forever shopping and wandering again.

They did have lots of cute painted fish everywhere, but I was so tired that I fell asleep in the car on our way back. Today, we did church, lunch, walking around a town, visiting a museum/ice cream shop, and stopping at a lighthouse, where I fell asleep in the car again.

This family really doesn't know how to have a relaxing vacation.
I also have some numbers I thought I'd share.
  • The number of states we've driven through: 5 (Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, and Wisconsin)
  • The age of our current hotel: 98
  • The number of tiny dead fish that can be seen on the pier: 53 1/2
  • The number of hours I've driven: 5 long hours
  • The height of the giant slide at the City Museum: 10 stories
  • The number of books I've read: 1 silly little book

Tomorrow we're leaving our sleepy little town and going to a hopefully super fabulous water park resort place with tons and tons of relatives! I am super excited and looking forward to sleeping in past 7:30. I don't know what the Internet situation will be like there so I braved the sketchiness of our little inn's wireless to show y'all these pictures. And I know you needed to hear about those tiny dead fish on the pier.

Monday, July 11, 2011

La Quinta y La Sexta Semana

I didn't intend on doing these two weeks as one post, but then after seeing Machu Picchu, I had a no fun stomach infection or virus or something so I didn't get anything done for two days and then had a lot of last minute shopping and sightseeing to do. But while I'm finally uploading all my photos, let me tell you about my last two weeks in Peru!

Week 5 was more or less normal. Wednesday we had off from school, again, this time for San Pedro. My host mom was doing some traveling, so she gave me money for lunch. The nice, sit-down restaurant I went to gives you a soup, second (choice of beef or chicken) and drink for 4 soles. That's the dollar menu in Peru :) I also did a lot of shopping that day, more for myself since I hadn't bought much for me up till then.

That Saturday and Sunday, I woke up at lovely 5 in the morning for Machu Picchu. The weekend I picked was the one weekend during the whole trip that it was rainy and cloudy outside. The train was an hour late because we had to stop and wait for crews to clear off the tracks after a landslide.

When I got to my hotel in Aguas Calientes (they also have some famous hot springs, not just proximity to Machu Picchu) I took a nice long nap and lay in bed watching Scooby Doo and a Mary Kate and Ashley movie on my 3 TV channels. Sunday morning I went up, had my tour, and then did the shortest optional hike over to an Inca bridge. Even with the rain/fog/sickness, it was really awesome.

Week 6 was very strange. Monday, I lay in bed all day. Tuesday, I went to the school for the hour and a half after recess to try to teach a little, but they were having a volleyball tournament instead of classes. Wednesday was Teacher's Day so we had the day off, and I did more shopping. I left my scarf on the Machu Picchu train coming back, so I bought a new one and some gloves to go with it. Thursday was the 100th Anniversary of the rediscovery of Machu Picchu, so we had another day off and I went downtown to take a tour of the other church in the Plaza, La Compañía de Jesus. It has a beautiful altar covered in gold, which I really should have bought a postcard of.

Friday was the only day I worked and unfortunately, I didn't get to say goodbye to a lot of the kids because they thought Friday was another holiday and didn't show up. Then Saturday, I went to a mass at the Cathedral (so I could get in for free) and took one last shopping trip to get presents for my host family.

My first flight left for Lima at 3:30 in the afternoon and after lots of hours waiting in airports, I got back home yesterday morning! I'm still sleepy but I made myself get up this morning because I was sooo hungry. First cereal for breakfast in 6 weeks! Yes, the strangest things make me happy :)

In other news, tomorrow is my 20th birthday. I keep forgetting. Usually I have a countdown in my head from the beginning of July until my birthday, but this year it was a countdown to going home. As much as I love Cusco, I love being home even more. I don't think I'll be doing much since my dad and littlest sister are out of town (they left only a couple hours before I got back). My mom and sissy and I might get to go get massages though :) So my last day of being a teenager, as weird as that is, will be spent maybe unpacking, hanging out at home, getting a free slurpee, maybe going to the's good to be home!